The luxury skin-care category, as it stands today, is in need of a major refresh. And if it isn’t overhauled, the retail market could continue to lose consumers to plastic surgery.
That’s according to dermatologist, reconstructive surgeon, and author, Dr. Tony Nakhla who launched his own line called Eighth Day at the Indie Beauty Expo last month. The range is sold online at EighthDaySkin.com, Shen Beauty and will be available at Neiman Marcus this fall.
“The super high-end brands that you are paying so much money for are using few actives and they are using almost nonsensical science. You are buying a little fashion and a lot of inflammation,” Nakhla stated. Consequently, frustration with doling out big bucks for products with no results drives more people to surgery and procedures — dollars that could be pumped into retail sales. “My goal is to offer something with high efficacy in a category where people should demand it the most.”
There are doctor brands, he admitted, that have a potent cocktail of actives, but many of them are not clean formulas. “It is hard to formulate with active ingredients, while still trying to refrain from preservatives and fragrances that are harmful to skin.” “Right now, skin-care brands are based in fear — they tell people ‘what they are not’ or what they are ‘free of’ — and not what they can do.”
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For the past nine years, Nakhla observed the healing properties of amniotic and placental tissues on post-surgical skin cancer patients, burn victims and patients with chronic wounds. The bio-identical human peptides, growth factors and immunostimulates found in the tissues created healing and renewing effects on skin cells. Two years ago, he harnessed those learnings and teamed them with formulations comprised of human stem-cell proteins combined with select marine and plant-based bioactives to make the formulations as clean as possible for his Eighth Day. “We are a clean doctor brand that is high in bioidentical actives specifically designed for human skin — that’s a differentiating point in the luxury space and across the antiaging skin-care category.” He’s managed to accomplish that with a two-year shelf life.
The combination of bio-identical actives and clean comes with a hefty price tag. The full set totals more than $1,000. “It is an expensive process where we are harvesting live stem cells. There is certification that we need,” he added. He likens his potential customers as those who are willing to dig into pocketbooks for a $16 premium cold pressed juice. “My ideal consumer is somebody who has income that wants to buy the best of the best but currently is not able to find it.”
There are six items including a skin cleansing gel, a dark spot Rx, a facial toner, regenerating serum, eye renewal cream and a moisturizer. He calls the Regenerating Serum the hero item with ingredients including the Active Placental Matrix with 600-plus human stem cell proteins, copper peptide, epidermal growth factors and manuka honey. The Eye Renewal Cream sports an ingredient that raises eyebrows — snake venom. “Snake venom is a bioidentical molecule that essentially relaxes your muscles temporarily. Think about the way Botox works…relaxes your muscles in a safe, controlled way.”
Nakhla said he was once a leading injector of fillers in Orange County in California. “I had an ‘aha’ moment where I felt like people were getting addicted to procedures. I still perform them, but I really feel they are being overused and people are getting away from true, timeless beauty. Good skin care is looking great for your age. I hope people start to use really great skin-care products in lieu of jumping to cosmetic procedures and that was one of the main goals of Eighth Day.”
Although some products show immediate effects, he said skin care is an ongoing regimen where users must be diligent. Future products planned include high potency vials and masks for events and special occasions as well as those for other body parts including the bust and buttocks, and products for total body rejuvenation.