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Starskin Shines Light on Blueprint for Growth

Starskin is expanding beyond masks and adding unique distribution points.

Experts agree that the most fertile growth of skin care inspired by South Korea has come from facial masks. Research from Kline reveals masks and eye cream produce the lion’s share of facial skin-care sales. Globally, according to Euromonitor, sales of masks exceed $6.3 billion. But where do they go from here? That question got Starskin cofounder Nicole Arnoldussen thinking about the next generation of masks to help the category continue to grow. She noticed loyalists to Starskin for its technology and efficacy were asking for even more natural options, especially 100 percent organic.

That prompted a two-prong strategy — adding glamour to the organic segment of the category, while seeking unique distribution points. The three-year-old brand had always strived to have the latest technology and premium ingredients from South Korea, while also listening to the desires of consumers who are now more health, wellness and ingredient conscious than ever.

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That prompted the newest launch from Starskin, which ushers in a point of difference in the field — the fusion of being 100 percent organic while maintaining a glamour positioning versus the somewhat plain image of many organic lines. Rolling out in September is Starskin’s Orglamic Pink Cactus Collection based on high concentrations of Prickly Pear Cactus. “Not many know that the Prickly Pear Cactus is the miracle plant of the desert; therefore, every part of the cactus plant, each with its unique skin benefiting qualities, is used to create the collection,” said Annie Hildenbiddle, Starskin’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. She added that many skin-care products touting hero ingredients contain very low concentrations of the actual ingredient. “In making this collection unique, apart from the strong benefits of the ingredients, is that the products are packed with pure and highly concentrated amounts of organic Prickly Pear Cactus.”

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The collection consists of a Pink Cactus Serum Mist ($42), a Pink Cactus Pudding ($48), a Pink Cactus Mask ($15) and a Pink Cactus Glass Mask ($11) and will debut on “With the U.S. market embracing facial masks, the timing is right to build on Starskin’s existing DNA of providing serious products with the highest level of innovation, materials and ingredients,” she said, noting that many South Korean imports are more whimsical in nature.

The Orglamic Pink Cactus range is the latest from the company that is generating triple digit growth in the U.S. and global markets. Barneys launched the brand for an exclusive period in 2017, followed by Birchbox. This year, Starskin has been added to the merchandise assortment at traditional retailers including Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. The second component of Arnoldussen’s blueprint for growth, is unique distribution.

“In bringing our sheet masks to the U.S. consumer, we’ve been quite strategic to launch not only in the traditional beauty destinations, but also in locations that attract consumers who put a high priority on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Understanding that wellness and fitness is top of mind for the Starskin consumer, the brand recently launched in Bandier and will soon launch in Equinox,” she said. Starskin is also a partner with the fast-growing Revolve online retailer, as well as socially conscious site Olivela.

Starskin Looks for Growth Opportunities
Starskin’s new serum.

In addition to branching out into new sales points, Starskin is extending into categories beyond masks, as exemplified by the serum mist and pudding in Orglamic, as well as a new Coco-Nuts Hot Oil Hair Mask.

“We are the sheet mask authority, but in listening to the needs of our clients who are loyal to Starskin for its superior quality and efficacy, we expanded into new categories to offer the entire skin-care regimen,” Hildenbiddle said.