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Tula Makes Natural Leap Into Supplements

Fitness and nutrition influencers will help spread the word.

Tula plans to make good on L Catterton’s confidence in the brand’s potential in probiotics for skin, with the launch of its first supplement.

Tula’s Daily Probiotic & Skin Health Complex is rolling out on the brand’s e-commerce site. QVC will unveil it on air in January. The Daily Probiotic & Skin Health Complex is priced at $39 for a month’s supply.

L Catterton led a Series A venture capital round behind the brand earlier this year to ramp up growth of the two-year beauty company. The latest move into an ingestible form of probiotics was a logical step for the company that was co-founded by Dr. Roshini Raj, a practicing gastroenterologist.

“It was always part of our roadmap, especially since Dr. Raj is our co-founder,” said Tula’s chief executive officer Julia Straus of the supplement. “Looking at ‘inside out beauty’ isn’t just a tagline for us. The research [on probiotics] is there and we had to take it and make it into something that is commercially viable and that people will take.”

Studies show that when the digestive system is out of balance, whether the cause is stress, poor diet or lack of sleep, the gut becomes overrun with bad bacteria, which can lead to skin-aggravating inflammation, according to Straus. This inflammation can cause acne, redness, sensitivity and even the breakdown of collagen, causing wrinkles.

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“Early results from our own double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial show that our probiotic improves skin’s clarity, texture and tone, and ability to maintain moisture,” Straus said.

Industry sources believe the item could hit $1 million in sales within months of its launch. Tula did not comment on projections.

Tula’s entry comes at a time of robust growth for the concept of beauty from within. After many fits and starts in the industry, the ingestible skin-care category is growing as much as 50 percent each year and surpassed $6 million last year, according to The NPD Group. By 2020, industry experts forecast volume produced by ingestibles will exceed $8.5 billion.

Moreover, Mintel research revealed 80 percent of a survey of people between the ages of 18 and 34 either have taken or are interesting in ingestibles to address skin conditions.

Straus said one of Tula’s missions was to create a daily supplement that is easy for people to add to their daily regimen. “You need to make it easy for the customer to stick with it and comply. It isn’t as simple as putting on a moisturizer. You have to be consistent.”

To that end, because of consumer requests, Tula selected a blister pack instead of a jar for ease of travel. The formula is also shelf-stable and does not require refrigeration. Tula merged probiotic strains that are shown to help with skin health with ceramides and vitamin C. “It offers a daily dose of probiotics as well as other ingredients we’ve added so you get digestive and skin health in one.” Straus said. The supplement is expected to represent add-on sales to the topical lineup while attracting consumers who are pulled to Tula by the capsules.

On the topical side, Tula extended into the Kefir segment of the market with a Kefir Moisture Repair Pressed Serum and a Kefir Replenishing Cleansing Oil. Kefir is a yogurt that contains beneficial yeast as well as good “probiotic” bacteria. “Kefir is becoming a big deal in the nutrition world which is where we look for inspiration,” Straus said. “We believe we are the only ones using Kefir as an ingredient story, which is shown to help with hydration, key as we go into the winter months,” she added.

Tula is doubling down in its direct-to-consumer channel because it affords the chance to tell the brand’s story to consumers, especially now when more people research skin care online before buying.

Tula also continues to be a success on QVC, another outlet offering storytelling opportunity. The brand is also sold at select Space NK and select Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus stores and

Influencers, especially those in the fitness and nutrition markets, are crucial to its marketing efforts. “We position Tula as part of a healthy lifestyle and these influencers are certainly experts in their fields and add credibility to the line,” Straus said.

The business was founded in 2014 by Raj, a gastroenterologist and internist; Ken Landis, a Bobbi Brown Cosmetics cofounder, and Dan Reich, a tech entrepreneur. Tula’s sales are said to have grown more than 400 percent in 2016.