TORONTO — Ever since its launch in Vancouver in 2019, the experiential skin bar known as Formula Fig has been shaking up the industry, democratizing the way ordinary consumers can access affordable, tech-led skin-rejuvenation procedures and treatments that were once primarily accessible only by the affluent.
“Everyone on Planet Earth has skin. That’s why we are great believers in accessibility, affordability and in modernizing the way facial treatments are delivered to as many people as possible,” said JJ Walsh, who along with Anita Chan created the service-meets-retail concept whose goal is to deliver results-driven medical aesthetics with in an elevated environment.
Their end result, as Walsh said, “looks and feels nothing like your regular dermatologist’s office”.
“These spaces we’ve created are gender-neutral, so anyone at any age can feel comfortable here,” said the British-born Walsh, who worked as a former fashion editor at Tatler magazine before moving to Vancouver with her husband and family in 2013.
Within the verdant setting dotted with private therapy pods for clients, Formula Fig offers a curated menu of facial treatments and injections delivered by medical pros in 30 minutes or less.
Formula Fig’s following has grown steadily since the company’s launch in 2019, thanks to a brand roster that focuses on clean skin care, including Dr. Loretta, Venn, HoliFrog, Vintner’s Daughter and more; cost-saving membership options; no upfront fees, and treatments ranging from $79 to $350. Today the brand operates three skin bars in Vancouver, Canada; a new location on Toronto’s Ossington Avenue, and is readying its first U.S. site, which will open in Los Angeles’ West Hollywood this December.
Thus far, growth has been fueled by word of mouth.
“We’ve grown because when clients show up at a Formula Fig bar they know what to expect,” said Walsh.
“Typically you’d have to go to three places to get what you need for your skin. That means a dermatologist for injectables, a med-spa for a facial and a retailer for products. Most of these places are intimidating and uninspiring,” Walsh continued. “Most are located off the beaten track. Plus getting an appointment can be challenging and take up far too much of your day. Formula Fig gives you what you want for your skin when you want it.”
Popular services include Stingers, Formula Fig’s name for neuromodulator treatments that reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as Fig Shots, which contain a blend of amino acids and other nutrients in a vitamin B12 base that are injected into muscle tissue for the body’s immediate use.
Also on the menu are high-tech facials like the All-In, which combines exfoliation with advanced lifting, sculpting and hydration techniques to improve muscle tone, lift jowls and eyebrows and minimize fine lines and wrinkles.
The noninvasive Lift + Tone — also dubbed the Fig Facelift — is another customer favorite and uses medical-grate technologies to lift and strengthen the skin and help maintain the effects of Stingers.
Other core offerings include Hydrate + Glow, which uses gentle microdermabrasion to remove dead cells and stimulate the skin and the Collagen + Texture treatment incorporating nano-needling technology to create micro channels in the skin for deeper serum concentrate penetration and collagen stimulation.
All this and more will be coming to Los Angeles, including filler offerings and collaborations with local brands to heighten that sense of community.
“To be a success in the U.S. market we had to be in Los Angeles. I felt it in my bones,” said Walsh, who is already planning a second location to open in Culver City in 2023.
“We plan to expand quickly in the U.S. because we believe there is room for Formula Fig in major cities across the country. But L.A. is the global center of health and wellness and has an energy to it, which very much suits our brand ethos,” she said.
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Formula Fig will also launch its own skin care products in 2023. The brand has developed the products over the last two years in conjunction with dermatologists and skin care formulators based on data it collected from doing thousands of facials.
“We’re excited about the range of results our products will be able to offer to our guests whether they are 17 or 70,” said Walsh.
“At the end of the day, we are a hospitality service that continues to evolve and deliver something we believe is superior to even the most costly offerings in today’s market.”