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NuFace Adds Ted Schwarz as President, Expands in China

The business is approaching $50 million in sales, according to industry sources.

NuFace has added a new face.

Former president of SkinMedica, Ted Schwarz, has stepped into the role of president at NuFace, the company behind the at-home microcurrent tool meant to lift aging skin.

He will focus on the commercial side of the business, working to further the brand’s omnichannel approach and ensure all channels are supporting each other. Schwarz also plans to implement a certain amount of “lifts” on customers per day and create in-store lifting animations to help drive sales, according to the company.

NuFace, founded in 2005, originally took off in the spa channel, but over the past five or so years the brand’s growth has taken off, according to cofounder and chief executive officer Tera Peterson. So far in 2016, sales at NuFace are up 82 percent.

The company has launched in a handful of international markets, including the U.K., Italy, Germany, Australia, South Korea and, most recently, China. NuFace is also distributed through Ulta Beauty, QVC, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Space NK. Going forward, NuFace aims to deepen penetration in those markets as opposed to prioritizing further geographic expansion, Peterson said.

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“Within the last three years we’ve had high-double-digit growth and this year in particular has been such an explosive growth year for us, mainly in international,” Peterson said.

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Asia, specifically, is generating much of the company’s recent gains, according to Peterson. In Korea, NuFace sells across multiple direct-selling television networks instead of picking just one, and the company won Korea’s Best Selling Brand award after launching there last year.

China, where NuFace products have been sold mainly in the e-commerce channel since April, is expected to make up 15 percent of the company’s international revenues in the second half of 2016. Of that, NuFace expects 50 percent to come from China’s Singles Day, which is similar to Black Friday, and generated about $14 billion last year, the company said.

NuFace is approaching $50 million in net sales, industry sources said.

“The company was built solely on reinvesting every single dollar back into the company,” Peterson said. “We’re a big advocate of growing within our means. We always invested in the product and the sales team first.”

“The nice thing about NuFace is that we’ve been profitable since day one, so we don’t need money,” Peterson said. “Obviously, if we wanted to expand more and do some wild and crazy things, that may take some extra money. That’s always something we entertain, but really, to find the best partner is the most important thing to us.”

The San Diego-based business was founded by mother and daughter team Carol Cole, Tera Peterson and Kimberly Morales. NuFace specializes in portable microcurrent devices, which aim to counter skin aging through at-home microcurrent and red light therapy. Cole, an aesthetician, got the idea as she was toting a full-size machine to Los Angeles to provide celebrities with microcurrent treatments.

“She was traveling from San Diego to Los Angeles three days a week with her big, professional microcurrent machine — going all over L.A., and treating well-known celebrities and politicians with her microcurrent treatments,” Peterson said.

“When we launched our first device — I like to say it was a child-size device because it was so big — it delivered those instant results,” Peterson said.

In 2011, the company launched the NuFace Trinity, which allows users to switch out microcurrent or LED-light attachments. NuFace also develops a product line that consists of Gel Primer, 24-karat Gold Gel Primer, Collagen Booster and several serums. “We’ll be using some technology that we currently use with expanded uses,” Peterson said. “There will be new devices coming from the NuFace family in the next couple of years.”

The company’s expansion has come without advertising, instead relying on investments in social media and other digital campaigns, Peterson said. Leveraging those relationships, NuFace is launching its first-ever influencer collaborations for the holiday season. The San Diego-based business chose two Southern California-based social media stars.

Celebrity aesthetician Shani Darden is behind a grouping called Haute Contour, which will retail for $429 and include the NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device, ELE microcurrent attachment, gel primer, 24-karat Gold Firm Gel Primer and Lifter Serum. Lisa Allen, the cofounder of lifestyle blog Lunchpails and Lipstick, is behind the Glam-on-the-Go set, which contains the NuFace mini, gel primer and Collagen Booster Serum. That set retails for $199. Both gift sets launch in September and will be sold only through December.