Over a decade after selling The Art of Shaving to Procter & Gamble, Myriam and Eric Malka are on to their next project.
On Tuesday, the husband-and-wife team launched Ingredients, a gender-neutral, clean skin-care and personal care brand with a focus on “radical transparency.” Tapping into the clean beauty boom and the rise of “skintellectual” consumers who do meticulous research on products’ ingredients and efficacy, the brand is differentiating itself by publishing the percentage of each ingredient on the front of each product bottle.
The ingredient transparency movement has been driven by a range of brands since 2013, including buzzy and affordable names like The Inkey List and The Ordinary, which list the percentages for their active ingredients. The Ingredients brand will sell at a higher price point, with products ranging from $36-$44.
“We think consumers have the right to know exactly what they put on their skin and inside their bodies. That’s why we are printing our exact formulation — the most secret information of a brand — right on the packaging,” said co-founder and CEO Eric Malka. The brand soft-launched in January at 20 retailers across North America including Onda Beauty, Verishop, BoxyCharm, Carbon Beauty and its DTC site.
“When I source the ingredient, I scrutinize everything,” said brand co-founder and CCO Myriam Malka. “We audit the plant from the time of harvesting to the time it’s processed as the ingredient.” She noted that the brand’s DTC site features an ingredient library that provides details on where ingredients are from, whether they are organic or sustainably harvested, and how they are processed.
The brand has been a long time in the making, as the pair patented the brand name in 2011 following the successful 2009 acquisition of The Art of Shaving. They noted that marketing personal care to men has come a long way since then.
According to Eric Malka, “ingredients took a back seat,” in marketing messaging for their previous brand. “During the Art of Shaving years, we developed an obsession over ingredients and also a frustration. In the mid ’90s, nobody cared that our products were natural and clean, especially affluent men,” he said.
As clean beauty brands took off over the course of the subsequent decade, the founders ramped up plans for the launch starting in 2018. They used their experience in men’s care to develop gender-neutral branding and messaging, as their target demographic is simply the “health-conscious individual.”
“We’re marketing to women, but we’re also expecting men to start adopting these products,” said Eric Malka. “That’s why you’ll see that our packaging is not overly feminine or overly masculine. We wanted something very pharmaceutical, very subdued that can fit into any home decor.”
While affordable labels like The Ordinary and The Inkey List have cornered the ingredient transparency market at large retailers such as Ulta and Sephora, Ingredients is bringing its premium concept to niche, clean beauty retailers to start. Competitors list percentages for active ingredients, but the brand sees its exact formulations as a key differentiator.
“We’re not competing on price, by any means,” said Eric Malka. “We want to have the highest quality merchandise at fair pricing.”