Buzz created all over the world by Korean Beauty refuses to die down and in all fairness I don’t think it would any time soon, because the Koreans believe in “preventive skincare” as opposed to “reactive skincare” and gradually the rest of the world is becoming privy to this great philosophy.
India very recently was introduced to a few Korean brands via the major e-retailers but then that’s not even the tip of the ice-berg. There are many- many Korean brands ranging from basic to luxurious; that so far have no presence in the Indian Market! But then thanks to curators like Palak of Skinnmore.com (pronounced as Skin & More) we have access to some of these and no longer need to limit ourselves to the handful of officially available brands.
I am a great supporter of businesses run by women so was all-in when Skinnmore approached me for this collaboration. I am absolutely aware of the fact that entrepreneurship is very challenging but perhaps equally satisfying. So I couldn’t let Palak go without a little Q & A regarding her entrepreneurial venture and vision for future.
Q: Palak, as most skincare enthusiasts will agree that K-beauty trends are here to stay because folks have an insatiable appetite for the new & trendy; so it is safe to say that you have hit the nail on the head with Skinnmore‘ Business strategy. How did you come up with this idea and how has been the response?
A: I ventured into the world of Korean Skincare thanks to my Korean friends who I met during my post-graduation in London in 2012. I couldn’t stop staring at their flawless skin and was so awed that I literally begged them to help me understand Korean Skincare and from then on there’s been no looking back. Also, being an engineer, I enjoy chemistry and studying chemical compounds and composition. That’s how I really try to understand skincare products and their composition and how each ingredient plays a vital role in skincare. I realized that we need to make more and more people aware about preventive skincare and since Korean skincare products are so advanced, I really wanted to do something to bring about this awareness in India. That was the beginning of Skinnmore and that’s how it all started.
The response has been really good and I am thankful that each day I go closer to my dream- which is to see people accept their skin and works towards maintaining a healthy glow of the skin instead of covering it with makeup
Q: Most customer’s are a little apprehensive of trusting the lesser known indie e-retailers, so what are the measures you are taking to help instill faith?
A: We try to curate our products very well. No product would be a part of our website unless they work on Indian skin. I was very clear about that since the inception of Skinnmore. So in case a product does make it to our website. you can be sure that it really really works. Also, we try to help people with different skincare needs and try to guide them on different products needed specifically for their skin – more like a friend than another e-commerce website trying to sell them products. This, I believe is one of the reasons why our customers keep coming back to us since they know that they will be guided correctly on the product they would need. We are here trying to better the entire experience of buying skincare products and not just adding another product to your routine.
Q: I am certain that like any other business the process is not easy, so can you throw a little light on how you go about procuring products / logistics/ customs etc?
A: We tie up with the original companies in Korea and get all our products directly from Korea and sometimes duties can be very very high. Pricing can vary sometimes but we try to keep it standard and we try to do what’s best for customers who are more like family to us than customers
Q: I see that you prize yourself upon your rigorous curation process. Can you give me an example?
A: I don’t want to name companies or products, but to give you an example, a very renowned product in the world of Korean skincare caused a breakout to one of our product testers since her skin was very sensitive. It’s always a difficult call to say no to companies selling such a high demand product but we did not stock it since we know that there is a possibility that Indian skin could react to the ingredients in the product. So it’s always about customer’s best interest over product popularity for us. We keep a very strict eye on the curation process by ensuring that the products work on Indian skin which is different from Korean skin and not all products which work on Korean skin would work on Indian skin.
Q: Lastly, whats your vision for Skinnmore’s future? Do you have any tips/ words of encouragement for budding women entrepreneurs out there?
A: India is doing so well and women are now building a name for themselves and making our country proud. Our vision is to be the go-to platform for Korean skincare products which work specifically on the Indian skin. It is my dream to see women more confident and standing up for themselves and having good skin definitely adds to confidence and that’s what we are here for. More power to women!!
Skinnmore team was kind enough to send me some Sheet Masks to Review. These are from the brands Tony Moly & Etude House which are not quite easily available otherwise.
Tony Moly – Pureness 100 Green Tea Mask Sheet
Cost: 100 INR
Buy Online: here
Ingredients: Water Glycerin PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer Butylene Glycol Water Butylene Glycol Sodium Hyaluronate Phenoxyethanol Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer Water Butylene Glycol Hydrolyzed Collagen Phenoxyethanol Glacier Water Butylene Glycol Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract Phenoxyethanol Xanthan Gum PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Allantoin Ethylhexylglycerin 1,2-Hexanediol Phenoxyethanol Parfum Disodium EDTA
The Pureness 100 sheet mask collection by Tony Moly is claimed to be made of non-bleached 100% cotton face sheets. It is supposed to be a fun and functional sheet mask collection features different ingredients all targeting different skin concerns. They are free of Paraben, Benzophenone, Triethanolamine, Talc, and color additives.
I refrigerated this mask for a bit and popped it on a super hot summer weekend and indulged in some of my favorite TV series on my day off. Definitely a afternoon well spent with self care and entertainment. Something that immediately caught my attention was the packaging, it is a nice big glossy packet that feels quite well made and almost luxurious as compared to some others. It is one of the nicest smelling masks I have used so far and the fragrance lasts for a while so I had a quick look at the ingredients and was disappointed to see added perfume!
The mask sheet is quite thick and heavy and I guess due to that it absorbs a considerable amount of essence. The fit and adherence was alright and unlike some of the other Asian brands the mask is generously sized so it was big enough to fit my face and the cut outs at the chin areas were very useful to help in adjusting the fit.
I kept it on from around 20-30 minutes as instructed on the pack and was positive that it would dry out way before that but surprisingly despite the heat and full speed fan running it remained moist through the duration. This is perhaps due to the absorption capacity of the thick mask sheet. The essence used in this case was transparent and of a watery consistency and in a good amount. I used the left over on my hands and neck.
After I removed the mask the skin felt hydrated and relaxed. The texture of my skin also seemed a little less aggravated later on. But it did dry slightly tacky and eventually I had to rinse my face to get rid of that sticky feeling. I realize that this makes for a good night time mask where one can sleep off and rinsing can happen in the morning.
Etude House 0.2mm Tea Tree Therapy Air Sheet Mask
Cost: 100 INR
Buy Online: here
Ingredients: Water, Glycereth-26,Dipropylene Glycol, Propanediol, Alcohol, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, SodiumCarbomer, Allantoin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium Edta, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Boswellia Serrata Gum, Beta-Glucan, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Pinus Palustris Oil, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Ceramide Np
This range of masks from Etude House is meant to be daily use, low-irritant masks that are made of a breathable 0.2 mm fine micro sheet. I used it before bed on a hot summer night & had popped it in the fridge for a few minutes before I applied it. Safe to say loved the initial cooling sensation. The packaging is basic with all the necessary information printed on it. This sheet mask had a light-mellow scent and nothing like the strong Tea Tree fragrance which I totally detest so this made my experience a soothing one.
The sheet mask is very thin, one of the thinnest I have used so far – true to their 0.2mm claims. When I took it out of the packet, it was dripping because the essence was quite watery, and the amount was more than enough. Within the packet, there was still a considerable amount of essence left inside which I decided to use later.
The fit is alright but the adherence was great. It felt like second skin, perhaps due to the fact that it is so thin.
I had this on for 20 minutes before taking it off. My skin felt hydrated, cool and relaxed without feeling greasy. It did dry down nicely without any tacky residue or sticky-feeling after 10 minutes. Due to this I guess it would work as an ideal daytime mask that can be used before makeup. The best part of this mask was actually wearing it, as it was quite refreshing.
I am pretty stoked about the fact that these brands are now easily available at an affordable price point and with guaranteed authenticity via Skinnmore.com. We no longer have to stick to the limited options available on Nykaa/ Amazon anymore and can experience other brands as well without the hassle of custom fee, delayed/ lost parcels or expensive shipping fee.
I am a big supporter of Indie businesses and especially when they are run by Boss Ladies like Palak & her team. I am grateful that they reached out to me for this collaboration and at the end I just want to remind everyone that Small businesses are made of courage, persistence and hard-work! Therefore its very important that we do our best in supporting independent and locally run business like Skinnmore to help them grow and even out the play-field because there is room for everyone.
Swing by Skinnmore and check out the variety of brands they have to offer including DECIEM’s The Ordinary and let me know your experience if you try something. Also use the code MsPlainspoken10 and snag a cool 10% off on your order.