Mae is the founder of high-performance skincare brand, Sanct Skin; which she describes as an H2H brand. Now, we have to be honest: B2C, we've heard of. D2C ,yup familiar with that... but H2H, this was new to us. So we did our 'Googles':
H2H stands for Human to Human and refers to a new approach to consumers, one focused on the relationships between people.
Interesting, no? We've actually noticed a lot of indie beauty brands taking this approach. Brands like Naturium, Skinrocks & Sachi, not sure they describe themselves as H2H, but their business model certainly matches the description.
Anyway, Sanct Skin is a skincare brand that creates high-performance, research-backed products to cater primarily to the skin needs of People of Color. The vision is for every person of color to be confident in their skin.
Like we mentioned in our previous article, in this series we will be asking each Founder a couple questions centred around the unique challenges the encounter whilst building their beauty brand in Nigeria. Let's get into it...
Mae: “I literally screamed "Logistics" in my head right now! Logistics and supply chain issues are so rampant in every industry, shipping costs keep increasing on our end. For our community, another thing is looking for how to reduce shipping costs for our community. FX rates keep increasing which impacts the costs of our raw materials.”
Mae: “We pick packaging based on the product format and functionality. We also consider stability testing at this point of decision and, of course, aesthetics. Packaging is extremely important for us at Sanct for many reasons; for one when we are developing a product, it's important to choose a container that can fit the product format and we conduct stability tests to make sure that the nature of the container is compatible with the content, to make sure there is no chemical reaction between the contents and the nature of the container.
Functionality is also important to us; how functional it will be to members of our community when they use it, pumps and droppers will be functional for different product types. One last important thing; Aesthetics! we love cute products and we know our community does too. We want to make our products as aesthetically pleasing as possible for our community to be proud of each purchase. We aspire to make each purchase an experience.”
M: Yes! Absolutely Yes! As a rule of thumb, we follow NAFDAC, FDA, and EU guidelines on ingredient listings and product claims, as we ship our products worldwide. It's important that we do not make drug claims on any of our products and also make sure the claims we put on products are have been tested and are true not just for the sake of marketing.
M: In this digital marketing age, using influencers has become important because they have the community that you want to reach. Knowledge of skin care is important to us, but what's most important is that we see that you have integrity and your community trusts you. We need to make sure that your community can trust your advice and we can also trust that your feedback on our products is genuine, and not just for the money.
M: "I don't think you need to be an expert but I know you need to at least work with experts. Personally, I'm a Chemical Engineer and Cosmetic Chemist, so product formulation is my forte, however, I am not a marketing, sales, or branding genius and those are necessary to run a business or start a brand. So, know as much as you need to know and invest in your brand by hiring experts".
M: As regards caramel/chocolate/latte set? No! Absolutely not necessary. This notion is based on the fact that some people want to bleach their skin and others don't. So, an ingredient in one is meant to bleach your skin while the other is not meant to bleach your skin. I think this breeds colorism and just encourages the bleaching pandemic in my opinion.
Catch-up on our 'A.Beauty Founders' series:
CHANGING THE A.BEAUTY NARRATIVE: BEAUTY FOUNDER SERIES
A.BEAUTY FOUNDER SERIES: JUNEDERM
Read the next Founder Feature: A.BEAUTY FOUNDER SERIES: HANKALI GROUP