Preservative-free skin care has a new player.
LightWater Skin Nutrition, a preservative-free skin care line, launched on June 1 and consists of two products: a morning moisturizer and a nighttime replenishing cream, each packaged in 28 single daily doses.
Cofounded by Living Proof alum Soo-Young Kang, creator of Coolsculpting Dr. Rox Anderson and dermatologist and clinical researcher Dr. Fernanda Sakamoto, the brand aims to change the way consumers shop for skin care products.
“Most skin care products don’t even have a label with an expiration date,” Sakamoto said. “So, we don’t know if they’re still active or growing microbes in these jars we’re stocking up in our houses.”
For the brand, ditching preservatives also meant nixing many popular active ingredients that contain them — without which, formulating took nearly two years.
“We went through over a hundred rounds of formula iterations and conducted various tests such as safety, stability, microbial and in-vitro microbiome testing,” Kang said. “We also went through many rounds of consumer-use testing to measure product performance.”
In order to make preservative-free skin care realistic, the brand makes products in small batches meant to be used promptly after delivery. While consumers can make one-time purchases of either product for $45.50, or both for $82, they can also opt for an auto-ship subscription in which they’ll receive one or both of the products every 28 days for $41 or $69.70, respectively.
“Because of the small packaging, you’re not actually putting your finger in and contaminating the product once you open the package,” said Sakamoto, noting that the formulas last longer in single-dose packaging without preservatives. The company also aims for a controlled manufacturing environment so formulas aren’t contaminated by germs and microbes throughout the process, Kang said.
Formulated with hyaluronic acid, probiotics and rice and green tea extracts, the Good Morning Multivitamin Moisturizer is designed to hydrate skin while offering protection from environmental stressors, such as blue light and pollution. The Good Night Replenishing Cream claims firming benefits and includes ceramides, ferulic acid, goji berry extracts and probiotics.
The d-to-c line uses no preservatives, silicones, PEG, phthalates, sulfates or animal derived ingredients, and is hoping to expand with more skus in the near future, such as sunscreen, Kang said.
“You’re putting these things on your face that really affect the ecosystem of your skin,” Anderson said of skin care products formulated with preservatives. “As a practicing dermatologist of many years, I’ve seen it all the time — you can get acne breakouts and all sorts of other things from upsetting the microbiome of your skin.”
The founders declined to comment on sales expectations, but industry sources estimate LightWater will do $1 million in sales in its first year on the market.
Single-dose packaging has come under fire historically because of the excess waste it creates. To attempt to combat that, LightWater is using 60 percent compostable packaging, with plans to move toward eco-friendlier packaging in the works, Kang said.
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