[ Article by Emma Sandler originally published on Glossy.co on March 16th, 2021 ]
Beauty incubator and accelerator Waldencast is placing a bet in the science-backed skin-care trend with its new brand, Revea. Waldencast leads the new company’s $3.5 million seed round, announced on March 11.
Revea is what Chaz Giles, Revea founder and CEO, refers to as “precision skin care” which purportedly goes beyond traditional personalized or customized beauty. With the new funding, the new brand will open its first brick-and-mortar location in San Francisco in April, which will be outfitted with dermatological devices that can measure a person’s skin hydration levels, sebum production and elasticity, among other factors. Based on the results, Revea will develop unique formulas for each customer, involving two serums and a moisturizer, to help improve or combat their skin issues. The in-person 30-minute appointment and three products cost $75 and $375, respectively. The seed funding will also be directed toward a skin-care study to improve Revea’s algorithm and product formulation.
“A lot of the language has been muddled, up to this point, around what personalization means,” said Giles. “For us, it is about understanding the biological system and the cause of a skin-care concern, and then creating treatments and a regimen tailored to that root cause and your individual biology.”
Giles said that there are no concrete plans for additional locations at the moment and that Revea is exploring how to translate its in-person diagnostics into an at-home experience to facilitate e-commerce purchases. Other brands that have tried to go beyond a quiz to offer in-depth personalization include skin-care brand Atolla with its at-home kit, as well as at-home DNA testing kit companies that offer more insight into genetic factors contributing to various skin issues.
“Revea brings an element of accountability to the business,” said Michel Brousset, co-founder and CEO Waldencast. “When you buy a product today, you hope it works. In this case, what you have is more like an exercise app where you can track your progress over time. You’ll have an initial diagnosis, receive a product and see how it is improving your skin over time in a very objective, science-based way.”
Investment firm Waldencast’s portfolio includes refillable makeup brand Kjaer Weis, men’s wellness startup Manual and Brazil-inspired beauty line Costa Brazil, which was acquired by Amyris on March 5.
From Giles’ vantage point, precision skin care can help people take control over their skin health and also address underserved customers, like people of color. People of different ethnicities and with melanated skin have unique skin concerns, such as higher sebum production (compared to Caucasian skin), and different sunscreen needs because traditional formulas can leave a residue. At the moment, though, Revea is focused on recruiting early tech adopters, skin-care enthusiasts and biohacker types to come into its San Francisco location.
“If people can be back in charge, and understand what’s going on with their own body and their own skin, that’s invaluable,” said Giles. “Technology has caught up to deliver what everyone has been waiting for, which is skin care that fundamentally works for them and their skin.”