Brand Profile: how BYOMA began the skin barrier conversation
Consumers’ attitudes towards beauty have changed over the past few years, which has led to the industry becoming more niche than ever. The pandemic provided consumers with an invaluable opportunity to adapt their beauty routines and discover new and exciting brands in the process. According to a global study, more than a third of consumers bought a product from a new brand in 2020 and 83% of those consumers said they would keep buying those products. Suitability is one of many factors consumers consider before making a purchase, with 68% of them wanting to know what is suitable for their skin type.
As consumers’ knowledge and desire for brands that offer total transparency become more evident than ever, social media has become a safe space for them to learn more about skincare ingredients and trends, which may explain why skincare education is a top priority for beauty brands as they seek to add more meaning and value to shopping experiences. One beauty trend that has got everyone talking in recent months is skin barrier repair. When BYOMA launched in 2022 with a line of skin barrier boosting products, the beauty industry was intrigued by the brand’s unique approach to simple, affordable and sustainable skincare.
Founder Marc Elrick has always been obsessed with skincare and the science behind it. “When it comes to ingredients and formulating, I am constantly studying, researching and challenging what’s possible,” he said. The brand’s mission was to democratise the skincare landscape by offering affordable and effective barrier care for all. After carrying out extensive social listening and research, Elrick saw how common the negative effects of over treating and over exfoliating the skin were and decided to take action. “Our lightbulb moment came during the pandemic. Rampant misinformation and a lack of education meant high strength, single active skincare products were regularly being combined with conflicting actives – I found that a lot of these products were masking the issue rather than treating it at the source,” he said.
BYOMA’s ethos is centred on the skin barrier holding the key to better and healthier skin. The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin and looking after it properly is said to be essential for overall health. “When the Stratum Corneum (the outermost layer of the skin) is functioning at its best, it acts as a barrier to keep external aggressors at bay whilst ensuring skin cells function at optimum levels,” Elrick said. BYOMA’s Tri-Ceramide Complex is designed to mimic and replenish the essential lipids found in skin. It was carefully researched during the formulation process and includes key components of the stratum corneum (ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids). “The complex rebuilds the skin barrier and restores natural moisture levels, ensuring skin functions at its best,” Elrick said.
The brand combines dermatologist approved, science-backed actives for the ultimate barrier boosting skin compatible solution, but their story could have taken a different turn as they discovered two different types of skin care categories available at mass. “One category spoke to barrier health while the other was focused on single active ingredients. We believed that there was a clear white space for skincare that could offer both - barrier repair with efficacious active ingredients,” Elrick said. Initially, the brand was created with Gen Z in mind, after discovering that they were the ones unintentionally damaging their skin barrier but BYOMA’s goal has always been to create something with every skin type in mind that was also approachable, accessible and affordable. “Now, we’re seeing BYOMA being shared and used by multiple generations within the same household, and that’s the dream, “ Elrick said.
BYOMA is on a mission to prove that skincare doesn’t have to be complicated in order to make a difference. It is dedicated to democratising the skincare industry and empowering consumers through education. “The goal is to help everyone make informed choices when it comes to their unique skin type. We offer total transparency on packaging and decoding and we break down every single ingredient utilised in the formulas as well as its purpose because knowledge is power, “ Elrick said. Consumers are at the heart of everything BYOMA does and to add value to their shopping experience, the brand details where each product fits into a simple 5-step skincare routine along with how and when to use it on the packaging.
Social media has played a significant part in the brand’s success. Its dedicated creator strategy for TikTok is described by Elrick as a “three-pronged approach”. Paid talent and hundreds of additional creators were gifted BYOMA products and with a unique combination of trendsetters, dermatologists and skinfluencers who were able to speak specifically to the science behind the brand, they were able to generate a ton of buzz, awareness and hype from the moment they launched. “All of the creators we worked with spoke about the same thing, essentially. It was just delivered and executed in a very different way. We wanted our creators to feel like they could be themselves, rather than dictating a script. Our goal was to educate and inspire consumers in the most authentic way, “ Elrick said.
All of BYOMA’s products have been well received by skincare consumers but the standouts are the award-winning Creamy Jelly and the Moisturising Gel Cream. Taking best-in-class, luxurious ingredients and making them accessible to all is the brand’s top priority, so consumers can expect to find familiar active ingredients like hyaluronic acid and green tea couples with innovative actives like niacinamide and licorice root - complete with the brand’s one-of-a-kind Tri-Ceramide complex, which works to actively repair the skin’s barrier.
As part of its commitment to sustainable beauty, BYOMA has recently launched refills. All packaging is recyclable in household waste made from mono material plastic and has eliminated excess packaging. “We work every day to make more thoughtful, sustainable choices and understand that our actions affect the industry and planet for years to come. The pump-free versions (aka refills) of all products eliminate the need for non-recyclable pouch style refills, minimising the reliance of single use plastic, “ Elrick said. So far, the refills have been well received, although Elrick acknowledges that there’s a lot more education and work that needs to be done. “We’re in it for the long run and will keep working for a more sustainable future,” he said.
As for what’s next for the brand, Elrick can’t give anything away just yet but they may be expanding in the future and not just within skincare. BYOMA has redefined barrier-boosting skincare without compromising on affordability, quality and skincare education, proving that there is a clear gap in the market for trend-led brands that are created with effective solutions and a less-is-more approach in mind.