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The Interview: Dr Nina Naidu addresses the specific skin concerns of men with Anokha Man

Antony Hawman
05 September 2023

Founded in 2008 by board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr Nina Naidu, Anokha was launched after her patients requested effective skincare without traditional medical ingredients. After several years of research, Anokha was launched with the intent of using highly effective botanicals, backed by science, to replace overly aggressive synthetic ingredients.

Dr Anokha tells about the importance of launching men’s specific products.

Tell us about your career to date.

I'm a board certified plastic surgeon based in New York City. I finished my medical education 26 years ago, and I've had a private practice on Park Avenue for the past 20 years.

Early in my practice, I started to receive requests from patients for non-medical grade skincare that still provided actual clinical level results. There was nothing which really met my needs, and after several years of research, I launched Anokha in 2008, the natural skincare line, which aims to achieve clinical level results

What led you to launch Anokha Man, your specific diffusion line targeted at men.

It started in really in 2018, because at that time, I did a complete rebrand of my line, and that included reformulating almost all of our products, and at the same time, I decided to register my products in the EU and UK because those countries have some of the strictest regulations for cosmetics in the world. So it was at that time, it was really a way of holding my products to the highest standard of safety. During that process, I was advised by the registration authorities in the UK that my products had to specify that they were intended for female skin as opposed to male skin, because men absorb more ingredients into their face after shaving as their skin is very exposed at that point, as men tend to have more vascular skin so they can potentially absorb more ingredients.

I noticed that some of our products, specifically the oatmeal cleansing milk and the Jasmine serum were being purchased by men. So I really started to think okay, is this the right thing for their skin.

I started to think about the differences between male and female skin. I did a lot of research, and I found that male skin is really scientifically different primarily as a result of all the testosterone; the pH of the skin is lower, the skin tends to be thicker and oilier with more of a tendency for breakouts. At the same time, men also frequently complain of dryness and ingrown hairs secondary to shaving, so these are completely different issues from the ones that women tend to have.

anokha man


More and more men are making their own buying decisions due to more education being readily available, but there’s still a huge percentage of women that buy men’s skincare for the household.  Is this what you’re seeing from your sell-through data? 

So it’s still quite early because we just launched the men’s line in June, but what I'm seeing is that in the United States, it's all women who are buying the products, and in some cases, are actually shipping them directly to the men in their life.  Sometimes I'm seeing men buying them both for themselves and their sons for example. Now in the UK, where we do have obviously fewer sales (due to the line only just being launched) it's all men buying the products for themselves.

The range consists of a cleanser, toner and lotion. What made you pick these SKUs for the line up?

My feeling is it's best to keep things simple, which will just ensure compliance because most men aren't used to doing skincare regime or perhaps they'll pull something off of their partner's shelf and try it without necessarily having a routine. So my feeling was that just asking the average man to do a 10 step routine was just sort of a recipe for disaster and frankly, for most people, it's not necessary, but my feeling is that once men are comfortable with a routine - so cleanse, tone, moisturise, and I specifically chose a lotion, a light lotion, because for most men after shaving, they want something relatively light on their face.

What are the next SKUs you’ll be launching. Maybe an eye cream?

In terms of additional products, it's funny you ask about an eye cream, as we are actually working on one.  I think in the UK, there's more of a demand for an eye cream, so we do have one that should be available for September 24. It’ll be for both men and women. It has Murumuru butter, which is from the Amazon, and we have included caffeine too to help with the dark circles, and we have bakuchiol which will help with fine lines

What are your retail plans for the range?

We’re carried by about 19 retailers in the US, and we’ve just hired a retail strategist at the beginning of the month, so we are working on the UK strategy and really targeting the UK luxury market, that's really the best fit for us. My gut feeling is that the UK will end up being a better market for us than the US just because of the difference in consumer there.


You can also listen our podcast with Dr Nina Naidu here. 

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