Deciem, also known as “The Abnormal Company”, really isn’t your average beauty brand that flogs one-buy-fix-it products. Not only do they come up with ground-breaking new ways to improve the skin’s texture, surprisingly, no one from the brand (even right down to the scientists that create the products) come from a beauty background.
You used to be in the software industry, and now you’ve landed in beauty. Have these industries been different or similar to you?
“The main difference is the computer technology. Technology is very about ‘0 and 1’; it’s clear cut, things either work or they don’t work.
“Whereas I think the beauty business is a big blur. The regulations are just nonsense. You can put rosemary extract and say this removes wrinkles and that is considered medicine. Then you can take a peptide, which actually modifies something, and say this ‘visibly’ improves wrinkles and that is considered cosmetics.”
Being in the skincare category, do you find that consumers are becoming more educated on ingredients?
“If you look at areas like Australia to East Asia, it’s all about longevity and the health of the skin. As you move towards Europe, it’s a little bit about looking after your skin and quick fixes. Then, in North America, it’s all about ‘tonight tonight tonight’! These mentalities all have to shift because ultimately there is only so much that you can cover up.
“About five years ago, people really started to read into ingredients. However, I think that, as important as the ingredients and technology are, consumers don’t really have a way of evaluating formulation. If the best chef in the world and I walked into the same grocery store and bought the exact same ingredients in the same amounts, he will still produce a dish that is far superior to mine.”
Australians absolutely love fake-tanning. Do you find that different parts of the world are obsessed with different things?
“Everybody knows that a natural tan from the sun looks better and that is what he or she really wants. But it is damaging to the skin. The problem is DHA does the same thing. The only difference is that you are not burning and it is not as inconvenient, but the long-term effects are the same. We are in an evolution now where in the next 3-5 years there are going to be technologies and in fact a small portion of it is already in the hylamide molecule where you can now trigger your own melanin production without the sun.
“That is ultimately the goal of the beauty industry. Not only will you look tanned but also you will have a natural protection against the sun. That then kills the SPF market in a large way. SPF15 is all you need maximum; they have a lot of chemicals that are crap, that are unnecessary. You are actually creating damage to the skin with additional chemicals that just boost the SPF. But this will change that as well. I think that a lot of evolution will happen towards that.
“The trend towards instant and long-term colour is continuing to be that they want to be lighter on the east side and darker on the west side.”
What are your best-selling products?
“It is between Hylamide Sub-q Anti-Age, the Grow Gorgeous Hair Density Serum Intense, and the Fountain range. It is actually so wide spread, which is odd. Those three products have exploded, but across the rest of the products, it is actually quite consistent.”
Tell us more about the Fountain range…
“Nobody wants to take 10 pills or spoonfuls of powder, so we wanted to make a liquid supplement. It was a very difficult product to create. For example, our collagen molecule is five grams in two teaspoons. If you actually get five grams of collagen in a powder and put it in two teaspoons of water, you will see that it takes 15 hours of agitation to mix it together.
“Liquids are also more unstable than powders, and because it’s not a cosmetic, you can’t just add preservatives in there to keep to stable.”
What’s your attitude towards pricing?
“We just treat our brand like a simple, honest business. This is why the products from the Niod range are only in very premium department stores, and we get so many emails asking ‘why is this 40 pounds, it should be 400 pounds?’
“Our pricing policy is very simple; similar to a restaurant. We calculate our cost, we add our margin, and that is the price. Building a brand is like building trust. It just takes one lie and you won’t trust me again. So just be honest and stick to it.”
What’s your best advice for anyone looking to start their own beauty business?
“Stick to integrity, because the opposite will always backfire. Be genuine, stay true to yourself and what you are creating.”
Want to check out Deciem for yourself? You can now find their products in Priceline nationally or on their website.