Skincare Anarchy

Revolutionizing Skincare for Gen Xers and Zenials with A.P. Chem’s Science-Driven Formulas and Adaptogenic Innovation

March 06, 2024 Ekta et al. Episode 612
Skincare Anarchy
Revolutionizing Skincare for Gen Xers and Zenials with A.P. Chem’s Science-Driven Formulas and Adaptogenic Innovation
Skincare Anarchy
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers
Imagine the alchemy that occurs when a seasoned skincare expert and a renowned dermatologist decide to reshape the beauty landscape. That's precisely what unfolded in our latest episode featuring Sandra, with her wealth of experience from Clinique to La Mer, and Dr. Parikh, whose medical insights in dermatology are nothing short of revolutionary. These pioneering spirits have joined forces to create A.P. Chem Skincare, a brand that's making waves for its scientific approach to beauty and its dedication to the oft-overlooked Gen Xers and Zenials. As we chat, it's clear that this dynamic duo is onto something big, tying skin health seamlessly with overall well-being and crafting a skincare line that's as effective as it is endearing to those who proudly wear the 'cool nerd' badge.

Step into a world where the boundary between wellness trends and skincare innovation is artfully blurred. Sandra and Dr. Parikh walk us through the groundbreaking use of adaptogenic ingredients in their formulations, revealing how elements like GABA receptors and adaptogenic mushrooms are revolutionizing the way we think about our beauty regimes. The conversation takes an intriguing turn as we examine the rise of functional mushrooms in the wellness industry, and how A.P. Chem's product line is a testament to the synergy between traditional and alternative medicine. With a palpable excitement for the future of skincare, this episode is a must-listen for anyone curious about the intersection of health-conscious dietary choices and the quest for radiant skin.

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Speaker 1:

Hi guys, welcome back to Skincare Anarchy. This is your host, ekta, and I am really excited about our guest today. I am absolutely in love with this brand and the science is just. It's going to blow your mind and I really, really can't wait to dive in. So, without further ado, I want to introduce you guys to the founder and CEO and the co-founder and chief scientific officer of AP Chem Skincare. Welcome Sandra and Dr Parik to the show. Thank you so much for coming on.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, thank you.

Speaker 1:

I'm really excited to host you guys because I really love the brand and I fall in love with your moisturizer. I'm not going to lie, it's literally game changing, and so you know, I can't wait to learn about the formulas and stuff in the science. But if you could get us started, maybe, sandra, telling us a little bit about your backgrounds, you know, and what led you to creating a Skincare Line, sure, yeah.

Speaker 3:

I'm a beauty industry veteran. I've been, let's see, I've worked at Clinique Actually, that's how Sharon and I met Right. I was working on the Skincare team at Clinique for several years and I had hyperpigmentation after several rounds of IVF and the product development team there told me about Dr Parik and said you've got to go see him. And we just hit it off instantly. And then, you know, throughout my career in the beauty industry I worked on color cosmetics, hair care, body care. So I've been at Soldice, Nero, I've been at La Mer, Gare-Lon, et cetera. So I've just been in the industry for a really long time and my passion has always been skincare. Obviously, Sharon's too, Yep.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So what about you, dr Parik? I know you have quite an impressive medical background. I'd love to learn a little bit more about you, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Thanks. Yeah, I became a dermatologist after finishing medical school in Columbia in the late 90s and I do now at this point at our office, tribeca Skin Center, we do. There are four of us dermatologists. We do general dermatology, skin cancer screenings, rashes, cosmetic dermatology, skincare improvement yeah, and so it's a nice mix of people that we see from all around Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the idea of starting a skincare line has come up off and on, but not until meeting Sandra did it feel like it felt right, someone who actually knew the industry from the inside and understood what was happening, what was needed and filling a space, and so that's why we started working on it a couple of years ago and launched recently a AP Chem. Yeah, we thought of AP Chem as being cute because we both have kind of nerdy children of immigrants.

Speaker 1:

You know science and that kind of thing. I definitely immediately resonated with the with the.

Speaker 2:

I feel like I got a four, but maybe it was a five. Can I change that?

Speaker 1:

Well, you are way smarter than me because I dreaded AP Chem so it was hard for me. Yeah, I asked for it, you're right.

Speaker 2:

And so we thought that'd be really fun sort of throwback to our high school years and then to kind of like, do all the homework that other kids didn't do, and now we have it ready for people. They all the science behind the skincare, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I love it. I love it. That's so cool and the whole. I love that you guys parted it up because this is brilliant, like I don't even want to call it marketing, it just is really cool. You know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

Like you, yeah, it is smarter I mean if you need an MBA and an MD. I know, it sounds a little bit exciting to be, so whatever, but like a couple of advanced degrees kind of help in this industry, it feels it's, and not only that, but just also like a meeting of the minds, right, like people who come from two different sides of the coin and can come together and make something that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah. And other than just being the cool nerd that we are or a Sherman likes to say we were nerds in high school, now we're cool nerds yeah, we, other than big cool nerds we just share a lot of common philosophies about skin health and mental and physical health and how that affects your skin health. And they started talking about starting EP Chem together. We first said, you know initially, if we make this brand together, can we make something for that we can use? And it's sort of the light bulb went off that you know, especially with my background, having worked at the likes of La Mer, which is an amazing brand. I just thought, for you know Gen Xers like us. There are certainly skincare brands for them, but I'm hard pressed to find ones that don't cost a fortune and that's really specifically focused on the community of Gen Xers and Zenials, trying to be a catchall brand. So formulate for our community, our Gen Xers and Zenials.

Speaker 1:

It's just so. It's just vibes, like I feel like the brand, the name, the way it works, like I like. My experience, if I could share as a consumer of the products was it was very, very cool for all the nerds. So, like you know what I mean to connect, I was a nerd, I still I'm just a nerd. You guys are cool nerds. So for me, obviously you know the name really drew me in. But then formula, it's like literally like you know, when you're working on something and you know, even in high school, like I know a lot of people can relate all those projects and stuff when you worked on something really hard like a science fair or something, and it just really performed, you know that's the vibe I got from the marketing side. I was like, yeah, I love that.

Speaker 3:

Well, you know, obviously the formulas had to work and we can talk about our unique ingredients and our formulation philosophy, but we like to say say, skincare should be a trip, not a chore. We wanted our products to not just be super efficacious but really fun to look at. And the textures you know we put a lot of work into the textures. So the moisturizer we wanted it to be deeply nourishing but not too heavy, so it works virtually all skin types. And the eye treatment we wanted it to be, you know as well, we wanted it to be very nourishing, but we didn't want it to slide around If you're wearing concealer over it. We didn't want it to travel into people's eyes If you wear contacts or you know. So we really focused on all aspects of it. So it really is an experiential brand and it's fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely, I was talking about the science, because that's really you name the one. You know some of the really key features I love as a consumer as well. You know, it's just, it's really, really obvious that you've done your homework from the science side, and that's where I would love to learn about the ingredients and your approach to the ingredients. If you know, if you could start it, you know, tell us a little bit about that. Like, how did you really approach the formulation aspect?

Speaker 3:

Sure, we referred to our some of our, our hero ingredients as all farm ingredients. Actually, let me take a step back. When Sherman and I were working on our formulas, we obviously wanted them to be super efficacious and particular for the skincare concerns for the average gen X and Xenial customer, each decelerating concerns, from lifting and firming to smoothing the appearance of blinds and wrinkles, etc. But aside from just being super efficacious, as nerds, as cool nerds we wanted, we're always experimenting, right we're, we always want to discover and learn about the latest innovations. So we we approach our formulas by combining the classics, as Sherwin calls the work courses.

Speaker 2:

Polyureonic acid things people know about.

Speaker 3:

We combine the classics with unique ingredients that we refer to as all farming ingredients.

Speaker 2:

Like polyglutamic acid, right? So you probably know about things like that, which is not sort of top of mind for virtually all skincare companies. But the idea is that polyglutamic acid has even a synergistic effect with hyaluronic and to bind the moisture and retain more moisture, which is why when you put on the microdose moisturizer, you're like, oh, this feels terrific. And then even eight hours later you're like, oh, the morning it still feels great. And that has to do with that combination of HA and PGA, right. Yeah, yeah, combos are synergistic and terrific, right?

Speaker 1:

Right Also why it's like a good primer to you right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, that makes sense, like. And then that's where I'm curious, because I know you guys use stuff like neuropeptides and you know, and adaptogens and you know, for example, like give us some examples like of these ingredients, because I feel like there's not enough education. Like honestly, like you know, sherwin, you know like they're in the skincare industry, there's very little like real knowledge about how these ingredients work together, you know. So, like if you could dive in to some of these hero ones, I'd love that.

Speaker 2:

So what you just mentioned right, Like sort of peptides, neuropeptides and adaptogens like new tropics and new tropics as well.

Speaker 2:

Yes, the things that this science forward approach, I think is going to be coming up more and more, but it hasn't been embraced fully. So we're starting to understand that, from everything from skincare to body care, to our supplements, but specifically things like GABA, right Gamma Aminobutyric Acid, it's a well. I had a neuropsychiatrist who I know. She said to me oh my god, I see that in your ingredient list we get an oral medication to relax people's nerves. It's not a high level prescription. It doesn't, you know, cause any trouble or any side effects. She goes, you put that in topically and I said, yeah, and we have the white papers that show that topical application of GABA Aminobutyric Acid can relax the fine lines and relax the small motor neurons of the face.

Speaker 3:

I mean I'll be a tech expert.

Speaker 2:

Nothing is aggressive or as efficacious as Botox, for example. But in that vein, in that vibe, you're like oh, why does my skin look like it's actually a little bit smoother? It's not just the HA and the PGA, it's also the Gamma Aminobutyric Acid, the GABA right, and an element like that in is specific and it has to be monitored by our pharmaceutical, like our laboratory telling us this percentage is working well, this percentage is working better, this percentage is too strong, et cetera.

Speaker 3:

So we do that work and the reason why we take this approach, it's not, again, it's not using these unique ingredients for the sake of doing it. As we were developing the brand and working on the formulas, we did want to use unique ingredients, but not for the sake of doing so. We call them all farm ingredients because, as we were developing the brand, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. And, long story short, I think, like most people that find themselves in that position or they certainly know a friend or a family member that's in that situation you're willing to try anything from plastic treatment to what we call Alt-Farma treatment. So GABA is a perfect example of Alt-Farma. You can take it as a supplement which to promote relaxation, the same way that on the skin, it relaxes those tense facial muscles, which is why it's known as Nature's Botox. It's our Alt-Farma version, the Botox in our formula that makes so much sense scientifically.

Speaker 1:

It's brilliant because you know and I think you can relate to this is that in medicine, in academia, we call this repurposing of drugs in a lot of cancer treatments. You know what I mean. Like that's what this reminds me of is like right now there's so much research I'll give everyone an example, and like Leo, about Blastoma, which is the most aggressive brain tumor. We're talking about things like Niacin again, you know what I mean and that's actually Niacin statins, that kind of stuff. So when I think of what you guys are doing, I'm looking at you. You're really reapplying these known ingredients in a more intelligent way, in my opinion. You know, like people don't realize, like GABA is, these are receptors.

Speaker 2:

They are you know they are. Yeah, it has receptors. It has, yeah, exactly right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, exactly. And then we have all these magnesium supplements. Now you know what I mean. And they're essentially acting on GABA receptors. So this is what that reminds me of. It's brilliant, I love it.

Speaker 2:

You know the adaptogens like the mushrooms people have really become smarter about. They understand it, right. Yeah, people are figuring out that there are calming effects there are, and the energizing effects there are brightening effects, right. So both consumption of functional mushrooms again, this is all going to be developed in the next decade or so more aggressively by people who are interested in not just allopathic but homeopathic and osteopathic medicine. They're going to be investigating things more because people want these alternatives. But it is clear that in skincare you can derive benefit from applying them topically, right?

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 2:

Rashi Shaga right.

Speaker 3:

So our moisturizer has eight adaptogenic mushrooms in them, eight adaptogenic mushroom extracts, and Sherwin and I were just before we jumped on this podcast with you. We were talking about our rice mushroom coffee and we were saying that we're like the rise coffee for skincare. It's a shrooming thing going on. There are so many people that are taking care of what they put in their body, why don't equally care about what they put on your face? So these ingredients, these all-firm ingredients we're using, they're super safe. They just have these really amazing benefits that we're really proud to say, that we're harnessing, that you really don't often see other skincare brands using.

Speaker 1:

I love it. I love it. I think there is. I wanted to ask you guys this about being Indian American. I feel like Ayurveda is one of those things that's talked about in the long way you know what I mean Ayurveda. You got it I thought that.

Speaker 2:

I thought that I thought we were going to go there.

Speaker 1:

I love it. Yeah, Because that's what it is right. I mean, it's like Ayurveda never gets talked about in the right way, but you guys are practical. It's like Western science level of Ayurveda.

Speaker 2:

There is term work extract in the dopamine serum but at the end of the day, people don't. There's so much information for people to consume that they get confused. I'm like we've done our homework for you. We're the AP Chem Nourage. We can give you skincare that you will enjoy and you don't have to worry. We can definitely talk about Ayurveda, but I'm sure you growing up, and myself as well it was just always in the background. We always knew it and now everyone is either catching on or wholly confused. Can you actually consume term work consistently? Is it going to be absorbed correctly? Does it help? For how long? Ashwagandha? Actually you shouldn't take it for long periods of time because of the actual other effects of taking Ashwagandha for too long, but for a short period you can. There is science behind these things, like Western medicine in quotes. We'll be catching up, but again it's going to take a decade.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 3:

We didn't want to position the brand as Ayurveda, because it's so much more than that, I think, because of our backgrounds, that's just a natural approach to it's just how we treat ourselves both mentally and physically. It's more holistic. Yeah, we want to take away from the cutting edge science behind the formulas and position it as something that I think a lot of customers might perceive as, I don't know, all natural or Right.

Speaker 1:

It just has to no, I get that though. I get that because Let me just say this honestly I want everyone listening, who's a consumer, to think about it, because the thing is Ayurveda. I don't like the way that we're conventionally marketing it. You know why? Because there's real hidden gems and leads in Ayurveda for modern medicine to follow. What sucks is we think of it as like clay from the ground and non-processed ingredients, non-sophisticated ingredients, but in reality, the real value of Ayurveda is in the knowledge of it. You know what?

Speaker 1:

I mean Like you know, and that's why I'm so glad you didn't do that, because your brand is what I would. I wish more Ayurvedic kind of brands would like kind of understand. You know what I mean. Like do that because it's you're taking away from the true potentials, because people perceive things a certain way and it's just right now is not a good time the way Ayurveda's being perceived.

Speaker 3:

So I'm glad that you did it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. So you know I want to ask, though I do have a question, and this is more for, like you know, obviously you guys are. You're creating a product that is good for all skin types, and this is something I you know. I'm curious, when you were in the formulation process and the manufacturing process, was it hard for you to like explain things like this is how much of something we want, or this is the fact we're going for, like how was the formulation process for you? You know that approach.

Speaker 3:

We knew that we wanted to focus on Gen X and Zennial customers, so let's say, customers, men and women ages 35 to 55 plus. Yeah, so what we did was we started out by evaluating the types of concerns we wanted to make sure our formulas were addressing with high levels of efficacy, and there were certainly some ingredients that Sherwin, with his expertise, we wanted to include, and we would work very closely with the cosmetic chemists at our lab to say we do want some of these specific ingredients. But it's a real partnership too, because some of the ingredients we might have wanted to use, they would say you can, but it might not be compatible with another ingredient you're talking about and we have a different idea for you to achieve the same types of benefits that you're looking for. But I think we have really a lot of fun with GABA, because our lab had not worked with it before and it's really not that easy to source, because most people.

Speaker 3:

Most brands don't use it. I'm hard pressed to think of one that does and we had such a field day with that, I should say. Actually, our cosmetic chemist at the lab had such a blast using it, Because I think Sherwin had mentioned earlier, you do have to, and you mentioned it too. Echta is that you have to make sure that you're using the right concentrations of these. Yeah, you can use too little and then you're putting something in and it's not doing anything. You can put in too much. So we found the right balance. But as we were working on the various lab samples until we really nailed the level that we wanted in the three different formulas that we have we had, the cosmetic chemist went at a much higher level than we put in our formulas and they were like I think my face is frozen. They were having such a blast because it really was acting like Botox. They could not believe how smooth and firm and tight their skin was, but they're like it might be a little too much.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, to your point. Some of the stuff is like experiments in high school where, like, there is a bit of trial and error and I think in the lab chemistry and you blow things up.

Speaker 2:

But I think, like even because we would say, like I, we know that, like hexapeptides are super important, will they are they? Will they mix well with this, will they? The serum has to be airless, the eye has to be airless. They have they. Airless pumps, right, they cannot contact. So the little things came up as challenges and Sandra and I met them, you know, along the way, saying okay, that's the need, because this will expose to Aaron. They'll do this. We understood those things and it was a bit of a process, but yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I can imagine, though, because then that's really why I asked her and because, you know, with a medical or science background, I think it's hard to not be like wait a minute, how much of this are we using? You know what I mean. So, like the dosing comes naturally, and that's why I asked, because you guys aren't having these ridiculous claims of like 20% vitamin C. Why do you need 20% vitamin C?

Speaker 2:

Extra niacinamide can be irritating. Look, even the serum, even the single use serums that you are out there that are so pervasive in the sort of younger millennial culture of like, I'm going to use one of this serum and one of that serum and one of this serum and I'm going to layer six or seven on top. You're like, well, are they all really doing the job that you want? How are they mixed together? Yeah, how much is too much?

Speaker 3:

Right. We were very conscientious about the levels of the key actives that we put in our formulas. We didn't want to put the highest level just for the sake of doing it. So, for example, with GABA, you could certainly put more in than we did, but we did it could cause irritation. Which leads me to another core component of how we approach our formulations, which is homeostasis, balance for both. You know, again, not to bastardize the Ayurvedic approach.

Speaker 1:

You know what you're trying to say and I know that's how this industry is Well, we don't get we don't get Right.

Speaker 2:

inflammation and aging, that's for it. Too much inflammation is not good for your body.

Speaker 3:

We want to make sure that we're putting in the highest concentration of our key actives without upsetting your skin. So that's why we also focus on inflammation. We have a key alt-pharma anti-inflammatory ingredient in all of our formulas called bicaenol.

Speaker 1:

Okay, yeah, yeah, no. I mean I feel like that's the interesting part is that this you know, your anti-inflammation approach I think is part of what I see what you guys are trying to do, which is create something that we if you have had any background in science or taken any kind of science course, the first thing you're taught is one you need to know why you're using what you're using, and does theory come into translatable sense? You know what I mean. It can theory be translated? And that's where I see you guys as like a very 360 brand because, like I really first of all, your products work. Let me just start there. You know, as a consumer, my feedback is your products work and they work really well and I don't think anybody, like teenagers, anybody would have a problem using these products because of the way you formulated it.

Speaker 1:

The anti-inflammation conversation is huge right now. Like you know what I mean, it's big right now, but when we think about anti-inflammation, I think people get so hyper focused on one thing and that becomes the center. But really, anti-inflammation is using the right concentrations of the right stuff, you know what I mean and like making sure it all makes sense together, and so that's why I'm like, I love it. It's a beautiful idea.

Speaker 3:

You know it works. We started out focusing on inflammation because one of the first things Sherman said to me when I was his patient was inflammation is the core component of virtually every skin condition, if not most health conditions.

Speaker 3:

So, the reason why we all and that kicked off a conversation about not just the concentrations of the actives that we use, but some of the unique ingredients we use from the neurotropics that are peptides, because we were also talking about or what Sherman was teaching me when we first met was it's not just about sun exposure. Certainly, yes, the hormone therapy we're doing with IVF is triggering your dark spots. But what else is going on? We know that, how the state of our mental health can impact our physical health.

Speaker 3:

And so that also led us to start looking into neurotropics, neuropeptides and adaptogens, too. We're creating this mind-body connection by using ingredients that you would typically find in supplements for your mental or your physical health, but have these clinically proven applications for your skin health.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely. That makes complete sense. And you know, what's crazy and we don't talk about it at all is the idea that these tissues, like, as you know, like a lot of people know, like you know, embryology, when you think about it, your skin and your brain come from the same source, correct?

Speaker 2:

to neuro-electroderms, so like it does stop.

Speaker 1:

You're just kidding, no, no, but like it makes sense. It makes sense, though, because it's like the things you want your brain to do, which is one if you're anxious, you want to calm down right. If your skin is acting, flaring up, you want it to calm down right. So that kind of parallel it makes sense, you know. And so I think, like with the science, forward approach. This is why I loved you know, Sandra what you had brought up about the Ayurveda stuff. I loved it because I think, sometimes, when we get caught up in things like clean beauty, fresh beauty, whatever you know, Ayurveda, these words, these marketing words, we forget that, like, there's like hard science here that needs to be addressed. You know what I mean and that underlines everything, For sure, you know. So, yeah, it's a really cool concept. So, you know, one thing I want to ask is right now, there's a big buzz around, like you know, younger skin types using skincare products more readily. Right, I'm a millennial, I know, when I was 15, I didn't use anything, you know what I mean.

Speaker 3:

Like I was like, yeah, I was scared, I had my Z-freeze. Yeah, I think I was like.

Speaker 1:

I was like, yeah, I mean there were like a few things, but like I wasn't into it like they are, and you know. So my question really is, from a brand perspective, like and maybe Sandra you can address this is like what has been something that you've encountered about the, the, you know the, what is it? Zennelials?

Speaker 3:

Or Zennials, zennials, yeah, zennials Sort of generation that's a little bit older than millennials and a little bit younger than than Gen X. But if you're talking about younger consumers, are you asking about younger customers?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like 12 and 13 years going to Sephora right now and like trying to buy drunk elephant and spending tons of their money.

Speaker 3:

Kids are actually spending a lot of money on you and getting Botox and filler. There's no shame in the game.

Speaker 2:

There's a lot of that, I think yeah, what do you think about like 12, like the young teenagers, and branding for skincare?

Speaker 3:

I'm all for people wanting to take care of their skin and I. Maybe there is an outlet or a resource for I'm calling them kids because I'm going to say they are kids though.

Speaker 1:

They are kids. I think you should be thinking here.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you should be thinking for your skin, but you don't. There's so much that you don't need you can certainly like. Okay, you had said you can certainly use our formulas if you're younger. We, we focus on Gen X because we feel like it's a white space. They're not really that. Our audience doesn't really get catered to often and they get overlooked. But we, if you know, if I had a I do have if I have, like a 16 year old niece or nephew, I wouldn't tell them that to use our products, not because they're not perfectly safe, but there's stuff in it that they don't need. That's exactly right.

Speaker 2:

A lot of these current kids that you read about in the times and other newspaper outlets and, like you know, social media, is that they're told, they're being told that they need to do these things, they need to spend money and time on skincare, and at 12 and 13 and 14 years old, I'm like just go to school, yeah, just like this, you're sure, and you're drinking water and you like good food and like this is your parents, if they're nice people Like yeah.

Speaker 3:

I don't know.

Speaker 2:

It feels like. It feels like they shouldn't be indulging in skincare. It feels because, like to your point, we didn't do it. We were that age and it was nothing bad happened to us. We caught. We didn't go into tanning boots hopefully, maybe I did once, as it sounds, we didn't know enough about sunscreen, but we the great thing about the current 12 and 13 and 14 year olds is they do understand that they should be wearing sunscreen and that knowledge wasn't around 15, 20, 25 years ago. As much right. So parents are good about that and that's about it. Like where?

Speaker 2:

are your sunscreen and wash the dirt off your face if you go like a sport.

Speaker 3:

There's, yeah, and from a you know, from a marketer perspective, I there are certainly brands and retailers that are intentionally targeting younger customers more and more. I think the point is just keep it simple. Unless you have a very challenging concern like acne, that's really chronic very difficult to address.

Speaker 3:

I think you as a dorm see yes, people come in and just I, you know, I certainly have people asking me all the time that are young, and I think the idea is to don't overuse anything. Don't use anything you don't need. Try and keep it as simple as possible. You really just need wash your face, yeah, yeah, so simple, non-irritating moisturizer, and wear your SPF.

Speaker 2:

And for some 14 year olds we have to tell them like this is the opposite of the ones who actually need oral medication and need something a little more hardcore the genetic history in their family and their parents took medications and there were kids and all that kind of stuff For a lot of kids. We have to tell them just don't keep looking in the mirror so much Like it's just yeah, this is not that important it shouldn't be Right, exactly, exactly, and you know what I that's really like.

Speaker 1:

I want to, I want to clarify. That's why I asked you guys, because you, you know, you have created a brand that just reminds me of, like, you know, breaking out with acne and, you know, like looking for someone who really knew their chemistry to help me, you know, or their medicine. But it's like we relate to that because we've had a journey you know what I mean In your adulthood. But it's like for these kids, I'm just like, if you don't have acne or something you know, or some, and you, you know, go to a derm first of all, you know. But that's why I'd ask, there's just your opinions about it, because I'm just seeing it everywhere. You know what I mean and it's just. It's so different than when we were growing up, where there were no options, to now. It's like, you know, they have options, but they don't know how to approach things. So it's just like that was my thing.

Speaker 2:

And they're being spoke, and the thing is that they're being spoken to by the generation just just above them, right? So they're listening, as we all did when we were 12, we listened to the 18 year old. When we're 16, the 22 year old, and those 20 and 22 year olds currently are super heavy into developing a skincare routine and publicizing it on their TikToks and their Instagram and you're like, oh, so that's what you're getting caught up in? Yes, yes, don't really need to. You can give it five or 10 years and decide if that's what you really are.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I agree, I take your time with it, but you know that and that's what I mean. Like, sandra, like I think you brought up a really great point about you know, just it's, it's. You know the overall is, when we were first discussing it, you really brought up a good point about the marketing side of all of it, because at the end of the day, I think brands are some brands you know I don't know what they are and I'm not naming any names of people are kind of like you know they're not making it clear. You know what I mean. Like that they're not talking about it enough, if that makes sense. But to shift focus, I want to focus a little bit more on your actual formulas and stuff. And so you know, for somebody like your ideal customer, like who, who is that? Like you know, who do you really target in terms of your demographic and audience? Like, is it acne prone skin or is it, you know, just anything like all skin concerns?

Speaker 3:

It's, it's for all, I should say it's for both men and women. Yeah, how are you identifying? And we really wanted to, because we were really only launching with three products. We didn't want to. We wanted to be as inclusive as possible across types as well as tones. So I would say, from a texture standpoint, with the active standpoint, unless you have very oily oily skin or very, very dry skin, you can use our formulas Right.

Speaker 3:

So in this case, we do focus on we say Gen X, because that's who we are we did want to be able to use our products and because we did really feel as if there was this white space where we can certainly buy some of the $300 moisturizers that I won't name. They're great.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, but you don't have to. So we do focus on who we feel. Maybe it's a little dramatic to say overlooked, but I think if you're in your 30s and your 40s and you're looking to address common skincare concerns or common skin concerns like roughness, dullness, wrinkles, lifting, that's why I'm asking though, because there's a really great for anyone listening if you're fault.

Speaker 1:

you know, if you go to AP Chem Beauty, you guys have the amazing slide like right on the front page and it's your research results, and I love that. I love the transparency with that. Based on a more recent study.

Speaker 1:

And that's why I asked, because it's like people saw, you know, skin softness, suppleness, a glowier, you know like skin tone, like healthier skin. That's why I asked you that, because you know, I feel like you know, people get so caught up and it was either an acne brand or we're a wrinkle, you know, anti-aging brand. You guys are really like it's unique, I think, because it's targeting like really anybody. You know, if you're, if you're looking for just better skin, you know it's a really great brand, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, at that moment at which you're like wait a minute, I've lost something that I remember I had in my 20s. Yeah, okay, it'll come back. Time to up my game, just AP cap, like if you, you know, you just put that moment, you're like what happened to me? Yeah, that's where we're at right now. Start time to up your game.

Speaker 3:

Time to take an AP level of skin care.

Speaker 2:

Exactly A little advanced placement.

Speaker 3:

We didn't want catch all formulas for everybody, because we did want to use it ourselves. And you know, let's face it, sharon and I do have. You know, we have a few wrinkles here and there and you can see. You know the definition along my jawline isn't what it used to be. Luckily I'm not on social media Like I was or like you know. A lot of kids are having to see what I used to look like.

Speaker 1:

Oh God, I'm the same way. Don't worry, I'm the same yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, no, I mean, I mean you can have, you could have. You know, we have customers that are in their late 20s, early 30s and I see it as them, you know, not just doing their homework, they're doing a little extra credit because they're getting ahead of the game and they're they're maintaining the beautiful supple skin that I sew and do. But then we've got customers and they're, you know, like late 30s, early 40s, into their 50s, who are really so happy after just a couple of weeks.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they're like okay, that's what I need, Sure one has.

Speaker 3:

So he sells AP Chem at his practice and he's got a lot of patients coming back obviously to see him and his other, his, other, or survive, though, and by the product that they've been using. You know, then maybe the next time they see you yeah, six weeks later they're talking about how they really see this difference. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Right. No, that's like it makes sense though, because, like we talked about the ingredients earlier and it just makes sense and I think you know what's unique is to like. I'm like, lately, I've been advocating a lot for like baseline skincare routines and I feel like a lot of people don't have that, you know. Like, I feel like we don't have that three step routine most of us that we are like this is what I use, okay, and this maintains my skin, and then if I want an active, that's extra, or whatever I added in once in a while, you know what I mean.

Speaker 1:

That's the thing that I feel like is missing in this space. You know, in the is like a real baseline routine and I feel like you guys really speak to that because you know it's important to take care of your skin overall and you know, I'm sure you guys know much more about this than me but it's like the baseline maintenance. You know, like just any other organ, you're living like your liver. You're not going to drink alcohol every day because you're going to kill your liver. You know what I mean, exactly, right? Yeah, you need to detox.

Speaker 2:

And it'll show up in your skin too.

Speaker 3:

Well, and we also didn't want to make it complicated either. We didn't want to have a 20 step routine. I think you really, I look, I've been in a position where I must have had like 15 steps in my skincare routine, but that's also because I was working for multiple brands across my career, you know, from LVMH to water, and I had access for free to all these products, but not for nothing. I have to remind myself that not everybody lives in New York City, not everybody gets Botox. I've got plenty of friends that can afford it, but they want to keep it simple. They do want the benefits, and so that's. Another great thing about our products is we would never say that it replaces Botox. I mean having GABA, as you know, nature's Botox. It's certainly more efficacious than, I think, the average ingredients you see in some ways Dysallery right, Right.

Speaker 3:

But I think it's. It becomes really great for people that are looking to you know up their skincare game but they're not looking to go get peels. They're not ready for Botox or they're enough, they just don't want to do it and they're not doing, and there's no shame in the game Sure. Wink, wink. I've had some Botox before.

Speaker 2:

I do think I think the I mean adding an eye cream becomes essential when people start to talk about oh, I have these fine lines, I have these dark circles. Right, there's a reason why the ayahuasca serum has the ingredients that it does, including one would consider higher vetic elements like daisy and hawkweed extract to reduce dark circles.

Speaker 2:

Because that's you don't start noticing that until a certain point in your life and then you think there's nothing I can do. Yes, you can. You can take a pump with the eye balm and you apply a half on under each eyelid, even the upper lid. It's safe, right Like all this stuff has been tested and has been shown to be safe and get into it. It takes an extra two seconds, but it should be done if, because you don't want to complain when you're 40 or 45. Exactly, you're 30, right?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly, and you know what's interesting. You say that you know, sharon, because I was talking to a derm also, like you know, the other day about aesthetics, right, and like one of the things that came up was we need to start taking. It doesn't matter what you get done. Skin care has to be there, you know, in your routine. You have to have this like preventative approach in your mind about your skin health and it's like you know that's where I feel like you know the understanding needs to get to, where it's like you know you're not just doing it because it's yeah, it's fun, it is, you know, and I love like, for example, with you guys, like I love your, your branding and the vibe and all that, but it's like also just like good for your skin and like that's to do things that are good for your skin. You know, and you can get the Botox and you can get the injectables, but those are probably going to perform a lot better if you're taking care of your skin as well, yeah exactly.

Speaker 1:

Exactly.

Speaker 3:

Have you tried? Have you tried the ayahuasca eye treatment? I?

Speaker 1:

don't think so, and I haven't yet.

Speaker 3:

Oh, you must Sure, and I have our favorites. I think ayahuasca is my favorite and one of the. I brought it up because one of the ingredients we have in it is palmitolacylucine.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yes.

Speaker 3:

Sure, and I were talking about dark circles. I think you know, depending on your, you know there are a lot of different yeah we're darker tones. Yeah, darker, darker, darker and it's not just about the thinning skin, where you see, I'm probably not saying this right.

Speaker 1:

You'll let the skin blood vessels.

Speaker 3:

You got it Right, so you know, I think a lot of people look for eye treatments or eye creams that have um brightening ingredients in them, but what I've done, that was shown and taught me, is about how palmitolacylucine works. When it comes to heme, you've got to describe it, because I never do it.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, palmitolacylucine also acts as a slight bit of a filler. Right, it can start. It can start to improve the collagen that is under the skin. And people think, oh, if I get filler done, then the skin will lift up under the eye and then I won't see the dark circles, which is true, because sometimes the dark circles are from the heme and the blood underneath the skin, so it's showing up as a blue or a blue brown or a blue black under the eyes. So the filler is not ideal for many people's faces. It doesn't look right injecting filler. So we say try to use products that create a little bit of a lifting, and palmitolacylucine, one of the ingredients in ayahuasca, is acting to do that slowly over time and then combine that with adhesion in the hawkweed which will break up the heme and reduce the discolorations.

Speaker 1:

That's brilliant. That is freaking brilliant. I love that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, because I think a lot of people really do just think about the thinner their skin gets. As you're saying, sharon, as thinner the skin gets under your eye, the more visible the dark circles are going to be Correct, a lot of the time because of the heme. So using an ingredient like daisy and hawkweed extract that actually breaks up the heme yeah, so I get you know, sharon, explain it to me and the best way I can explain it to other people. It's almost like having outer veins under the eyes.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, or like you know, blood stains under the eyes. So the fact that we're not just using palmitolacylucine, which is like nature's filler to fill out, the pump up the skin a little bit, we're actually breaking up the heme. That is a lot of times what people are seeing when they're in the mirror, when they see dark circles. That's what I think is really cool about that formula and the textures, the balm it is brilliant, yeah, go ahead, I interrupt you.

Speaker 3:

No, but if you don't have what we're getting, we've got to make sure we get you one.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, I think that's absolutely brilliant because it's like you know that's most people don't think about that. That's why you have dark circles. You know that's not something that's readily talked about, and I think that one of the interesting components of what you just described is that we do this in other places in the body too. You don't just want heme floating around in like your bloodstream, you know attached to anything and you know it's like a whole thing. Like I feel like we approach the skin differently for some reason. You know, as a society, then we approach other organs and it just blows my mind yeah, we're getting there, we're realizing it.

Speaker 2:

You know we're realizing it, yeah, but that's really brilliant.

Speaker 1:

I want to. On that same note, I want to learn about the keto amino acid complex. If you could explain that, sherwin, just like what is that? I know it's your proprietary technology, but if we could do a little intro into that.

Speaker 2:

That goes back to the idea of peptides, right?

Speaker 2:

So people are learning a lot about peptides in skincare and peptides are the building blocks for amino acids.

Speaker 2:

So we combine numerous peptides which are in our serum and in our moisturizer and we combine them in different concentrations for the thickness and the viscosity of the particular formulations, and we call it the ket amino acid complex because it's just a really good, fun name because it includes amino acid in it. But conceptually the idea is you need to have or want to have, I should say peptides to help improve collagen synthesis, because we do start to lose, I think, a quarter teaspoon of collagen a year in our skin after our late 20s. So it's why you should see a little bit of it's what people register as like a loss of volume or a loss of contour, because the thing that we see as baby fat when we're kids or teenagers, that starts to go away and give us some more kind of lovely, sculpted look in our like 20s starts to then look a little bit not as awesome after that. So we are trying hard to maintain collagen, not only by eating well and by exercising and sleeping and hydrating, but also by using topical skincare that provides those benefits.

Speaker 1:

That's.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that is scary, like that fact, but like I know I shouldn't say it, but I feel like it's often coded and I wasn't the first person, so I feel I don't feel we know that we lose bone mass. We know that we lose muscle mass as decades go on. It's natural, it is what it is, which is why you're doing gym and exercise better and, you know, have calcium for your bones. But whatever it's all, the skin is very similar, organ wise, and we know that amino acids are building blocks of collagen and peptides are a long chain amino acids. You can, by applying them topically, improve your skin tone and make yourself look and feel better.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I love that and I think that that's that's so solid and I, you know, I really think that it's just unique. You know what you guys are doing, you're doing it in a fun way and I think that's the most interesting part to me. You know, as a consumer and in this industry, I've seen a lot of brands that try to talk about science in a very like we need to explain science right to the two new generations even though, like as like a millennial, like I love, like you know, learning about things and I love understanding why my skin is doing what it's doing now.

Speaker 1:

But it's like I think that there is such a need for what you guys have created, which is just a fun way to talk about really science backed, you know, products and start that conversation. So I'm a huge fan. I've I'm a huge fan of what you're doing and, for everyone listening, you guys have to check out the brand. Go to what's that? We're a huge fan of you. Oh, thank you so much. No, I really am, and I think everyone should definitely check out the brand. If you're interested, go to apkampbeautycom and I will tag everything in the in the concept up for the episode. But if you have any questions at all for you know, for you know Sandra's team and Sherwin's team, please let us know. We'll definitely pass it along. Thank you so much and you guys, this has been such an honor. Thank you for coming on the show.

Speaker 2:

Likewise.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, thank you.

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