Expert approach: A DrBrand exploring North America and Europe markets with doctor-led skin care range

By Guan Yu Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Singapore's DrBrand exploring North America and Europe markets with doctor-led skin care range ©DrBrand
Singapore's DrBrand exploring North America and Europe markets with doctor-led skin care range ©DrBrand

Related tags: Singapore, Skin care, e-commerce

Singapore skin care firm A DrBrand is looking to enter North America in 2021, and hoping to expand its presence in Europe, with its doctor-led products.

A DrBrand is the parent company of DrGL, a skin care range comprising cleansers, essences, moisturisers, masks, serums and toners formulated by co-founder and aesthetic doctor Dr Georgia Lee.

The products have been retailing in Singapore for the past 11 years.

US entry

The company is now hoping to enter US by summer 2021, first through e-commerce.

According to Christabel Chuah, business development director at A DrBrand Pte Ltd, the idea to enter US was after a discussion with Vogue100, a business unit within Vogue, which offers industry and consumer information for the US market.

We found that US consumers were leaning towards brands with expert opinion because of COVID-19, such as doctor-led products, which meant our brand was fit for this market​.”

In the US and UK, there have been a growing trend among doctors coming up with their own skin care line, examples include Dr Dennis Gross Skincare by determatologist Dr Dennis Gross, and 111SKIN by cosmetic surgeon Dr Yannis Alexandrides.

Most of these doctors initially developed the products for their own patients. Similar, Dr Georgia Lee started DrGL for her patients, beginning with a lightening cream for hyperpigmentation before branching into more skin care products.

A DrBrand is also the parent company of DrSpa, which is a chain of medi-aesthetic spas offering face and body treatments for the past 15 years, as well as DrHair, a hair and scalp treatment centre launched three years ago.

DrBrand is hoping to bring all products across its brands into US, and eventually establishing a beauty hub environment where customers can utilise DrGl, DrSpa and DrHair products all at once.

Europe expansion

In Europe, DrGL is retailing in Douglas, a perfume and cosmetic retailer from Germany, with stores across European countries.

The firm has plans to expand the DrGL range across other Douglas stores in the region.

We have been approached by various distributors in the top five beauty markets in Europe, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and France. We intend to penetrate these five markets first before entering the other EU countries​,” Chuah told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​.

E-commerce focus

In Singapore, DrGL products are available on its website, flagship store on Lazada, Sephora, and duty-free outlets.

However, most of the sales come from its own website, with the firm now focusing on its e-commerce strategy.

Chuah said e-commerce sales for DrGL increased five-fold from 2019 to 2020, although she declined to share actual figures.

While brick-and-mortal continue to be important in giving customers the experience to touch and feel the product before they buy, however once these technology savvy consumers are familiar with the product, it’s easier to buy at a click of a button​.”

In Singapore, the firm had been invited to launch on other premium beauty portals, discussions are currently underway.

E-commerce was another way to cope with unpredictable events. For instance, DrGL products were previously sold in Sephora, Hong Kong from January to August 2019, before pulling out due to the riots.

Consumers in Hong Kong now buy DrGL products through the DrBrand’s website, shipped directly, eliminating any external concerns. The firm is also exploring influencer marketing, starting with about 30 influencers in Hong Kong.

DrGL products are also retailing in physical outlets in Thailand (Siam Paragon, The Emporium).

Besides these markets, Chuah said the firm had received orders worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Qatar and Latvia.

Product with standard

The ingredients used in the DrBrand products are sourced from Japan and South Korea, such as vitamin C used in its lightening range. These are then bottled in Singapore before undergoing tests by independent labs in Europe.

The firm is stringent with its formulations, following what it calls the DrGL standard. It comprises six standards being cruelty free, clean, safe, stable, responsible and backed by scientific evidence.

Among the DrGL range of products, Skin Repair is one of its more popular products. 

A serum product, it soothes redness, reduce inflammation and help wound healing especially after lasers or aesthetic treatments. It can also be used as a moisturiser for people with sensitive skin.

Chuah explained the active ingredients were potassium DNA and sodium RNA from plant stem cells (stimulate skin cell growth), alpha lipoic acid (fight free-radical damage), and cucumber extract (moisturize, improve lipid content).

DrBrand is intending to launch its first oral supplement in 2021, a beauty and skin multi-vitamin.

Related topics: Business & Financial

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