Earlier this year, indie skin care brand Dion Michaels Skin Care for Men was recognized at the Oscars award show Luxury Celebrity Gifting Suite event. The minority Black woman-owned and operated brand has carved a niche in the skin care product space by offering a minimalist, multi-functional approach to protective skin care for men.
The collection, which is non-toxic, paraben-free, and formulated to be compatible with all skin types, focuses on its two-step Grooming Cream and Skin Balm combination: the Grooming Cream acts as a cleanser, moisturizer, shaving cream, and beard conditioner, and the Skin Balm functions as an additional moisturizer, toner, and aftershave. In addition to being featured in GQ, Esquire, and Men’s Health magazines, the brand has also been endorsed by former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.
To learn more about the formulation and development process for Dion Michaels Skin Care for Men, as well as the development challenges that needed to be overcome to launch and the brand’s future plans for further expansion, CosmeticsDesign spoke to Tammie Sykes, co-founder and brand owner, for her insights.
Product formulation and development
Sykes and fellow co-founder Simone Randle, having found success in addressing their own skin care issues, decided to found Dion Michaels Skin Care for Men in 2018 to create a skin care line that would address men’s skin care issues, which they believe to be an underserved market. When addressing the products’ formulation, the brand’s goal was to “be a brand for all (#oneforall), available to all men regardless of skin type, color or facial hair texture,” said Sykes.
The co-founders spent over three years on product research and development, and “the outcome has been a formula that has proven successful among ethnically diverse test groups,” she shared. During the testing phase, she added, “men have reported drastic improvements in their skin in as little as fourteen days, and most respondents stated that they noticed an unmistakable ‘glow’ on their skin as their complexions started to even out.”
The products are formulation with natural ingredients including shea butter, sandalwood oil, oat kernel oil, and ginger root extract to soothe and moisturize skin and be compatible with all skin types. However, the formulation and development stages were not without challenges.
Overcoming challenges to product launch & brand expansion
One of the brand’s greatest challenges to launching a successful men’s skin care collection that eliminates the need for a multi-step routine was “to find the right cosmetic chemist and development team to create a prestige product line that utilized natural ingredients and address the specific needs that are unique to men,” said Sykes.
During the process, the research team found that “men’s skin is twenty-five percent thicker than women’s,” and therefore, they needed to develop products that would “encourage skin renewal during the shaving process.”
Once the products’ formulation was finalized, the brand also faced challenges in marketing and expanding brand awareness. “The other challenge is to get product recognition when the owners/product creators are not celebrities,” Sykes shared.
“To overcome that challenge,” she explained, “we created sample sizes of our two-step skincare system and sent them out to celebrities, influencers and the media to try and endorse the products.” These efforts have proven to be fruitful in engaging the brand’s targeted demographic, and “we have achieved success in getting name recognition utilizing that strategy,” she said.
The brand remains committed to further brand recognition strategies by expanding the brand’s commercial reach for consumers. In addition to being available on its company website, products are being posited in higher-end retail stores in conjunction with a brand store on Amazon.
Additionally, “we have currently been approached by Walmart.com to sell our products on their premium skincare section of the website,” she shared. As of this writing, the brand is working with Walmart to add its product collection to their platform soon.
Next steps for Dion Michaels Skin Care for Men
While the brand’s co-founders remain focused on expanding brand awareness for the current product line, “Q1 of 2024 we will be working with our research and development team to create a sunscreen for our men,” Sykes said.
Moving forward, Dion Michaels Skin Care for Men remains committed to its original mission of embodying self-care for men by “bridging the gap between gendered skincare products and inclusivity to pave the way towards a market that not only has the health of its customers in mind but also their confidence and self-image,” she shared. In doing so, the co-founders hope to place male consumers “as part of a culture shift in which skin care for men is a staple and not an afterthought.”
To accomplish the goal, “the brand will continue to prioritize simplicity and healthy minimalism with products that are multifunctional, and that can be seamlessly integrated into any skincare routine,” she concluded, and continue to address the personal care needs of a targeted consumer demographic.