Skin care brand Symphony Beauty offers consumers the opportunity to focus on specific aspects of skin care concerns due to its focused collection of single ingredient serums. Symphony Beauty is the only Korean beauty brand with all products made in the US and carries over sixty SKUs across its three product lines in over 6,500 US retail stores and in ten countries outside the US.
As the consumer trend towards multifunctional products gains momentum, single ingredient serums like those offered by Symphony Beauty offer an alternative, more targeted approach to addressing specific skin care concerns. To learn more about the advantages of single ingredient serums, the ways in which Symphony Beauty’s formulation approach differs from similar products currently available in the US market, and the brand’s strategy for keeping high quality skin care products affordable for its targeted demographic, we spoke with Jenna Udayasen, Sales & Marketing Manager at Symphony Beauty for her insights.
Advantages of single ingredient serums
Single ingredient serums offer consumers several noteworthy advantages over trending multifunctional products for those seeking to address specific skin care concerns. For example, shared Udayasen, single ingredient products like those produced by Symphony Beauty allows the user to “focus on the main active ingredients that they want in their skin care, which is especially great for those with sensitive skin” as it allows consumers more control over the ingredient formulations in their chosen products.
Additionally, single ingredient options “make it easier for consumers to understand what the particular product will do to their skin,” she added. For example, she illustrated, “rosehip oil moisturizes your skin while providing anti-aging benefits, hyaluronic acid provides long-lasting hydration by delivering nutrients deep into your skin, and glycolic acid mildly exfoliates your skin to slough away rough and bumpy areas.”
Further, individual ingredient products allow consumers the flexibility to create their own ‘skin care cocktails’ to customize their own personalized routine and directly address immediate issues as they arise. “Single ingredient products allow consumers to target specific concerns based on what their skin needs that day,” she explained. For example, if consumers “want to use retinol today but their skin has been dry, in this case, they can add peptides and hyaluronic acid into their routine to help with the potential dryness that retinol could cause,” she said.
Attributes of Symphony Beauty product formulations
When approach its product formulation process, Symphony Beauty utilized a nano-emulsion approach rather than micro-emulsion technology to develop its products. As detailed in a recent study, “microemulsions are thermodynamically stable o/w emulsions of mean droplet size approximately 100-400 nm, whereas nano-emulsions are thermodynamically unstable o/w emulsions of mean droplet size approximately 1 to 100 nm.”
The smaller mean droplet size in a nano-emulsion “improves the delivery of active ingredients in skincare, ensuring that the ingredients penetrate the skin easier and faster,” said Udayasen. Further, the use of this formulation technology “means serums and creams can be layered without decreasing the efficacy,” she explained.
Additionally, Symphony Beauty products maintain a ninety percent minimum threshold for incorporation of natural ingredients. “We do not compromise on this,” she stated, further adding that “all products that we formulate will be a minimum of ninety percent and we will never use harsh chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, phthalates, etc.”
The brand can accomplish these formulation goals “because we are the manufacturer of our products,” she stated, explaining that in doing so, “we have much more control over the quality of our products and brand image when compared to other brands who outsource manufacturers.” As the only Korean beauty brand that manufacturers its products in the US, the formulation team carefully selects its ingredients from Korea which ensures its formulations are “held to the highest standards of safety, efficacy, quality, and product innovation.”
Maintaining cost efficacy
To keep product costs accessible for consumers, Symphony Beauty has implemented several strategic decisions regarding the packaging and marketing of its product collections. One strategy is to “keep the packaging of all our brands simple to keep the cost low,” Udayasen shared, adding that “fancy packaging can be extremely costly, and we feel that we should be investing our resources into the formulations instead, so we can keep our products cost-effective and more accessible to the public.”
She further explained that “in terms of packaging, we focus only on the necessity part,” a conscious choice that also extends to the packaging design itself. The brand intentionally chose to design easy-to-understand packaging that only focuses on important callouts because “we want to make skincare as simple as possible, and we do not want our consumers to spend time trying to decode the ingredients.” For example, she illustrated, the brand’s “Purifect’s hyaluronic acid serum is ‘plumping’ and ‘provides long-lasting hydration,’ and Clara’s New York is ‘strengthening’ and ‘minimizes signs of aging.’”
Regarding the brand’s marketing strategies, Symphony Beauty also “caps the cost of marketing and other corporate costs so that we have more budget to spend on the quality of the products,” she said. In doing so, the brand’s formulators have greater ability to invest in the product development process to ensure efficacy, rather than devoting financial resources to the packaging, design, and marketing processes. This choice also ensures that “workflow is more efficient, and as a result, we can execute any new product launches or marketing campaigns swiftly and with lower cost.”
The unique combination of Symphony Beauty’s nano-emulsion formulation process coupled with its strategic decisions to maintain cost effectiveness for consumers sets the brand apart as a single ingredient serum manufacturer. While multifunctional cosmetic products are certainly a current consumer trend, the brand makes a strong case for the efficacy of single ingredient serums in the personal beauty care product category.