Gen Z brand Youthforia combines cosmetics and skincare for ‘makeup you can sleep in’

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

“We either like to create new form factors (like with our BYO Blush - the world’s first color changing blush oil) or try to solve problems in a really unique way with skincare actives at the functional level,” said Fiona Co Chan, Founder of Youthforia. © Daly and Newton Getty Images
“We either like to create new form factors (like with our BYO Blush - the world’s first color changing blush oil) or try to solve problems in a really unique way with skincare actives at the functional level,” said Fiona Co Chan, Founder of Youthforia. © Daly and Newton Getty Images

Related tags Gen Z clean beauty skinimalism

Embracing the ‘skinimalist’ trend that has dominated 2023 cosmetics and personal care product development, Gen Z-focused Youthforia’s collection features clean, high-quality ingredients that are ‘powerful multi-taskers’ to better appeal to its target consumer demographic.

Aligned with one of 2023’s biggest cosmetics trends, Gen Z cosmetics brand Youthforia embodies ‘skinimalism’ with its collection of foundations, blushes, primer, setting spray, and lip gloss with clean ingredients and bio-based formulations. Marketed as “makeup so good for your skin, its safe to sleep in,” the brand’s vegan and paraben-free cosmetics product line “uses plant-based synthetics to achieve the luxurious textures and high performance we want while offering nutritionally dense and BioBased formulas to improve your skin with every wear​,” as detailed on its company website. 

To learn more about how Youthforia was founded, the background behind its unique formulation and testing practices, which include sleeping in the products, and plans for further development in the clean cosmetics space, CosmeticsDesign spoke with Fiona Co Chan, Founder of Youthforia for her insights. 

Creating cleaner beauty 

While the brand was launched in 2021, she shared that Chan conceptualized the idea for Youthforia during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. “It was the first week that I hadn’t put on makeup in years​,” she said, “and I realized that makeup is really about getting ready in anticipation of seeing friends and connecting with and having fun with people​.” While she had no experience in the cosmetics industry, having previously worked for tech startup companies, she explained, “I’m someone who always falls asleep with my makeup on if I’m out with friends - so that’s why I created makeup you can sleep in​.” 

She shared further that developing and launching innovative cosmetic/skincare products has been challenging. “I’m a solo product development team and I have a bunch of crazy ideas that I love exploring and experimenting with​,” she said, adding that “what’s difficult is that compared to other makeup skin hybrid products, our products truly have several skincare actives at the functional level​.” 

Therefore, “it can be difficult to get the right texture and performance that you’d expect in a makeup product​,” and there is a substantial investment in time and effort as “every product is a labor of love - and sometimes it can take years to develop​,” she said. 

Most recently, the brand launched its Date Night Skin Tint Serum Foundation, which, like other Youthforia products, is designed to be slept in. About the Foundation, Chan shared that “this is the foundation I wished I had on the night that I met my husband - it’s silicone-free, lightweight, light to medium coverage, glass skin finish, it has the most amazing sink into your skin like quicksand texture, and you can sleep in it​!” 

When developing the Date Night Skin Tint Serum Foundation, she explained that the inspiration for the product drew from “when I was in my late twenties, I discovered really expensive $270 foundations. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Where was this when I was still dating?’​” she said. To produce and launch the product, Chan said, “I ended up telling my lab that they had no budget on formula, and we ended up creating a really expensive formula, but we really wanted to have this at an affordable price point​.”

Standing out among the crowd 

Other beauty brands have targeted the Gen Z demographic or entered the cosmetics/hybrid product space. Still, Youthforia has taken steps to become a disruptor in the sector through its unique approach to beauty NPD. “We’re really innovative in our products​,” Chan said, and explained further that “we either like to create new form factors (like with our BYO Blush - the world’s first color-changing blush oil) or try to solve problems in a really unique way with skincare actives at the functional level​.”

Compared to other Gen Z-focused brands, she added, “We obviously have a really fun brand aesthetic, but our products work as skincare products​.” Youthforia has adopted a consumer-focused product development approach that resonates with its target demographic. 

We get messages all the time from customers all the time saying, ‘I slept in Youthforia, and I don’t know why but I feel like I woke up with better skin’ or something like ‘I’ve always hated foundation, but I love your foundation,’​” she shared. This approach is aligned with the company’s mission, which is to “try to make really great products that are easy to use with extremely high-quality ingredients​,” she concluded. 

Youthforia’s next steps 

Moving forward, Chan shared that there is more for the Youthforia brand. “I’m always working on several products at a time​,” she said, and while “some don’t always come to market​,” the product development process is always underway. 

I’ve developed this process with my husband (who’s my business partner)​,” she shared, “that if I see a formula and if I don’t ‘glow’ right away, we won’t launch it​.” However, she added, “When I feel like the formula is worth pursuing, I wear my emotions on my face. It’s obvious​!”                                                                                                                      

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