Swedish founding duo Jenny and Jacob Huurinainen didn’t want to create yet another skincare brand. Instead, they challenge the beauty market by producing small batches locally, in a sleek design, direct to consumers.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
January 07, 2021
They describe how skincare commonly has high markups and hold preservatives for products to last up to 3 years. It allows them to travel between middlemen and eventually, whenever you decide to open that jar of cream, it endures 12 months on your shelf.
— Surely I don’t want to layer expensive products with preservatives good for three years on my skin, just to support an old-fashioned way of doing business, Jenny Huurinainen states.
Their own journey started at home five years ago when Jenny, post-pregnancy with their son, had enough of dealing with her unbalanced skin, not keen on going on hormone treatments.
— Instead, I began to create my own potent natural skincare formulas, she tells. Inspired by the FODMAP methodology, I started by simplifying, testing one ingredient at a time, only adding ingredients that made a difference for my skin. And completely eliminate all ingredients that normally are in skincare products to fill out, secure long shelf life, add texture, or a seducing scent. All I aimed for was to create a formula that made my skin radiant. And, boy it did! For the first time in my adult life, I didn’t feel the need to wear makeup. Jacob also started to use the products and got a glow that drew attention at work. The business idea for a unisex skincare brand sparked, so we converted the hobby project into a company.
With Jenny’s background in marketing strategy and online branding and Jacob as an Art Director and Graphic Designer within design and fashion, they entered the beauty industry with a different approach to how to make a skincare formulation, price strategy, and business model.
— We’ve been told many times that ”this is not how things are done”, the duo tells. From fresh skincare and shelf life to putting more cheap filler ingredients in the formula, and crazy high minimum order quantities of packaging and batch sizes.
Their brand, OM-SE, now launches with extensive attention to detail.
— It’s plant-based luxury skincare with a range of four simplified, multipurpose products created for all faces, regardless of gender, colour, or skin-type. We produce in Sweden, in small batches to ensure maximum freshness, and are directly available to consumers online. Skipping retailers and other middlemen, we priced the products at a level that we and our friends could afford to use every day.
To make skincare — and life — even more simplified, OM-SE offers a Never-Run-Out service that guarantees always having skincare products at home.
— We give a great discount when subscribing to one or more products, simply because it makes our batch-planning more accurate, and that helps minimize overproduction and more fresh products for your shelf. A routine of three of our products will cost slightly more than one Euro (13 Swedish Kronor) a day when subscribing, with delivery every third month.
”Skincare ingredients do not know the gender of the skin — marketers do.”
The duo tells how they use plenty of not only exclusive but also potent ingredients for their products. They have also printed all of them on the bottle — compared to lifting one or two active ingredients and hiding the rest as commonly done — and give you a deep-dive to each botanical on their web site. To further prove the importance of transparency, they’ve partnered with the Skinfo service, using their third-party INCI [International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, to identify cosmetic ingredients, Ed’s note] tool on the site.
— We also share the percentage of essential oils being used to manifest that ingredients are also about dosage. What you see, feel, and smell is the essence of each natural ingredient, nothing more, nothing less.
— A cream or lotion is a fixed blend of water and oil. When applying more cream it gives you more of everything, not only the part your skin craves. By separating water and oil into two types of products, we make it possible to create a personalized skincare routine. Just modify the proportions of hydration and nutrition — with our Face Mist and Face Oil respectively — as you mix them in the palm of your hand and then apply on your skin. This flexible nature means that our products work for all faces and seasons. Men’s skin is about 20% thicker than women’s, but dry skin is dry skin, and oily is oily. Skincare ingredients do not know the gender of the skin — marketers do. We’ve only included ingredients for their performance and that actually makes a difference, not for any marketing or price strategy reason and, as mentioned, never to fill out.
The products come in a sleek, minimalistic packaging, designed to be as pretty as a nice bottle of perfume, to stand as the crown of the bathroom shelf, and not to scream for attention on store shelves. The biophotonic ultraviolet glass bottles are chosen for their ability to preserve and enhance the quality of the content.
— White-, brown-, green, and even painted glass let rays pass through and don’t offer enough protection against decomposition. The boxes are made of Swedish FSC-classified paper. We treat our skincare like fresh food and display a best-before-date on both box and bottle.
To finish up, Jenny Huurinainen questions how many products we really need.
— Take a look in any bathroom. How many products do you see? Too many! Cosmetic trends, from the 10-step K-beauty routine to newness-thrilling Glossyboxes, have created a demand for consuming and using many different products. The conventional cosmetic industry is convincing us that we need one product to solve one issue at a time. While one product is addressing a specific condition, it many times also creates another — unbalance.