Cosmeceuticals are the fastest-growing segment of the global prestige skincare market. But one of the major changes over the past few years has seen market-leading brands such as Ultraceuticals reach across multiple generations, including Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials. Younger generations are far more appearance-oriented and aware of the importance of preventative skincare, says Karen Wilkin-Donachie, CEO of Ultraceuticals. “Efficacy is paramount for us and today’s consumers are looking for performance. We offer proven solutions for major skincare concerns such as anti-ageing, acne and hyper-pigmentation, but we also make good skin look great”.
Ultraceuticals’ business has trebled over the past five years, says Wilkin-Donachie. “We will continue to build on the strength of our founding principles, which includes a major focus on advanced delivery systems and a strong track record of innovation. More and more women are seeking to correct problems beyond the skin’s surface and we are looking at further global expansion. Ultraceuticals is already available in Russia, Hong Kong, Greece and New Zealand and the US is a key target market”.
Consumers today have a lower tolerance for skincare products that don’t deliver what they say they will do, says Wilkin-Donachie. “They are also far more knowledgeable. Our products deliver on their promises and we are constantly looking at emerging ingredients. Repeat purchases are a large part of our business. An increased emphasis on education for both our skin technicians and customers are also key enablers for growing our global and local business”.
Dr Geoffrey Heber, Founder of Ultraceuticals, was ahead of his time. According to Roy Morgan Research, 46 per cent of Australian women now want cruelty-free products. Over a third are also looking for proven benefits and the past decade has seen a shift in priorities with one in four Australian women seeking to buy Australian-made skincare products. Ultraceuticals ticks all three boxes, says Dr Heber.
“I founded Ultraceuticals in the late 1990s, not only to make skincare products to suit the Australian climate and conditions but also to improve on imported products, says Dr Heber. “Formulation expertise and the use of high levels of active ingredients and cutting-edge delivery systems set Ultraceuticals apart. We are available in 400 clinics nationwide and offer the most effective skincare products without the need for a dermatologist’s prescription. You can’t solve all skin issues with one magic bullet and we have created products that can be used synergistically”.
Ultraceuticals’ clinical and field testing are also fundamental development components, says Dr Heber. “Many of our skin technicians have been with us for 15 years or more. They have a deep connection to the brand and its ability to deliver real visible results. Consumers now want dramatic proof and our skin technicians trust the safety and effectiveness of products based on potent, proven anti-ageing actives such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and AHAs”.
Skin health and radiance is a part of everyone’s individual journey and successful brands now have to appeal to a personalisation-driven audience - from the social media savvy younger end of the age spectrum to older customers looking for tailored correction products. In-depth diagnosis is integral to everything we do and all of our technicians are trained beauty therapists, says Tracey Beeby, Global Education Ambassador for Ultraceuticals.
A medical-style consultation has long been the first step, but over the past couple of years we have introduced visual tools to educate clients and build rapport and trust, says Beeby. “Prevention is a big deal with younger customers immersed in social media and older customers are looking for exceptional performance. An initial 30 minute consultation allows our skin technicians to ask questions to improve the look of the skin and retard the ageing process. Based on training techniques created by our ULTRA Academy, the process takes clients through the structure of the skin, explanations of why certain products are recommended and the importance of after care”.
The RVR 90 (Real Visible Results in 90 days) program has been a huge success, creating a stronger, more emotional bond between customers and skin technicians, says Beeby. “We ask clients to commit to a regimen for 90 days to transform their skin through a personalised treatment strategy. We plot their progress through before and after photos, whether the problem is congested skin or reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It’s very exciting for customers and skin technicians to see what can be achieved”.
Ultraceuticals is available in 24 David Jones stores nationwide, which account for 15 to 20 per cent of the brand’s business. Every day I go to work, I rediscover why I do what I do, says Louise Turner, Counter Manager of Ultraceuticals at David Jones Kotara store in Newcastle. “I have worked for the brand for six-and-a-half years and used to work for other major cosmetic brands. Ultraceuticals has not only changed my professional life and my own skin, the real visible results of the products have also given me an incredible platform to change the lives of others”.
Using Ultraceuticals is a skin journey, not a quick fix, says Turner. “One of my biggest successes involved a makeup artist, whose skin had become congested and acne-prone. It was also dehydrated because she had been using the wrong products. I told her that commitment and education was crucial to resolving the issue. We started with a signature treatment, adding a new product each month. Even after four weeks, the results were phenomenal. When Ultraceuticals started the RVR 90 program, they asked if she would take part. I felt like a proud mum”.
There’s a huge difference between a salesperson and a trained skin technician, says Turner. “I treat everyone as an individual. Mums bring in their daughters when they hit puberty and increasingly women are introducing the men in their lives to the brand. Compassion and a love of people are vital to doing this job and Ultraceuticals gives me the confidence to make a real difference”.
by Elisabeth King