Meeting Demand with Innovation

Francine Porter
Founder, President and Creative Director

Innovation is the lifeblood of the beauty industry. Consumers demand products with improved efficacy, tailored to their specific needs. Into the fray come cosmeceuticals, which are intended to treat and prevent signs of aging, thus melding science and beauty.

Osmotics, a cosmeceutical skin care company, was founded by Francine Porter and her husband, Steven. Porter’s interest in antiaging products dates from her teenage years. “My skin was very fair, extremely sensitive and I was unable to tolerate the sun. I was frustrated with the products available in the market that really did not deliver measurable results and also with the lack of science-based antiaging products,” says Porter. In 1993, the pair began to develop products using clinically validated antiaging technologies.

Following the Porters’ vision, Osmotics has introduced revolutionary concepts to skin care. The line is based on a “less is more” philosophy, providing minimalist skin care with maximum results. Additionally, Porter stresses the importance of finest grade and purist quality ingredients, as well as independent clinical testing. “Our goal is to make the best and most effective cosmeceutical products in the industry, providing the consumer with an unparalleled level of education, independent clinical validation and quality,” said Porter.

Consumers are educating themselves on ingredients and product claims, creating a savvier market base. Porter believes that baby boomers, in particular, will continue to drive the cosmeceutical skin care market, bringing a proactive approach to skin care. “The multifunctional product category will continue to grow as consumers prefer using fewer products that provide multiple functions, quality over quantity,” she says. Yet quality products do not exist in a vacuum. Innovation and development go hand-in-hand, creating the products that fill consumer demand.

The need for innovation within this industry requires entrepreneurs tapping into this demand by developing cutting-edge technologies and products. Porter believes the survival of these smaller companies is critical to the innovation of the industry and its greatest challenge. “This industry thrives on new ideas, innovation and creative energy, and this is exactly what is missing in many large cosmetic companies,” says Porter.

Product development at Osmotics revolves around technological developments. The company went to market in 1995 with the introduction of its transdermal patch designed for cosmetic use. The company has since expanded its SKUs to include hair care and a men’s line.

As with any company, deciding on the distribution channel depended on finding the retail environment conducive to the brand.

“I initially chose the specialty retail distribution channel because our technologies require some depth of communication and education for our consumer,” states Porter. “This channel allows for more intensive training of our sales associates so that each customer receives a personalized skin care analysis and a customized skin care regimen. Our Web site also provides all of our clinical studies to the consumer. Consumers are viewing skin care as health care, and are demanding more sophisticated substantiation/testing for product claims.”

Growth for the company has primarily come from word-of-mouth. “We may not be the biggest, and we do not try to be everything to everyone,” said Porter. The approach has resulted in distribution through select Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor stores, independent boutiques and spas, as well as online via its Web site.

Successful product development and distribution growth is fueled by the couple’s desire to create efficacy within their line. “It is truly exciting and rewarding to identify antiaging technologies, supported by clinical validation, and in turn, use these to develop effective products,” said Porter.

Innovation and development will continue to be the benchmarks of this company far into the future, as its founders looks to meet consumer demand with technological breakthroughs.

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