Entrepreneurial heavyweight John Paul DeJoria has invested in launching numerous ventures ranging from the Paul Mitchell line of hair products to The Patrón Spirits Company; the latest in his busy agenda is skin care.
DeJoria has launched Aubío Life Sciences, a new company that develops skin care products used to treat a large number of common chronic skin conditions. The products are based on a proprietary plant technology that is a compilation of unique botanicals.
“About three years ago, I was approached by a friend of mine, Jim,” DeJoria said in an interview with Global Cosmetic Industry. “He said, ‘John Paul I have been working … on a product made from plants that can actually be the best treatment for cold sores and other [conditions] that are the herpes complex.’”
"Remember the customer is always right, improve your product as much as you can and don’t change it as you get big."
DeJoria took a couple of samples, put them in his desk drawer and told his assistant if anyone has a cold sore to give the sample to them to try. His assistant tried it on her cold sore and found relief.
She also called DeJoria and said she gave it to someone whose husband couldn’t go to work previously because he had shingles, which is also derived from the herpes simplex virus responsible for cold sores.
“Everyone I gave it to worked, so I went back to Jim and said: ‘I’m your partner,’” said DeJoria. “So I spent the millions of dollars that it took to get the company going—whether it was double-blind studies, marketing or whatever [needed].”
There were two things that DeJoria said he required before making his investment in the product that they would promise: “one that it is affordable and two that it can be sold over the counter.”
Aubío’s cold sore treatment gel sells for $39.99 and its hydrating lip therapy is $9.99.
A Global Skin Issue
But why invest in cold sore treatments?
“Three point seven billion people, which is two-thirds of the earth’s population, have the cold sore virus [according to the World Health Organization],” DeJoria said. “I have never been in any [venture] where you can help out two-thirds of the world’s population.”
The skin treatment product line, which includes the cold sore treatment gel and hydrating lip therapy, is only a few months old and is currently sold on Amazon, in Target, as well as fine salons and on Aubío.com.
“Au stands for gold: bio nature,” said DeJoria in speaking about the origins of the line’s name.
With a nod to science, and claims substantiation, DeJoria said it was important that Aubío complete double-blind studies. Another formulation is now undergoing double-blind studies to be used in the treatment of acne.
Investing in the Power of Natural Plants
Taking cues from the success of using natural awaphui in John Paul Mitchell hair products, DeJoria said he was attracted to the idea of using plants to address certain skin conditions.
“I think the science behind this because it is a plant, makes it so unique,” said DeJoria.
Aubío’s founders were intrigued with the early reported Native American medicinal uses of the pitcher plant, a carnivorous plant that eats bugs and insects and has been around millions of years. The plant has adapted to extreme ultraviolet light, nutrient-poor soil, insect attacks and microbial invasion.
DeJoria said academic and company research has found that the pitcher plant may have multiple roles for cosmetic, OTC and even prescription products. For this reason, they belnded a proprietary extract into the final formulation of Aubío products.
DeJoria hopes to replicate his success once again with using natural plants in product formulations from agave to awapuhi to the pitcher plant. But what really makes a product and a brand successful? He said, “We stick by people; it’s called good ethics."
Other keys to success, according to DeJoria, include:
• The quality of the product. “Your product or service is such a high quality that people want to order it again and again.”
• “Remember the customer is always right, improve your product as much as you can and don’t change it as you get big.”
• “Your quality must be the best at a realistic price and keep it on point.”
Hear more from DeJoria in the video clip below.