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Clean beauty brand Versed Skincare, which debuted exclusively in Target stores before embracing a DTC model, is launching a new Backup Plan acne control body mist with the help of three female athletes: WNBA’s L.A. Sparks power forward Chiney Ogwumike, Olympic gold-winning gymnast Nastia Liukin and two-time track and field Olympic gold medalist Natasha Hastings
The women will front a social media campaign shot entirely via Zoom.
Melanie Bender, general manager of Versed Skin, said the brand was inspired to partner with women who had dealt with body acne throughout their lives and careers. The athletes, all prior users of the skincare brand, expressed their eagerness to partner with a brand that makes healthier skincare products that are also affordable.
“I’m about representation, and I know I have a platform to create for the next generation,” Ogwumike said. “So when it comes to skincare, to have an affordable brand that can appeal to all generations is not only important but necessary.”
In a year when retail spending has taken a hit but sustainability has received increased awareness, Versed has gotten an overwhelmingly positive response. The growing brand has a monthly audience of 16 million through its social channels, and sales are up 85% year over year.
“As a new mom and someone who’s still breastfeeding, natural ingredients and the lack of parabens and phthalates are deciding factors for products I use,” Hastings said. “I like the fact that the products are vegan and cruelty-free, and align with my cosmetics line.”
Organic and environmentally conscious beauty has become a major force in the industry in recent years. Cosmetic science school Formula Botanica estimates the “clean” beauty category is worth $36 billion, with growth outpacing that of the overall skincare industry, according to data from the NPD Group.
“We saw that the consumer was gradually moving in that direction and believed in carving out that path for them and with them,” Bender said. “Now the pandemic has accelerated the trendline by three to five years, and brands like Versed that are at the forefront of the movement are connecting with mass audiences in an even bigger way.”
Recent reports confirm that consumers, especially younger ones, are making purchasing decisions based on brands’ climate awareness: 24% of Gen Z and 20% of all consumers care that products are environmentally sustainable, while 26% of Gen Z and 21% of all consumers care that they aren’t tested on animals.
Versed launched in mid-2019 after 16 million people in the Who What Wear community expressed a need for higher quality, lower priced skincare. Since then, it’s expanded through retail giants and its own ecommerce platform with products ranging from face masks and peels to cleansers and toners, all meeting the European Union standards that ban over 1,300 ingredients as toxins.
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