Teenagers’ lives can be rough, but skincare for them shouldn’t be – at least that’s the premise of SkinBuzz, a new brand with organic products aimed at the adolescent set.
Created by Nicole Sullivan, an aesthetician, authority on acne and mom of 12-year-old daughter Sofia, SkinBuzz is starting with five items priced from $19 to $38: Bee•Witched Organic Toner, Clean•Bee Organic Cleanser, Coal•Bee Charcoal Mask, Bee•Safe Mineral Sunscreen and Bee•You•Tiful Organic Moisturizer. The brand presents a prestige, considered cosmetic option in a segment flooded with cheap solutions and prescriptions.
“SkinBuzz is a line for teens and tweens that helps fight acne before it begins. What you really need are products to get in there and help the skin be clean and healthy,” says Sullivan. “Because I specialize in acne, I’m aware of ingredients, even natural ones like coconut oil and algae, that can clog pores and aren’t the best for acne-prone skin. SkinBuzz comes at skincare from an acne point of view, is all-natural and a perfect entry into skincare.”
The debut product assortment lays the foundation for a daily regimen that kicks off with the cleanser, toner and moisturizer. Beeswax and propolis, an ingredient produced by bees to seal hives, are incorporated in the formulas and give the brand its name. Additional ingredients include cucumber, shea butter, aloe vera, royal jelly, willow bark extract, and avocado, grapeseed and jojoba seed oils.
“So many people are afraid of acne and want to get their kids on acne cleansers and other skincare products that are way too harsh. What I have done with SkinBuzz is created a line focused on preventing acne without the chemicals that are too harsh for kids and also are unnecessary,” says Sullivan, noting, “I wanted to provide something for parents that they could give to kids for a daily ritual. The beauty ritual is important for skin health, and it’s fun. We wanted to have the complete process.”
Packaging for products directed at teens and tweens is tricky. They stay away from products that look geared toward younger children, and their parents often steer clear of merchandise that seems too mature. Sullivan was adamant the bottles and jars not feature pink to underscore the SkinBuzz’s unisex positioning. They’re boldly colorful – each product label has a different shade – and not overly cutesy. SkinBuzz isn’t a line adults would be ashamed of having in their bathrooms.
“I wanted it to be kind of cool and hip, simple and clean, and not too kiddy, but welcoming to both adults and kids. I love the colors. They’re happy and make sense. The sunscreen is yellow, for example,” says Sullivan. “I didn’t want something kids feel like they can’t use passed 15 or 16. It’s not pastel-y, and it’s something moms can definitely use. I use all the products.”
Millennial moms were certainly on Sullivan’s mind throughout self-funded SkinBuzz’s two years in development. She poured roughly $5,000 into bringing the products to fruition and explains the expensive non-GMO, organic ingredients in the formulas made it impossible for her to price them for the mass market. However, she asserts the millennial moms SkinBuzz is after are willing to pay for quality offerings for their children.
“I happen to be my target. My daughter is the one who would ask me for it, and I’m the person who would buy it for her. I asked friends with kids about the brand’s prices and if they’re too high, and not one said it’s too high. If anything, they said, ‘It’s very reasonable,’” reports Sullivan. “The teen and tween age group is an underserved market. There aren’t a lot of people in it making skincare better.”
Generation Z was on Sullivan’s mind in forming SkinBuzz as well. She mentions members of gen z care about causes, and the brand donates 5% of its profits to Planet Bee Foundation. To get the word out about its products, SkinBuzz is headed to Instagram and YouTube, and will be sharing pictures of customers wearing its black Coal•Bee Charcoal Mask. Sullivan plans to cultivate SkinBuzz’s website as an information resource for teens and tweens learning about proper skincare.
“They are aware of their appearance because they are constantly looking at themselves on phones and Instagram. Like it or not, skincare is something they have to do, and they want to have the support of a good skincare line,” says Sullivan. “In Target, you will find Cetaphil, and there’s Proactiv, which is way too hard core. I thought this market really needed good products that weren’t as harsh.”
Based in Los Angeles, Sullivan is concentrating SkinBuzz’s early distribution efforts on shops in the local area. Entrance into Sephora is a long-term goal. “My biggest challenge is just not being overwhelmed,” says Sullivan. “I’m really passionate about this brand, and I really feel like it’s going to go somewhere, but, instead of getting overwhelmed by the huge enormity of it, I need to take it step by step.”