Urban Skin Rx is launching this month its first men’s collection, a new venture almost 20 years in the making.
The line, launching exclusively at Target on March 6, is comprised of a daily exfoliating face wash and scrub, soothing moisturizer, toning pad and daily razor bump dark spot treatment, all formulated with a proprietary blend of niacinamide and aloe to soothe razor irritation, improve scarring caused by ingrown hairs and minimize discoloration. The full kit will launch on March 22 on the Urban Skin Rx website.
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Founder Rachel Roff, for some time, has had these formulations and solutions in mind — “I’ve know the combinations, the actives and percentages to help control ingrown hairs more and reduce the dark marks and scarring they leave behind,” she said — but her journey with ingrown hairs dates back to her first job as an aesthetician.
Her first job was at a now defunct establishment called Matthew Skin and Laser in Charlotte, N.C., that operated the Candela Gentle Yag laser hair removal machine. Roff said the machine is one of the first laser hair removal machines that were “safe on tan and darker skin.” She tested the machine on herself and later on a friend and noticed a great difference in the before and after photos that she took.
As she set out to grow her clientele, she thought of how men could benefit the most from laser hair removal and visited barbershops to market the product and offer discounts for first treatments.
“Not everybody was willing to get laser hair removal,” she said, explaining that some potential clients had underlying conditions that prevented them from undergoing treatment and the removal didn’t work on gray or white hairs. “I quickly had to learn other treatments and solutions for people who aren’t a candidate.” She worked at Matthew Skin and Laser for 6 months before opening her own business, Urban Skin Solutions Medspa, in 2006.
Now, 20 years later, she’s again focused on men, a category she was hesitant about in the beginning due to her belief that skin care is based on skin type and not gender. “But I’m a businessperson, too,” she said. “I can’t ignore the fact that men’s wellness and grooming is growing so I had to do some soul searching.”
This year is an opportune time for Urban Skin Rx, given the popularization and acceptance of men’s skin care and growing inclusivity of Black consumers, as well as the business’ growth and distribution as well.
Roff said her team is now at 50 employees and retail partners like Target, where the men’s line will be available exclusively at 500 doors, support the business. She added the line will not launch on their website for six months.
In addition, the brand has plans to expand the men’s skin care line and ingrown solutions for women’s underarms, bikini lines and trouble areas as well. Roff confirmed that Urban Skin Rx’s gross revenue came in around $30 million in 2021 and is hoping for a minimum 10 percent increase in 2022.
As for the new men’s line, Roff said she would be thrilled if the products “did $1 million in sales” but is focused on building brand awareness and being the go to for ingrown hairs and dark spots for men.