- DTC skin care brand Lion Pose has launched its first product exclusively at Sephora.
- Backed by actor and producer Mindy Kaling, Lion Pose is based around inclusivity and science-led formulations.
- The brand became available Monday for Sephora app users, rolled out to the beauty retailer’s website on Tuesday and will be at select Sephora stores beginning Aug. 28, according to a company press release.
The debut product from Lion Pose, Unspotted 4X Acid Jelly Night Serum, is designed specifically to tackle hyperpigmentation, dark spots and scarring safely and effectively on all skin tones.
Finding skin care solutions is personal to Lion Pose’s founders, Madhu Punjabi and Nisha Phatak — two BIPOC Silicon Valley software alums and Harvard MBA graduates. Both Punjabi and Phatak have experienced hyperpigmentation, dark spots and scarring. To develop the product, they enlisted the services of Harvard-trained dermatologists Dr. Laura Scott and Dr. Tia Paul, who specialize in diverse skin and serve as active members of the Skin of Color Society.
Punjabi said her frustration with being unable to solve her own skin issues eventually led her to co-found the business. “I have embarrassingly textured skin,” she said in an email to Retail Dive. “I couldn't find anyone who created products that worked on my skin tone and texture. I tried so many things — lasers, chemical peels, fillers, even subcision, which is a surgical procedure. After spending thousands of dollars on treatments and dermatologist appointments, I learned that most products didn’t work on me. That’s because most products aren’t tested on a full spectrum of skin tones and types.”
Punjabi and her team took two years to perfect their first product. Their research uncovered the fact that minorities were often underrepresented in clinical trials for skin care treatment. They also acknowledged the support and assistance of Sephora in getting their product to market.
The brand participated in Sephora Accelerate and Y Combinator. Sephora has had a number of brands participate in its Accelerate brand incubator program, including Moodeaux, Brown Girl Jane, Range Beauty, Glosshood, Seaspire Skincare, Oui the People and Of Other Worlds.
In addition to Kaling, Lion Pose raised $3 million from Ignite XL, Precursor Ventures, Rob Lowe's LH Capital, Howard Klein, L. founder Talia Frenkel and former-CEO of Guthy Renker (Proactiv’s parent company) Ben VandeBunt.
“My decision to come on board Lion Pose was simple,” Kaling said in a statement. “I found an unbeatable product that was backed by a vision I have always believed in, and one that has informed everything I do in my career. That representation and inclusion are just good business. Madhu and Nisha are deeply committed to the idea that inclusivity in clinical skin care is not the goal, but the requirement for any good product.”