Dynamic company Advanced Cosmeceuticals started out 16 years ago with a goal to provide devices and cosmeceutical skincare products in the local market. Founder Catherine Biedermann reveals the company’s evolution. By Anita Quade.
You set up Advanced Cosmeceuticals in 2006 as a provider of premium aesthetic medical devices and cosmeceutical skincare products. Tell me what inspired you to do this?
“It started with a passion for business from quite a young age. I started my first business at the age of 18 and I always knew that this would be my path. Although the business side of things was my driving force initially, Advanced Cosmeceuticals and the industry it represents soon became my passion and inspiration.
Over the last 16 years, our company has grown synergistically with the industry at large. The world of aesthetics has evolved in a way no-one could predict. The developments in products, treatments, procedures and innovative technology has been a thrilling and exciting journey to be a part of.
Integrity and good ethics are also key values for me so to be able to establish a reputable and reliable company that is considered trustworthy and mirrors our core values makes me incredibly proud.”
Tell us one of the biggest highlights of setting up Advanced Cosmeceuticals?
“It has been experiencing exponential growth year-upon-year and seeing the Advanced Cosmeceuticals team grow along with the multiple moves to bigger premises to accommodate.
What started in December 2006, in a West Leederville office and warehouse space of 208m2 including two Head Office staff plus Managing Director, one in Warehouse staff and two BDMS for three brands then catapulted to a large office space in Wangara of 345m2 plus Warehouse space of 552m2, 19 Office Staff plus Managing Director, 8 Warehouse staff, 14 BDMs, 2 Educators and 2 Clinical Trainers with 10 premium brands from aesthetic medical devices to cosmeceutical skincare in the portfolio. Now in 2022, we are needing to move again to new and even larger premises to facilitate our growth.
Another highlight has also been the recognition that Advanced Cosmeceuticals has received as a well-respected company globally as evidenced by reputable brands approaching us to distribute their products in Australia.
Finally, experiencing this growth with a team of very loyal and dedicated staff members that have been with this company since the beginning. We couldn’t have achieved all this without them.”
How has the industry changed since you set up the company?
“When Advanced Cosmeceuticals secured the distribution rights for SkinCeuticals in 2006, it was at a time when cosmeceutical brands and products were still in their infancy. At the time, SkinCeuticals was one of only a few cosmeceutical brands with an esteemed reputation and proven results. However, other cosmeceutical brands such as Medik8 also launched soon after, providing high-performing, results driven products that are scientifically backed. The rise in cosmeceutical brands has also led to a rise in consumer awareness and knowledge the investment in education and training among clinicians has also become more important.”
What was business like back then?
“The industry was very much about bricks and mortar when I started Advanced Cosmeceuticals so when online sites came into play selling the same products as the clinics, this was incredibly challenging at first. However, we are now seeing a lot more clinics adapt their business model and create their own online sites to provide their clients with the same convenience while also building their core treatment-based clientele.”
What was a major gamechanger?
“One of the major changes has also been the evolution of aesthetic medical devices and the sophisticated technology they now offer. Systems are now designed to be versatile, provide a wide range of treatment options for customised treatments, and look to benefit both practitioner and patient. It also allows for the industry to adopt a multi-layered approach when treating their clients/patients, enabling them to combine efficacious skincare/treatments with powerful devices to achieve outstanding results.”
The company has evolved rapidly and has many brands in its stable. How do you go about choosing products and devices to expand your portfolio?
“All brands under the Advanced Cosmeceutical banner are carefully selected based on their performance and results. If a brand is not scientifically backed, it won’t be part of our stable of offerings. We pride ourselves on representing brands that not only provide proven results but also have the studies and research to back them. This is an absolute pre-requisite in our brand selection process.
However, we also choose brands based on the company’s ethos, their product development process, whether it is an innovative company that is looking to evolve its technology and so forth.”
Is there a brand that is a good example of a product that reflects your growth goals?
“Medik8, a brand that Advanced Cosmeceuticals has distributed since 2009, is a great example here. When it launched in 2008, Elliot Isaacs (Pharmacologist and Founder) wanted to bring the science of drug development into cosmetics, where delivering stable, non-irritating active ingredients to the skin became the rule rather than the exception. Elliot’s experience in biochemistry combined with his passion to create results-driven products backed by innovation, research and development, and proven science, is exactly what we look for in a brand. Medik8’s commitment to breaking boundaries has transformed it from a cult brand into a global powerhouse and Advanced Cosmeceuticals has been there every step of the way.”
How often do you look to add brands to the stable and what research goes into this?
“There is extensive research conducted prior to introducing a brand to our stable – from meetings with CEO’s, visiting head office, lab premises and ensuring that the brand’s philosophy, research and development is in line with our company’s. It’s more about finding the right brands that fit, whether it’s us seeking them out or the brand approaching us, rather than having a specific timeline to work to.”
What do you look for in partnerships?
“When we were considering partnering with mesoestetic in 2012 for instance, I travelled to Barcelona to visit the founders, Joan Carles Font and María José Almansa and to experience first-hand the innovation of mesoestetic Pharma Group. While I was aware of mesoestetic’s reputation in providing efficacious products and treatments, particularly cosmelan and dermamelan, it was the experience of seeing the state of the art facility that they had invested in, learning that they also invest 40% of revenue in product development and in research and seeing the rigorous testing and scientific studies of mesoestetic products and treatments that made me excited and proud about introducing the brand to the Advanced Cosmeceuticals portfolio.”
Recently Advanced Cosmeceuticals expanded their aesthetic device portfolio and now represents Cocoon Medical to cater for clients with a broader device selection to suit varying budgets. Tell us about this.
“Cocoon Medical launched its range of aesthetic technologies back in 2010 and since then have demonstrated a genuine capacity to develop and manufacture innovative and reliable aesthetic devices that create demand. When we partnered with Lutronic in 2014, we wanted to deliver best-in-class aesthetic devices to our existing clients and to the wider aesthetic market in ANZ. We have been proud to be able to offer our clients the best in capital technology, global education and training programs from a trusted supply partner.
Adding the Cocoon Medical range to our existing capital equipment division offers some exciting new benefits for our clients including their hero product Cooltech Define cryolypolisis device and the skin rejuvenation, hair removal platforms including Primelase Excellence and Elusion Pro. As clients like the convenience of dealing with one distributor, the addition of Cocoon Medical provides our clinic partners with more scope in terms of devices to select from that will benefit their practice from both a treatment perspective as well as to suit varying budgets.”
What is a standout feature of Cocoon Medical and what can it offer salons?
“The new Cooltech Define is a good example of Cocoon Medical innovation, research and development. This device offers ease of use and a new standard of profitability, This is an exciting body sculpting device, offering clinics easy entry into the high demand body sculpting market. The Cooltech Define delivers those results with a wide range of applicators for more treatment options, including the biggest handpiece for tummy treatments. It also offers new treatment templates for accurate preparation, a new massager handpiece for post treatment, 360° cooling, a new Cool Gel Pad that protects skin up to -50ºC which means overall a clinic can deliver reliable treatments that practitioners can be confident to use with their clients.”
How do you work with clients to get a return on investment with this device?
“Advanced Cosmeceuticals offers a high level of training, exceptional technical support and extensive marketing resources that one expects with a device of this standard, and this device offers a highly cost-effective treatment. Historically the cryolypolisis market for clinics has been limited by the high cost of treatment consumables. The R&D team at Cocoon Medical have delivered not only very effective consumables like the new Cool Gel Pad which is designed to protect the skin from the low temperatures during treatment, but low-priced consumables. This technology also offers the capacity to treat 4 areas in one appointment which delivers much better ROI, faster treatment times and higher patient satisfaction. We know offering patients great results at reasonable prices is essential but we can also offer good profit which is key to clinic success.”
“There is extensive research conducted prior to introducing a brand to our stable – from meetings with CEO’s, visiting head office, lab premises and ensuring that the brand’s philosophy, research and development is in line with our company’s.”
One of the latest additions to your brand portfolio is SkinMTX – tell us why you choose this award-winning dermatological-grade skincare range to be part of your offering.
“We liked the fact that SkinMTX® leverages Swiss expertise to provide comprehensive skin treatment solutions and harnesses the latest technologies. It utilises top-of-the-range ingredients that deliver clinically-proven results and has tailored in-clinic treatments and a clear categorised home-care range. The product formulations are based on years of dedicated laboratory research and testing with scientifically researched actives which provide visible improvements to skin problems.
The five at-home skin solution ranges (Anti-Ageing, Brightening, Anti-Acne, Special Care and Dermat) are colour coded by skin concern, allowing products to be conveniently mixed and matched. This enables the clinician to easily provide a tailored treatment program for each individual client/patient.
The SkinMTX® Professional Treatment Kits come in unique high potency mono-dose packs (Telomatrix comes with 2 treatments per pack) for precise dosing and results which clinics appreciate. The hermetically-sealed packaging also ensures hygiene and reliability is maintained, and allows for on-demand dispensing to ensure the optimal potency and efficacy of the treatment is delivered every time without wastage.
The 4 in-clinic treatments are also designed to complement aesthetic procedures and can be integrated as part of a pre-procedure and post-treatment regime.”
What is one of its standout capabilities?
“The in-clinic treatments complement aesthetic procedures and can be integrated as part of a pre-procedure and post-care regimen especially with their mono dose or Dermat Series.
As mentioned above, the SkinMTX® Professional Treatment Kits come in unique high potency mono-dose packs (Telomatrix comes with 2 treatments per pack) for precise dosing and results which clinics appreciate. The hermetically-sealed packaging also ensures hygiene and reliability is maintained, and allows for on-demand dispensing to ensure the optimal potency and efficacy of the treatment is delivered every time without wastage.
The SkinMTX® Dermat series is specifically designed to provide essential and effective post-procedure care. The 4 products are meticulously formulated with an exceptional range of actives to help maximise the treatment outcome, optimise the recovery process, while providing comfort from tenderness and signs of irritation to assist with a smooth and speedy recovery.”
The SkinMTX TeloZyme Youth Activator was awarded the title of the 2021 Beauty Insider Best in Anti-Ageing. How important is it to receive this accolade?
“Receiving worldwide industry recognition is always a great achievement for a brand and the product. TeloZyme™ Youth Activator is a multifaceted efficacious serum, based on the Nobel prize-winning discovery of telomeres, and has been specially formulated to target the integrity of telomeres for younger looking skin so it’s a great thing that it has received an award for its cutting-edge technology.”
How important is it to have the offering of in-clinic and home-care products for clients?
“It’s incredibly important as the home-care products are designed to extend the results achieved by the in-clinic treatment. It also allows the clinician to recommend products that are tailored to the particular skin needs of their clients across a range of skin concerns. As mentioned previously, SkinMTX® Dermat series is designed to provide essential and effective post-procedure care. The 4 products are meticulously formulated with an exceptional range of actives to help maximise the treatment outcome, optimise the recovery process, while providing comfort from tenderness and signs of irritation to assist with a smooth and speedy recovery.”
Another addition to your portfolio is WiQo which develops and produces products direct from the company’s laboratories in Trieste, Italy. Tell us about this acquisition and how it enhances your current offering?
“WiQo products are the result of 30-years experience, clinically tested with the most innovative research applied to health, wellbeing and beauty. WiQo One is a state-of-the-art lifting and brightening programme that helps stimulate the skin’s natural revitalisation processes like never before. The result is visibly firmer, brighter and smoother skin from the very first treatment and can be used year-round on both the face and body.
What makes WiQo One unique is that it is a non-aggressive treatment, so no frosting is caused. Due to the efficacy in helping activate the skin’s own revitalisation processes, it is ideal primer for other aesthetic treatments and can be used in combination with procedures such as mesotherapy, fillers, threads, physical stimulation devices, PRP, and so on. It’s also needle-free with minimal downtime.
WiQo Cosmeceuticals is a specific home care line designed to complement WiQo One and other biorevitalisation treatments to help maintain the results or the products can be used independently of the treatment to provide visible anti-ageing results.”
What are your expansion plans for Advanced Cosmeceuticals in 2022?
“2022 will see the Advanced Cosmeceuticals team concentrate on building industry awareness of new brand additions as mentioned above and work closely with clinic partners in terms of education, training, and marketing support.
Our plan is also to continue focusing on building our existing brands while showcasing our latest launches and working with clinic partners to identify what works for them as a business and for their clients and patients.”
Will there be any physical expansion for the company?
“This year will see us move Advanced Cosmeceuticals again, to new, larger and customised premises to accommodate our ever-expanding needs.
And who knows what new brands may come our way….”
This article originally appeared in the March-April 2022 print issue of Professional Beauty.
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