In Print: Douglas Pereira on Launching His Own Skincare Brand

He started out in the 90s shaking up the beauty industry as one of the first males to develop a range. Douglas Pereira chats to Anita Quade about his Australian Made collection and the highlights of his business.

You have been in the skincare world for more than 25 years – what sparked your initial fascination with skincare?
“My introduction into the world of skincare started at a very young age with my grandmother and mother, who both used good quality skincare and always told me you need to take care of your skin. I would watch them performing their daily skin regimes and loved the ritual of preparing the skin and applying layers of product. It seemed like such a personal moment of self care.”

Your career has spanned many years. Tell us about your progression.
“In my teenage years I wanted to become a fashion stylist and makeup artist and when I was studying makeup artistry, the college I attended also trained in beauty therapy and natural health sciences. At college I loved talking to the girls that were studying beauty therapy, about skincare and beauty treatments.
So once I completed my makeup training, I decided to change my career path and future my study to include beauty therapy, clinical aromatherapy, and natural health sciences, so I could work in the world of day spas.”

How was that experience for a male in the beauty industry?
“Back then when I started off my career in the industry you didn’t really see many males working in beauty. People thought this was quite unique and to my surprise excepted me into the industry in a very welcoming way.
During my time working in day spas, I loved performing facial treatments and seeing the transformative results one could achieve from a skin treatment, this is where my real fascination and career with skincare really started.”

You mention how important education is – how did you progress?
“After working in day spas for a few years, my career progressed into education, where I worked for a variety of skincare brands educating on the fundamentals of skin health and products.
Following a few years in education I then established my own consultancy business where I assisted existing business in staff education and business development.
At the 14-year mark of my career I opened my own skin focused clinic based in Sydney.

A couple of years after opening the clinic, I embarked on a project that would encapsulate all my years of experience and knowledge thus far. I decide to develop my own range of cosmeceutical products for the exclusive use of my clinic clients. I found an amazing cosmetic formulator based in Australia who understood my philosophy and the goals I wanted to achieve with the formulations.
Now 11 years on, the collection of products and brand has evolved into luxury skincare range that transforms skin health and targets skin challenges with a customised approach.”

You must have seen many changes across the skincare landscape over that time. Are there any standouts for you that have really changed the face of beauty?
“When starting my career in the mid-nineties the skincare world was very different. There was not many dedicated skin clinics, if you wanted to treat your skin you went to a beauty salon or day spa, and the techniques used were more traditional Paris methods, and the products used were cosmetic in nature. Cosmeceuticals weren’t really a thing back then.

Since I first started in the industry, the biggest changes I have seen in the skincare industry would be over the last 12 to 15 years. Firstly, the consumer has become more knowledgeable about the skin, treatments and about skincare products. Their expectations, wants and needs have become more results driven. We are now seeing a more skin savvy client.

Secondly, with the changing needs and wants of the consumer the industry has evolved to meet the consumers demands. We now have so many standalone skin focused clinics with well-trained dermal clinicians and therapists, and more result driven technologies at our fingertips.

In addition, the world of cosmeceutical skincare products has grown exponentially year on year. When I first started my cosmeceutical product range there was only a handful of cosmeceutical brands around. Now every week I come across a new brand.”

Douglas Pereira

Your self-titled brand Douglas Pereira Skin Health is such a dynamic mix of science and your four pinnacles of behind the brand –

1. Clean, nontoxic, active botanical science with transparency

2. Helping strengthen and support the skins barrier

3. Skin identical cosmeceuticals

4. Combat urban living and modern stress

How did you develop this ethos?
“One of the first things I did when I decided to develop my brand was to look back at my years in the industry and workout what my clients were coming into the clinic and asking for, I thought about the most common request asked by my clients. It was – I want my skin to be healthy, younger and glowing. Then I thought about the environment we live in, my clients’ lifestyle choices and the types of products they use, and how these factors impact their skin, and how this plays apart in the displeasure of their skin’s health.

I then realised most of my clients weren’t coming in and asking ‘can you fix my dryness, oilless or these wrinkles’. They just wanted beautiful healthy skin. From this thought, I knew I had to develop a cosmeceutical range of products that worked in conjunction with the skin’s functions, to support and better the skins health. So, then I sat down and wrote –     

Douglas Pereira Skin health – Skin identical cosmeceutical formulations comprising of the highest-grade cosmeceutical and active botanical ingredients that mimic the skin’s composition and provide it with all the necessary building blocks required to achieving optimal healthy-looking radiant skin”. The formulations must be clean, nontoxic, and be backed by science.

The formulations must not contain any synthetic ingredients, fillers, or synthetic fragrances. The only ingredients that are in each formulation must have a benefit in improving the skins health and supporting the skins barrier. The collection of products won’t be categorised into the common skin conditions and concerns, but instead treat the effects of urban living and modern stress”.

How difficult was it to formulate your range?
“Developing the initial collection of products 11 years ago did come with its challenges. Firstly, my background is not a cosmetic chemist, nor did I have a science background. But I did have all my years of experience treating skin and working with and educating with some of the best products around. Compiling my knowledge, practical experience, and researching into cosmetic chemistry I was able to understand the process and science of formulating a product.  

I knew the ingredients I wanted in my formulations; I knew the outcomes I wanted to achieve with each product, and I had the concept. I just needed the expert to bring it all tougher. One day I was on the phone to one of my suppliers who developed his own Melbourne-based cosmeceutical range of products, and he connected me to one of his old staff members who now privately formulates cosmeceutical products here in Australia.

This was a match made in heaven, she understood my concept and what I wanted to achieve from my formulations. Over many months the two of us worked closely in developing the first formulations for the range. Now some eleven years on the both of us have evolved the range into a collection of over thirty homecare products and an extensive professional collection of products.”

It is formulated and manufactured in Australian laboratories – how important was this to you?
“Being formulated and manufactured in Australia is of the highest importance for me, it’s the only way I can assure the quality, consistency, and integrity of my products. Being locally made gives me access to the lab so I can keep my eyes over the quality of ingredients and quality of each batch manufactured before it is bottled for the consumer.”  

Does having the formulation and manufacturer give you more control over the final product?
“Having the formulation and manufacturer definitely allows you to have more control over the final products. Direct line of communication and access to the formulator makes a world of difference. Not only when developing a new product but also when existing formulations need to be adjusted.
A great example of this is, due to the pandemic some of our suppliers have not been able to provide components for our formulations. So, we have had to find alternatives. With this comes some adjustments to the formulations. Being on the ground and having the access to control these adjustments speeds up the process and reduces the delay in manufacturing.”

(left to right) Douglas Pereira Antioxidant and A-Calming Serums

A lot for your range is focused on helping repairing and strengthening the skin’s barrier – how did you develop this concept?
“I believe a lot of common skin challenges stem from an impaired or compromised barrier. My key focus when treating my client’s skin in clinic, especially a new client is to first focus on the skin’s barrier. This has always been my method, no matter what my clients skin concerns are I have always explained to them that we first need to make sure their barrier function is at optimal health, and that once the barrier is strong, we can treat their key concerns. So, when I was developing the product range, I knew that where possible my formulations needed to support barrier strength and reduce inflammation in the skin. 

A few of years ago, I started seeing more and more new clients coming into the clinic with compromised barrier function, as well as an increase of people with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis, and as we know one of the contributing factors for these conditions is a compromised barrier. So, about three years ago I decided to develop a collection of products specifically focusing on barrier repair. We developed an amazing formula called Cera Fort, a powerful emulsion designed for restoring barrier function and re-organising optimal lipid structure, hydration levels & sebum balance. Its moisture retention benefits reduce dryness, itching and burning. The formula contains a potent concentration of antioxidants, master peptides, medical grade Hyaluronic Acid, biomimetic phytosterols & phospholipids that dramatically boost the skin’s resistance to inflammatory free radical aggressors greatly reducing sensitivity.

We then utilised this formulation to create two key products in the collection. A milky lightweight restoring serum and a repairing moisturiser, both Immediately calms the skin and reduces inflammation whilst supporting the strength of the barrier.”

What is the hero of your range?
“Well, this is a hard question, so many of the products are heroes. Of course, the Cera fort collection is at the top of the list. But I would have to say the hero product is a tie between two of the super serums. The first is the Clarity serum This potent combination of result driven, medical grade anti-inflammatory exfoliants, anti-bacterial & dermal renewing actives delivered in a lightweight, silky serum to help accelerate skin regeneration. This Calming formula helps reduce erythema & lesions, aids the healing process, decongests and exfoliates to reveal healthy-looking clear skin.

The second hero product is the EGF Peptide serum that supports skin rejuvenation, collagen and elastin production. It strengthens skin, aids repair of stressed damaged skin and increases hydration with key actives: rh-Oligopeptide-1 (EGF)& Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3 (Skin Identical Peptides).”

How important is it for you to do a bespoke program for your clients?
“The strapline for my product range is: ‘Skincare as individual as you are’. I believe each client’s skin needs to be treated individually, just like when you visit a naturopath, they will assess your health and prescribe the necessary vitamins, minerals and supplements to better your health needs. I take the same approach with skin and my clients individual needs.”  

Are there any standout moments in your career that make you smile?
“The first would be being one of the first male therapists in Australia back in the mid-nineties. Second would be the amazing clients I have met and treated over the years, especially the clients that have been with me since I started my clinic over a decade ago. Third standout moment would definitely be launching my product range and seeing the results and success of each formulation.” 

What is one of the biggest lessons you have learnt in business?
“To make sure that everyday you wake up and you love the business you have built, that you love what you do in the business, and you love the people around you in the business. Because if you, don’t it’s not worth it!” 

What are the plans for your brand in 2022?
“This year is going to be an exciting chapter in my career and business. I will be launching the wholesale division of my retail products and professional collection of product and treatments into other clinics. I will be hitting the pavement and introducing my brand to other like-minded professionals around Australia, that would like to have a luxury result driven cosmeceutical brand to offer their client’s.

As well I will also be launching a new category of products into the brand, a skin fluid mineral makeup collection consisting of seven new products. The mineral makeup collection will be a little different to what is out in the marketplace at the moment. I have developed a lightweight fluid makeup range that will work as an extension of your skincare.” 

A cut-down version of this article appeared in the January/February issue of Professional Beauty magazine.

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