Are Encapsulated Ingredients the Next Big Beauty Trend? Glow Recipe's Cofounders Say Yes
It's hard to believe that Christine Chang and Sarah Lee's beauty brand Glow Recipe has only been around for five years; their K-beauty-inspired products are mainstays in the aisles at Sephora, where they generate tens of millions of dollars in annual sales, and skincare enthusiasts everywhere clamor for details on their fruit-forward product launches.
We caught up with the cofounders at the second-annual SEPHORiA in LA to get their predictions for what's next in K-beauty — and even got them to spill a hint on what skincare product is hitting shelves next.
PS: You most recently launched the Avocado Melt retinol eye cream. Where do your product ideas start? Is it usually an ingredient you've wanted to use, or a skincare problem that you want to solve?
Sarah Lee: It starts with two things. We think about the concern we deal with all the time, and then we combine it with what we think is the best ingredient. But it always starts with our insights, and it helps that we're such busy entrepreneurs. If it works at our tired skin, it should work on most skin types. That's how we test our products when we get samples from the labs. We're always flying in planes, which, as you know, is the harshest environment. So we always torture test there, and if it passes, it's a good sign.
PS: You were really ahead of the trend when it came to sleeping masks, because there's such an obsession with sleep's role in beauty right now. Looking forward, what do you think the next big skincare trend might be?
Christine Chang: We're really, really passionate about encapsulated ingredients. (Editor's note: encapsulation is a process that increases the stability and efficacy of active ingredients by suspending them in a coating.) The fact that we were able to use the technology for an active like retinol was really amazing. Because we all know the benefits of retinol. It's dermatologist approved, but at the same time, there are some side effects if you don't use it properly. So being able to buffer [those] with this encapsulation and gently release it over time is very much a K-beauty approach. K-beauty is very much about prevention, but also a gentle approach to your skin, and respecting your skin so your skin respects you back. That's instead of chasing after the latest, highest percentages of certain ingredients that could potentially — if not used the right way — do more damage to your skin.