AAPI-Owned Brand Rējins Launches With A Single, All-Encompassing Step For Melanated Skin

Rējins, a new skincare brand beginning with a single product that’s so all-encompassing it’s called All-Encompassing Serum, stemmed from founder Jilleo Recio’s travel frustrations.

In 2019, when the current Californian lived and worked in Singapore as a senior business development manager for Sony Music, he was frequently stuffing tons of skincare products in his bags while jet-setting for professional and pleasure reasons. “There has to be a simpler way to do this,” he remembers thinking. “Basically, this came out of a personal need.”

Pronounced “regions,” Rējins’ $69.95 All-Encompassing Serum was designed to be a simpler way to handle skincare. It addresses several concerns (fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and more) and can be applied in the morning and night as a moisturizer. Although it’s beneficial for consumers of any skin color and age, it was formulated with maturing melanin-rich skin in mind and contains the key ingredients peptides, licorice root, green algae, niacinamide and centella asiatica.

Jilleo Recio, founder of Rējins

“I’m of Southeast Asian descent, and I struggle with hyperpigmentation. When I shave, I cut myself. When I get a rash, I get discoloration,” says Recio, who’s Filipino American. “So, I wanted to focus specifically on melanated skin because our skin is different.”

AAPI representation is improving in the beauty industry, but it could be much better, and Rējins is Recio’s contribution to bettering it. “We need to start seeing ourselves represented in the products that we use,” he says. “It’s also my homage to just living abroad and traveling. I really love travel and experiencing people from all different cultures, different backgrounds. For me that’s the most beautiful part of travel is just meeting everybody and experiencing all different cultures. So, I really wanted to also put culture front and center for the brand.”

As it gets off the ground, Rējins is producing All-Encompassing Serum in small batches. “We’re so unknown at the moment, I want to make sure that I don’t keep stock of inventory that may not get sold,” explains Recio. “I want to make sure that the batches are small, where it’s manageable, and as the brand grows, I’d slowly increase the inventory. But small batches allow me to keep things more under control for now until I start to build up the brand.”

“We need to start seeing ourselves represented in the products that we use.”

Recio figures he’s spent less than $50,000 on self-funded Rējins so far. A huge portion of the money has be dedicated to manufacturing its product and securing a third-party lab to test it. The development process wasn’t easy. Recio dealt with countless samples with weird smells and colors.

“You start having these conversations with people, and they promise you the world, they promise to deliver, but, when they do, the end result is basically not good,” he says. “Eventually, I found a chemist that I really liked working with. We have a good relationship.”

Another major challenge has been marketing. Rējins has been providing merchandise to Instagram and TikTok content creators to post about it, but organic word of mouth is its main marketing vehicle. Recio says, “I basically have no marketing budget, so I’ve been relying a lot on my friends and network.”

Rējins has launched with a single product, the $69.95 All-Encompassing Serum. Addressing fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and more, its key ingredients are peptides, licorice root, green algae, niacinamide and centella asiatica.

Rējins’ limited budget was critical to Recio’s decision to launch the brand with a single product. The goal is to extend the assortment and hit a six-figure sales total in the not-too-distant future. Recio says. “I’m trying to be very optimistic, but also at the same time realistic with my goals.”

Discussing Rējins’ next products, he continues, “I like to use the words ‘inclusive minimalism’ skincare because I believe that less is more. So, I don’t intend to create products just for the sake of creating products. It has to be very purpose-driven, and I also want to take time to create it. I want to make sure that it goes through the proper testing, that I don’t just slap my label on it and put it on the market.”

Rejins is only available on its own website, but Recio aspires to place it at retailers such as Thirteen Lune and Bluemercury. He’s in no rush, though. He considers the brand Hyper Skin and its founder Desiree Verdejo as inspirations. Verdejo learned about beauty consumers at her store Vivrant Beauty from 2015 to 2018 before introducing Hyper Skin in 2019. The brand entered Sephora last year. Today, Recio says he’s trying to keep “a positive outlook and do my best.”