Doctor Rogers Restore Goes From One SKU To Two With The Launch Of Face Wash At Violet Grey
In a trend-driven industry in which fast beauty is the order of the day, Doctor Rogers Restore takes a slow beauty approach that’s anything but trendy.
Three years after introducing its debut product, Healing Balm, the brand from dermatologist Heather Rogers has launched Face Wash at e-tailer Violet Grey. The second release was painstakingly developed over more than a year to adhere to Doctor Rogers Restore’s product philosophy of providing simple, plant-based hypoallergenic formulas designed for sensitive skin using biodegradable contents.
“Face washes are one of the things my patients complain about the most. They can’t find a facial wash they love that does what they want it to do,” says Rogers. “I didn’t think there was a face wash out there that did two things: be gentle and remove makeup. It was incredibly important to get the right amount of suds. There couldn’t be too much, but had to be enough to take off makeup while not drying out the skin.”
Face Wash is made with aloe barbadensis leaf juice, coco-glucoside, decyl glucoside, xanthan gum, glycerin, radish root ferment filtrate, citric acid and caprylyl glycol. Before Rogers began working on the product, she didn’t realize xanthan gum quality ranges tremendously. At a certain point, she was evaluating eight different xanthan gums for its formula. She chose the priciest option because it effectively held Face Wash’s ingredients together.
“I didn’t think there was a face wash out there that did two things: be gentle and remove makeup. It was incredibly important to get the right amount of suds. There couldn’t be too much, but had to be enough to take off makeup while not drying out the skin.”
Expensive ingredients meant Face Wash couldn’t be priced for the masses. It retails for at $42 for a 5-oz. tube. “There was no way I could compete with a Cetaphil price point, and I didn’t want it to be at an ultra-prestige price point like Tata Harper either,” says Rogers. “I wanted to get it as low as I could get it.” She notes Face Wash’s post-consumer recycled plastic tube costs three times what a typical plastic tube costs.
Doctor Rogers Restore originally approached Violet Grey with its Healing Balm and, during the summer, learned it sailed through the e-tailer’s vetting process called The Violet Code in which products are tested by editors, aestheticians and other beauty professionals. Rogers says facialist Joanna Czech is a The Violet Code tester as well as a fan of Doctor Rogers Restore and helped facilitate its entrance into Violet Grey. The brand is sold at Czech’s Dallas spa.
Rogers was drawn to Violet Grey’s ability to place her brand in front of in-the-know beauty experts and present its merchandise in a gorgeous digital setting. The e-commerce website was given a two-month retail exclusive on Face Wash. The product is also available on Doctor Rogers Restore’s site, where it’s quickly accounted for half of the brand’s sales.
“Getting the word out there in a saturated market is an incredibly time-consuming process, and you are fighting for every inch you can get. I’m excited about the two inches I’ve gotten, but I need three more feet. The good news is the Face Wash has come out with a bang.”
“I wanted beautiful imagery and reusable content and, if you do an exclusive with Violet Grey, they do a really nice job of marketing the product. Their budget is larger than my budget,” says Rogers. Although perhaps leading to diminished sales early on for Face Wash as Doctor Rogers Restore stalls some retail possibilities, she continues the exclusive is “worth it to me to get those high-end shots, and to build a relationship with Violet Grey and their influencers. I have connections with dermatologists, but I don’t have connections with facialists and makeup artists.”
When Rogers started Doctor Rogers Restore, she set out to distribute Healing Balm to dermatologists. As a dermatologist, she detected a need for an alternative to petroleum-based products to apply to wounded skin following medical procedures. Set in their ways, however, dermatologists didn’t leap at the chance to change their product habits. Instead, Doctor Rogers Restore garnered a warmer welcome from beauty stores. It’s currently stocked at roughly 38 doctor offices, online shops and physical retailers globally, including Cos Bar, C.O. Bigelow, Vegan Concept, Dermstore and Carbon Beauty. Via Carbon Beauty, Amazon contributes around 15% of the brand’s sales.
Earlier this year, Rogers projected Doctor Rogers Restore could hit $1 million in 2018 sales, but she’s trimmed the projection to about $500,000. She says the brand has to reach additional distribution milestones and grow its product portfolio to cross the $1 million mark. “Getting the word out there in a saturated market is an incredibly time-consuming process, and you are fighting for every inch you can get. I’m excited about the two inches I’ve gotten, but I need three more feet,” muses Rogers. “The good news is the Face Wash has come out with a bang.”
To ride Face Wash’s momentum, Doctor Rogers Restore plans to unveil a lip balm and face cream in the first quarter of 2019. Rogers has been tweaking the face cream for two years. She underscores landing on a stable and clean formula with minimal ingredients isn’t easy. Rogers says, “The positive feedback and reception my one and now two SKUs have received has put pressure on me to make more products, but it’s a process you can’t rush.”