Behind New Brand DPR SKN’s Acne Antidote Is A Message About Self-Confidence
When Danielle Ramchandani was a young girl, she tagged along with her father Bisham to the Los Angeles offices of Smashbox Cosmetics, where he was an executive. During a particular memorable outing, she ran across Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen there, but the real stars of her visits were the beauty products.
“I was able to pick out products. I was six years old, and I had more makeup products than the average woman,” recalls Ramchandani. “I was using it to play with, but it was great quality makeup. I think that’s how my love for beauty started. It was a cool, interesting environment.”
Two decades later, Ramchandani has acted upon her love for beauty and unveiled skincare brand DPR SKN. Although her introduction to beauty came from color cosmetics, Ramchandani’s beauty routine ended up being heavily focused on skincare as she grew older and dealt with pimples. Coupled with an education in beauty marketing and management at FIDM, her need for a zit remedy steered her to formulate Clay Mask, DPR SKN’s debut product, with bentonite clay, salicylic acid, avocado oil, and cucumber, aloe vera and chamomile extracts.
“My skin is very sensitive. If I touch my face, I break out. If I am stressed, I break out. If I eat poorly, I break out,” says Ramchandani. “I have gone to dermatologists and tried numerous products, but none worked, so I turned to my lab to develop a product with ingredients I knew would work for acne-prone skin. I’ve been testing and testing the product, and it works tremendously well. I launched with it first as my signature product because it can help so many people.”
“I have gone to dermatologists and tried numerous products, but none worked, so I turned to my lab to develop a product with ingredients I knew would work for acne-prone skin. I’ve been testing and testing the product, and it works tremendously well. I launched with it first as my signature product because it can help so many people.”
Ramchandani originally intended to release four products with the premiere of DPR SKN, but the $25,000 expense of completing the Clay Mask made it cost prohibitive to roll out the entire lineup at once. To assist with expenses, Ramchandani received a loan from her father, who has assumed the role of DPR SKN’s CFO and lent his beauty industry expertise to his daughter. “I had an extensive business plan showing him this is my dream and how to execute it,” she says. “It’s one thing to have a dream, but it’s another thing to turn it into a product.”
The brand won’t stick to a single stockkeeping unit for long. Products that could be available in the near future include a cleansing facial bar, face oil and beauty supplement. Eventually, a tinted moisturizer and highlighter may join DPR SKN’s merchandise repertoire. For distribution, Ramchandani is concentrating on DPR SKN’s website to fuel sales at the moment, but she’s readying the brand for an Amazon presence, and has a vision of it entering retailers such as Nordstrom and Sephora.
Masks have flooded the skincare market, and Ramchandani recognizes DPR SKN’s Clay Mask, which is priced at $35 for a 3-oz. size, faces fierce competition. However, she believes it stands out because of its effectiveness and multiple functions. “I designed it to be a spot treatment and traditional mask duo, and you can really put it anywhere on your body. It works for ingrown hairs and back pimples,” she says. “It’s a lot more hydrating and soothing than traditional clay masks.”
“My whole premise is to teach people to take care of their skin and body on a deeper level, and to help them gain self-confidence and knowledge to take care of themselves. It’s not about covering up your skin with a ton of makeup. It’s about using good products to better yourself on a deeper level, and that will be reflected in your skin.”
Ramchandani enlisted graphic designer and friend Katerina Bartlett to provide aesthetics input. A lotus leaf in DPR SKN’s logo speaks to Ramchandani’s Indian heritage. In addition to the logo, a floral pattern is featured on the Clay Mask’s recyclable tube. “My friend drew it freehand, and I loved the look of it. It was youthful, but also whimsical and not as medicinal as other skincare brands,” says Ramchandani. “I’m appealing to a younger millennial demographic.”
Unlike most members of her generation, Ramchandani, 26, is quite private and not inclined to be a social media over-sharer. DPR SKN has forced her to move into the spotlight, and she’s begun telling her story and doling out beauty tips on its blog and digital channels. “I’m learning that sharing my story resonates more with people than sharing somebody else’s story,” says Ramchandani, elaborating, “My whole premise is to teach people to take care of their skin and body on a deeper level, and to help them gain self-confidence and knowledge to take care of themselves. It’s not about covering up your skin with a ton of makeup. It’s about using good products to better yourself on a deeper level, and that will be reflected in your skin.”
Being herself might be a plus on DPR SKN’s social media, but it’s been a bit of a struggle for Ramchandani behind the scenes. She’s been judged for her age and inexperience while seeking suppliers to build the brand. “Even though I’m young, I know what I’m talking about. I have put the time in. I’ve studied and researched. I expect to be respected and treated no differently than any other client,” asserts Ramchandani. “I’ve noticed when I say my father is a mentor and helping me, that gives me more credibility than just being a young girl with a dream to create a brand. Age has been a factor, but I don’t think it should be.”