New Anti-Pollution Skincare Brand OSCO Addresses The Effects Of Dirty Air With Clean Products
Dense urban environments are great for shopping, eating, sightseeing and socializing, but they’re not always the best for skin. New Hong Kong-based brand OSCO is designed to tackle the external downsides of city life to allow people to more thoroughly enjoy the upsides of it.
“Pollution and UV radiation in Hong Kong are very severe, which can lead to free radicals developing,” says founder Coyran Cheung. “We formulated our serum with a high content of skin-replenishing antioxidants, so skin can fight against [free radicals] and to neutralize a chain reaction before the cells react to it.”
Cheung, a registered nurse who trained in organic skincare formulation at Formula Botanica, began testing the ingredients that would eventually go into OSCO’s first product, Pollution Defense Serum, two years ago. Launched last month, the all-natural $89 facial oil contains 80% organic ingredients, and two stars of its 12-ingredient mix are prickly pear seed oil and watermelon seed oil. The facial oil’s blend is intended to repair and rebuild the skin’s barrier function without clogging pores.
“OSCO exists to raise your health consciousness, address your skin concerns and bring you back to nature by bringing you healthy lifestyle products,” says Cheung. “We believe beauty should be simple, pure and clean, especially in a polluted environment.”
“Pollution and UV radiation in Hong Kong are very severe, which can lead to free radicals developing. We formulated our serum with a high content of skin-replenishing antioxidants, so skin can fight against [free radicals] and to neutralize a chain reaction before the cells react to it.”
An acronym for organic skincare originality, the brand name OSCO also fuses Coyran’s first name with first name of her husband, Oscar. Oscar encouraged Cheung to pursue her entrepreneurial aspirations. After working in a hospital for nine years, she quit nursing to focus on OSCO full-time.
“It was very stressful, and I felt depressed because of the job’s nature. I know being a nurse can help others, but I decided to create OSCO so I could help people in another way, through their skin,” says Cheung. Not merely supportive from the sidelines, Oscar was involved in OSCO’s formation, particularly as the branding was being finalized. Cheung says he was a good sounding board for her ideas and supplied his own. She comments, “He would give me suggestions when I was trying to decide which logo to choose.”
OSCO is marketed as an accessible luxury brand geared to women primarily between 28- and 36-years-old. Cheung imagines its target demographic as busy professionals living in large metropolises like Hong Kong, New York and Beijing. While synthetic chemicals may fill the air around them, they’d rather not slather them on their faces.
“OSCO exists to raise your health consciousness, address your skin concerns and bring you back to nature by bringing you healthy lifestyle products. We believe beauty should be simple, pure and clean, especially in a polluted environment.”
Cheung envisions OSCO selling in various countries around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, although she understands it will be difficult to break into crowded markets for clean beauty. “It’s a challenge I want to overcome,” she asserts confidently. In the U.S., goal retail and e-tail outlets for OSCO are Beauty Heroes and Aurora Beauty. Back home in Hong Kong, Just Green and MimingMart are dream retailers.
Early on, Cheung has a modest objective for OSCO to sell at least 50 bottles of its serum by December. Quantities are limited by production capacity. Cheung is hand-making the serum at the moment. Packaged with the earth in mind, the product is housed in a recyclable glass bottle and paper carton, and uses a dropper lid constructed out of sustainable bamboo.
To stoke sales and awareness, OSCO is attempting to grow its social media following through giveaways. It will start Facebook advertising by the end of the year. Additionally, Cheung is interested in collaborating with health and environmental publications and organizations on guest blogs, events and promotions to educate the public about the impacts of pollution.
On the product front, Cheung is currently in the process of perfecting a mist and mask that, like the serum, will be formulated to shield the skin from the effects of pollution. The products are scheduled for release next year. Beyond the products, Cheung hopes to open a physical store in Hong Kong someday.