In late 2018 Dr Alek Nikolic launched sk.in – a range of power-packed serums formulated with clinically proven, prescription-grade active ingredients.
Dr Nikolic told me more about sk.in and the ethos behind his product.
Describe your journey to founding sk.in?
When I started formulating the sk.in range in 2015, active ingredients – such as retinol – were predominantly only available in skincare products sold at doctors’ rooms. The main reason was that some of these ingredients could produce severe reactions, which would require treatment.
My research showed that there were high concentration, medical-grade active ingredients available that minimised the degree of sensitivity or skin reactions, but still gave comparable results as the more commonly used ingredients that were producing unwanted skin reactions.
I wanted to make prescription-grade active skincare ingredients more accessible to everyone so that their skins would also benefit from active ingredients.
My approach with sk.in was to combine ingredients in formulations to have two main benefits: to most effectively target specific concerns (such as fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, skin texture or acne etc) and also ingredients that repair and correct the health and hydration of the skin barrier.
sk.in serums all have this double effect: target a skin concern and repair the skin barrier.
What is the ethos behind your brand?
We firmly believe that a healthy, glowing skin has a direct and positive effect on a person’s emotions, confidence, and sense of well-being. Our mission is to empower your skin and to restore it to its fullest health by improving and reversing specific skin concerns through the use of sk.in products.
All the sk.in formulations are paraben-free, vegan, gluten, soy and nut-free, and, most importantly, are never tested on animals (cruelty-free).
We believe in clean and sustainable beauty. One aspect of this is supporting local organisations that are actively involved in protecting and enhancing our environment. From our very first sale, we have contributed a certain percentage to Greenpop and continue to do so. All our contributions are channelled to their Plant a Tree, Forest Restoration and Fynbos for the Future projects.
What distinguishes sk.in from its competitors?
I believe there are a number of factors that differentiate sk.in:
- All our serums have been approved by the International Vegan Society. This means that all our ingredients, the manufacturing processes of these ingredients, and the final formulations are not derived from an animal source and they have not been tested on animals. Although not unique, there are few SA brands that have achieved this certification.
- New brands tend to buy pre-made formulas and design their own label. With sk.in all the formulations are unique combinations and concentrations of ingredients. We start from scratch with R&D, including all stability and sterility testing. This took over three years, from conception to finally filling.
- Our VISIA skin analysis case studies (before and after) and independent studies performed by a regulating European EU lab (CE.way) demonstrate the proven effectiveness of our serums.
- We are one of the few brands that have ingredients to both target a specific skin concern (such as intrinsic ageing) and ingredients to repair and maintain the skin barrier at the same time.
Where do you see the brand going?
I believe sk.in could become the number one choice for active ingredients, serums and treatment serums in South Africa for people who want to create visible change on the skin and minimise potential skin reactions. Safe effective skincare for everyone.
We are already attracting international interest and will be expanding into the UK and Europe, probably by 2021.
About Dr Alek Nikolic
Dr Alek Nikolic has been an aesthetic medical practitioner for more than two decades and runs a busy practice in Wynberg, Cape Town, with his business partner and wife, Sam. He has performed over 20 000 procedures to date and as such is responsible for lecturing and training numerous medical practitioners both in South Africa and internationally, including Bangkok, Rome, Warsaw, Paris, Prague, London, Monte Carlo, and China. Highly respected in his field, Dr Nikolic is the Vice President of the Aesthetic and Anti-Ageing Medicine Society of South Africa and is an appointed Allergan Local Country Mentor in Facial Aesthetics. In 2015 he received an award for his outstanding contribution to Aesthetic Medicine in South Africa.