Work & Business
Meet Skogen Cosmetics, A New Skincare Brand With Big DreamsFebruary 11, 2019
Skogen Cosmetics, a Swedish-inspired skincare brand based in New Jersey, is looking to make its mark in the beauty industry.
Launched in 2018, the high-end brand, which means “forest” in Swedish, focuses on overall wellness.
“The idea is to be the first Swedish – maybe even first Scandinavian – luxurious skincare brand that also is environmentally friendly and healthy,” Founder and President Yamin Cheng said.
Mixing a strong belief in healthy living with a great admiration for nature and its ability to heal itself led to the creation of Skogen, according to Cheng.
“Too few luxury brands prioritize healthy, good-quality ingredients, and there are very few Scandinavian brands out there, so there is a huge gap to fill in the market,” Cheng said.
Yamin and her partner David Johansson, who was born and raised in Sweden, decided to embrace his Scandinavian background in their latest business venture.
Cheng, who has a doctorate in chemistry, has been working in the pharmaceutical skincare industry for 15 years developing, designing and manufacturing skincare products for high-end, private-label brands.
“She was making everyone’s dream lines, so one day I said that we should do our own line,” Johansson said.
Naturally with a name that means “forest,” the brand has its Forest Stewardship Council certification, meaning eco-friendly treatment of all packaging to support responsible forestry.
Skogen uses natural oils and paraben-free ingredients as the base for its healthy skincare products and notes that all of its ingredients are inspired by the forest’s natural extracts.
“The products have 15 years of market-proven ingredients from Yamin’s earlier skincare design and manufacturing business,” Johansson said. “And then she has fine-tuned, optimized and added some special ingredients to make Skogen products even better.”
The skincare line is sold online through skogen.shop, Amazon and in Scandinavia, Russia and the United States, and it expects to begin selling in Colombia next month and Greece, Poland and Ukraine soon. There’s also the possibility for the company to grow through franchising.
While the brand currently is sold in various Swedish locations around the United States, Skogen’s founders are in talks with a few U.S. beauty chains to start carrying the products. Back in Sweden, a handful of spas and hotels carry the line, and they are hoping to see the product on shelves in Swedish beauty stores as well.
The first collection is unisex and consists of seven facial products that are scented with Jasmine. Best-sellers include the day moisturizer and night cream.
“They are our bread and butter,” Johansson said.
There’s also the facial peeling gel, eye cream, face serum, eye serum and face mask.
Skogen is preparing to roll out its second line in the second quarter. With its upcoming collections, the skincare company is focused on treating the whole body with lotions, scrubs and oils. In Quarter 3, the Swedish startup will launch a men’s and women’s line. And then down the road in 2020, Skogen is preparing for the release of cosmetics, like lipstick and mascara, along with haircare products like straighteners and conditioners.
Currently the line is manufactured in California and New Jersey, but one of the company’s future goals is to manufacture in Sweden.
According to Johansson, the biggest obstacle in launching a skincare startup is getting it into the hands of beauty businesses to start carrying the line.
“It is difficult when you are an unknown brand,” he said. “Everyone who tries it, loves it, but to get a big corporation to pick it up or consider it is the most challenging part. There are millions of brands, and we are one.”
The company also is working with the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce offices in California and New York, which have been monumental in spreading the word and opening doors for the skincare brand.
“The idea is to make this a mega brand – a full skincare cosmetic brand,” Cheng said. “We are buying into this huge market, and there is big demand with lots of opportunities but also big competition.”