Behind the scenes of formulating Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing Water

If you’ve not read about my previous post on how another brand of micellar cleansing water made my skin more oily, you can read it here. It’s also the reason why I wanted to come up with my own micellar solution/make-up remover.

Round 1 – Testing on my own skin

Working with my chemist, we had to try a few versions before we came up with a formulation that doesn’t make my skin oily after use. This took a very long process as every time when I tried something that causes me to oil up, I had to stop, go back to my old routine, and allow my skin at least two weeks to tune back before I try another formulation. This process took me 4 months to find a formulation that I am fully satisfied with and importantly, it doesn’t oil me up. It’s alcohol free, parabens free, oil free and soap free. Let’s call this Version 1.

Round 2 – Getting some friends and top customers to try 


We contacted a few selected customers, who have been consistently using Skinlycious products for quite a while. These are customers, who have had their acne cleared from using our products. I also asked a few close friends, who have normal skin and have been using my serums and sunscreen (suitable for all skin types), to try. I made a batch of 20 samples of Version 1 and sent it out to them.

The feedback that came back was that it cleanses well. A few feedback that smell was ok but many feedback that they didn’t like the smell. My bestie called me up and told me that she didn’t like the smell. When asked if they preferred citrus or flowery smell, most feedback that citrus refreshing smell would be nice. So, we tried an improved version with citrus smell.

Honestly, I am very bad with smell. I think my nose is kinda spoilt. Sometimes, I can’t even smell my baby’s poop. The original version’s smell was acceptable to me. Nevertheless, I was glad that I didn’t launch the original version and gathered some feedback before I launch. More importantly, I wanted to make sure that Skinlycious micellar cleansing water doesn’t cause our skin to be more oily, which would possibly lead to acne.

 

Round 3 – Improving the formula, adding citrus essential oil, getting feedback from close friends  

We also gathered that waterproof eye makeup was not that easy to remove with Version 1. So, my chemist and I worked on it and did an improved version and changed it to citrus smell. Let’s call this Version 2. It did cleanse better than Version 1, especially so on removing waterproof eye makeup. I only made 3 samples of Version 2. One for me and two for my close friends. One was ok with the citrus smell but the other felt that it reminded her of detergent. So, I decided not to use citrus smell. Also, dosing in natural citrus essential oil might cause photosensitivity, so I decided against that. So, not all natural stuff are good. It depends on the dosage and where you use them on.

 

Round 4 – Letting the customers decide, launching what the majority prefer. 

I decided to change and dose two different fragrances in very small quantity to Version Two. 

We came up with two versions of Version Two – GT1 or IV1. Thereafter, we sent out a set of GT1 and IV1 to customers and friends who gave feedback in our first trial.

Surprisingly, majority said they preferred IV1. 18 out of 20 preferred IV1. Many also feedback that it cleanses better than the earlier version. Some of you might ask, why not do away with fragrances totally? I did think of that. But I prefer to have a pleasant smell when I cleanse my face. It’s dosed in such a small quantity that it will most probably not cause problem for sensitive skin. However, for Skinlycious serums, they are all fragrance free. I prefer to have fragrance free serums as they are left on the face.

 

Round 5 – Preparing for launch

The first trial of testing on myself started in December last year. I had wanted to launch this earlier but I am doing this almost on my own. In between, I had to deal with a heartbreaking loss of a mid-term miscarriage and a hospitalisation episode for pain in the abdomen. I am just so glad that Skinlycious micellar cleansing water is going to be launched soon.


While I was finalising the formula for Skinlycious micellar cleansing water, I had to decide on the packaging. Finding a bottle was difficult too. I really like a pump bottle rather than flip cap bottle as it’s so much more convenient. However, there weren’t nice pump bottles that I liked with local Singapore suppliers. I had to order in bulk (thousands) from an overseas factory directly.

We discovered that the labels don’t stick that well on the bottle because it’s not round. All my previous bottles were round, so I didn’t have such issues. Now, we are still trying to solve this labelling issue.

Once that is solved, professional photo shoot and marketing materials to be done. Then, we will be ready to launch our micellar cleansing water. Targeting to launch on 2nd September. Look out for our 20% off launch offer! Full size of 150ml will be retailing at S$33. Samples of 30ml will be retailing at S$9.

 

Lastly, I would like to dedicate this to my bestie. Thank you, Qin Ai De!

Bestie called me and told me she likes IV1. She also noticed that after switching to SkinLYcious micellar cleansing water, her face was less oily. Usually, her face will become oily around 2pm but at 5pm, her face is still not oily. And the sweetest thing is that she pre-ordered two bottles from me. She has been a great supporter of my products since SkinLYcious was launched. I have helped her and myself save a lot of money too, since both of us were using our hyaluronic acid serum from my aesthetic doctor, which cost 3 times that of Skinlycious hydrating serum (hyaluronic acid serum). Her sister and mum are also using my products. The initial phase before gaining traction was the most difficult and she has been there supporting me all these while. Thank you, 亲爱的!

P.S. All screenshots above have been reproduced with consent by the relevant parties.

 

 

About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.