Have you ever felt like people could see their reflection in your forehead? Or have you ever felt like your carefully applied make-up was melting away before noon? Did powdering your nose make your skin look cakey instead of cool and fresh? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you’re familiar with the pitfalls of oily skin. So does founder and CEO Lita Cunningham. LALAISis a luxury skincare and wellness brand launching today exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman and Lalais.com.
“I’ve always been a beauty junkie, so I love beauty, but it’s hard because I’ve always had oily and changeable skin,” Cunningham says. “I’m on Accutane, I’m on steroids, I’ve had laser treatments for hyperpigmentation, I’ve been burned and healed. I’ve done everything to manage it. Sometimes it would get a little better, and I’d inevitably start breaking out right before a big day or an important presentation at work.”
It feels like there’s no white space left in today’s crowded beauty market. But when Cunningham was trying to find products specifically designed for her oily skin, she actually found one. When she couldn’t find anything, she left her career as Elizabeth Arden’s global head of HR behind and pursued her passion for skin care to fill the void.
“Ultimately, I knew the best results would come from something I could sustain every day,” Cunningham says. “When I looked at the market, I couldn’t find a product that met my skin’s needs. When I started diving into this topic, it occurred to me that I might have found a bit of a gap in this saturated industry. This is a skin group that needs targeted solutions but still wants to join the world of luxury skincare. I felt it was my duty to answer this call.
Although Cunningham had spent many years at Elizabeth Arden, being in HR, she knew nothing about marketing or product development, or as she put it, “nothing about anything.” But Cunningham sees this as an advantage because what makes the brand so special is having to start from the core principles and work your way up from there. “These are personalized formulas,” he says. “There is nothing like these on the market; They are truly differentiated and targeted. I had no preconceptions about how things worked. “That’s one of the reasons it took so long, because they were literally made from scratch.”
A self-funded venture for four years, Cunningham partnered with a renowned cosmetic chemist to take the time to do due diligence, researching each ingredient and testing the formulas to find out what works and what doesn’t. “But I think the result is magical,” he says. “It’s special to be able to have multifunctional products that are so targeted to all skin concerns of oily skin, and we’re proud to say that from ingredient selection to testing to the fact that this applies to all oily skin tones.”
It is difficult to formulate for oily skin. The majority of products for oily skin are designed for acne-prone skin. “For most of us with oily skin, we don’t have acne, and in fact, these types of products aren’t good for oily skin because they’re too harsh and don’t provide the care oily skin needs. Cunningham says it addresses a lot of the concerns about this type of skin.”
On the other hand, many products now claim to be formulated for all skin types. “Kind of intuitively you say, wait a minute, if my skin is very dry, will the same product work great on oily skin?” posing. “How does this really target what my skin actually needs? Many companies produce formulas for the masses.”
Those with oily skin often experience many concerns at the same time, such as dealing with excess sebum while also dealing with dehydration, acne, and faded dark spots. For this reason LALAIS It is formulated based on the cocktail of multiple active ingredients. “They use different ways to target various skin concerns,” Cunningham says, noting that their products are multitasking that can help users organize their shelves. “I wanted to simplify this stress and regime for him. These are formulas that will work for you and relieve your concerns; you can go live your life and be amazing.
Dispelling common myths about oily skin is also the cornerstone of LALAIS. “It’s a misnomer that oily skin is very tough and tough,” says Cunningham. “This is also a misnomer for melanated skin. The industry markets this as if this leather can handle anything and these harsh acids [will help you] shine through the night. To achieve this, you need things that are very low pH, that cause a very inflammatory reaction, and for oily skin and melane skin, those are a big, big no-no. “I have learned that these skin types are actually quite sensitive and require precision in terms of formulas that aim to address concerns so the consumer can see visible results without irritation and inflammation.”
LALAIS is deliberately launched with a tight arrangement of four products. Perfecting Serum is an exfoliating treatment clinically proven to visibly improve all oily skin concerns; 100% of testers said their skin looked and felt less oily. Retinol Renew draws on three retinoids for an effective anti-aging approach, while Skin Perfecting Complex is the first daily supplement specifically designed to target triggers for oily skin; 94% of testers reported positive changes to their skin within eight weeks.
Finally, there’s Blotting Compact, an incredibly stylish and super hygienic line of contact-free, 100% natural blotting sheets made from paper pulp from Japan, designed to leave make-up intact. This product emerged from the temporary solution of using napkins to remove excess oil from the skin that could stain everything around. “The real effect of paper is that it can be absorbed without ruining makeup,” says Cunningham. “You want to be able to refresh without introducing another ingredient or product.”
There’s also the brand’s name inspired by a type of old French poetry in which no lines rhyme. “The situation was seen as very chaotic at the time,” Cunningham says. “But it later became known as one of the most beautiful art forms and was representative of our motto, ‘out of chaos comes beauty.’ It looks like oily skin, but it also frankly looks like our lives today. “For a consumer who is struggling, who is stressed, who wants the joy and luxury of beautiful textures and a beautiful presentation and experience, but who is looking to solve their problems and skin issues, we hope this will bring that together for them.”
Eventually, Cunningham hopes to grow LALAIS into a full lifestyle brand and launch products that will complement the entire product line, from bathroom to kitchen. “We look forward to delivering products that truly differentiate themselves only when they are of the highest quality,” says Cunningham. “I’m really glad we went through the pain of doing everything on our own time when it was ready, as the products are of unparalleled quality. We paid attention to every detail of this brand, its colors, and the weight of everything. The inside of the products is given as much care and attention as the outside. “What we want to convey is that you don’t have problem skin, it’s just misunderstood.”