#BeautyTech startup – 4.5.6. SKIN unveils its first skincare line as it raises €700K in seed funding

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​4.5.6. Skin​, the #beautytech startup catering to skin phototypes IV, V and VI otherwise known as melanin-rich skin – reveals today its first skincare line, with its retail debut in London slated for September, 2020.

  • Company to use funds to launch its product line available September 2020
  • 4.5.6. Skin started with incubation at LVMH research centre’s through the Cosmet’up program
  • 70% of black, Asian or Mixed women in the UK feel that high street stores don’t cater for their beauty needs and spend an average of £138 per year on beauty products1
  • Global skincare market is estimated at $140bn and growing 4.5% year on year

The company, which was one of the three startups selected to be part of the ​Cosmet’up program at the LVMH Research Center, also announced that it raised ​€​700K in seed funding from the ​Be Angels ​and repeat French entrepreneurs including Fotolia and co-founder ​Thibaut Elzières​, ​Julien Romanetto and ​Frédéric Montagnon or ​Benoit Koerperich.​

In addition to the product launch, 4.5.6 Skin will use the funds to further invest in R&D including testing, and production, and recruit industrial production specialists as well as sales and customer care specialists. By way of background, skin phototypes are used to describe varying levels of pigmentation. Those with phototype l typically have the fairest complexion, while type Vl refers to the darkest level of skin pigmentation.

The company offers clean and biodynamic formulas and will debut its launch by introducing a 6 step customised skincare routine designed to be tailored to the skincare needs of all origins with melanin-rich skin.

#BeautyTech startup - 4.5.6. SKIN

4.5.6. Skin is set to develop, test, manufacture and sell custom-made skincare products formulated with a bespoke regime that addresses the specific needs of skin with higher levels of pigmentation. This includes factors such as dryness, excess sebum production, acne, hyperpigmentation, and dullness; as well as strengthening the skin barrier thus making it more resilient.

​“​We wanted to create a skincare brand that was tailored to the characteristics of those with skin phototype IV, V, VI focusing on their specific skin issues.

We felt there was a huge disconnect between the financial and cultural participation of this segment to the industry and the genuine attention the industry has for them.

We are a brand that puts melanin skin at the front, bottom and centre of all we do, always ensuring we put the customer’s individual skincare needs first​.” -​Noelly Michoux CEO and Co-Founder of 4.5.6. Skin

So why does 4.5.6 work for melanin-rich skin?

4.5.6 understands the struggle of trial and error that those with skin phototype IV V and VI are so accustomed to. As a result their formulation philosophy is based on five essential pillars:

1. Never leave the skin screaming for moisture

Dehydration is the root of most skincare problems for skin types IV,V,VI. The formulas are made with vitalised water and bioactivated bases that help deliver nutrients deeper into skin for maximum hydration.

2.Effective and safe hyperpigmentation treatment

4.5.6 is out to prove that there are ways to gently and effectively tackle hyperpigmentation without using toxic or highly dosed ingredients. They use innovative actives that naturally normalise pigmentation through several pathways to leave skin looking radiant.

3.Smart oil regulation

4.5.6 addresses excess sebum production by deeply nourishing the skin first, then locking-in moisture to regulate sebum production and preventing dehydration.

4.Skin revitalisation

4.5.6 prioritises the use of plant extracts, micro-nutrients and vitamins to invigorate the skin and boost cell renewal to avoid dull and lackluster skin.

5.Skin microbiome normalisation

The formulas are infused with pre and postbiotics to help maintain skin’s good bacteria for a stable microbiome, to encourage healthy, resilient and balanced complexions.

So what makes it personalised?

4.5.6 has tailored their product line by adapting their formulations to suit the needs and characteristics of skin types IV, V, VI. Each customer is treated individually and is invited to take a three-minute online consultation via the ​website​. The proprietary algorithm will then match the consultation results by considering multiple factors based on the individual’s health, lifestyle habits and current skincare needs to ensure a tailored routine is customised at an ingredient level for the full bespoke experience for maximum efficacy.”

All skincare formulas are freshly made-to-order, and are delivered directly to the customer within seven working days from date of purchase.

As a result of the industry struggling to meet skincare needs of melanin-rich skin, phototype lV, V and Vl skin types spend as much as ​nine times more than their caucasian counterpart for hair and beauty products, with an annual investment of €600.00 for skin care alone. The company addresses a potential 46 million women with higher phototype levels between 18 and 35, in a global market estimated close to $28 Bn.

Created alongside CEO and Founder Noelly Michoux, 456 has a diverse team of business experts, Derm-pharmacists and Dermatologists: R&D Director Imen Jerbi Azaiez, is a Dr in Pharmacy, Skin researcher and biomimetic formulations expert; Carlos A. Charles, MD, is a Board Certified Dermatologist and melanin expert; and Chief Operating Officer Nicolas Vincent, holds an MBA from the London Business School and has held Commercial and Business development roles at Google and Paypal.

As a French woman of Cameroonian descent, living in cosmopolitan cities such Paris, London and New York, Noelly identified a massive gap in the market for R&D led skincare and beauty products aimed specifically at her skin phototype.

She realised the best way to advocate for more inclusivity is by competing on the market with superior, calibrated products and by having an empowering voice.

She set out to create products, which combine the best natural and biodynamic ingredients beyond just the claims, with the best lab-made elements to ensure maximum vectorization, or absorption of the active ingredients to yield the desired results.

With their launch in September 2020, BeautyTech startup 4.5.6. Skin plans on recruiting at least 6 additional team members by the end of the year including a CTO, 3 lab technicians, and social media and customer service roles. After their incubation at the LVMH research centre through the cosmet’up program, the company has secured its own R&D Lab with full product equipment in the French Cosmetic Valley