The Interview, Sandrine Sylva, Head of New Products, The Solution

The Solution is a bodycare brand which is pioneering the use of active ingredients usually only found in skincare. Its five-piece collection of body care treatments offer effective active ingredients-led formulations at an affordable price point, targeting problems such as breakouts, uneven skin tone, sagging skin and dehydration.

Developed by a team of skincare experts and scientists, The Solution aims to deliver hard-working body formulations with proven active ingredients at efficacious levels to promote all-over skin health. The brand recently launched exclusively into health and beauty retailer Superdrug. Head of New Products at The Solution, Sandrine Sylva tells TheIndustry.fashion’s The Beauty Edit more:

Could you tell us a little bit about your background?

I am originally from France but moved to the UK over 30 years ago to work at Elemis as a Junior marketer. This marked the beginning of my career in beauty and instilled in me a passion for creating efficacious beauty products at mass market price that aim to make a difference to someone’s beauty regime. I then worked on many other brands ranging from skincare to bodycare and washing and bathing. I’ve now progressed to the position of Head of Innovation creating inspiring, beautiful formulations.

What brought The Solution to life?

The brand came to life very quickly after the initial concept and gap opportunity analysis were first presented to Superdrug. The buyer was straight away on board understanding that we were bringing her a disruptive and unique brand proposition meeting an emerging trend for body skinification. She was prepared to partner and take a risk.

When did you launch and what was the response like?

The brand launched nationwide and exclusively in Superdrug and online this month, so we are still in the very early stage of our journey. But saying this, we have been very encouraged by the fantastic PR coverage and support of key beauty influencers.

What is your brand DNA?

Body solutions that gets right to The Solution to deliver radiant, healthy skin. Simple, efficacious yet truly beautiful formulations developed with a leading laboratory and blending unique active complexes. It is all about the combination of carefully selected ingredients to deliver one powerful benefit to your skin – healthy radiance. The brand is about helping women build confidence in their own body, to empower them to feel beautiful whatever their body shape.

Sandrine Sylva

What set you apart from other bodycare and skincare brands?

We are bringing skincare to bodycare at an affordable price point and therefore democratising ingredients commonly associated with skincare as we firmly believe they can be as efficacious on your body. A straight-talking and claim-led range that deliver results. A range that we have expertly developed to encapsulate potent yet safe active complexes that are going to help deliver skin radiance and glow.

How do you come up with new ideas for your products?

I research intensely and found inspiration cross category and by being constantly on the lookout for emergency trends. I regularly attend beauty conferences and events, read a lot and over the years have developed strong relationship with formulators and suppliers. I am also fortunate to be working with a team of skincare passionate with whom I love to bounce back ideas.

Who is your target market?

25 -35 years old woman. She is a beauty browser and an advocate of body positivity. She embraces her body and needs a trustworthy simple brand to overcome some of her skin concerns.

What is your current route to market?

With The Solution, we wanted to first partner with a retailer that fitted best our target audience of and was prepared to work collaboratively in building an online and high street presence. Superdrug was the natural choice.

You recently launched into Superdrug stores and online, tell us more?

We are very excited about the partnership with Superdrug and have pulled a fantastic launch to support the brand in stores and online. The brand is distributed nationwide in more than 400 stores and will be heavily supported with a 360 campaign including promotional activities, advertising and influencers outreach.

Where is the current skincare and personal care market heading?

I believe than more than ever consumers will be leading the conversation and driving beauty company to produce more ethically and holistically. There will be a growing pressure to deliver more bespoke formulations that are more and more efficacious but using safe, traceable ingredients – natural or not, work fast and take you on a personal olfactory journey.

What have been the biggest skincare trends of 2020 so far?

In this Covid age filled with uncertainties, a desire to do and feel good has been the biggest consumers behavioural shift influencing the most people lifestyle choices including beauty habits. This has brought sustainability at the forefront of every brand strategy pushing them to be more transparent and explore alternative ingredients that do not deplete our planet (bio-chemistry, fermented skincare, phyto-nutrient, microbiome).

What are your top product recommendations?

To help maintain body skin healthy looking, soft and radiant, my routine tip would be shower daily with a gentle, SLS free body wash – (strongly recommend using lukewarm water, however tempting it is to have a hot shower), follow by all-over body lotion application progressing from feet to shoulders and ensuring you apply the lotion in firm circular movements. Exfoliate weekly to help rejuvenate skin and promote healthier skin radiance.

Sustainability is becoming a crucial focus for the beauty industry, in what ways is The Solution incorporating sustainability into its business model and brand identity?

The brand was developed with sustainability in mind. Packaging is made of PCR and fully recyclable. As head of new products, I am on a journey to drive the sustainable agenda within our organisation and have set a new Sustainable Code of Conduct with the ambition to become a carbon-neutral company.

Is the Coronavirus pandemic one of the biggest challenges the beauty and skincare market is facing today?

One of the biggest challenges will be the closure (temporarily or not) of many businesses. Both retailers and beauty services workers are facing unprecedented challenges to keep their business running as usual and this will leave a lasting impact.

But we are also facing amazing opportunities with people spending an increased time at home, and developing an interest in self-care which is opening the door to exciting innovation and pushing companies to rethink their distribution and marketing strategy.

In what ways has The Solution been adapting to such challenging times?

The Solution has launched at a perfect time. It is a budget-friendly self-care collection that offers a simple promise of bringing radiance and healthiness to your skin in climate when people are seeking comfort and well-being.

What advice would you give to anyone starting a beauty brand?

As a small brand, make sure that will have a unique point of difference, and that you are disruptive to the category or channel you are entering. Bring passion and have belief in your vision.