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Soul & Body

Alya Skin: purposeful in pink

The environmental, social and political climates of 2020 are getting under people’s skin in a variety of ways. Here’s how one new Australian unisex–all-ages skin care line with a pink clay base is helping them face everyday challenges, writes Elyse Glickman

Some of the biggest political movements, social organizations, technological breakthroughs and problem solvers of 2020 are coming from the minds of Generation Z individuals. What makes many of these developments so noteworthy is that they are ideas spurred on by inclusiveness. This is certainly the case with independent multitasking beauty–wellness products. Rather than aim at a specific age group or social demographic, they’re hero products that women and men of different backgrounds can put to good use.
      Manny Barbas, 22, and business partner James Hachem are embodying this idea by creating an easy-to-adopt skin care collection, Alya Australian Pink Clay Skincare that looks trendy on the surface (i.e. modern and appealing pink packaging) but actually stands out because of what’s inside the containers—ethically sourced, vegan pink clay formulas that detoxify and brighten skin.

Founders Manny Barbas and James Hachem

      When the line was conceived in 2017, the target age group was originally 16- to 35-year-old females in Australia and New Zealand. The original strategy was to create word-of-mouth among influencer A-listers and “micro-influencers” to get word out there. However, visit the social media page of the website and you’ll see young men and even a few older individuals singing its praises. The small team earned US$1 million in just four months after developing and launching its formulas, and in 2019 were named finalists in Beautyheaven New Zealand’s annual indie beauty industry competition. While Alya hit the ground running, Barbas insists this overnight sensation took a bit of planning and forethought.
      ‘James and I started working on the brand early in 2017, and it took us around six or seven months to perfect the product,’ Barbas recalls. ‘I remember specifically telling James, “Watch, clay masks will be the next hype, similar to what happened with teeth whitening.” Next, we went through countless samples and suppliers to find the perfect formula. When we launched, we sent out our product to over 1,000 influencers to post and give their feedback on the mask. While masks were a thing when we launched, I knew that there was a gap in the market for a killer face mask with unique ingredients made your skin feel baby bum soft!’

      Barbas says that when he’s been asked to describe what sets his mask apart, he cites the light texture and the composition resulting in a formula purposely devised to ensure that people who suffer from eczema and rosacea—a problem affecting people of all ages and walks of life—wouldn’t be negatively affected by the mask. While Barbas intends to keep the collection small and simple (mask, cleanser, exfoliant and moisturizer), he hints two more essential items will arrive just in time for the holidays, especially as all-inclusive gift packs are among the brand’s best sellers.
For more information, visit alyaskin.com, or follow them on Instagram at @alyaskinaus.


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