Rohit Chawla, Founder and CEO of Innovist, told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the company has seen growing demand for sunscreen products in its home market.
“We believe that sunscreen is the most essential skincare product one should have, especially considering the harmful effects of the sun. But we didn’t have good quality sunscreen brands in India. There was also very little awareness about it. However, since social media, people are becoming more and more aware. It is one of the most sought-after cosmetic and beauty products nowadays.
Despite this, consumers, in general, do not understand the importance of including sunscreen in their daily routines.
“I think culturally we don’t see the sun as a problem. As a result, we do not realize the slow and harmful effects that the sun has on our skin. As I mentioned before, there was very little awareness, so there is still the belief that there is only harm when there is direct sunlight,” Shawla said.
Another barrier to sunscreen adoption, he pointed out, is social media noise about sunscreen safety.
“The good thing is there’s more awareness about sunscreen, but at the same time there’s more concern about certain sunscreen ingredients and news about certain bans, like the [sunscreen chemical ban] in Hawaii.
“So we have had our products certified, which means that every product we have is verified by a third party. It is something that our consumers appreciate and that is why the brand is becoming very popular.
Today, Sunscoop accounts for around 10% of the company’s total revenue, despite only being around for three months.
The company has launched five different sunscreens that differ mainly in their textures and finishes.
“We have a very wide assortment of products where people can choose the sunscreen they want and what best suits their skin type. One of the things we know about people is that they don’t like putting on sunscreen, so we wanted to give them an assortment to choose what they like, like any skincare product from the skin.
Currently, the company’s sunscreens are all hybrid, meaning the formulation contains both mineral and chemical ingredients. In the coming weeks, it will launch mineral versions.
“We continue to take customer feedback and mineral sunscreen is what they want based on feedback. We want to be at the forefront of sun protection innovation in India,” Shawla said.
The company primarily operates online, but is currently exploring physical retail channels, with partners including beauty retailer Health & Glow. Chawla told us that its offline expansion experience was only a few months old, but the response has been positive so far.
In the future, it will further explore the possibility of going offline, and although the company is currently focusing on the domestic market, it is aiming for the international market.
“India is the focus, but we’ll probably also go international when the time is right,”Shawla said.