Soteri Skin announces retail partnership with Showfields in New York City for their new pH-correcting skincare line. Showfields is a unique, experiential retail experience that prides itself on collecting “the most innovative brands in the world”. Showfields NY will house their most popular line of products including GIMME MORE, BALANCING ACT and BÉBÉ SKIN.
“Showfields first noticed us because several members of their team have eczema and were personally interested in our brand, but it ended up being a good fit because our pH-centric approach, branding and technology were a good fit for their customers. We knew Showfields attracts customers that are excited to discover new brands, and felt that this would be a great opportunity for us to share our story with them in a beautiful retail setting.”
Soteri Skin was also one of the Estee Lauder Emerging Beauty Finalist at Beauty Connect West this year.
“Being invited to present to as an Emerging Beauty Finalist at Beauty Connect was a dream come true for me! Growing up in Texas, finding my way into the beauty industry hasn’t been easy for me. I have admired Estée Lauder Companies for a long time, and it was surreal to go from applying to jobs there to *pitching* my own brand to them. The team was wonderful, and it was such an honor. It also validated for me that Soteri Skin is onto something with our pH-centric approach,” said Jen Wan.
Meet the Co-Founders of Soteri Skin, Rafal Pielak and Jen Wan.
The journey began when Rafal, biochemist and inventor, saw his wife and daughter suffering from their eczema. Like other eczema sufferers, they had tried everything—every cream, prescription, or remedy they could get their hands on—with no relief. With a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and chemistry from Harvard Medical School, Rafal was uniquely qualified to find a solution. After much research, he found the culprit: unbalanced skin pH.
pH is critical for skin health but environmental factors such as hard water, cleansing, UV, pollution, and common skincare and cosmetic products often throw pH off balance. This isn’t too much of a problem when your skin is healthy—but it can be a nightmare for sensitive skin that’s prone to eczema, psoriasis, or other chronic skin conditions.
Meanwhile, Jen, experienced marketer and self-described skincare junkie, was struggling with psoriasis (and had for much of her life). She loved skincare but many products, from drugstore to luxury, irritated her skin. She vowed to someday create a skincare product that delivered on its promises—even for people with super-sensitive skin.
When Jen and Rafal met, they knew that they could make a real difference for people suffering from chronic skin conditions, and allow them to finally indulge in and enjoy the self-care rituals of skincare. After months of researching and consulting with the eczema community and leading dermatologists, they developed their original formula—the first of its kind that can truly lock in pH and create the right environment for long-term skin renewal. Lo and behold, that formula helped Jen, Rafal’s wife and daughter, and many other people with chronic skin conditions find relief. They knew they were onto something big. And with that, Soteri Skin was born.
We sat down with Jen for an exclusive interview, to learn more about the pH-skincare line…
How does Soteri Skin fill the gap in clean beauty and skincare? Who is the product best suited for?
Soteri Skin is inspired by, and made for, people with sensitive skin. Our breakthrough technology, pH/LOCK™ helps balance skin to the optimal pH level so that anyone can achieve a healthy, moisturized glow. However, this technology was originally developed for the founders’ own families, who suffered from eczema and found that no other products on the market worked for them. Thus, the eczema and chronic skin condition communities will always be near and dear to our hearts.
I think the beauty of our brand is that we bridge clean beauty and skincare innovation. Our products were formulated from scratch to meet several high standards: Efficacy, meeting clean beauty requirements and excluding ingredients that could potentially irritate extra-sensitive skin.
Why is pH balance important when it comes to creating effective skincare solutions? And what is pH/LOCK™ ?
Healthy skin depends on maintaining the perfect pH level, but plenty of things can disrupt that pH. Every time we take a shower, apply makeup, wash our hands or face—or even just walk outside—we’re knocking our skin’s pH off balance. This can weaken the skin barrier and allow nasties like pathogenic microbes under the surface.
Existing “pH-balanced” brands only temporarily correct skin surface pH. Soteri Skin’s patented pH/LOCK™ technology is the first to not only correct skin surface pH, but maintain it long-term, helping skin keep moisture in and irritants out more efficiently over time. In simple terms, goodbye dry patches, redness, and flare-ups, HELLO effortlessly healthy skin!
What are the short term and long term effects of an unbalanced skin pH, left untreated?
When pH is off-balance, many crucial enzymatic reactions become compromised. This can result in both temporary and long-term dryness, flakiness, eczema, acne, and other annoying skin conditions.
What did you learn from being selected as The Estee Lauder Emerging Beauty Finalist at Beauty Connect West this year?
It was so exciting to see how other brands are pushing the envelope! I also appreciated NIV’s panel on how to partner with strategic investors in Beauty. As a Beauty newcomer, this was an eye-opening session.
How has participating in incubators and start-up programs helped Soteri Skin?
Soteri Skin was a part of Y Combinator’s W22 cohort, and the Harvard LLX 2022-2023 cohort. Y Combinator is one of the most famous startup accelerators in the world, with portfolio companies including Function of Beauty, Scentbird, Proven, Stripe, Airbnb, Twitch, Instacart, and Reddit. Harvard LLX GEO is an accelerator for Harvard alumni ventures.
Both of these accelerators provide excellent access to advisors, investors, and startup resources. However, I’d say that the best part of joining these accelerators is the communities we now have access to. Being a skincare founder in the age of Zoom meetings can get lonely, however, the people that we met through these accelerators have become our biggest cheerleaders. Even though we all work across different industries, many of the struggles are shared. Plus, it’s incredible to make friends who are changing the world, right in front of our eyes – it pushed us to dream bigger.
Do you have any exciting company news to share upcoming for Soteri Skin?
Ever since we launched our brand, customers have been telling us how much our brand has improved their skin, but they have also told us how much they wished they could use it on their scalps without their roots getting greasy. Well, we listened, and are launching our scalp serum – SCALP SOOTHER at the end of the year! This invisible serum blends into roots so users struggling with scalp irritation, eczema, and dandruff can enjoy healthy scalps without ruining their hairstyles.
If you could be on any retailers shelves, which one would you choose and why?
Our vision for Soteri Skin is twofold: First, to provide effective, science-based skincare for those who have sensitive and chronic skin conditions. Second, to make skincare fun for the extra-sensitive demographic that is often relegated to “boring” skincare, and make their skin and their skincare a source of joy. We want to partner with retailers that can help us communicate that combination of science and joy, such as Sephora, Ulta, Target, and Credo.
Learn more about Soteri Skin at www.soteriskin.com
Jeanel has 15 years of retail, marketing and brand management experience. She has started an ecommerce business in 2019, after working in corporate retail and real estate as a senior managing director and former consultant. She's traveled all over the world, speaks at world renowned trade shows and events, holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce (B.Comm) and a Certificate in Commercial Real Estate. You can connect with her on Linkedin.