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Routines and data: German skin tech startup System Akvile wants to carve out change in the acne-prone market
Founded in 2018 by a dermatologist and data scientist, the direct-to-consumer startup System Akvile launched its vegan cleansing and moisturising products for acne-prone skin and accompanying app that encouraged a regular skin care routine in 2020. The ‘Clear Skin’ starter set featured a cleanser, exfoliant, moisturiser and roll-on blemish control stick made with active ingredients like salicylic acid, azelaic acid and ictasol, and was available online across all EU countries.
Akvile Ignotaite, data scientist and founder of System Akvile, said the overarching goal of the brand was to become a “one-stop solution for skin health”, helping users truly understand the importance of skin health and management.
“In the EU and Western countries, in general, we start treating the problem when it’s there, but this system is about prevention and really looking into your skin from the bottom line and holistically,” Ignotaite told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
Acne-prone skin care is a ‘long-term game’
Ignotaite said System Akvile had been designed for daily use and targeted longer-term management of acne-prone skin.
“It’s a long-term game; it’s not just one quick-fix. It’s really about educating people and helping them understand why you have to stick to the routine. …For us, it’s more about learning how to manage the skin.”
The app that accompanied the product set, she said, was considered the “compliance” side of the system – helping users track skin health and stick to regular skin care routines – but it also aimed to better understand lifestyle, including aspects like stress and diet that could influence acne-prone skin. Data collated via the app on these lifestyle topics, she said, would eventually be used to deliver curated content to users, such as how to better manage stress.
From a product standpoint, she said the formulations in the system had been carefully considered to be used together on a regular basis.
“Many products for acne-prone skin have some negative side effects; your skin can be dry and peel, for example. So, we really thought about the health-related effects on the skin – how it feels, if it leaves your skin feeling tight or red – because when you talk about adult acne-prone skin, it’s already mentally challenging.”
System Akvile was working on clinical studies to show proof of concept of its products, she said, but the brand would continue to be very careful with any beauty claims, opting instead for focus on the importance of routine and specific active ingredients.
Expansion goals – US, Asia and more skin care systems
Ignotaite said the goal was for System Akvile to expand its reach into the US and Asia within the next three to five years but also add to its portfolio with systems targeting other skin health issues like menopausal skin and hair loss.
The company was currently raising funds for expansion – looking at venture capital and partnerships – and planned to launch a system for menopausal skin in the next six months
Asked if System Akvile also planned to add products to its current ‘clear skin’ system, she said: “Yes, we are thinking about some add-ons. But for us, it’s important to get more data from the app and see what the needs are from the consumer. For now, we’ve developed the products from studies and talking to dermatologists and experts, but in the future, we want to develop products from data that we get from users. So, if we see that, for example, many users have issues with body acne (…) we may launch a product for the body.”
The company also planned to use machine learning to track how users engaged with its app and work to develop new features, including tailored content about various issues like stress and diet, she said.
However, Ignotaite said it would be important any work with data was conducted ethically and resulted only in product developments that brought additional value to the consumer. “We want to build decisions based on data about what the consumer really wants.”