skin and hair care products

How Do We Make Affordable Skin and Hair Care Products?

We are often asked how we can provide such high-quality skin and hair care products at such a reasonable price. Our Penang Island based Australian Master Formulator, Dr. Mike Thair responds: “It’s something we work hard at. We believe good quality products using only the highest quality ingredients should be accessible to everyone.”

Let’s look at the cosmetic industry

There is fierce completion for mass-market consumer skin and hair care products at a very low price. When Indochine Natural was founded by Dr. Mike Thair, he decided that the company will not cheapen the products. We would not enter the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) skin and hair care products market like many international brands. These products are typically sold at low margins but high volumes, with a high turnover of product.

The cosmetic and personal care industry is all about economies of scale, the more you manufacturer the cheaper it is. In the mass market, the cost can be a major factor for consumers in product choice. Many brands, therefore, keep costs low by using cheap synthetic ingredients.

So, how does Indochine Natural do it?

We can’t just will your products into being affordable. We use the same great ingredients that can be found in many luxe brands. We import these great ingredients direct from suppliers. They are expensive. We can’t escape this.

There are several general things we do. We keep our margins reasonable. We don’t inflate prices. We spend more on high-quality ingredients than expensive packaging. We don’t put in frivolous ingredients and colorants that sound or look good just for the sake of marketing.

We also do several more specific things that make our products affordable without sacrificing quality.

We have our own production facility to make skin and hair care products

Most brands have their products produced by an anonymous Contract Manufacturer. These may be in China or other low-labor-cost countries. The manufacturer takes a margin. Brands hire others to do all the cosmetics compliance requirements and registration. These people take a margin. Most brands have retail outlets. These are expensive to establish and maintain. Sales staff are an added cost. Therefore, these costs are added to the product cost. There are few shortcuts here. The obvious choice for mass-market brands is to use cheaper ingredients to keep product costs down.

Indochine Natural has its own production facility on Penang Island. This facility is overseen and managed by Penang-based Australian Master Formulator, Dr. Mike Thair. The facility is certified as using Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). It is also Halal certified. Products conform to strict cosmetic compliance laws. Products meet international standards. We do all the compliance using in-house expertise.

We do not use retail outlets or sales staff. We sell online and from our office which doubles up as our Factory Retail Outlet.

Indochine Natural cost efficiency without sacrificing quality

Many view niche skin and hair care brands as expensive. However, as a niche brand, we have eliminated a lot of marketing expenses of big brands. We have the luxury to refocus where we spend our money. Our preference is to invest in reality rather than fiction.

We worked back up our production chain and made changes. We spend more on production and ingredient quality than investing in advertising smoke and mirrors. This means we invest in high-quality production equipment. We globally source the best quality ingredients. And invest in the Malaysian artisans making our products. We provide attractive salaries and working conditions.

In making these changes we produce skin care products that are four to five times more expensive to produce, yet we can still offer them at the same retail price as the big imported mass-produced brands. And provide customers with the quality superior to factory produced mass-market brands.

Simple Formulas that Deliver Results

Our philosophy, skin care should not be complicated. What we do is develop effective formulas that deliver results using safe ingredients. We design packaging that looks great without being costly. And we focus on our mission to make clean, vegan, products for everyone that are effective.

Have we been successful? You be the judge. You can check out our products.

Please let us know what you think.

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Photo credit: Willian Rocha


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