Skin Laundry to launch in Japan, Korea this year

Laser clinic and skincare product retailer Skin Laundry plans to expand into Japan and Korea this year from its Hong Kong base.

Skin Laundry has just opened its fourth outlet in Hong Kong – at Causeway Bay. And founder Yen Reis told Inside Retail Hong Kong that at least two more will open in the city by the year’s end.

Now four years old, Skin Laundry has 16 locations – 11 in the US, one in London’s iconic Liberty department store and now four in Hong Kong. The first two Hong Kong stores opened in Repulse Bay and Central in late 2015. A small concession with treatment room has opened in Lane Crawford at IFC Mall since. More concessions may open in other Lane Crawford stores soon.

“We are expanding quite rapidly this year and next year. We are also looking at Japan and Korea in the third and fourth quarters of this year,” Reis said.

Macau may follow, but it is not a focus right now given the opportunities in Hong Kong, Japan and Korea, she said.

The smallest location is the Lane Crawford concession taking up about 215 sqft. But full size stores are typically 500 to 700 sqft with the largest around 1500 sqft.

Reis said Skin Laundry is the first beauty brand in the world to make mild laser facials accessible and affordable to the mass market.

“We’ve taken something usually very expensive and available only at a dermatologist’s or a laser clinic and made it available to everyone.”

To many people, the mere mention of laser and clinic brings to mind tattoo or hair removal – services not on Skin Laundry’s menu. Its treatments are much milder.

“Basically the idea of Skin Laundry is a beauty service. We’ve had to educate the market of the benefits of laser. Now we are hitting our four year anniversary we are starting to see traction.”

In Asia, the whole concept is relatively new. “The idea of doing mild laser is new to the market. We believe using mild laser frequently is much better than doing something stronger once or twice a year. If you cut your hair on a regular basis, your hair looks healthier. It’s the same with mild lasers.”

Skin Laundry Causeway Bay 1

Skin Laundry charges US$60 on average for a treatment, substantially cheaper than traditional laser clinics or surgeries which charge up to $500.

The brand has also developed a growing range of skincare products it retails through its stores and now through LVMH-owned Sephora online and in its US stores – products like cleansers for home use. At the moment, these products account for just 20 per cent of the turnover but with growing brand awareness, the stocking by Sephora and more stores opening, Reis believes they will account for about 40 per cent in the medium term.

Inspired by LA’s healthy living lifestyle, Skin Laundry opened its flagship location in Santa Monica in 2013. Its clinics-come-retail-stores are designed like a California beach house, providing a contemporary and casual atmosphere for members and guests.


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