Around 80 percent of people will experience acne at some point in their lives. In the US, acne is the most common skin condition, affecting up to 50 million Americans annually. It can occur at any stage of life, most often during teenage years and in many cases, continuing throughout adulthood. Despite how pervasive it is, it’s still hard for consumers to find acne-specific skincare they can trust.
At Norwest, we’ve made investments across the beauty and wellness space, including MAELYS, Madison Reed, Ritual, and PCA Skin. After leading a strategic investment in PCA Skin in 2013, Norwest General Partner Sonya Brown helped the company achieve remarkable growth underpinned by an exceptional employee culture, brand strength, and industry-leading products. It sparked a deep appreciation for the professional skincare category—and an eagerness to find the next innovative company.
Our partnership with Face Reality
Today, we’re delighted to announce our partnership with Face Reality, an award-winning professional skincare line built to address the needs of individuals with acne. Unlike other skincare solutions, their approach is not one-size-fits-all. They work with licensed estheticians who are trained and certified in the company’s protocol-based approach. From there, the estheticians customize in-office treatments, products, and routines based on each client’s acne type, severity, and skin type. They even take diet and lifestyle factors into careful consideration as part of their holistic approach. And for the clients who stick with it, nine out of 10 people see their acne held at bay in three to four months.
Sonya Brown will join the Board of Directors, where she’ll be able to leverage her vast experience growing other successful skincare businesses. Also joining the board is Norwest Senior Advisor Christy Taylor, who previously served as a Board Member and interim CEO of PCA Skin. Her extensive industry knowledge will supercharge the company’s ability to serve and expand in the professional skincare space.
We look forward to partnering with Face Reality CEO Jeremy Soine, who joined the company in 2020. In the last two years, under Jeremy’s leadership, Face Reality has tripled its business. How did they achieve that level of growth? In a word, loyalty. One thing we know the team is passionate about—and we share their enthusiasm—is how life-changing Face Reality is for clients as well as the estheticians who champion the brand. For anyone who’s suffered from acne, you know that once you find something that works, you stick to it. It’s a euphoric feeling, especially if you’ve spent years running the trial-and-error gauntlet to find a solution. And because Face Reality is able to see such great outcomes, their customer base is loyal to the brand and to their estheticians. The need to have clear skin didn’t stop during the pandemic, and that brand loyalty kept many of their estheticians afloat during a time when others in the industry may not have had work.
Additionally, the ongoing and fluid relationship estheticians have with their clients means they’re able to adapt their care over time—whether that’s making adjustments to the concentration of ingredients in the products or addressing any new skin concerns that pop up.
Our partnership will not change anything about this winning formula; Face Reality’s commitment to its estheticians and clients will remain as strong as ever.
Marketing to increase Face Reality’s Momentum
With capital and strategic support from Norwest, Face Reality will be able to continue supporting its estheticians while further expanding the business to develop new products. The brand’s marketing has been based almost solely on word-of-mouth, which even led two-time Olympic swimming medalist Abbey Weitzeil to a Face Reality clinic.
Last year, in honor of June Acne Awareness month, Face Reality partnered with Abbey to promote skin health and acne positivity. “I have been using Face Reality Skincare for a couple of months and I have already seen an incredible difference in my skin,” she said in a press release. “Since I was young, I’ve always suffered from backne and in more recent years, breakouts on my face as well.”
Working with her estheticians, they discovered chlorine was a trigger for her acne. “Hours and years in the chlorine pool was negatively affecting my skin and I started to get so self-conscious every time I got out of the pool. Not just physically, but mentally, I was not feeling confident in my own skin,” Abbey said. “Finding a regimen that both treats and hydrates skin has been such a game changer for me, and for the first time I feel like I’m getting my acne under control.”
Abbey makes a great point—acne affects more than just skin; it takes a toll on your emotional and mental well-being. According to a study conducted by the British Journal of Dermatology, patients with acne had a significantly increased risk of developing major depression within the first five years of being diagnosed. This data underscores the importance of effective resources for acne and great opportunity in front of Face Reality. In a recent report by Precedence Research, the global acne treatment market is predicted to be worth around $16.9B by 2030, up from a value of $9.4B in 2021—with the largest market being North America.
The organic growth Face Reality has already achieved will be a perfect springboard into the next level of marketing. We see a lot of opportunities to put more spend behind marketing and reach new clients. Consumers are smarter than ever about the products they’re using—and they’re increasingly aware of acne products and available treatment options. They’re looking for authoritative figures who can help them make decisions and feel good about themselves. Face Reality honors those core drivers through its science-based protocols, as well as its team of licensed estheticians who are a trusted source. The company has carved out a distinct space in the professional skincare category and we’re thrilled to partner with Jeremy and his team.