Ultraceuticals, Australia’s leading cosmeceutical skin care brand, is best known for its SPF, correction and retinol ranges. And it’s launching now in the U.S. in select professional doors.

Achieving visible results is the laser-focused mission of Ultraceuticals, the Australian cosmeceutical brand that has landed in the U.S. after a deferred launch that had been slated for early 2020.

Indeed, showing split-face before-and-afters has become somewhat of a hallmark for the brand that was founded 23 years ago by cosmetic physician Dr. Geoffrey Heber.

“When people see results on their skin, they keep repurchasing. That’s really the success of the brand in Australia: seeing a visible change to the skin, particularly from the serums and corrective products. We look for a change within 30 days, and significant change within 90 days. Once people experience the brand, it sells itself,” said Karen Wilkin-Donachie, CEO of Ultraceuticals.

Under Karen’s leadership, Ultraceuticals is launching in the U.S. in the medi-spa and salon/spa channel. Currently there three distributors; an additional four will be added by June.

“We’re looking to grow at a healthy, sustainable pace from there. In five years, we expect to have around 1,000 partners in the U.S.,” said Karen.

Ultraceuticals is also available direct-to-consumer on Ultraceuticals.com. The privately-owned brand, a market leader in Australia, estimates that it will reach approximately $8 million in retail sales in the U.S. in 2021.

“The cosmeceutical market is very crowded and there are a lot of very good brands in the U.S., but there aren’t many that are paying attention to the professional skin channel. That’s where we are bringing our true power. It is more intense to work with the professional channel, but it leads to a better journey. If consumers buy cosmeceuticals off the shelf, the results are not optimal,” she said.

“We’re a professionally-centric brand, which means estheticians are our very prime audience. Most brands today have a heavy retail focus. We believe that cosmeceuticals are best recommended by professionals.”

The 36-plus product range contains “optimal levels of active ingredients,” including professional-grade products and in-clinic treatments that reduce the signs of skin aging and address dull-looking skin, using patented delivery systems and antioxidant stalwarts such as vitamin A, vitamin C and alpha hydroxy acids.

The brand is noted for its high-performing corrective range, with products such as Even Skintone Smoothing Serum (with AHAs, BHA and niacinamide), and Ultra B2 Hydrating Serum (an oil-free serum that increases the hydration levels in the skin). Other products include Ultra V Mineral Defense SPF 50+ (a bestselling product that protects against the Australian sun, one of the harshest in the world), Ultra Protective Antioxidant Complex (an advanced serum with a complex of antioxidants that acts as a primer), and Ultra A Skin Perfecting Serum Mild for first-time users of pure retinol (pure vitamin A). The brand’s products are not tested on animals, and do not contain propylene, parabens, synthetic dyes or fragrances.

Ultraceuticals encourages consumers to start their skin care journey with a consultation with an esthetician who can recommend the best products and treatments for their skin type. The brand always recommends that consumers start at a lower level, and over time as their skin adjusts, they progress up to the next level. The emphasis is on creating a simple regimen of products that deliver fast-acting, discernible results.

“We don’t believe in loading guests with a whole lot of product. Demand first comes. We start them off on a baseline program that builds actives into their regimen gradually. We’re looking at identifying their biggest concern,” said Karen.

Cosmeceuticals first launched in Australia in 1998. Today, the brand has approximately 400 partners Down Under. In addition to the U.S., it is also available in New Zealand (where it has 60 partners), Russia (300 partners) and Ireland, a new market that launched six months before the onset of COVID but nevertheless thrived in 2020. Ireland now numbers 40 partners. Karen noted that virtual consultations and educational webinars served to strengthen the aesthetician-consumer relationship last year, and continues to do so.

Ultraceuticals employs 65 people, a number that will remain fairly steady as the brand expands via third-party distribution. Approximately 85 percent of its sales are via the professional channel.

Industry veteran Karen has a history of working with beauty entrepreneurs, notably Aveda’s late visionary founder, Horst Rechelbacher, when she lived in North America. Karen is now based in Sydney.

“I come from the natural world, not cosmeceuticals. I was a little afraid of cosmeceuticals at first, but after trying Ultraceuticals’ products and seeing results on my own skin, I became a big believer. I will only represent a brand whose products I use myself,” she said.

Brand founder Dr. Heber is as driven as ever to keep innovating new products, and enhance existing ones, with his full-time, in-house R&D team, Karen said.

Next up, Ultraceuticals will launch a B2 Sheet Mask, following the success of the Ultra B2 Hydrating Serum. The brand is also investing in incorporating pleasurable sensorial experiences as part of its portfolio of high-performing products. Globalizing the brand is also on the agenda.

“We’re absolutely focused on the U.S., and we will also be moving our attention to Europe. Over the next couple of years, we are looking to bring Ultraceuticals around the world. We are dedicated to supporting and servicing the professional industry, and supporting the community of estheticians who are the gateway to our consumer.”