What is Boring Without You?
Boring Without You is an Australian skincare brand for combination skin founded in 2022. The brand has made quite a splash in just their first year and I talked to founder Davey Rooney about their approach to formulating effective products, the brands rejection of “Clean Beauty” and Skincare for Combination Skin. But first before we get into that I want to share my thoughts on the brand.
For Face Sake Face Mask
Boring Without You has one hero product so far, which is the For Face Sake Multi-Mask, a face mask for combination skin. The jar contains two separate formulations; a whipped butter face mask to use on the oily parts of your face and a soothing jelly mask for dry areas. The textures are both very satisfying and enjoyable to apply. Their own two-sided face mask brush has a silicone spatula side for the jelly mask and a brush for the whipped butter mask. Using the brush to apply the whipped butter mask leaves a fully opaque white layer in one swipe. The mask has a neutral scent and feels like a treat. I always feel refreshed after using the mask.
I openly admit the face masks are far from my favorite skincare product category (I have ADHD and I’m very nearsighted so I can’t do much without my glasses on), but this one is enjoyable enough to use to make it worth it for me. For Face Sake was the Face Mask Category Winner for Beauty Design Awards 2023.
Let's get into the interview with Davey!
Boring Without You has taken a stance against clean beauty and free-from claims, what made you decide to take this stance and how has the response from consumers been?
"The answer is simple. We follow fact, not fiction. The phrase "clean" has no definition and isn't rooted in any evidence. It's simply a marketing term to fear you into buying a specific product. Everyone in the industry knows it and has known it for years. It's about time consumers knew it too.
While formulating this product, all medical and scientific experts we consulted expressed concerns about the "clean" beauty movement. That's because it causes more damage to the skincare industry than good by intentionally excluding and demonizing proven, safe ingredients and encouraging you to think that any brand, not "clean" is "dirty".
"Free from" claims often spread fear and misinformation about ingredients and use shady science to support claims. And a "free from" claim tells you nothing about what the product does. We choose to talk about what's in the jar rather than what we leave out, so you'll never hear us say those two F words about any ingredient.
While a lot of education is required, the response has been phenomenal, allowing us to find a tribe of people who resonate with this message and are sick of the clean beauty lies."
What is for you the most important thing to get right when formulating your products?
"Creating products that do what they say they do should be a given. But so many brands fail to do this, and often include ingredients at such a low percentage just so they can put it on the label. In the industry, this is called a "tip in" or "marketing" ingredient. We vowed never to do this.
We use evidence-based ingredients and a concentration that's proven to be effective, so you get results.
That means only selecting ingredients that have third-party peer-reviewed studies with in-vivo data to support their claims. It also means using those ingredients at or slightly above the % they are proven effective and formulating with the right pH, so the actives are stable.
Some of our ingredients are from natural origins, and we know that the quality and potency of a natural ingredient can vary from supplier to supplier. So, we only partner with manufacturers and growers with in-vivo clinical data to support their claims.
And we will tell you the percentage of ingredients in our formula."
You make it very clear that Boring Without You is for combination skin, how do you think that has impacted your success?
"When you walk into a shop or go online, you see skincare brands for oily skin, dry skin, and even sensitive skin. But although 70% of people have combination skin, there is no dedicated brand for this skin type. Until now.
For so long people with combo skin have felt left out, forgotten about, and struggled to find products that suit their skin. Now, they don't need to feel that way.
Honing in on this niche has helped us to articulate who we are for, and how we will help these people."
What marketing efforts have been most impactful for gaining new customers? How do people find out about Boring Without You?
"I studied cosmetic science and talk about my learnings on TikTok and Instagram. It has been amazing for building community and discovery."
What is the most exciting achievement for Boring Without You so far?
We were on Shark Tank a couple of months ago. It was incredible. You can watch it here:
Check out Boring Without You's website to get your hands on their Face Mask or to learn more. I also highly recommend checking out Davey's TikTok, he makes great content that any brand could learn from.
Boring Without You is featured in my Pop Play Beauty Brand Archetype Report. Check out the report to see more fun Gen-Z brands.
Thank you to Davey for answering my question and thank you for reading! //Jennifer Carlsson