HOW OARS & ALPS FEMALE FOUNDERS ARE REVOLUTIONIZING SKINCARE FOR MEN
What inspired you to start a men’s skin care line?
Oars + Alps was started when we were frustrated in finding products that were affordable, healthy, and effective for our husbands' active lifestyles. The name symbolizes our husbands' love for competitive rowing + snowboarding + skiing + cycling. We partnered with a leading chemist from Kiehl’s and set out to develop a year-round skincare line for active and athletic men.
Men today are more into wellness and skincare. What do you believe caused this shift?
10 years ago men started to become aware of what they were putting in their bodies. 5 years ago men started becoming aware that they needed to dress right. Today, men are starting to be more aware of what they are putting on their skin - their largest organ.
Also, most men in Europe and especially Asia are light years ahead. I would say that American men are finally catching up in taking care of their skin and their face. The overall shift is that men are viewing skin care through the lens of health--they work out, meditate, eat well, and are taking care of their skin.
Why is including all natural ingredients important for your brand?
Oars + Alps offers a unique and innovative way to improve male skin appearance without the use of harsh chemicals or solvents. Did you know only 2 pages regulate a $60 B industry? Did you know that the U.S. has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938? Oars + Alps has banned over a 1,000 ingredients! All product development is heavily tested and iterated upon, every ingredient is scrutinized.
Our key ingredient, Alpine Caribou Moss, is sourced from Northern Finland. It offers a potent phytonutrient profile that has antioxidant properties and polyphenolic compounds that are able to scavenge and neutralize free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the skin.
What is the philosophy behind your brand?
Premium skincare without the premium price for the guy who leads an active life but isn’t defined by that activity.
What’s the one thing regular guys should introduce into their routines immediately?
Moisturizer. Your skin should never ever look dry, chapped, scaly or bumpy. Using moisturizer helps keep your skin healthy. Ours is a 2-in-1 moisturizer and eye cream and really does help keep your face looking fresh and approachable.
Number one mistake you think guys make with regards to skin care?
You should not be cleaning your face with a soap or body wash from the shower. The number of guys who tell me they do this is appalling! Did you know your skin sheds 50,000 skin cells a minute? That’s 9 pounds a year. Soaps often contain sulfates which are harsh and strip your face of natural moisture factors which help keep you skin healthy. Our Solid Face Wash is made with mild coconut-based surfactants that cleanse without strippng your skin of its natural moisture. In addition, it has activated charcoal which purges the skin of dead skin cells that cause pimples and blackheads. A clean face helps keep oil at bay which reduces clogged pores.
What are the three most popular Oars + Alps skin care products men can’t live without?
Solid Face Wash: We can’t seem to keep this in stock. We’ve sold in the past within 24 hours and had a 1000+ wait list.
Natural Deodorant: Not only is our deodorant aluminum free, it’s also alcohol free and glycol free. This is important because these are chemicals that are irritants on your skin. Guys love our natural deodorant because it keeps their pits healthy and they don’t get the yellow stains on their shirts.
Blue Charcoal Oars Bar Soap: This is a rough soap that really purges all your dead skins on your body. It’s mean to be used every other day to help keep acne off your back!
What products are you working on next/what should we keep our eyes out for?
So many products are coming out next year: lots of products aimed at guys who lead an active on-the-go lifestyle. Sign up to be an Oarsman on our website and you’ll be the first to know!
What have the highlights and challenges been while creating Oars + Alps?
Highlights: So many guys saying how much they love our products and how we’ve changed their life with our products. We’ve helped guys get rid of their pimples and feel more confident, we’ve helped guys get rid of their dry skin. It feels good to feel like we are making a difference.
Lowlights: Last year Fedex decided not to pick up our packages from our warehouse a few days before Christmas–that meant Laura and I had to play Santa and we ended up sending products from our office so that the customer could get in time for the holiday. Each customer ended up getting 2 of everything, because the Fedex shipment arrived at the customer's house a week later. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen again this year.
What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry? Mia’s advice:
Don’t think, just do: There will never be a perfect time to launch a company. You have to faith in yourself that you can make it happen
Find a great co-founder: The entrepreneur’s journey is a lonely one--find someone who can share the joys and the failures. It’s also important to have someone who has a great complimentary skill set.
Hire people smarter than you: Do this quickly!