Q&A: Ita Ohayon, founder of Amare Vita Skincare
Here we talk to Ita Ohayon, the founder of Amare Vita Skincare, about the growth of ‘skinimalism’, setting up a skincare business during the pandemic and what she plans next for the innovative brand.
When did you establish Amare Vita and why did you set the business up?
“I launched Amare Vita Skincare in 2021 after years of extensive research to create the best possible products. We have created a streamlined range of skincare products that work perfectly together to create a routine that is not only quick and easy to maintain, but effective.
“As a working mother of three, I found it hard to make time in my day for a skincare routine that included all the vital ingredients my skin needs. One evening, I sat down and reviewed all the ingredients in the skincare products I was using and found similarities across all of them, with products only including a small number of effective ingredients and a high percentage of fillers. I realised that these ingredients could be condensed down into a handful of effective products, resulting in a more streamlined approach to skincare, meaning we can spend less time in front of the mirror, and more time doing what we love.”
What were you doing prior to that?
“I was working in the pharmaceutical industry. I have always been a self-confessed chemistry geek with a passion for skincare, and I have a degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry.
“My first experience of formulating a skincare product was when I created a mosquito repellent and treatment for my daughter who is prone to bites. We had tried all of the other products on the market and found that they were either ineffective or full of harsh chemicals. I looked into how we could create our own product that was kind to the skin, used natural ingredients and was more effective. After extensive research, I created a formula that worked perfectly for my daughter! After this, I had a greater understanding of the formulation process for skincare products, which I then applied to Amare Vita Skincare.”
What’s the philosophy behind the brand?
“Our philosophy is heavily rooted in our name. ‘Amare Vita’ is Latin for ‘the love for life’, and we believe that life is all about balance, joy, happiness and love. That’s why we have created a range of products that not only make our customers feel beautiful in their own skin, but also tackles the skincare concerns they experience. Our streamlined approach gives women the time to spend doing the things they love, whilst protecting their skin and giving them the confidence they deserve.”
Tell us about the ‘skinimalist’ market and the growth opportunities
“Skinimalism is a movement that has developed over recent years. The trend features a pared down skincare and make-up routine which adopts a minimalist, back-to-basics approach. Consumers are becoming more aware of the ingredients they need in their skincare products to provide them with real results. This means that many are swapping products that are full of fillers with multi-tasking ones that are full of the necessary ingredients to tackle their skincare concerns. A skinimalist approach to skincare also reduces the risk of incorrect layering of products, or combining too many actives, which can cause irritation and deterioration of the skin.
“The growth opportunities in this market are huge, now more than ever. More and more consumers are looking to strip back their skincare and make-up routines, so it is a great time to introduce multi-tasking products to the market.”
The company seems very innovative. How do you approach creating new products?
“We are innovative in the way that we look at skincare. We look at ways we can combine ingredients together, so our customers have a small edit of skincare products that work as well, if not better, than applying several different products.
“When we approach creating new products, we firstly think about what specific products that are already on the market are lacking or how we can combine multiple products into one. We look at the ingredients carefully to ensure that they work in harmony and complement one another.”
You established the business in the middle a pandemic, selling primarily through the Amare Vita website. How’s that going?
“We launched Amare Vita Skincare during Covid-19 so our business hasn’t known any different. Online sales have been steady, and our main goal for 2022 is to increase revenue generated from our site. Those who purchase directly through our website also benefit from exclusive discount codes which are often promoted on our social media platforms.”
Can you tell us about your plans for the next few years?
“We are planning on expanding our range of products, with our new mask, The Afterglow, which is launching very soon. We will also be adding a cleanser, exfoliator and toner to our collection, three products I am incredibly excited about. We also plan to increase our retail listings across the UK, so watch this space!”
You’ve recently achieved a listing with Wolf & Badger. How did that come about?
“We were in talks with Wolf & Badger for a while. They loved our products and values and felt that Amare Vita Skincare would be the perfect fit. Not only does Wolf & Badger share our values of sustainability and innovation, but the marketplace is also host to a wealth of brands which are dedicated to conscious consumerism, just like Amare Vita.”
Would you ever consider setting up your own bricks-and-mortar stores?
“I would love to open a bricks-and-mortar store one day, it really is a dream of mine! I have an exact vision of how the store would look and the experience it would offer to customers.
“I would like it to be a place that people come for the experience, not just to buy products. We would have displays that would make the store a must-visit, and have customers come and try our products, whilst learning about their benefits and how they can get the most out of our products. I think it would also be amazing to have an in-store spa for facial treatments!”
How do you engage with customers to build loyalty?
“We engage with our customers a lot through social media and have found that a lot of our brand loyalty has come from there. We have also created a great community of like-minded women through our Facebook group ‘It’s a Mum-derful Life’, where we encourage members to ask questions, share advice and discuss all things motherhood. Through our social media platforms, we provide engaging, educational content for our followers, whilst building brand loyalty.”
You also have a strong focus on sustainability. Can you tell us more about that?
“When launching a skincare brand, it’s very important to inform your audience on the benefits and unique selling points of your products, and how they differ from other products on the market. Through our social media messaging, website and PR, we have educated our customers about our streamlined range, and how it is designed to save you time, whilst being packed full of clinically-trialled ingredients that provide results.
“Sustainability is incredibly important to us, and we have had to work extremely hard to make as many elements of our brand as sustainable as possible. This is not an easy feat, especially when you are a small business with a limited budget.
“We were able to source recyclable packaging where possible and are striving towards ensuring that all packaging elements, such as our caps and pipettes, are recyclable by 2025. We also ensure that all of our products are cruelty free, vegan-friendly, sustainable, GMO free and contain organic ingredients, providing our customers with peace of mind that the products they are using are of the highest quality, without having to compromise on their values.”
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