A dominating force within the beauty industry, Urban Skin Rx develops top of the line clinically approved skincare products catering to all dermis types. Their primary focus consists of providing skincare regimens and solutions specifically for melanin and cocoa colored skin. Serving as one of the many reasons the company has been able to successfully solidify their place as an industry leader.
With no obvious signs of slowing down, the brand recently unveiled two new products DermRenew Retinol Complex and Pure Glow Pineapple Enzyme. We had a chance to chat with Rachel Roff, the mastermind behind Urban Skin Solutions who is responsible along with her trusted partner Charity Washington for elevating the company to new heights.
This year marks the 10th anniversary since the brand’s inception and we are thrilled to receive the expertise of the highly sought after aesthetician Ms. Roff! She discusses a wide array of topics including the beauty world at large, US Rx brand evolution and her diverse clientele ranging from celebs to North Carolina natives and many others from around the globe.
New You: Can you provide with us some insight behind the birth of Urban Skin RX?
Rachel Roff: From a young age, I grew up with a lot of skin issues and concerns. At just two-years-old, I had an abnormal mole on the side of my mouth which always served as a cause for concern because of the possibility of it [the mole] being pre- cancerous. Additionally, at age 12, I began receiving laser treatments because I developed terrible acne. It wasn’t very fun growing up because very early on I was extremely self-conscious about my skin’s aesthetic appearance due to my acne and mole. I had to visit several dermatologists and medical aestheticians frequently.
Although I attended college for Sociology, my dream was always to become an entrepreneur and open a medical spa dedicated to helping others sustain the healthy cosmetic appearance of their skin. Shortly after graduating from undergrad, I attended medical aesthetician school and worked within the field for roughly a year. After learning more about the inner workings of the business, I opened a medical spa in Charlotte, North Carolina that specialized in diverse skin tones. Growing up in California, it was very diverse but upon moving to North Carolina, I noticed it was very much segregated in more ways than one. Many of the medical spas, did not participate in the laser treatments for tanned/darker skin tones. I also noticed many of the aestheticians did not feel comfortable completing some of the more aggressive treatments on these specific skin types.
Once I noticed a niche within this market, from a business aspect I immediately took action. Five years into originally opening my medical spa, I wanted to begin branding my own skincare line because initially I was involved with private label skincare.
NY: For those who are unaware, what exactly is “Private Labeling?”
RR: Private labeling is a skincare company that develops formulas but will include your label on their formulas. To the average customer, it seems as though it is your total package but in reality you are not the actual developer behind it.
There isn’t anything wrong with it [private labeling] because it’s actually how a lot of company’s get their start. However once it [Urban Skin Rx] began to gain more traction and become more popular, I truly wanted to become more involved with the custom formulation. I wanted the opportunity to really, truly look someone in their eyes and tell them wholeheartedly that this was my very own formula. After working with various reputable and great brands, I became a one of a kind ingredients guru. I figured out what worked and I also realized there were many great formulas that were missing some key ingredients that needed to be perfected. That’s exactly what I did!
NY: Have you encountered any mistakes while building the business? If so, what have you learned from them?
RR: I don’t think we have enough time (laughs)! From a business angle, I would first say be the example you would like to create and set for other employees.
As a formulator, there have been a lot of branding mistakes along the way. It’s been an extremely tedious process to configure my line to reflect the cohesive branding of US Rx.
Despite a few personal branding challenges along the way, we have continuously evolved and have become increasingly popular because our products work so well on various skin types.
NY: How is the beauty world changing and what new skills/innovations are necessary to stay ahead of the competition?
RR: I definitely believe clients are becoming savvier. As a result, you have to be knowledgeable about your brand and possess the ability to back up your own ingredients. Educating your clients and having the answers for your consumer’s needs is a definite within the beauty world.
NY: What have been your career highlights so far? Any pinch-me moments on the job?
RR: To some, it may not seem that big of a deal. My even tone cleansing bar was my first custom formulated product and I am so very proud of it because it’s such a game changer!
Also, Cosmo for Latinas and Latina Magazine within the same month both publications highlighted that particular product. Not to mention, it received the 2015 Beauty Award for Latina Magazine! I was very happy. There were no words to describe my excitement!
NY: How do you unwind at the end of the day? Do you relax?
RR: I don’t (laughs). I literally still answer every single DM [Direct Message] I receive on Instagram. I’m up throughout the night because I have a dynamic vision of success. When I speak of success, it does not necessarily pertain to money. In all honesty, I really want to become the biggest industry leader within clinical skincare for all skin tones. I wouldn’t say I relax on a daily basis but I vacation often. Roughly every 2-3 months, I definitely take a trip and, of course, complete work the entire time I’m on vacation (laughs).
NY: Aside from vacationing, when you’re not working, how do you sustain a work-life balance?
RR: I’m a single mom of a 3-year-old little girl and she is just amazing! She has the absolute best laugh in the entire world because of her it’s all worth it. Each and every day, I always find the time to have one-on-one moments because my goal is to set a good, positive example for her.