When Bag Snob’s Tina Craig set out to create her own skin care—not a skin-care line but something for her own personal use—she just wanted to pare down from a growing number of daily skin care steps and create something that really worked. Born of frustration, her hero product U Beauty Resurfacing Compound ($148) does just that. The idea behind the compound is it’s a “one and done” solution outside of moisturizer—no more serums, toners, exfoliators, essences, or extra steps. Glowy, smooth skin is promised after just six days of morning and night use.
Once friends and followers caught wind of her do-it-all formulation, it became an essential Craig had to share. Fast forward to the launch last fall, and the compound debuted with an over 20,000 unit pre-sale order and an immediate sell out on Net-a-Porter. To find the story behind the product that’s beloved by Nicky Hilton, Candice Swanepoel, Lisa Rinna, Joanna Czech and Bobbi Brown, we caught up with Craig to get the scoop on the how she became an unintentional skin-care guru.
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NewBeauty: What inspired your creation of this “one and done” wonder product?
Tina Craig: I was truly tired of cosmetic confusion. I was using 13-15 products a day, every day. I wanted to find a better way because I knew there had to be one. I also wanted to do skin resurfacing, but laser resurfacing isn’t a good option for Asian skin prone to pigmentation. After all the chaos, I realized I had to cut down to just three daily products, without sacrificing the quality of my skin: the Compound, moisturizer and eye cream. Now my routine is simplified, and my skin is better than ever.
NB: Tell me a little bit of the backstory for you getting set up with a lab. How did your connections help make your skin-care dreams realized?
TC: I know half the population felt the same way I did: That they wanted streamlined skincare that didn’t take up too much time and energy. One night, I happened to catch up with Katie Borghese, the wife of a longtime friend, who now happens to be my partner, and she told me about a technology invented by a medical-grade lab in Italy—and that we could possibly use it to help me create my perfect dream product. After nine formulations tested for a year on humans (no animals!), also known as my friends, supermodels, designers, influencers and editors, we have developed what I call my skin’s secret sauce.
NB: How involved were you in the formulation?
TC: Very much so. Not only did I do consistent testing on myself but also dozens of friends and family members. Once we nailed efficacy, we refined scent (fragrance-free) and texture. How it feels had to be as good as what it does; if something doesn’t feel good, you’re not going to want use it, even if the results are there.
NB: What did you learn from being on the other side of skincare, as a brand founder, that you didn’t know as a consumer?
TC: Toxins are everywhere. The more I learn about ingredients, the less prone I am to throw just anything on my skin and hair.
NB: Is there one thing you refused to compromise on?
TC: Two things: Ingredients and efficacy. We tested the compound on over 100 friends of all ages, lifestyles, ethnicities and skin types for total insight from all angles.
NB: How does your product resurface and hydrate at the same time? That seems to be an impossible feat, but you somehow nailed it.
TC: The Resurfacing Compound works on two levels of the skin: on its surface and beneath its top layer. On the surface of the skin, the compound gently sloughs away dead skin and decongests pores. This action helps promote optimized skin cell turnover, revealing brighter, softer, smoother-looking skin, along with a diminishing of pores, fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.
Beneath the skin’s top layer, the SIREN capsule, lures free radicals to it like a magnet. When the free radical penetrates the capsule wall, the SIREN’s contents (including hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamin C, stable retinol and antioxidants) release where the skin is most vulnerable, where free radicals accumulate. The capsule ingredients encourage collagen and elastin production, plump the skin from within and fill in the spaces between skin cells to promote a stronger moisture barrier, which helps skin hold onto moisture and prevents moisture lost. We resurface the top layer, build the moisture barrier’s strength and nourish the skin from within, simultaneously.
NB: You say it typically takes 6 days to start seeing results. What kind of results do you expect users to start seeing?
TC: It’s simple: smoother, tighter and brighter skin.