The Center Launches Dermatologist-Backed Brand: Prequel – WWD

Ben Bennett, founding father of Los Angeles-based model incubator The Center, has teamed with board-certified medical and beauty dermatologist Samantha Ellis for his newest enterprise: Prequel.

It’s a skincare model launching July 25 with three merchandise, obtainable for buy on There’s the $18 Gleanser, a cleanser with 50 p.c glycerin, to take away make-up and extra oil whereas sustaining the pores and skin’s moisture barrier and pH. It’s additionally formulated with inulin, an aquaporin-stimulating lively arginine, oat extract and aloe. There’s an $18 multi-purpose ointment for dry, cracked and chapped pores and skin. It’s non-greasy and created with 45 p.c USP-grade petrolatum, bisabolol and a pores and skin barrier advanced. And there’s a $22 Moisturizing Milk for the face and physique, with 10 p.c pure urea, shea butter, glycerin and niacinamide. All are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and protected for delicate pores and skin.

The model is estimated to make $10 million in first-year gross sales, in accordance with trade sources.

A 12 months within the making, Prequel launches with three merchandise on July 25.

The two met by Susan Yara, founding father of Naturium, one of many manufacturers owned by The Center (which additionally owns Phlur, Saltair and Make Beauty). Ellis had been advising for Naturium.

“When Susan knew that I used to be keen on doing one thing with a skincare model and that Ben may be , she put us in contact,” defined Ellis, who has a personal follow within the Bay Area. She graduated from UCLA earlier than incomes her medical doctorate from the University of Michigan, and accomplished her dermatology residency coaching at UC Davis — the place she’s now a scientific teacher of dermatology. She’s additionally a content material creator, sharing her every day life and skincare recommendation along with her 100,000 Instagram followers.

“Obviously by our manufacturers, we’ve labored with lots of dermatologists, lots of beauty chemists, and my group at The Center has all the time been a fan of physician Ellis,” stated Bennett. (Founded in 2020, The Center obtained a $15 million minority funding from Prelude Growth Partners in 2021, which backs Westman Atelier and DpHue.) “We love personalities within the magnificence house, and we simply felt like — and I inform Sam this on a regular basis — there may be this effortlessness and this ease in the way in which that she speaks about pores and skin and skincare.”

Working as a dermatologist, along with her follow in Danville, California, Ellis noticed a niche out there for her sufferers: “I see the place the ache factors are for sufferers by way of discovering merchandise that match particular niches, that match what they want and in addition for merchandise that they’ll incorporate into their skincare routine if they’re additionally caring for a persistent pores and skin illness. So, for instance, if they’ve psoriasis or they’ve eczema, they don’t simply want remedy. They additionally want skincare that’s going to enhance something that they’re doing. And I simply didn’t really feel like there was a model or product that might take the tried and true fundamentals of issues {that a} affected person of mine would possibly discover within the drugstore however then elevate them to a spot the place they’re extra pleasant to make use of, inspiring to make use of. A whole lot of sufferers additionally wrestle with compliance…And then the final tenet of that was if I ever launched a skincare model, I actually needed to make it reasonably priced and accessible for as many individuals as doable.”

“I like her want to have the ability to create formulation that make the most of… these tried and true, data-backed and supported elements, however elevate them to make them extra experiential, extra sensorial, extra elegant, with the intent to persuade her clients to make use of their merchandise each day and get them to a spot of having fun with skincare,” added Bennett. “You discuss to any dermatologist, and so they can let you know that 90 p.c of their sufferers barely use a moisturizer, barely wash their face each day. So, it is a utterly completely different viewers. And it’s actually a broader-reaching viewers that Sam is speaking’s not the skincare fanatic on TikTok or Instagram.”

They goal to succeed in this viewers by training through phrase of mouth, social media and their respective communities in dermatology and the sweetness trade globally.

“I’m not a believer in a d-to-c model solely,” Bennett continued. “We’ve all the time believed in brick-and-mortar retail along with having a powerful digital presence,” he stated, including they plan on working with or collaborating with a retail accomplice to construct model consciousness.

Samantha Ellis and Ben Bennett

Courtesy of The Center

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