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Creating a New Market in COVID Times

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Rubén Rubiales Lesielle

Rubén Rubiales, CEO, and founder of Lesielle tells us about adaptive skincare.

First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times? 

Rubén Rubiales: We are very fortunate, and everyone in the family is well and safe, that’s the most important thing nowadays, so I am very grateful. 

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Lesielle.

Rubén Rubiales: Well, talking about the family, I would say that my career started with my family because my parents “injected” all of us with their entrepreneurial spirit. I remember them talking during lunch about the family business and the different situations, so we learned each aspect of managing a company. 

However, officially my career starts studying pharmacy in Seville, Spain. When I finished, I went to France to specialize in management, production, and formulation, and thanks to that, I had my first opportunity in the French industry. 

Due to family circumstances, I had to temporarily come back to work in the family business, where I had to complete my education in digital marketing. When the situation allowed me to continue developing my career in the pharmaceutical industry, I moved to Switzerland.

It was there during breakfast in March 2016 when the idea came up. I was telling Sophie that I could not find any skincare that really fitted my needs. I thought it was incomprehensible that being each skin so unique, most users had no other option but to accept what the laboratories decided to bring to the market with a one fits all approach. That’s why we decided to create Lesielle so that everyone can enjoy a really personalized and affordable, effective, and always adapted to the changing skin needs skincare.

How does Lesielle innovate? 

Rubén Rubiales: Lesielle is so innovative and disruptive in different ways that actually, we could say it is opening a new market.

It is not only the world’s first Adaptive skincare (personalized skincare that adapts in real-time to the skin change) but also the most affordable personalized skincare, and the only one, designed for the mass market. 

This is all thanks to our patented device that allows each person to create their personalized skincare. The user only has to introduce a “base” to adjust the moisturization level and up to 4 “actives” to create a custom combination of treatments. Although everything is very intuitive to self-select, we have also developed a 2 minutes test with a proprietary algorithm that provides a custom combination based on very simple questions.

Our device injects and combines precisely each ingredient but because each time, it creates a single dose (the quantity to use in each application). It allows the creation of completely different skincare each time. With it, it is the people that decide how their skincare should be.

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

Rubén Rubiales: Like most businesses, the COVID pandemic has proven to be a challenge in fulfilling the business plan. However, the advantage of being a start-up is to be more agile than larger and more established companies. For example, our primary distribution channel closed due to the COVID situation, so we turn our strategy into boosting the eCommerce channel over the physical one, developing new business models and digital tools.

Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?

Rubén Rubiales: Indeed, we have had to make difficult but necessary decisions due to the current situation. We had to make some adjustments in the team to better respond to the new market needs, and also, we had to implement a remote working system in record time in order to preserve the safety of the entire team and their families.

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

Rubén Rubiales: Although Lesielle can be considered a digital brand, we have intensified the use of planning tools such as Trello or communication channels like Slack or Google meet. But essentially, it has been more important the fact that the team had to get used to working without visual contact.

In marketing, we are doing important efforts to bring personalization to our skincare and our communication with the clients. Crazy Eggs for UX/CRO analysis or Active Campaign for Marketing are quite important for us.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Rubén Rubiales: We could consider any personalized skincare brand, but the reality is that our segment is different because we target the mass market. More than brands, our competitors are the consumption habits. Our skincare approach means a radical change in the way of understanding skincare. Going from having a generic formula to creating one that really fits your need. But it is also educating the consumer to use different formulas depending on their skin changes or at least recognizing those changes so they can contact us to help them adjust their treatment

Your final thoughts?

Rubén Rubiales: We are living extraordinary and difficult times. However, these are also the moments where people and companies give their best to bring new ideas and improve to a new level. I want to use this space to thank my team and my family for their continuous contributions to Lesielle’s future.

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