One of two Asian women puts up with dry, sensitive skin and in the Philippines, an estimated seven of 10 Filipinos say their faces are dry.
Consumer studies also show that one of two women will not consult a doctor about her skin problems.
Yet, she will continue to use her regular soap that may disagree with her delicate skin.
“In the Philippines, the key finding was that despite the high occurrence of dry and sensitive skin, the incidence of treatment is very low. This means the consumers are not aware that there are ways to manage this condition,” says Angelica Martija, marketing director of the Consumer Health Division of GlaxoSmithKline, Philippines.
The statistics and the psychological effect of lack of self-confidence, which may be prompted by skin problems, pushed the global pharmaceutical company to repackage its skin therapy line, Physiogel, into a consumer product.
The rebranding is accompanied by an interactive and informative campaign called #FreeInMySkin Movement.
Physiogel has long been prescribed by doctors to treat common skin conditions such as dermatitis or inflamed skin, scaling and extremely sensitive skin.
To widen its products’ reach, GSK unveiled improved formulations with attractive packaging that are sold over the counter.
“Because of the high incidence of dryness and sensitive skin in Asia, we felt the need to engage and be more visible to consumers,” says Martija.
Supported by the Philippine Dermatological Society, Physiogel will still be a pharmacy-driven brand.
But, through the brand’s partnerships with major drugstore and wellness chains such as Mercury Drug and Watsons, Physiogel hopes to become more accessible to a wider market.
Top-selling Physiogel products include Calming Relief A.I. and Daily Moisture Therapy.
“We have sachets that cost less than P50 so that women from other income groups can use them,” says Martija.
She claims that Physiogel has attributes that other products do not have, among them is the “science” behind it, making it the “most prescribed” moisturizer brand in the Philippines.
Dr. Teresita Gabriel, a fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society, shares that the product is based on a patented formula that simulates the lipids, or the molecules that make up the cell’s building blocks.
“The ingredients protect the skin from irritants, bacteria and environmental allergies. If the lipids of the skin are depleted, then the skin will crack,” says Dr. Gabriel.
Putting on a moisturizing product helps minimize this possibility and this is the message that the company wants to impart to its target market through its current campaign.
“Through the #FreeInMySkin, we can talk to consumers in a friendly manner. If you are too scientific about it, they might not understand. Our aim is to educate them on dry and sensitive skin conditions and the products that heal them,” says Martija.
GSK set up a website that engages the public with, among others, a quiz on personality types. Women are invited to post their reactions to the quiz or the product.
Also, Patti Grandidge, model and brand ambassador, stars in the Physiogel Youtube Channel. Her first video has gained more than 700,000 views.
“In all, the thrust is to help women with insecurities about their skin by offering a solution which is science-based and skin-friendly,” says Martija.
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