We recently caught up with Matt Gillman, the founder and joint director of Handsome Skincare.
How did it all begin?
“It all started when I sold my business and I didn’t know what I was going to do next. I had some money to work with and went to my accountant and he’s like “So, what are you going to do now?” I didn’t know so I wrote a list and handsome men’s skincare was one of the ideas on this list. Funnily enough, my accountant bought a lot of things off Strawberry Net – who knew he’d buy skincare?”
“He was a fan of the idea and recommended I speak to one of his other clients, Mark Tucker (ex L’Oreal Managing Director). Naturally I gave him a call, turns out we had a lot in common, similar interests too. We stayed in contact for a while and decided we wanted to do this business together and started developing products. There’s a lot more testing and refining to get the product right than you’d expect.”
“Along with the product being good, I really wanted to perfect the branding. Mark was great for that given his marketing background – everyone always comments on how the branding compliments the product which is exactly what we were going for.”
What is it about Mark that makes him a good partner in business?
“I feel like Mark and I work so well together because there are no real overlapping skills. He’s got the business side of things and I’ve got the creative background. Honestly, I didn’t even know all that much about skincare, but now all I talk about is vitamin E…”
What are your plans to keep growing your company?
“We’re looking at increasing the range of products we offer; we’d love to add am moisturiser that includes sunscreen protection. We’re also considering some travel kits and some sample sized products seeing as we always get asked for samples which we can’t yet provide.”
“After that I’d really like to up our distribution and the logistics side of things. We get a lot of enquiries from other countries but we can only ship to Australia and the US right now, we’d love to change that.”
What do you foresee the future of skincare/grooming looking like?
“There’s a lot of competition in the men’s market. There have been so many brands that have come on board – I don’t think the big guys have it worked out. I believe that guys want their own individual brand that isn’t associated with women. If it’s just men – there’s a sense of ownership of the brand. There’s a line on the back of our packs: “You are a man, you want your skin to feel nice. That’s ok.” There used to be a bit of a stigma that suggested that using products like these was a female thing. That doesn’t really seem to be a thing anymore – in the last two years or so that stigma has all but disappeared and that’s been huge for the industry.”
Do you have any advice for those men who want to look after their skin? What do you recommend?
“There are three main rules:
- Cleansing and Moisturising
Moisturiser is the most important thing – just cleaning and moisturising your face every day and night. You don’t need much, just put a dab on. A tube of handsome should last you three months if you’re using the right amount.”