After Collecting Data on Melanin Rich Skin, 4.5.6 Skin Is Ready for Expansion

London-based direct-to-consumer skin care line 4.5.6 Skin has rebranded and is now eyeing a retail expansion thanks to a recent seed financing round and data collection drive.

Founder Noelly Michoux launched the brand in 2020 as a beauty tech start-up dedicated to offering premium and customized skin care for melanin-rich skin after failing to find the right products for her skin.

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“The reason why I started 4.5.6 is that as a dark-skinned woman who grew up in France, it was always super challenging to find products that were made for my skin, for my hair, for my beauty,” said Michoux, who began R&D via incubation with LVMH research centers through the Cosmet’up program.

“I lived in Paris, but to me it was normal to have no inclusivity in the beauty offering because the POC community was not very visible,” she continued. “I lived in London, which is more cosmopolitan, but the offer there was not really different. I ended up living almost for five years in the U.S. and when I moved to New York City, I believed my struggles with beauty were over, because the USA is the most diverse country in the world with a vocal and empowered POC community. And although I found a lot more brands addressing darker skin tones, these were mostly white label formulations, which R&D and testing were based on the skin characteristics of people with skin phototype I, II, III on the Fitzpatrick scale, and skin phototype IV, V and VI were, as my research will show, always left outside of the R&D equation.”

The brand asks customers to go through a skin diagnostic quiz and tell them about their skin phototype based on their skin characteristics, skin concerns, their skin care history, their lifestyle and their location,

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