Perhaps following the body care trend that is popular among women with more time at home, a new brand of local body cleansing sukurabu it has appeared. Interestingly, the home sells customizable body scrubs, which means customers can choose the level of roughness their scrub would have and what kind of aroma they want.
Locally, you’ll usually get scrubs from major global brands like LUSH, or you’ll find smaller brands at pharmacies, beauty stores, and online. But they are usually resolved in terms of roughness (depending on what is used) and odor, which can be tricky if you have sensitive skin or want to give them away to someone who has these problems.
A passion project of a serial entrepreneur
sukurabu was founded by Jessie, a serial entrepreneur who was part of Boozeat’s founding team, founded the Headspace coworking space at SS15 and operated a bakery inside Headspace called MyPOPELINI to cover local losses due to the pandemic.
The turning point that led to her sukurabu foundation came when Jessie had a bad case of back blisters and the body rubs available in the market did not work for her.
“I’ve never been able to find one that fits my personal preferences in terms of ingredients, texture, smell, type of scrub, and density level,” Jessie told Vulcan Post. Despite finding a bush with the right texture, Jessie didn’t like the exfoliants being made of microbeads.
Micropearls are extremely small pieces of material made of plastic that are commonly used in personal care products. Once washed in water, micro-pearls can enter the food chain as they would be eaten by wildlife like fish, which in turn will be consumed by humans.
Thus began Jessie’s search for a manufacturer that could help materialize her vision of a product focused on natural ingredients that were organic and vegan.
A self-funded company
Self-financed by the income of Jessie’s previous companies, the scrubs are manufactured by a subcontracted Japanese formulator.
It took Jessie about a year to develop the scrubs that fit her standards. He shared that his biggest challenge was to achieve stability on the shelves, as the products were made from natural ingredients.
Jessie also idealized her scrubs to be a 2 in 1 scrub and shower gel, a differentiating feature from the existing scrubs on the market. “Most are a greasy or greasy exfoliant or a shower gel with 3% exfoliants, [which is] as good as any exfoliant, ”he explained.
Since the soft release of sukurabu only took place in late August 2021, the startup doesn’t have too much data to share about its customer base. However, Jessie showed confidence in her product due to the positive feedback she has received so far.
“The passion for a great product speaks first. If the product is great, there will be a good audience. If there isn’t a lot of audience, we will continue to improve feedback to make it an even better product, ”Jessie said, adding that sukurabu is their passion project and not a for-profit company.
“We are not here to promise beauty, but we are here to fulfill the promises of beauty products.”
Jessie Chong, founder of sukurabu.
Making my own scrub
To customize your scrub, you will first need to choose the base scent, which can cost both RM140 and RM150 without promotions. There are currently 8 scents to choose from, most fall into the fruit category.
You will then be directed to a page to choose the type of foam from your scrub (how many bubbles you want from your foam), the type of scrub (if the scrub is thick, medium or thin) and Density (volume of ‘exfoliants).
Each product includes a description to give you an idea of what you can expect from the chosen aroma. However, what I think would be useful for the site is that they provided images of the Scrub type to show how rude or exfoliating they were.
While images of scrub textures can be found on sukurabu’s Instagram, not all customers can come from their social media pages. It would be more practical to show reference images on the site itself during the customization process.
From here, the buying process is standard with an addition, which allows customers to put their names to label them on the product packaging.
My sukurabu order took about 4 days to arrive. When testing it for an evening shower, I found the 2-in-1 scrub and shower gel product to be a convenient and thoughtful complement to the brand. Most body scrubs I’ve tried on the market usually require the extra step of soaping up after rubbing, which can dry out the skin even more.
Using the scrub was a luxury experience, and I can certainly say that it elevated my skin care routine. If you’ve tried sugar scrubs before, sukurabu scrubs (I got it with medium density and medium density) will remember it.
While I personally don’t like the product being packaged in a glass jar as it can slip and break, I find it more premium compared to plastic packaging. Once the scrub is exhausted, the empty jar can also be easily reused, which is one of the ways the brand promotes waste reduction (intentionally or unintentionally).
Eyes on the world market
When asked if sukurabu would diversify her products to also offer customizable shampoos or lotions, Jessie shared that the benefit of personalization will stop body scrubs. Probably because there are already some options for customizable shampoos and lotions, such as Function Of Beauty and Kiehl’s.
But not offering customization for that doesn’t mean you don’t create them at all. “We have lotions, body butter and hand creams in our pipes. It is currently in our last stage of iterations and we will not launch anything until it is perfect and fills the product gap in the market, ”he said.
Aside from being her first foray into the beauty industry, sukurabu is also a business that finally introduces Jessie to a global audience. His previous F&B and coworking businesses had their own limitations.
She explained: “Boozeat was restricted to Malaysia, MyPOPELINI was restricted to the Klang Valley [as it’s] just delivered. Now, with sukurabu, this is compatible with global delivery. “
Having a physical warehouse would allow sukurabu to attract customers by letting them in, smelling and tasting the scrubs themselves. However, it requires capital and is not very beneficial on its current scale and in the current pandemic, so it makes sense for sukurabu to strengthen its e-commerce strategies first.
If strengthening its brand presence locally is in its plans, perhaps Jessie could consider hosting an emerging store in the roadside bazaars.
- You can find more information about sukurabu here.
- You can read about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Jessie Chong, founder of sukurabu