Like many beauty start-ups, Veracity was born out of necessity. Founder and CEO Allie Egan shares her path to discovering the connection between hormonal health and skincare. Her personal experience inspired a science-backed, personalized skincare solution delivered through a simple saliva test to identify the root cause of skin issues. Egan is focused on solving the root cause, not simply creating products to address the symptoms.
Tell us a little about your career. How did you find your way into the beauty business?
I have spent my career in the worlds of beauty, wellness, and fashion, but on many different sides of the table. I first discovered my passion for building consumer brands when I was an investor at L Catterton. It was there that I realized I wanted to work inside a company, creating something new and meaningful that people needed. So, I took a detour and went to Harvard Business School, where I studied marketing and operations and worked with some great companies including Glossier, Alice + Olivia, and Pure Barre. After graduation, I moved on to head teams in marketing and digital at Estée Lauder, working with brands like La Mer, Clinique, and Origins. At the age of 32, I had the amazing opportunity to become CEO of the fashion brand Cynthia Rowley. I loved working in the fashion industry, but it is the combination of science and the consumer experience that has always drawn me back to beauty and skincare.
Why did you decide to start Veracity? What is the problem you are looking to solve?
My inspiration to start Veracity came from a personal experience that is unfortunately all too familiar to many women. I was going about my life, everything was fine, and then out of nowhere my skin decided to break out into dry, flaky patches. I saw my dermatologist multiple times and tried every product under the sun, and still nothing worked.
It wasn't until almost four years later when I was struggling to get pregnant that I found out what was really going on. Seemingly unrelated fertility tests revealed that I had Hashimoto's disease— an underactive thyroid condition which can cause infertility and, you guessed it, dry, flaky skin patches. With this knowledge also grew a newfound sense of power. I finally knew what was wrong with me and was able to easily correct the problem. I was able to adjust my diet, skincare routine, and prescriptions and my skin cleared almost overnight. Years without answers and all I needed was one simple hormone test. Could it really be that simple?
I started Veracity to help women get answers much faster than I did by arming them with the tools to understand their skin and overall health from the inside out.
You've said that your mission is bigger than skincare, it's about bringing the power of a holistic medical approach to beauty and wellness. Can you unpack what you mean by this?
For too long, we have been told that our pimples and dry skin can be magically cured with a simple serum or spot treatment. But the truth is the relationship between a woman and her skin is far more complex than any one-time treatment. As our lives change, our skin changes too. After my experience, I started talking to friends and strangers—every woman I could!—and began to understand that so many people had experienced a version of what I did. They go to a trusted source looking for answers to one symptom, but that trusted source does not always take into consideration the fact that the one symptom is likely connected to a plethora of other possible underlying conditions. As we are learning with the emergence of things like the gut-skin-brain axis and the crucial role our microbiome plays in our overall health, it is only through taking a whole-health approach that women can really get to the root cause of their skin concerns and other health issues that just happen to be presenting in their skin. We want to bring the power of that holistic approach to all women with Veracity.
The brand is tackling personalization through a saliva-based hormone test and six products. Can you walk us through how you're delivering personalization to the consumer?
Instead of treating symptoms, we help women get to the root cause of their skin concerns through the first-ever, at-home Skin + Health Test. The test measures your saliva for five key hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA) and pH. With this, we provide physician-reviewed skincare product and ingredient recommendations, as well as diet, supplements, and lifestyle advice to support and rebalance your unique biochemistry. Developed by a team of medical professionals, including board-certified physicians across dermatology, OB/GYN, endocrinology, functional medicine, and nutrition, our test gets women closer to understanding the why behind their skin issues and how these concerns are connected to their overall health. We then provide them with skincare solutions that are proven safe and effective to specifically target the effects of any hormonal imbalances they may have (for example, our inflammation response concentrate was developed to balance the effects of high testosterone and cortisol, as well as imbalanced progesterone). To us, achieving actual results cannot be done with a bespoke formula or bottle, no matter how much fun that is from a marketing perspective. Real skin solutions and true personalization require proven formulas and ingredients, as well as recommendations that go beyond pretty packaging alone.
You have a very deep bench of board-certified doctors across the fields of dermatology, gynecology, endocrinology, functional medicine, and nutrition involved in the business. Can you share your product development process and formulation philosophy?
Our products were developed by a PhD in hormonal health alongside an all-female team of medical advisors spanning five different medical fields. They are free of all known endocrine disruptors (these are ingredients that have a confirmed link to messing with your body's natural function and flow of hormones). They are also fragrance free, sulfate free, cruelty free, gluten free, and vegan. In other words, our skincare takes the meaning of “clean” to a whole new, scientifically verified level. Our goal is to create unique products that work and never inhibit your body's ability to heal itself.
Stay tuned for more amazing, endocrine disruptor-free products to come!
You've made a significant investment and launched the content platform before launching the test and skincare. Can you share your strategy behind this and the role of content in the long-term building of the brand?
Veracity means "a commitment to truth" because we value honesty and knowledge above all else—launching our knowledge platform first was really a no-brainer. This platform exists on our website and is dedicated to providing information about common hormonal health and skin-related topics as well as building a community of trust and a wealth of knowledge for women seeking answers.
We want to empower women as they go through their own unique health journeys by supplying them with scientifically backed information that is easy to digest and provides them with answers and actionable steps. Our brand is about supporting women on their personal journeys, especially when our health system can often feel confusing and disconnected.
While science is at the core of what you do, the branding certainly isn't clinical. Can you share a bit about the design esthetic of the brand and the role it plays in your overall positioning?
While science is of course at the core of everything we do and the ethos of our product development, this doesn't mean we should sacrifice beauty. We wanted our products to feel approachable and to inspire women to use them. Just because something came from a lab doesn't mean it needs to look cold and clinical. Our top priority is safety and efficacy, but we can achieve that without having it come at the expense of beauty. If we use a medical term, we explain it. If we use an ingredient that's difficult to pronounce, we dive a little deeper on our ingredients glossary. And when we create a new formula, we want to deliver it in a package that is as warm and luxurious as your skin will feel after using it.
What was your fundraising process like? Any learnings you can share?
Fundraising is always a journey for any founder, and mine was made all the more bumpy as I was dealing with pregnancy hormones during both rounds of fundraising! My takeaway for other founders is twofold: 1) Accept constructive criticism and recommendations openly, but have confidence that you know your strategy and vision best, and 2) Trust your instincts. Finding investors is a two-way street and you should be picky about who you bring to the table on your journey. Choose your circle carefully.
You have a couple of months under your belt, any early indications or surprises?
With almost 4,000 reservations for our test kit prelaunch, and an influx of orders postlaunch, I am grateful for the support and trust that so many women have given us. Beauty is one of the most saturated industries out there, and I feel lucky that I could use my own struggles and experience to find a solution to a gap that existed in the market. I have already received a flood of messages from women who are first-timers to the testing process, and they are shocked by the accuracy of their readings and recommendations. While I don't expect everyone to easily embrace the concept of testing overnight, I know the women who do will have the tools to be able to advocate for themselves. I sleep easy at night knowing that the accurate and personalized information they receive will help them for the rest of their lives. I often think back to my younger self, lost and alone without answers, and I think about how far I have been able to come not only for myself, but for the community of women around me who have experienced similar struggles.
What does success look like for Veracity?
Our mission is to empower women on their own personal journey to better skin and better health. Success to us is touching the lives of our individual customers and getting women the answers they deserve along their personal journey.
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