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Meet Paul Borg, founder of The Skills, a cosmeceutical anti-ageing skincare brand for men-The Day Ahead

Meet Paul Borg, founder of The Skills, a cosmeceutical anti-ageing skincare brand for men

Paul and his wife Bernadette launched their game-changing skincare brand in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With his background in advertising and retail marketing, and hers in media and business development, husband-and-wife team Paul and Bernadette Borg realised their combined skills fit perfectly together to launch a brand. Over middle-of-the-night brainstorms and covert sharing of beauty products, they landed on a cosmeceutical men’s skincare brand that specifically targeted ageing. The Skills is now a young, but fast-growing Australian brand making waves around the world. Here, Paul tells us about the core values of the brand, why it had to be made in Australia and how he's expanding his personal beauty regimen.

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Tell us about when you started The Skills and how the idea came to be what it is today?

“We officially launched in November 2020. It was a couple of years in the making behind the scenes while working full time. You know, sitting down at night thinking of ideas. When I was 20, I didn’t know anything about skin care. I kick myself when I think about what I used to do. Not wearing enough sunscreen and spending so much time in the sun, not having a proper routine and looking after myself. Now in my 40s, I was using my wife’s products at home but I didn’t feel like there was anything out there that resonated with me or that I could purchase without going into a clinic. We thought it was time to bring a true cosmeceutical brand to the male market. We want to speak to the 20- to 30-year-old who enjoys going out, wears nice kicks, invests in clothes. When I thought about it, why couldn’t a skincare brand resonate with guys on social media just like a clothing brand? Why can’t it talk in the same way? So that’s what we did and since launch it’s been a pretty good ride.”

How do you and Bernadette work together as a couple?

“We have a lot of 12am meetings, conversations on the lounge and strategy meetings with kids hanging off our feet! But it works. She handles a lot of the social stuff and the content, and I do a lot of the creative and operational stuff. With both of our past experiences in our careers, it fits like a glove.”

How did you decide on the core values of the brand?

“We wanted to target a younger generation of male who were more willing to try something new in this space and invest in themselves and their skin. We want to give them a range that helped them develop an anti-ageing routine early and that could then carry on and grow along the way. But we know that men in general need simple stuff. So not 15 different serums with different results and different layering methodology!”

How do you incorporate sustainability into the business?

“With everything we do, we are trying to make sure the impact on the environment is obviously minimal. We use recycled and recyclable cardboard for our packaging and in-store displays. We are looking at refills for our products and becoming carbon neutral.”

What is the importance to you of being made in Australia? And why is it so unique in the beauty industry?

“I didn’t want to produce products that were made overseas in any other country. I think Australia has such a great reputation across the world for our lifestyle and what comes with being Australian made. We wanted to really stay true to that and we wanted the control as well. We want it to be local to us so that we can always check in and work with our supply chain. For consumers, they know that what’s coming out of this country is fantastic, so the demand for Australian made has definitely been growing.”

What is the one product you always recommend from your range?

“I’d probably say the Auto Correct Face Serum. I use the Anti-Aging Foaming Face Wash twice a day, morning and night in the shower. I use the serum twice a day, morning and night too. It gives me that feeling of freshness as it goes into the skin. On a problematic day, when I’m stressed, I’ve done a lot of exercise and I get a little break out, I use the Detox Day Face Mask. I use that once or twice a week. So yes, I use all three! But the serum is my favourite.”

What is the rest of your personal beauty regimen?

“I get a haircut once every couple of weeks. I’ve recently just started doing more beauty treatments. I got my first needling about a month and a half ago. I was quite scared, but I was actually fine as long as I applied the numbing cream. I could really see results once the redness died down the day after. I felt completely different around the eyes. It was great for pigmentation.”

What has been the most rewarding part of being a business owner?

“The control. Really having the control to do it your way and building something the way I want to. And then of course seeing what we built on the shelf in stores.”

And what has been the most challenging?

“Building a start-up while at home with three kids and home-schooling during Covid. It’s been pretty crazy!”

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