Mirella Siciliano has long had her finger on the beauty industry’s pulse, having served as a buyer at Rinascente in Milan and Barneys New York. But as the conscious beauty movement gained steam, the executive realized even she was getting confused by the overwhelming offer of products.
At one point, her own beauty routine involved 12 different steps, including wearing a headpiece emitting sonic waves.
“I’m like, ‘What the hell am I doing?’” exclaimed Siciliano. The time had come when she thought the next big thing in beauty would be “minimalism,” “something that was basic” and “less is more.”
“These are the things that really resonated with me after seeing all the trends and ingredients,” she said.
Thinking about skin care’s fundamental purpose became the premise of her brand, Le Cleanse.
“It’s health, and not necessarily fixing a problem,” Siciliano said. “It was: ‘How am I going to take care of my skin?’”
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This was at the end of November 2019, when she was already undergoing a purging process. Then the coronavirus pandemic began.
“I’ve gone from having 100 products in my closet to just using my own,” she said, of the five-unit microbiome-minded line that takes a holistic approach.
There’s a three-step system with the Cleansing Water, Restorative Cleanser and Essential Hydration, plus two “boosters,” the Reset Mask and Daily Probiotic capsules.
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Siciliano had long been familiar with pre- and probiotics from having lived in Italy — where they’re more commonplace — for a long while, before moving to New York, her current home.
“This isn’t a COVID-19 brand by any means,” continued Siciliano.
Still, the pandemic did cause her to pivot. Le Cleanse’s launch was meant to take place last July, but instead it was officially introduced a few months later, in November 2020.
Receiving components was tricky, and the brand’s labs were closed for a long stretch, but that didn’t change Siciliano’s strategy of vetting ingredients or packaging design.
Initially, the idea was to launch Le Cleanse in brick-and-mortar distribution, but as stores closed the focus shifted more to direct-to-consumer channels, including to Amazon.
Meanwhile, Siciliano has been looking at new e-commerce sites popping up, such as affiliates.
Up next for Le Cleanse is to enter Neiman Marcus and product-wise, the brand is working on an intimate wash for women.
“There’s incredible value in an intimate wash in your beauty routine,” Siciliano said. “There is just so much attention on every [other] part of the body, but [for] that area where we’ve neglected, a simple, gentle soap with the right pH — you need it.
“Another aspect of the brand is I just want it to be authentic and related to my experience,” continued Siciliano, of Le Cleanse
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