A little more than one year ago, I began thinking about the best way to extend Bel Mondo’s product line.
I wasn’t interested in adding a sheet mask that bubbled. Or transitioned into rubber. Or had cutesy animal patterns.
My instinct was to take what I had learned about bio cellulose – the signature fabric of the Bel Mondo brand – and bring its distinctive skin rejuvenation benefits to a new audience.
I aimed high: oncology esthetics.
Treating the skin of cancer patients requires special knowledge and training. It was new terrain for me.
So I reached out to Becky Kuehn, the Founder of Oncology Spa Solutions (OSS), and asked her to help me develop a sheet mask that would be ideal for use during an oncology spa service.
My timing was good. It turns out that Becky had taken note of the soaring popularity of sheet masks; she had already been searching for one that was suitable for the specific skin care needs of cancer-care clients.
During the next nine months, Bel Mondo developed and tweaked multiple prototypes.
We contracted with the beauty industry’s largest original design manufacturer of sheet masks to produce a bio cellulose fabric that was demonstrably pure, free of toxins, and ultra-efficient at ingredient transfer.
During early evaluations, the test fabric consistently remained moist and occlusive; it had the precise soothing and cooling properties that someone with extremely dry, compromised skin would want to experience.
The right fabric was half of the design challenge.
For the formulation, we selected active ingredients that excelled at replenishing lost moisture and helped skin to retain it, while alleviating redness and inflammation.
To eliminate even the slightest risk of irritation, we avoided artificial fragrances, synthetic dyes, ethyl alcohols, paraben preservatives, silicon and petroleum-based surfactants, and mineral oils.
Then Becky’s team of trainers and her network of OSS graduates put Bel Mondo to the final test.
Thirty oncology-trained estheticians evaluated our Moisture Renewal Mask. Their response, and the feedback from the patients they worked with, was overwhelmingly positive. Our new product earned the status of “OSS Oncology Approved” and launched in the fall of 2019.
Much Work To Be Done
Like any other brand, with any other product launch, I know that my work has just begun. It is always a bit of an uphill climb for a niche brand like mine to create awareness in the supersaturated aesthetics market.
While the early results have been fairly encouraging, the truth is I need many more skin care professionals to sample the mask, to trust Bel Mondo, to bring it to an audience that deserves to try it.
Yet I feel a certain calm.
When I think about how this project began, it was nothing less than providence that led me to Becky Kuehn. She was the first and only person I reached out to – a cancer survivor, a pioneer in oncology esthetics, a national speaker, and an advocate for all those on the cancer journey.
Please do not read into this post any sense of pride or accomplishment.
I know that Bel Mondo did not create a perfect product; others may have been able to achieve more, had they tried.
But what was attempted throughout the process was pure in its intent, and at the heart of it was a basic question worth asking: can sheet masks – forever associated with silly Instagram selfies – also serve a nobler purpose?
Let me know your thoughts.