Kelly had typical teenage acne, but what happened during her final year of college completely surprised her. Several large, painful acne nodules started appearing on her face. So, she tried treating them with readily available acne treatments. Sadly nothing worked; desperate for help, Kelly went to see a dermatologist, who injected medication into her painful acne to help clear them. This treatment worked for a few days, but the acne soon returned.
Now the doctor prescribed antibiotic after antibiotic, but nothing worked. Kelly felt devastated and quit her job and college. The acne left her feeling too stressed and withdrawn, which hampered her friendships and extracurricular activities severely.
Kelly’s story is not unique, and everyday dermatologists witness the devastating effects that acne can have on someone’s life. It can lead to bullying, causing low self-esteem and several other psychological impacts.
Surveys across the planet show the profound influence of severe acne on the emotional and mental health of individuals, teenagers, and young adults. Strong data from the USA shows that teenagers with severe acne and skin care issues are twice as likely to commit suicide than those without.
So, to provide effective treatment and care for acne skin, Magdalena Orzechowska founded Skinloop. It provides dermatology and acne treatment services intended to restore the proper state of epidermal proliferation and regulate the level of sebum secretion. Skinloop focuses on eliminating acne scars and discoloration, clarifying other non-inflammatory changes, restoring a healthy glow, and balancing skin deficiencies, enabling patients with acne to regain color and prevent its recurrence.
In an exclusive interview with the Inc Magazine, Magdalena Orzechowska shares the story of Skinloop’s progress and how it is helping patients recover from acne-related issues.
Below are the highlights of the interview.
Please tell me your story.
Magdalena – From an early age, I have always enjoyed a passion for Cosmetics and the Beauty Industry and knew that this was what I would pursue in later life as a profession. In fact, I started working in the Dermatology and Beauty Industry while I was still at university prior to completing my studies in Political Sciences when I was appointed as a Marketing Trainee for L’Oreal, working in their Active Cosmetics Division.
My studies, although not directly linked with the skincare industry, helped develop in me strategic thinking, in-depth analysis, and sociological observation. Consequently, setting goals, building strategies, and creative roadmaps comes naturally to me, and I used these skills in the biggest beauty company in the world. Working in a marketing and business development environment that has an international outlook helps you to develop not only on a professional level but also on a personal level. As a result, I have developed a mindset that is determined, resilient, innovative, and creative.
Prior to developing and launching Skinloop, I was involved with skin care projects that provided free-skin care diagnosis across Poland. These were large-scale events that took place all over Poland and helped educate, diagnose and treat skin issues such as melanoma and acne. My experiences at these events and my work at L’Oreal inspired me to create and market skincare solutions that were not only commercially viable but also made a valuable social and environmental impact.
Surveys across the globe regularly show the profound influence of severe acne on the emotional and mental health of individuals, particularly teenagers and young adults – it can lead to decreased self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. There is strong data from the USA that shows teenagers with severe acne and skin care issues are twice as likely to commit suicide than those without.
There is a strong data from the USA that shows strong negative impact of Instagram culture of good skin on the mental health of those with acne.
This is staggering when you consider acne is regularly dismissed in society as part of one’s teenage phase and simply part of growing up. Something that most of us must go through at some point in our lives (according to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, over 90% of the population will have acne at some point in their lifetime). The truth is, untreated and severe acne can persist for many years and can lead to permanent changes in the skin, which as a result, affects our well-being, confidence as well as personal and professional relationships long after puberty has passed.
Unfortunately, the trivialization of the problem also affects the way acne is treated by the medical profession in general, and it also impacts how those with acne feel societally. According to European studies, only 27% of patients are satisfied with the medical treatment they received for acne, so the vast majority have a negative experience. However, perhaps the biggest issue is that 53% of the populace with acne will not go to a specialist at all. They will follow the advice of friends and family or look for help on online forums – which is another reason why acne is not treated properly.
At the core of Skinloop is listening to the real demands and requirements of consumers and dermatological patients. Skinloop has successfully merged the incredible diagnostic opportunities created by modern technology and the development of AI and utilizes this to develop a personalized approach that creates a blend that is truly tailored to the individual’s needs and expectations.
At Skinloop, we are building the first solution in Europe that provides accessible treatment for everyone. It is Convenient – accessible, and affordable; it is Patient Focused – based on objective and in-depth diagnosis, and it is Multifaceted – offering a holistic approach to treatment by providing real effective remedies and protection from relapses.
The heart of our Skinloop business model is patient and consumer care. Working directly to resolve skin care issues by meeting client needs and requirements effectively, delivering permanent resolutions while managing their emotional and overall well-being. This is achieved through our holistic and integrated treatment methods supported by technology that allows us to provide medical services and user service at an unprecedented personal level. We fuse our client care and treatment with a dedication to caring for our environment and planet, which our users deeply appreciate.
The uniqueness of Skinloop lies in the perfect combination of patient care, medicine, and technology.
How do you diversify your organization’s offerings to appeal to the target audience?
Magdalena – At Skinloop, our mission is to improve the quality of life of those with acne by tailoring and delivering effective acne treatment that is accessible to everyone. We achieve that by merging dermatology with technology and binding that together with a personalised approach and excellent consumer service. We take care of our patients through regular contact for the entire duration of their treatment.
Our daily proactive care is what distinguishes us from the current acne treatments that are available. It is our unique feature.
Online skin diagnosis and online consultations make our service available to anyone who needs us. Our target group is primarily people who, because of geographical or financial reasons, cannot access and/or benefit from treatment in a dermatological office. We want our offer to be available to everyone who needs it, hence the affordable price positioning.
Moreover, I must highlight our personalized and comprehensive rounded approach – the treatment and care plan for each patient is prepared not only by a dermatologist, but treatment guidelines also cover areas such as diet, supplements, mental health, and exercise.
Thanks to our partnership with the Medical University of Lodz and the doctors and pharmacists with whom we collaborate, we are excited about building and advancing innovative treatment regimens only available with Skinloop.
Brief us about your company’s future perspectives.
Magdalena – Our goal is to make dermatological solutions as widely accessible as possible. To achieve this goal, we need to combine accessibility with technology. A twin approach.
Firstly, we want to build on the collaboration we have developed with the University of Lodz and strengthen our partnerships with the scientific community, dermatological associations, and medical providers in order to popularize our approach to the treatment of acne and other skin conditions and make it as widely available as possible.
Secondly, we want to improve the development of our technology to make the treatment path even faster, more accurate, and more effective. Acne therapies are often associated with side effects; hence our treatment model places so much emphasis on patient care and comfort. Refining, developing, and advancing the technology we currently use in this area will play a key role in the future of our business. In the future, we can potentially share our technology and patient care model with others in the industry.
Like many start-ups, financial backing and the support of our patrons have been key to getting us off and running as well as maintaining our current success. We are fortunate to have the full cooperation of our investors when it comes to our vision, development directions, and mission to promote easy access to effective dermatological solutions, and our business model has been designed to open itself naturally and instinctively to new markets and channels through which consumers can reach us.
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?
Magdalena – Recently, one of our patients wrote – ‘you saved my skin and my life.’ These words of gratitude have been my greatest accomplishment and a fantastic endorsement of what we are achieving with Skinloop.
I am extremely pleased with my transition from the conventional Health and Beauty industry to a more modern innovative skincare business that uses technology to improve patient care and outcomes. Skinloop has demonstrated that a different and more beneficial approach to acne treatment is possible. Consumer satisfaction is the best proof of that.
Being a key person in this environment is very challenging and all-consuming—are you prepared for the challenge? (How would you Control the Situation)
Magdalena – Thanks to many years of experience in the industry, I have had the pleasure to work with plenty of talented people and the opportunity to build a network of contacts whose abilities I believe in.
One of the essential features that I try to develop and cultivate is a high-performing, effective and driven team. At Skinloop, we all share the same passion, vision, and goal for the business. Everyone understands our mission. This creates a positive culture where we can appreciate what we each bring to the table, our talents, our competencies, but also our differences. As a result, we are all incredibly determined, and there is a healthy competitive environment where everyone drives each other forward to reach our mutually shared goals. We are not afraid of different opinions; in fact, this is encouraged and embraced. It is important that the team has fun and enjoys every day. I work hard to create an environment that is full of exciting possibilities and gives the team the space it needs to push forward creatively. It is this shared understanding and a welcoming culture that helps create a shared responsibility for the overall success and development of the company.
At Skinloop, not only are we fulfilling our professional curiosity, but also a shared dream.
What is your “Secret Sauce?” i.e., what are the 3-5 Leadership Principles that you have discovered and executed that have contributed to your success?
Magdalena – I believe our emotions play a huge role in who we are and how we see ourselves. When I was younger, I divided my emotional needs from my professional aspirations. However, as I have gained more business experience and developed as a leader, I have come to realize that one of my greatest assets is my emotional intelligence and ability to connect with others personally and professionally. So today, rather than keep these aspects of myself separated, I have learned to combine my emotional needs with my commercial ambitions. Consequently, I am much happier and more satisfied professionally. I have used what I have learned in my personal and professional life to create a new venture and become the type of leader that helps others develop their own abilities and achieve greater success professionally.
I am extremely passionate and believe in what I do. I really enjoy the fact that what we are doing at Skinloop is helping others, and we are generating something that makes others feel good about themselves – healthy skin means greater well-being, self-confidence, better relationships, and quality of life.
If passion is the foundation – curiosity, an open mind, and a quest for excellence are, in my opinion, the building blocks of a flourishing enterprise.
The Health and Beauty industry is always evolving, and to remain at the forefront, you need to be constantly pushing the boundaries, improving, and innovating. You cannot stand still. To be successful in this industry, you must capitalize on the technology available and use it to explore and find fresh solutions. Creating a dedicated team full of entrepreneurial spirit that is confident in working autonomously is also very important. The combination of technology, good team spirit, and meeting the needs of your consumers is how you build, in my opinion, an enduring and vibrant organization that achieves success for its clients and business partners.
What does success look like for you?
Magdalena – For me, success is the opportunity to work and develop something you truly believe in, solutions that are in line with your life principles and values.
One of the most important aspects of success for me is also the creative process and giving real shape to valuable ideas.
Success also means being able to work in an environment and with people you like and admire.
What are some of the new ideas you would implement in this position?
Magdalena – It is predicted that by 2027 the value of the global telemedicine marketplace will reach EUR 420 trillion. In Poland, where Skinloop is launched, the telemedicine market is growing at an impressive pace. In the next few years, the telemedicine market in Poland will grow three times faster than the global rate.
The idea for Skinloop was born during the first lockdown, and at that time, it was not fully formed. It was a band-aid for acne patients who felt isolated and who were struggling to locate adequate, reliable treatment for their skin condition. It immediately transpired that the service we want to offer to our clients, although very early in its development, is unique, is meeting their needs, and is in vogue with developing medical services.
Covid-19 was a major catalyst in the rapid adaptation of the technology needed to expand the telemedicine marketplace in CEE. The question facing the industry is whether or not the current rapid pace of digitization will continue to increase the effectiveness and quality of medical services, including diagnostics, monitoring the progress of treatment, and patient education. At Skinloop, we believe the answer to this question is a resounding “YES.”
Undeniably, the use of tech-based virtual medical services will have a profound and transformative impact on health care. Innovative online healthcare tools will increase access to medical care, diagnosis, and treatment and reduce the cost of providing services at the same time.
The introduction of 5G networks globally is a breakthrough for the healthcare system. The improvement in the quality and speed of data transfer, along with the development of the IoT (Internet of Things), significantly increases the ability to diagnose, treat and care for patients virtually. Every year, hundreds of thousands of different types of connected medical devices are produced – including monitoring devices worn by patients, implants, and, of course, stationary monitoring or diagnostic devices – thanks to this, a completely new tech category is booming – the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). IoMT combines virtual technologies and traditional medicine to improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis and therapy, as well as health monitoring and patient behavior modification in real-time. The large amount of medical data generated creates new opportunities and new models of patient care. This has completely revolutionized the provision of healthcare leading to improved treatment efficacy and patient satisfaction.
With this in mind, at Skinloop, we have created a comprehensive model of patient care based on 4 principles:
- Personalization – a therapy based on an in-depth diagnosis of the patient’s skin, tailored strictly to their specific requirements and expectations.
- Predictability – based on our medical database, we are able to determine how long the therapy period will last, what the treatment stages will be, and post-treatment care.
- Interaction – an open channel with the patient that constantly monitors the effectiveness of the treatment, which acts as an early warning system aimed at minimizing the side effects of common acne treatments.
- Prevention – the management of the patient after the therapy to protect the patient from relapses and acne recurrence.
What is your “vision” in life, e.g., what drives you to a Successful Journey?
Magdalena – What drives and motivates me every day is seeing the positive response our clients have to Skinloop. The before and after pictures that they post online and the numerous positive reviews. I am living my dream of creating a venture that is improving the quality of life of our customers by providing accessible and effective health and beauty skin care treatments.
What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
Magdalena – The ability to infect your team with a strong work ethic, the skill to think creatively, and the belief that anything is possible.
What’s the best advice you’ve recently received?
Magdalena – Maybe it’s not the most recent or the best advice, but probably one of the most memorable – it is better not to chase perfection but be agile in your thinking.