On the heels of launching its latest product, science-backed skin-care brand Noble Panacea is carving out a prominent spot for itself in the luxury beauty category.
In February, Noble Panacea launched its first product since the brand’s debut at the end of 2019. Called Chronobiology Sleep Mask, the overnight mask is the first item in a new treatment franchise of products called The Exceptional. At $310, the sleep mask is on par with products in Noble Panacea’s nighttime Absolute collection, with prices ranging from $239-$420. Noble Panacea sells through approximately 20 retailers globally, including Net-a-Porter, Harrods, Saks Fifth Avenue and Le Bon Marché. Noble Panacea was founded on the research of Sir Fraser Stoddart, a 2016 Nobel Prize winner for chemistry. It signed actress Jamie Comer as a global brand ambassador in 2020.
In 2021, Noble Panacea grew U.S. sales by 450% year-over-year, which Céline Talabaza, CEO of Noble Panacea, said is not unexpected given the brand is less than three years old.
“How do you launch a new brand in an unprecedented scenario like the pandemic, where people don’t know what to buy or how to behave?” said Talabaza. “[In 2020 and 2021,] people were taking better care of their skin, and that has been one important portent factor for [Noble Panacea’s success].”
The Chronobiology Sleep Mask comes with eight single-use doses, a gua shua tool and a silicone brush to apply the product. Noble Panacea wanted to add a ritualized element to the overnight mask to underscore the luxury of the products and suggest relaxation prior to bedtime. A video campaign for the product launched in early February. It features Comer trying to arrive at a destination at a specific time, serving as a metaphor for the product’s focus on delivering encapsulated time-released ingredients at intervals throughout the night. The Exceptional collection is meant to offer treatment products not used on a daily basis — hence the sleep mask coming with only eight sachets. It also targets specific skin-care concerns.
“We try to [offer] a mix of gorgeous inspirations and visuals, but make sure that people get some scientific content, too,” Talabaza said. “We’re trying to make people understand the differentiator of Noble Panacea, which is the technology. The technology is on such a [small] scale that you can’t see it, so we need to illustrate it and speak about it.”
Static and short video ads on Facebook and Instagram, among other channels, similarly boast the brand’s technology through highly visual language. For example, a 36-second video ad for Chronobiology Sleep Mask states, “Sumptuous sensoriality with five precious botanical oils.” Meanwhile, a static ad promotes the association with Stoddart’s research, stating, in part, “This ultimate overnight treatment is a truly sophisticated, intelligent piece of science.”
Noble Panacea is among a younger class of science-backed luxury brands that include 111Skin, Augustinus Bader and Dr. Barbara Sturm. These ultra-sophisticated brands are bringing both innovation and freshness to a category historically dominated by the likes of SK-II and La Mer. Plus, they’re helping to drive the prestige beauty category to $115 billion in annual sales, roughly 25% of the entire beauty market according to McKinsey & Co.
Noble Panacea’s core customers in the U.S. are bi-coastal between California and New York, and there is a growing base in Texas, said Talabaza. A core age group has not developed yet, with customer spanning their early 20s to 70-years-old. A hero product has also yet to emerge within the brand’s nine products. Talabaza said her main priorities in 2022 are to expand Noble Panacea’s presence and brand awareness in the U.S., including through a partnership with L.A.-based aesthetician Melanie Grant. There are also plans to expand to markets in Asia in 2022.
“In every country or market, we find the best partner that would understand our values and would let us glorify the product and make sure that it can be explained,” said Talabaza.