First Aid Beauty Founder Lilli Gordon Talks Sensitive Skin And Solutions
At the age of five, Lilli was captivated by her grandmother and her sisters’ radiant skin, which paved the way for her own solution-driven beauty brand, First Aid Beauty (FAB), founded in 2009.
Like many of us, Lilli Gordon faced all kinds of skin challenges in her teenage years. Unable to find skincare products that were effective, safe, and suitable for sensitive skin on the market, Lilli took matters into her own hands with a strong belief that real skin should be dealt with real solutions.
Created with an understanding that not all skin is equal, FAB addresses everyday skin concerns—from eczema to an oily T-zone, dark spots to wrinkles or dull skin to acne—with a wide variety of products that allows you to create a skincare routine to meet your individual needs.
With a rescue mission to offer highly effective, luxurious skincare solutions with immediate, long-lasting relief for all skin types, FAB skincare products are formulated with skin nurturing, dermatologist-tested ingredients that are free from harsh chemicals and known allergens.
On her trip to Hong Kong for the official launch of First Aid Beauty’s first global counter at FACESSS Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui and Times Square in Causeway Bay, we sat down with Lilli to talk about skincare solutions for Asian skin, her beauty secrets and more.
How did the FAB skincare line come to be?
My initial inspiration for First Aid Beauty came as a little girl when I was five years old. My grandparents were living with me, and every Sunday my grandmother and her sisters would come over for lunch. These women were known for two things: beautiful skin and great legs. I’d literally be mesmorised, looking at their skin. They were older women, but it wasn’t about the fact that they had fine lines and wrinkles—their skin was translucent and beautiful. In hindsight, I learned at that age that beautiful skin and wrinkle-free skin weren’t synonymous.
Fast forward to 10 years later, I was a teenager, and my skin was a mess—acne, dry and irritated. In the prestige department stores back in that time, it was only facial creams for more mature women and if you had skin problems you’d go to the drug store, which didn't feel effective for the long-run.
In my adult years where I was in finance for about 20 years and got involved very early on with the founders of Fresh, Lev and Alina, who became my best friends, and that was my foray into skincare. After we sold that, I was on my own—a point in my life that I could create the skincare brand of my dreams, inspired by my grandmother and her sisters and later by my own personal experience.
At that time, there wasn’t any purposeful, feel-good products that treated specific skin challenges. First Aid Beauty was born with a mission to provide products that are efficacious and safe for sensitive skin.
In a city like Hong Kong where we’re surrounded by environmental aggressors, what’s the best way to protect our skin?
All of our products are infused with our First Aid Beauty anti-oxidant botanical blend with white tea, feverfew and liquorice root, which are effective to fight environmental aggressors. I think sunscreen and your cleansing rituals are also very important, especially when you live in a city where pollutants are constantly getting into your pores.
What are FAB’s best-selling products and what makes them so popular?
But in every market we’ve been in, all of the top products are very consistent. Our face cleanser is a top seller. You might be surprised: how could something so basic become so popular? We believe great skin starts with a great cleanser. It’s the balance between the cleansing property, the non-irritating formula and the right PH. All of our products are dermatologists-tested, free of artificial fragrance and we’re one of the first brands to be clean in the US.
Our Facial Radiance Pads—people think about exfoliation as something to do once or twice a week, and I think about it a little differently. Our pads are like brushing your teeth every day—the way to get glowing, healthy skin is to clean your pores on a daily basis.
Our Facial Radiance Pads have just under 5% active ingredients with a blend of lactic and glycolic acid. Some brands come up with 15%, 20% pads, and a lot of people think the higher percentage the better—that’s why 70% people in the US have self-perceived sensitive skin. The philosophy of our brand is that when it comes to our skin, less is actually healthier and leads to more beautiful skin over time.
Our Ultra Repair Cream is another best seller, which has a gorgeous whip cream texture. It’s so hydrating that it even treats eczema, but it’s not thick at all. It’s the antithesis of what you’d think of using on dry, itchy skin. We sell one of these every 20 seconds. We’ve done both scientific studies and consumer perception and have measured a 169% average increase in skin hydration after a single application.
How will FAB’s skincare products benefit Asian skin?
I started FAB with six products in the US, and now that the brand has enough products so you can create a customised regimen for your skin, whether you have oily skin, combination skin, dry skin. Based on our data collected from Sephora in the US among Asians, we found that Asian women tend to change up their regimen according to the weather. We have different moisturisers suitable for different months, and we hope that we could educate women here to be able to find the products that are suitable for their skin—it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.
How does your skincare routine look like?
I use a lot more skincare products than a typical American person. In the morning, I first apply FAB's cleanser, Radiance Pads and toner, then I add our priming moisturiser, followed by Ultra Repair cream. I don’t apply any makeup except our tinted moisturiser. In the evening, I cleanse, apply FAB Skin Lab Resurfacing Liquid 10% AHA, hydrating serum, Ultra Repair cream and retinol eye cream as the final step.
What’s next for FAB?
Launching in Asia is a big step for FAB, and between Hong Kong and entering mainland China there's going to be a process. As we get to learn more about our customers here, there might be some product development exclusive to this market. Hopefully we’ll become a household name in this part of the world.
First Aid Beauty Counter:
Shop F49, FACESSS, L2, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui
Shop 05, FACESSS, Times Square,1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
Discover more at firstaidbeauty.com.hk