BETA
Close

This Female-Founded Cult Brand Unites Science And Skincare

Business

"If you believe in something, do it." That's the motto of Francine Porter, founder of Osmotics Skincare line. This philosophy has indeed gotten her far – since she first launched the line in 1993, the company has become a pioneer of producing cutting-edge antiaging formulas that combine scientific innovation with skincare products.


Osmotics' debut product, the Vitamin C Transdermal Patch, was created at Porter's own kitchen table. According to Porter, her patch was the first transdermal technology made for anti-aging treatment; allowing vitamin C to be absorbed slowly through the skin. To use it, consumers simply apply the patch directly to the desired area – places like crow's feet, upper lip lines – and worn overnight for six to eight hours. The overnight treatment claims to visibly reduce facial wrinkles and eliminate aging free radicals for smoother, younger-looking skin. Porter currently holds the patent for anti-wrinkle vitamin C patches.

An Atlanta native and Denver resident, Porter experienced skin sensitivity at age 14, which spurred a personal commitment to develop scientifically-based skin and hair care products to deliver effective results. “I wanted to provide women with an alternative to the big, traditional, commercial brands and create truly effective products based on real science and clinically proven technologies,” explains Porter.

Francine Porter Courtesy of Osmotics

And that she did. The skincare line continued to churn out innovative skincare products featuring never-before used ingredients. In 1997, the company launched the first anti-aging product using copper peptide, an ingredient used in wound healing. Copper increases firmness, elasticity, and radiance.

A year later, Osmotics launched its first sugar scrub, an indulgent, “feel good” product that flaunted the lighter side of Osmotics. In 2000, the line rolled out cream-based products shown to repair the skin’s barrier function – the first of its kind to feature such technology, according to Porter. Most recently, in 2008, the company launched its renovage cellular longevity serum, starring teprenone, which has been shown to increase cellular lifespan and promote skin repair factors involved in anti-stress, detoxification, telomere maintenance and DNA repair.

This bundle of products showcasing the intersection of technology and skincare is the result of a process that is heavily backed up by science. “I put together a scientific advisory board, which no one had done before,” Porter said. “At that time, no one really did clinical studies. When we launched our website, we put our clinical studies on the site for consumers to see.”

The founder is now a much-sought after expert in cosmetics and skin care, known for her training, knowledge, and expertise. Things didn’t always come so easily for her, however. When she first launched her product line, peopled asked her, “did you lose your mind?” Porter's approach to skincare was revolutionary in 1993 – “At that point, there was no science-based skincare... with clinical data. There was just a lot of fluff and marketing.” Though there is a multitude of companies who claim to be science-driven, this small company is actually doing that, and have from the very start.

And now, 14 years later, she is the emblem of a successful entrepreneur. If she had any advice to give to budding start-ups, it’s: “be true to what you are. We don’t try to be everything to everyone. We aren’t organic. Our products have always been about science-based sources with clinical validation.” The focus is not solely on high-tech ingredients – it’s also on high-quality ingredients. Because of the high-quality ingredients, the company does not mass-distribute their products. This emphasis on quality over quantity is essential to any type of skincare line.

In the past, Osmotics’s demographic was an older age group, but looking forward, Porter says the company will also expand its focus to younger demographics. This shift makes sense, since much of their customer base bring their daughters to Osmotics. “I love the millennials,” Porter gushes. “There’s so much clutter and nonsense about them and it’s not our target, but we reach them through their moms.” Their forthcoming collection, titled Color Verite, will address that issue by targeting millennials. Color Verite will launch in late August 2017.

Priced from $28.00 (Soothing Micellar Cleansing Water) to $298.00 (3-in-1 Ageless Facial Enhancer), Osmotics products are sold across the U.S., and found in stores like Nordstrom and Dillard's.

Sleep Tight Mask Courtesy of Osmotics

Porter imparts one last piece of sage advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “You have to believe in what you are doing. Don’t let people dissuade you from your purpose – you have to have enthusiasm and passion.” Judging by her success, this approach to business endeavors is integral to success.

The Quick 10

1. What app do you use the most?

Pinterest (It’s my escape into beautiful images!)

2. Briefly describe your morning routine.

Wake up around 6:30am. Drink large amounts of coffee while reviewing news, email and handling anything urgent from my iPhone. Shower & dress. Out the door to the office.

3. Name a business mogul you admire.

Oprah Winfrey.

4. What product do you wish you had invented?

Chocolate milk.

5. What is your spirit animal?

Momma Bear.

6. What is your life motto?

“Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.” - Goethe

7. Name your favorite work day snack.

Popcorn.

8. Every entrepreneur must be what to be successful?

Tenacity. Never give up, never surrender!

9. What’s the most inspiring place you’ve traveled to?

Australia.

10. Desert Island. Three things, go.

Sunblock, toothbrush, books.

Career

Male Managers Afraid To Mentor Women In Wake Of #MeToo Movement

Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.


In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.

What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.

Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.

Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.

While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.

According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.

In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.


Source-Alex Brandon, AP

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.

Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.

The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.