Rich & George Wants To Make Your Relationship With Skincare Easy

By Lucy Slight
Rich & George co-founders Rishija Dolli (left) and Georgina Niu met while studying law at university. Photo / Supplied

When it comes to skincare, Rishija Dolli and Georgina Niu consider themselves experts in using it, not making it. So when they decided, three years ago, to launch a skincare brand of their own, the Auckland entrepreneurs sought out Aotearoa’s best chemists and formulators to turn their well-thought-out dream into a reality.

The aim was to build a brand that offered a simple skincare solution for people who weren’t as obsessed with skincare as Rishija and Georgina were. People who were — predominantly — reaching for their partner’s precious serums and moisturisers, without really understanding what the products did or how to use them.

In a sea of creams and lotions promising to perform miracles, the long-time friends discovered that anyone seeking simplicity was left feeling overwhelmed, and men were often forgotten about altogether.

“Marketing for skincare is very much one-sided, packaged in a very feminine way,” explains Georgina, who, in pursuit of skincare to buy her boyfriend so he’d stop swiping hers, was met with nothing but musk-fragranced products in hyper-masculine packaging. “I couldn’t find anything that I thought would work well.”

“We wanted to get all the things that we thought were important in our skincare regime and, talking to our chemists in New Zealand, find out how we could condense it into a two-step product [range],” says Rishija of the process, which involved finding formulators who understood their vision and would work with local ingredients to really push the benchmark and produce products that would stack up against their personal favourites.

Rich & George Clean Slate Gel Cleanser and Get Set Gel Moisturiser. Photo / Supplied
Rich & George Clean Slate Gel Cleanser and Get Set Gel Moisturiser. Photo / Supplied

Three years and many more iterations later, the first offering from Rich & George was ready — two products that Rishija and Georgina believe are the ideal entry point into skincare for everyone, no matter their age, stage or gender.

Formulated here in New Zealand, Rich & George’s 100 per cent plant-based Clean Slate Gel Cleanser and Get Set Gel Moisturiser draw upon natural ingredients (90 per cent of them grown locally), including kawakawa, green coffee bean, sweet orange oil and aloe vera.

As lovers of actives such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and vitamin B3, the pair left it up to their team of chemists to bring all the elements together into a product that felt great to use and delivered hydrating, balancing and anti-ageing benefits to all skin types.

As self-proclaimed experts in using skincare, Rishija and Georgina were fastidious when it came to the useability of the products. “For us, it was more about the senses as opposed to the science,” explains Georgina. “It’s all about making something that people want to use every single day.”

The nature of the packaging was also paramount, with fully recyclable sugarcane plastic tubes and recyclable card and soybean inks used for their boxes, which took longer than if they’d gone down the traditional plastic packaging route.

But the choice to reduce their carbon footprint and be mindful of their environmental impact is all part of Rishija and Georgina’s vision of setting a new skincare standard with Rich & George, embracing “skinimalism” and taking up less space, while making a mark in the cluttered beauty market.

“Yes, it’s simple. Yes, it’s only two steps, but it’s just as effective,” insists Rishija.

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