Philosophy skin care sells out

Beauty in Seattle on 1 Feb 2007 at 12:00pm

On the heels of the news that specialty skincare company DDF was acquired by P&G, another innovative skin care brand lost it's independence. Philosophy skincare was acquired by the Carlyle Group.

Philosophy skin care has thrived as an anti-establishment skincare brand, driven by the vision of the founder Cristina Carlino. To be honest, I'm not excited to see Philosophy change.  And change seems inevitable given that the new owners are all about profit maximization and Cristina is moving out of day-to-day operations.

Carlyle clearly smells a big opportunity taking Philosophy mainstream:

Carlyle was attracted to philosophy for several reasons, including its exceptionally loyal and enthusiastic customer base; its differentiated positioning, which appeals to a broad set of consumers, many of whom are just discovering the brand; its consistent and impressive track record of growth and profitability; and its vast opportunities for future growth through retail expansion, geographic expansion and product line extensions.

Certainly I can't fault Cristina for cashing out; she has grown fabulous brand equity. But for many of us, skin care products are more than the ingredients in the tube or jar.  It's about the people behind the brand.  A private equity firm isn't inspirational to me.