Despite the age-old warning not to sleep in your makeup, Fiona Chan went to bed without washing her face for years — and she paid the price.
Chan suffered from bad allergic reactions –– sometimes so severe she’d end up in the hospital. Years later, the San Francisco resident decided to take matters into her own hands, launching Youthforia, a makeup line that’s branded as “so safe, you can sleep in it.”
Chan and her husband started Youthforia last April at the height of the pandemic. A former tech startup worker, Chan was on a mission to create a makeup line using skin-friendly ingredients that were also good for the environment.
But then masks became the norm, and Chan says some of the people around her questioned why she was even trying to get a makeup brand off the ground. For her, it was obvious. Chan was imagining a life after COVID-19.
“I really wanted to build a brand that was going to be relevant post-pandemic that was around this idea of celebrating fun and having fun with your friends,” she said.
While even well-established businesses struggled to keep their doors open the last year because of the pandemic, Youthforia’s startup struggles were centered around creating makeup in a new way.
“What we do differently from other clean makeup brands is we try really hard to formulate without fossil fuels,” Chan said.
Instead of using synthetic materials derived from petroleum, she sources her products from all natural ingredients.
Youthforia’s products are all certified by the United States Department of Agriculture Biopreferred Program, meaning they use renewable materials –– 90 percent by Chan’s estimates.
To ensure her makeup wasn’t just eco-friendly but skin-friendly as well, Chan put it to the test by sleeping in the makeup for months. She even recruited her husband to help, as well. What she found was that the patches of her skin where she applied the makeup improved.
“A lot of our products are made like a skincare product, but then you add in the makeup component and add a layer of complexity,” she said. “I hadn’t seen anything like this on the market.”