Brand Break Down: Go-To Skincare

Updated: Mar 16

*This feature is not sponsored or paid for in any way by Go-To Skincare or any other invested party.

**This feature has had no input from Go-To Skincare aside from information available on their website and will be updated if/when they respond to requests for information


We asked the Facebook community of a popular beauty retail chain in Australia if they’ve tried any of the products from Go-To Skincare and we were met with an overwhelming number of responses within the hour. It’s no secret that Go-To Skincare is one of the popular brands on its roster – a real achievement for a brand that made waves through DTC (Direct-to-Consumer) sales before hitting the shelves of retail giants.

Named “Go-To” in a process that doesn’t sound creative at first but is undeniably a genius move for brand recall, their peach-themed products are giving Glossier a run for its money with a packaging design that injects fun vibes to an otherwise boring skincare #shelfie, and many users raving about Face Hero, Fancy Face, and Exfoliating Swipeys. And let’s not forget how the company responded to inclusivity issues raised by the beauty community (more on this later).



OWNERSHIP

Zoë makes being a mother and entrepreneur look easy.

A first look at the brand and you wouldn’t have guessed that this is the brainchild of Australian beauty expert Zoë Foster Blake. After all, plenty of dermatologists, facialists, skin experts, and popular YouTubers have used their own names for their own brand. This doesn’t mean though that Zoë is not as credible. On the contrary, she’s had years of experience working rounds for Harper’s Bazaar Australia and Cosmopolitan as a beauty director. She has also been reviewing and recommending products through her blogs since 2006 and in 2011, published Amazing Face – a book on the basics of beauty – with a follow-up in 2016 titled Amazinger Face. If anyone knows what consumers want, it's Zoë.

After thousands of product reviews, in 2014 she founded a skincare brand that was meant to be fun, simple, and clean. The playful copy, refreshing peach color, and fun font of Go-To Skincare reflected Zoë’s humor, writing style, and her approach to skincare.



INGREDIENTS, SOURCING & MANUFACTURING

Go-To claims that only the most useful, powerful, and proven ingredients have been utilised. Meaning, their products do not contain any of these common cosmetic ingredients: petrochemicals, PEGs, mineral oils, parabens, sulfates, silicones, GMOs, synthetic colours, nor fragrances.


As such, Go-To does not test on animals and is certified cruelty-free by Choose Cruelty Free. While NOT all products are vegan friendly, the following items are recommended by Go-To for vegan consumers:

  • Face Hero

  • Properly Clean

  • Very Useful Face Cream

  • Transformazing

  • Fancy Face

Since 2018, the company is certified by the Carbon Reduction Institute as a NoCO2 Business by offsetting 100% of emissions through the purchase of carbon credits from a range of projects.


In order to reduce their carbon footprint, eco boxes and product unit cartons are sourced and made in Sydney (the boxes used to be sent to Sydney from Melbourne). The majority of products are manufactured locally in Australia and by June 2021 all manufacturing will be moved from New Zealand to Australia, thereby having a centralised manufacturing and shipping area and reducing the emissions from interstate and international movement of items and materials.



PACKAGING & RECYCLING OPTIONS

Go-To Skincare is a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant, a voluntary agreement to encourage waste minimization.

In particular, Go-To has turned to more sustainable packaging alternatives by using cardboard lo-fi eco shippers that are made from 66% recycled material and 34% kraft paper which was produced using sustainable forestry practices. These shippers are 100% recyclable, printed with water-based ink, and use no glue. Additionally, Go-To has discontinued the use of stickers, tissue paper, and any unnecessary packaging in their lo-fi shippers.


Unnecessary plastic wrapping on certain products such as Face Case has been removed and website orders come with zero packing plastics. This extends to the use of compostable poly mailers bags, stickers, and tissues.


Further on, product units will switch to OWP (Ocean Waste Plastics) or PCR (recycled plastics), and glass for applicable items. Learn more about Go-To’s sustainability practices here.

Image via Facebook.com/gotoskincare by @krisloui


GIVING BACK

Go-To has partnered with Reforest Now, a non-profit environmental NGO that protects, conserves, and regenerates forests. Their mission is to reclaim and protect the existing rainforests of Australia and the rich ecosystems within by growing and planting trees. So far, the organization has planted 45,600 trees, restored 25 hectares, grown 200 endangered species, and sequestered 8751.25 tonnes of CO2. Go-To aims to support the planting of over 40,000 trees across 150 species in the biodiverse region of Northern NSW, by the end of 2021!


Go-To is also a proud supporter of numerous local schools and hospitals as well as the following:

  • The Children’s Ground - a bold not-for-profit organisation creating a different future with First Nations children, families, and communities experiencing the greatest levels of disadvantage;

  • The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) – a non-profit that provides funding and capacity building support for smaller remote, rural, and regional communities across Australia;

  • Look Good Feel Better - non-medical, brand-neutral public service program that teaches beauty techniques to people with cancer to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment;

  • Black Lives Matter - a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes;

  • Change The Record - Australia’s only national Aboriginal led justice coalition of legal, health, and family violence prevention experts. Our mission is to end the incarceration of, and family violence against, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


Staff members of Go-To are offered four days of paid time to volunteer for relevant community organisations. And the company has committed to match the donations of team members to organisations that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders communities or stand against systemic racism.



DIVERSITY & INCLUSIVITY

As of writing, Go-To Skincare is independently owned by Go-To Skincare Pty Ltd with a rough estimate of 26-36 employees (based on online data). A quick look at their LinkedIn shows majority of employees are women in various managerial positions from backend development to marketing.


As an Australian-founded company, Go-To acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the traditional custodians of the and thus continues to seek a diverse pool of candidates for vacant positions with the goal of increasing BIPOC representation across all levels of Go-To. The company has also partnered with Career Trackers and are implementing a paid internship program for Indigenous Australian university students.


Go-To also works with BIPOC content creators, models and collaborators (both in Australia and the US) as seen in their curated Instagram account. They have appointed a committee to review materials, communications, partnerships, and anything else the community sees to ensure their marketing and communications paint a diverse and equal picture.

Here's hoping that we see more Asians and Muslims in the gram too.

Despite the claims, promises, and growing popularity, the brand has faced backlash on some of its products. In late 2018, Reddit users have called out Go-To Skincare for creating dupes of brands that Zoë has previously raved about in her blog. The brand has also come under fire for its marketing of Zincredible’s non-tinted and tinted versions. While these were debatable and could be attributed to business moves, the single shade of the Zincredible SPF 15 Tinted faced scrutiny for not being inclusive. Back then, Zoë’s defense was that the tint wasn’t meant for coverage but to cut back the white cast of the first Zincredible.

In 2020, Go-To announced the discontinuation of Zincredible SPF 15 Tinted and Pinky-Nudey Lips to honor the brand’s commitment to “promote equality and inclusion” – a move that was met with praise by fans of the brand. In another news that proved Go-To Skincare listens to its users, the brand announced that a high SPF product is in development.

Zoë responded to a need with Go-To Skincare and continues to listen and make changes to the company. Moving forward, the brand has given birth to Bro-To (2016) and Gro-To (2019) a personal care brand for men and kids respectively. It follows the same formula of playful text and clean products for a fun routine. We’re looking forward to what brand will come out next from Go-To Skincare Pty Ltd.


Go-To Skincare ships within Australia, to New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Internationally except to Canada, Central America, Mexico, the USA where orders can be made through https://us.gotoskincare.com/. It is also available through beauty retailers such as Mecca and Sephora.