March 2020

Anit Hora of MS Skincare - Part I: The Business

Name: Anit Hora
Brand: M.S Skincare
Established: 2012
Hometown: New York City

What motivated you to start?

I was a licensed esthetician because I was passionate about skin care but I was also a certified herbalist and yoga teacher & was using ayurvedic and herbal remedies for skin for myself & family & friends. Everyone kept asking for more and offered to pay me which is when I thought maybe I have something here. I thought I would commit to doing one craft fair and see what the response to help me decide if I should actually start doing this more seriously. The response was overwhelmingly positive and thus began Mullein & Sparrow, which is now M.S Skincare.

What would you consider your hero product from your brand?

Easily the Luminary face oil and it immediately became a cult favorite. The skincare category is growing so quickly that people might not remember that back then there weren’t a million face oils on the market. We were one of the first and I really studied the botanicals that would go into the formula and made sure they worked well together and everyone who used it noticed a difference in their skin.

What standards/non-negotiable’s do you take into consideration when thinking about enhancing or developing new products?

We don’t take shortcuts in the formula or the packaging. The costs are higher to have glass packaging and cartons, tissue paper & bubble wrap that are recycled or biodegradable, but we don’t compromise on these things. Similarly, the costs are higher to get the cold-pressed oils, the organic essentials, the most finely milled powders, but we won’t compromise on quality. If you read our ingredients for instance, you’ll see that in our hero face toner the first ingredient is pure rose hydrosol, not water as you’ll find in a lot of popular or less expensive options available on the market. We’re not going to put out something just to make it as marketable as possible, we care about the quality and the sustainability of our line.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges for "beauty / wellness" brands today?

Again, skincare is growing at a crazy pace. It feels like there are new brands every 10 seconds and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between them. I think the challenge in wellness is to still be able to stand out and hope that customers who share your values (sustainability, real ingredients, potent formulas) are going to take the time to discern the authentic brands which are genuinely focused on skincare and not merely sales data.

What has been one of your proudest moments since creating M.S. Skincare?

Being featured in The New York Times. As a New Yorker, that felt really sentimental and good!

What can we expect in the future from M.S Skincare?

Hopefully CBD. We’re still a small team so things can take time from inception to final product, but we are hoping to be able to introduce products with this amazing ingredient by the end of 2020.

What advice would you give customers who want to make the most out of your brand?

Products in any line really work the best when used together. So we really recommend for whatever brand of skincare you choose to try, make a small regimen out of it. Get their cleanser, toner & moisturizer if you can. Learn your skin and what it likes and doesn’t before you start combining a slew of products from 50 different brands.