Judy Cheung-Wood was a senior city planner before she began her journey into skincare. Although her grandfather was a chemist and manufacturer of natural skincare products, she never imagined that she would go into the industry herself. In 2006, Judy Cheung-Wood launched her home-grown Australian business, SkinB5. Judy’s own journey in healing her acne inspired her to get into the skincare business, which has now helped to successfully treat thousands of acne sufferers across the globe to regain their confidence.
When did you start your business?
We officially launched SkinB5 16 years ago in 2006, but I had been working on the business (from my bedroom!) for the first two years.
What was the inspiration behind starting this business?
My own struggle with acne is what led me to start my own skincare line. I inherited my father’s oily skin and suffered from acne and other mysterious skin issues as a teenager and young adult. I tried everything, but nothing worked, until I came across a medical paper about a trial using high potency vitamin B5 as a supplement to treat acne with significant results.
I wasn’t taking take any supplements at the time, so thought there was a glimmer of hope that this might be the holy grail to improving my skin. I bought a heap of vitamin B5 capsules and two months later, my acne was gone and people around me started to notice that my skin was clear and glowing! I wanted more people to be able to free themselves from the burden of acne and achieve clear skin, that’s why I decided to start SkinB5.
What are you most excited about in your business?
I am so excited to see SkinB5 is now trusted by an increasing number of health professionals as a workable alternative to prescription acne medication. I am looking forward to seeing us continuing to grow in this space. Also, I am still as excited today as I was the first time I received customer testimonials – I feel really connected to their emotional journey when they describe how SkinB5 has helped them regain confidence and sense of freedom.
What has been the most challenging thing about starting your business?
The greatest challenge has been to convince health professionals that the SkinB5 way of treating acne holistically works. When it comes to acne therapies, both the Australian and global market are completely dominated by pharmaceutical multinationals that have been offering the same treatments for the last 30 years. No one believed a home-grown Australian business could invent a new way to treat acne effectively, without the side effects.
Just five years ago, our sales reps would walk into pharmacies to introduce them to SkinB5, and they would smile politely and say, ‘’Interesting, but not for our pharmacy.’’ We overcame the rejection by offering free products to pharmacy team members and pharmacists who have suffered from persistent severe acne to see the results for themselves. Eventually, community pharmacies started asking their wholesalers for SkinB5. We use the same product trial approach with international buyers, as the proof is in the visible results – 80% of our customers see visible improvements in just four weeks.
What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a business?
Persist! I faced so many rejections and hurdles when I started my entrepreneurial journey, I initially really struggled to get people to believe in me and my vision – which is now a global award-winning business.
Seven years ago, I faced a whole new exciting and wonderful chapter, becoming a mum to my gorgeous daughter. I had to quickly learned the challenges and joys that come with balancing being mum and being the boss. It was hard but we persisted as a family, she would even come to expos with me and hand out flyers. She was always a crowd favourite!
Why did you enter the AusMumpreneur Awards?
Being a Mumpreneur is not an easy feat – like many other women entrepreneurs out there who have their children in tow, trying to balance the needs of family and business life is extremely challenging and constantly demanding.
Also, as women, I believe we tend to not celebrate our own achievements enough, so I decided to enter AusMumpreneur Awards because I thought it is time for me to sit down and reflect on my SkinB5 journey and share my experience with others.
What did you enjoy the most about being part of the awards?
Getting to know the AusMumpreneur team, particularly Peace and Katy. They are simply wonderful humans and truly genuine in their desire to support women in business through providing strong emotional support, as well as networking and upskilling opportunities.
Being part of the awards has also given me amazing opportunities to get inspired by the hundreds of women with incredible life stories that drive them in their business journey.
What surprised you most about the awards?
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the incredible warmth, emotional depth, and richness of everyone involved in the awards. Even only meeting them through Zoom calls, I still felt connected because everything they did radiated honesty and a genuine desire to connect.
How did the awards help you in your business?
Aside from raising our brand profile, the awards help highlight SkinB5 as a female founded and led company. The AusMumpreneur Awards have also helped me made new connections for collaboration and networking opportunities.
What advice would you give to other mums thinking about entering the awards?
Go for it! Even if you don’t end up receiving an award, it is an incredible opportunity to meet other truly like-minded Mumpreneurs. Writing the submission and attending the interviews with the judges is also an excellent skill building experience – being able to pitch your business effectively is an essential entrepreneurship skill.
What has been the best thing about starting your own business?
I love that I can do what I am passionate about every day. The best part is that we have been able to help thousands of desperate, depressed acne sufferers from across the globe to regain clear and healthy skin, but most importantly their confidence. We’ve had so many customers tell us that SkinB5 products are ‘game changers’ and ‘life changers’.
What’s happening next in your business?
We’ve recently partnered with Arrotex Pharmaceuticals. This exciting new partnership will see SkinB5 available in most pharmacies across Australia, and beyond.
What are your big plans for the future?
My vision is for SkinB5 to become a global leader in innovative skin wellness products that deliver real and lasting positive outcomes for people. I feel that every day I am one step closer!
What is your website and/or social media links?
You can find us on www.skinb5.com and follow us on your favourite social media sites on @skinB5.