How La Clinica Went From Skincare To A Best-Selling Sanitiser

We spoke to La Clinica’s Executive Brand Manager Francesca Hopfner on how the cosmeceutical brand with humble beginnings is now perched outside major retailers across Australia. 

La Clinica sold 2.8 units of its All-Purpose Fast Acting Hand Sanitiser per minute in the lead up to the March lockdown. The success of the product was no fluke, but the timing did help. The Australian-owned premium skincare brand had a hand sanitising formula in the works well before any inkling of a global pandemic says Executive Brand Manager Francesca Hopfner.

“This enabled us to hit the ground running earlier this year with a formulation that had been extensively tested with high user feedback, rather than a near-enough-is-good-enough formulation that was rushed to market,” Hopfner said.

The sanitisers are made from high-quality Australian refined alcohol along with herbal extract of echinacea to help protect the skin. Unlike other new formulas popping up on shelves, La Clinica has no unpleasant ‘boozy’ smell. Pure essential lemon oil gives the sanitiser a refreshing limoncello scent. Sanitising with La Clinica becomes more a ritual rather than a chore, and consumers can sense and smell the difference.

“When you’re constantly sanitising your hands throughout the day you need a product that’s not going to strip the skin, and we think people can tell the difference and that’s why the feedback has been so positive,” Hopfner adds.

Siblings Francesca and William Hopfner

La Clinica’s focus has always been on improving and healing skin, ever since its origins in 1995. Francesca’s parents created the cosmeceutical skincare range, which was passed on to her and her brother William to continue to grow the vision. Whether it’s cosmeceutical or sanitiser, the process to create both remains the same says Hopfner.

“Every product created by La Clinica involves formulation science, rigorous testing and the same desired outcome — a product that fulfils its intended purpose while caring for the skin, the user’s wellbeing and the environment. The same process, methodology and criteria are applied to all our products, whether it’s an eye cream or a hand sanitiser,’ Hopfner said.

Like many other skincare brands, La Clinica saw an overall increase in products sales. The sanitiser is perched outside stores such as David Jones, Country Road and Witchery for customers to use, and is stocked in Chemist Warehouse.

However, COVID-19 changed how brands sell skincare and La Clinica is mindful of this. Hopfner says the trends moved towards contactless consultations, experiences and transactions, and even with these changes, “the consumer’s appetite for skincare has increased”.

“La Clinica ensures that skin is given what it needs to not only correct any problems but also achieve its best possible condition. We have always had our own in-house formulating and manufacturing facility in Melbourne to ensure innovation, quality, timely supply and value for the consumer,” Hopfner concludes.

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