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Pink Cheeks launches the first cosmetics range created to target athletes and sports lovers in Brazil

Founded in 2012 by three friends who are runners, the company operates through e-commerce and direct sales, and is set to have its products distributed through The Beauty Box chain.

Pink Cheeks' co-owner and marketing manager Renata Chaim

Pink Cheeks’ co-owner and marketing manager Renata Chaim

Women represent 56% of runners in street races over different distances in the U.S. They account for 60% of those who cross the finishing line in half-marathons and 42% of those who complete the 42 kilometers of a full marathon, according to the Running USA websites. In Brazil, the figures are not as impressive. The Runners Trainers Association of São Paulo (ATC) says 23% of runners in half-marathons are women, and they make up only 15% of those who complete a full marathon. However, Brazilian female runners are competing more over shorter distances and raised their presence by 23% between 2011 and 2012 compared with an increase of 12% for male runners in the same period.

Pharmacist Corina Godoy, businesswoman Gisele Violin, and publicist Renata Chaim are part of these statistics. They used to get together and run in the town of Leme, in upstate Sao Paulo, and experienced first-hand the effect of the strong sun that is common in the region on their skin. Corina then began developing products to look after their skin and hair. “As a result, we launched a sunscreen lotion, an anti-chafing cream and many other products. We started to come up with names, labels and the concept of the brand, and then decided to invest heavily in our idea,” says Chaim.

Pink Cheeks came about in 2012 as the first Brazilian cosmetics company targeted at athletes. “We got a great surprise when we saw that our products, which were so useful for ourselves, were becoming popular,” says Chaim. “Our facial sunscreen lotion does not drip into the eyes during the run and does not melt or come off in water. It is one of the only sunscreens that lasts a marathon or triathlon without needing to be reapplied. There’s also a leave-in conditioner that keeps hair from getting all tangled up during a race or cycling tests. All of our products provide some benefit to meet a specific need of the athletes,” she says.

As well as the sunscreen – which comes in a stick form – and the hair leave-in conditioner, the product portfolio contains items such as a soothing cream for feet and legs, an anti-chafing spray for the inner thigh, an anti-chafing cream for the groin area, an exfoliating body wash that helps remove sunscreen from the skin and leaves a refreshing feeling, a skin cleansing mousse for daily use, a moisturizing lip gloss that combines colour and sun protection, and a body lotion that protects the skin against the damaging effects of sun exposure, sea salt and chlorine.

The initial idea of the business partners and running lovers was to market the Pink Cheeks products exclusively by e-commerce. But as the business thrived, the opportunity arose to work with direct sales through beauty consultants. “We realized there was a demand and decided to invest in direct sales as an alternative distribution channel. It still needs to be improved, but we have been seeing great results so far – direct sales has become a part of our DNA,” says Chaim, who handles Pink Cheeks’ marketing. The company also sells its products at races and sporting events.

Pink Cheeks has been growing by annual rates of around 40% since 2012 and expects to increase its revenues even further. In April, the company made its debut on the national retail front. Its products for sports enthusiasts started being distributed by The Beauty Box, both in stores and through the Boticario Group’s chain website. “We believe retail will also be a strong channel within our sales strategy,” she says.

Renata Martins

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