By Mei-Yu Lee
You wouldn’t know that clear-faced Ellen Tseng, founder of Skinlosophy in Flushing, suffered blemishes in her thirties. Tseng recalls her many acne scars, and her resorting to many so-called famous dermatologists to solve her condition. But things became worse. Many of her friends could not recognize her when she returned to New York.
“I don’t want any other woman to go through the same situation,” says Tseng. “Therefore, I decided to do something.”
After getting her MBA degree from New York Institute of Technology, Tseng threw herself into the beauty world. Using her management knowledge combined with a family background in biomedical studies and physical therapy, Tseng opened Skinlosophy in 2003. Located amidst the hustle and bustle of Main Street in Flushing, Skinlosophy provides the Chinese neighborhood with photodynamic therapy and photo-rejuvenation treatments, made possible with high-tech machines as operated by expert staff. Additionally, Skinlosophy carries beauty product lines from Switzerland and France, as well as an exclusive line based on their own unique formulation. Most of Skinlosophy’s customers are working professionals who are in their thirties and forties, but often, older customers up to their sixties frequent the store as well.
Tseng explains that many of her customers seek her services, because they want to “anti-age.” She says that while there is no way to reverse the aging process, she can educate her customers on how to slow it down. She claims that many women use laser or Botox cosmetic injection to decrease the signs of aging, but that those treatments only bring temporary relief and can even cause adverse effects, especially for those with slower healing systems.
“You’re getting older because the cells get older,” explains Tseng. “By using laser or Botox cosmetic injection treatment, you will still look old after a period of time because your cells are old.” On the other hand, photo-rejuvenation treatment, which is minimally evasive and relatively painless, uses soft pulses of light to stimulate the growth of collagen. The formation of these new cells helps to smooth out wrinkles, and improve the condition of one’s skin. The treatment takes only thirty minutes each time. Furthermore, every customer receives a specialized customized treatment, because, as Tseng says, “each customer’s face condition and healing system is different.”
Thanks to consistent quality of service, Tseng’s store has flourished the past few years. The success has prompted her to consider opening another store in Manhattan, which would allow Tseng to serve more customers, as well as introduce her ideas to Americans.
This remains Tseng’s latest challenge: how to break into the American market. “It’s hard to convince American people to believe in Asian technology,” she says. “They still have doubt about our products.” But this obstacle doesn’t discourage her from pursuing her goal.
“I’m doing this business because I’m passionate about it,” says Tseng. “Every time I see my customers feeling younger, healthier, and happier, I feel I’m doing something good and meaningful.