24 going on 25, Nur Fathin Zulaikha has a background in aircraft engineering and a B2 Aircraft Engineering License.
Meanwhile, her 22-year-old sister is a consultant in Quantum Metal and is known by hundreds of thousands of her online followers as NiniComei. With a presence across various social media platforms, Nini makes posts, TikToks, and YouTube videos about wealth preservation and enhancement.
The two sisters have wanted to start a business of their own since 2017, when they were still students.
“However, due to lack of experience, we entrusted our dream to someone who claimed to be a ‘qualified consultant’, and both of us ended up being scammed by that person,” Fathin opened up.
The lesson the sisters learnt from this experience was never to put their faith and trust in an outsider. Rather, they believed that it was important for entrepreneurs to adopt a hands-on method while running a business.
In 2020, with encouragement from their mother and late grandmother, Nini and Fathin finally founded their very own skincare brand together by the name of Kyut Skin. After two years of preparation, the brand launched its first (and currently only) product, the Kyut Sunstick in October 2022.
Turning a chore into a fun routine
Before creating Kyut Skin, Fathin was inconsistent with her sunscreen routine, mostly due to the hassle and inconvenience of having to do it daily.
“I do not find the joy and fun of putting on skincare,” she admitted. “It’s like doing a chore rather than a self-healing and fun routine.”
This is exacerbated by the fact that, as an aircraft engineer, Fathin often had to work with her hands in the heat. This means it’s difficult to have to consistently reapply her sunscreen.
But Fathin knows the importance of sunscreen. In 2019, after returning from a charity trip from Pakistan, her mother’s face developed a really bad sunburn that resulted in severe hyperpigmentation.
“We went to a dermatologist and learnt the importance of wearing and most importantly reapplying sunscreen,” Fathin shared.
Upon trying various types of sunscreens, Fathin and her family noticed a big gap in sunscreen quality from options in Malaysia compared to Korea, where she had first encountered sunscreen sticks.
“What’s worse is that the importance of reapplying sunscreen is unknown to most Malaysians,” Fathin claimed. “The other reason is that most Malaysians find it to be inconvenient to apply sunscreen as they will need to use their hands to reapply their sunscreen every two to three hours.”
But Fathin and Nini believe that if there are options where the sunscreen is not sticky and is more convenient to use, Malaysians will start to find joy in applying it.
With this in mind, they decided to develop their very own sunscreen stick.
A two-year effort
Establishing Kyut Skin as a skincare-based trading company, Fathin took on the role of managing director. Having dabbled in business since she was 15, Nini was named the marketing director. The sisters have also recruited the help of their brother to be the finance manager.
“And of course, our mother acts as the main support and advisory person that we will consult whenever there is a problem to be solved,” Fathin added.
From their testing of other brands in the past, the sisters knew the elements they wanted in Kyut Skin. It needed to be light and suitable for Malaysian weather, and definitely not greasy.
These factors sound easy enough, but the sisters were very particular about not just the products, but also the design and the size of the packaging, hence the two years it took before launch.
Kyut Sunstick is manufactured in South Korea, which the sisters regard as the “pinnacle of skincare and beauty products”.
“As per my knowledge, our manufacturers here in Malaysia do produce other famous K-beauty brand’s products as well, but do not have the right facilities to produce the sun stick that we desired,” Fathin explained why Kyut Skin decided to work with a Korean manufacturer.
After the borders reopened last year, the sister visited the lab and factory in person to observe the processes themselves.
“The formulation and R&D process needed to be done from scratch as we Malaysians have different skin types and we live in different climates from the Koreans,” Fathin said.
She claimed that Kyut Skin’s sun stick formulation is exclusive to her brand as the team has signed a non-disclosure agreement and contracts for its products.
Sticking it out
Kyut Skin’s sun stick is priced at RM79.90, a price that the team believes is suitable for their demographic of urbanites who value convenience and healthy skin.
“Nowadays, we live in a fast-paced world, so we aim to provide a product that doesn’t make wearing your sunscreen or skincare an unwanted chore,” Fathin said. “Instead, we want our users to feel a fun, effective, and convenient experience when using Kyut Skin products.”
However, sunscreen in stick form isn’t a new idea. There have been plenty of brands making sunscreen sticks, such as Dr Jart, Shiseido, Supergoop, and even Vaseline.
What Fathin believes sets Kyut Skin apart, though, is the relationship it has fostered with its users.
“We always share how and where we produced our products on our social media platforms,” Fathin pointed out. “We want our consumers to feel safe and joyous when they wear Kyut Skin products.”
Further emphasising transparency, Kyut Skin plans to open up a showroom at Wisma Ninicomei—Nini’s building located in Ampang.
Here, the team plans to offer selfie spots, games, and products for customers to peruse.
“This is a way of us appreciating our consumers that have been supporting us from day one and we are very much grateful for that,” Fathin explained.
Apparently, the next Kyut Skin products are already in the works. Customers should expect to see a variety of skincare items from the brand soon, hopefully without a two-year wait this time around.
Featured Image Credit: Kyut Skin