3 young Filipino visionaries win for their skincare technology

Published July 6, 2022, 5:57 PM

by Len Amadora

L-R Julianne Ong, Roque Mercado and Kara Santiago

Three UP Diliman (University of the Philippines) students namely Roque Mercado, Kara Santiago, and Julianne Ong of “Roque, Paper, Sisters”, became this year’s L’Oréal Brandstorm Green Track Champion. Their innovative idea focused on sustainable sunscreen won the best pitch in the Green Track, granting them the coveted all-expense-paid three-month entrepreneurial internship at L’Oréal Group global headquarters in Paris.

L’Oréal Brandstorm is a global innovation competition that boosts youth employability and brings together the future change-makers of tomorrow from around the world. This year’s theme “Disrupt Beauty 2030” has garnered record-breaking participation, with more than 83,000 youth from 65 countries registered, as well earning official certification by EFMD Global as an online learning course. Nine teams representing Argentina, France, Germany-Austria, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the United States, and the Philippines advanced to the finals after 20 weeks of intense competition at both the local and international levels. Three teams representing the Inclusion, Green and Tech Tracks were then selected as Brandstorm 2022 winners. They will continue to develop projects with support from L’Oréal, while gaining invaluable business experience at the seat of one of the world’s most beloved brands.

“At L’Oréal, we are passionate about nurturing the dreams of young beauty innovators who know first-hand what the youth of today want and expect from beauty brands. L’Oréal Brandstorm is their opportunity to bring their ideas to life, receive guidance and feedback, and co-create innovations with the greatest potential for good,” said Jean-Claude Le Grand, L’Oréal Chief Human Relations Officer. “L’Oréal Brandstorm offers local mentorship and behind-the-scenes experience on a truly global scale, setting contestants on a path towards realizing their entrepreneurial ambitions or securing a role in our industry. We are proud of all our Brandstorm 2022 entrants, enabled in no small part by Salesforce technology, which makes L’Oréal Brandstorm a first-class e-learning and community-building experience, as well as an exciting competition.”

“Roque, Paper, Sisters” team pitched the idea of Pocket Block it! Dissolving Sunscreen Wipes under the Green (Sustainability) Track which challenges participants to invent the next dimension of sustainable beauty. This idea stemmed from the team’s realization that while there is a universal need for sunscreen, there are also gaps in the current market where consumers are forced to compromise between effectiveness, convenience, and sustainability. Dissolving Sunscreen Wipes are sunscreen sheets that dissolve through contact with the heat and natural oils of the skin and are packaged in refillable post-consumer recycled plastic pods.

The strategic ideation behind this product was also based on:

  • Sustainable Production

The production cycle for this product is a closed-loop system which entails that any post-consumer waste is reused to start the process all over again. After consumers are done with the Pocket Block It! Dissolving Sunscreen Wipes, they will be able to simply refill their product.

  • Sustainability Impact

Through including natural products such as UV filters in the formula and utilizing post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic packaging that can be reused, the team was able to come up with a sunscreen that reduces, reuses, and recycles.

  • Technology

Shifting the focus on the format instead of the formula, the team was able to position this sunscreen as ground-breaking skincare technology that challenges the packaging format of current sunscreens which are harmful to the environment and inconvenient for consumers.

L’Oréal Brandstorm 2022 Green Track champions Roque Mercado, Kara Santiago, and Julianne Ong share, “The journey to getting here was not an easy feat, but we are very proud to having finished strong, granting the Philippines its first win in 10 years. Our main focus was to create an innovative product that we hope will have a positive impact on the beauty industry, so being able to win and get global recognition is very fulfilling for the team. We are really excited and look forward to our entrepreneurial internship at the L’Oréal Group global headquarters in Paris, France where we’ll be able to immerse ourselves in an innovative and inspiring environment.”