FOUNDERS | Erica Choi of SUPEREGG
There’s nothing quite like an entrepreneur story rooted in tradition. Leveraging historical rituals in a way that is respectful, eco-conscious, sleek and perfectly formulated is no easy task — and that’s why Erica Choi of SUPEREGG’s story is so impressive. In her Korean upbringing, Erica saw eggs as an integral part of familial and historical beauty routines but struggled with eggs’ role in the impact of animal agriculture on the environment.
And so, SUPEREGG was born. The vision was simple — match the unique properties of eggs that benefit the skin with alternative vegan, powerful ingredients. Erica’s “clean-egg” concept honours eggs whilst transforming them with sleek packaging, mindful ingredients and supporting the well-being of one’s skin. With sustainability at the forefront of SUPEREGG’s values, Erica’s approach to the beauty game shows the future of skincare can merge high-quality ingredients with fair practices — all with the planet in mind.
Erica, you have a diverse portfolio under your belt — working as an art director, creative consultant, photographer, licensed esthetician, and notably, the founder of SUPEREGG! What was the tipping point that led to your own skincare line? What gap in the beauty industry is SUPEREGG filling?
My corporate career was always my utmost priority, but I knew there was something else brewing deep down inside. Having to wear so many hats with an entrepreneurial spirit within the corporate realm had prepared me for real entrepreneur life. Although maintaining a social presence and working with brands on various projects takes on an entrepreneur role, my dream was to create tangible consumer goods and build a brand from the bottom up, pursuing my profound interest and expertise in the beauty realm. When Barneys corporate closed its doors in November 2019, I knew it was time to go all-in on SUPEREGG.
SUPEREGG is built on the pillars of balance and holistic well-being for people and the planet. I wanted to create something that felt elevated, efficacious, yet gentle and addressed the skin’s overall health. After trying so many of the world’s best products, I thought about ways on how to improve upon those and offer them at a more accessible price point while developing a unique point of view and tying in different themes in my life of eggs, beauty, and balance. A beautiful, thoughtful brand centered around caring for the skin with a level of depth was missing from the market. SUPEREGG is about sophisticated formulations that focus on nourishing the skin, so it is always in its healthiest, luminous state. Every time you cleansed or applied your skincare routine, it should feel like a ritual of self-care.
You are also the creator of Egg Canvas, where we know you as a lifestyle influencer for your perfectly curated feed of fashion, skincare and food. You launched this in 2014, just when Instagram was on the rise. How has Egg Canvas evolved in an era of social media and influencer-content?
During my time at Barneys, my social presence on Instagram was also growing. There was a great interest in my career at that time, as there weren’t many people who were both content creators and corporate full-timers. Instagram and my blog were my creative outlets. Even though I was headfirst in giving my all to the company, I also loved documenting my travels, photographing my favorite spots in the city, and creating content for brands outside the multi-retailer space. My two jobs worked together in synergy and gave me insights into both worlds, which allowed me to grow within the organization. I was working 24/7, but I loved both so much.
The content I was posting was evolving over the years. There are trends to be aware of, but my style and storytelling areas also grew more in-depth and broader. I was slowly developing my unique voice and perspective, which is vital.
You’ve challenged the norms of the beauty industry to create a transparent, vegan skincare brand emulating the nutritional value of an egg’s vitamins and minerals. Tell us about the properties of eggs and how these power your formulas.
Despite my love for eggs, I felt strongly about making our products vegan due to the rise of animal and egg-related issues, such as allergens, diseases, and preservatives. This has reinforced our commitment to providing a completely vegan product that honors the egg and its properties but in a friendlier eco-conscious way. Besides our duplex ingredients, each product contains various key ingredients that differentiate us from what is out on the market today.
When we dived into the egg’s different aspects, we realized how each part of the egg—the egg white, yolk, and eggshell membrane—contains unique properties that each specifically benefited the skin. This informed our decision to create egg duplexes, where each part features its powerful plant-based equivalent per egg component. We honored and valued the ingredients and history of the egg; however, we wanted to develop ingredients (our key ingredients) using the newest and most innovative ingredients. This truly makes it a SUPEREGG.
Egg Yolk contains ingredients such as Lecithin, Collagen, Vitamins, Amino Acids, Fatty Acids, and Minerals that hydrate, brighten, and nourish the skin with many antioxidants. We’ve created YOLK DUPLEX™ (Egg Yolk Duplicated Complex), where we’ve engineered through innovative technology to duplicate these vital egg yolk nutrients with 24 high-grade vegan ingredients.
Egg White contains Albumin, Collagen, Vitamins, Amino Acids, and Minerals to firm and lift the skin and reduce excess sebum. WHITE DUPLEX™ (Egg White Duplicated Complex) contains 22 high-grade vegan ingredients to replicate these nutrients, including Tremella Mushroom, Soy Protein, and Rice Extract.
Eggshell Membrane contains Collagen, Protein, Elastin, Amino Acids, and Minerals, and has age-reversing abilities, and can smooth skin texture and reduce inflammation. SHELL DUPLEX™ (Eggshell Membrane Duplicated Complex) contains 18 high-grade vegan ingredients, including Syn-Hycan, Lupine Protein, and Antarcticine C.
Your brand is a partner with 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of your profits to environmental organizations! You’ve been doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint, especially when it comes to your packaging. In your daily life, how do you navigate what you consume (clothing, food, information) and its impact on the environment? Why is clean-beauty important to you?
Sustainability is one of our core values, and it is something we are trying to navigate to the best of our ability, with both long-term and short-term goals for the brand. In making conscious choices with our production process, sourcing of our high-quality ingredients, and how fair trade practices are executed, we are committed to creating clean, sustainable products that are healthy for your skin and the planet.
SUPEREGG packaging materials are almost entirely recyclable. Our boxes are made from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper, sourced in an environmentally-friendly and socially responsible manner. We are devoted to developing sustainable packaging options that further reduce our environmental footprint.
In all areas of my life, I try to be sensitive to daily habits and be mindful of how much I use and consume. I try only to consume foods or purchase items that are necessary or bring me uttermost joy. I listen, read, and watch as much as I can to inform myself better. It’s important to realize; however, it’s not about making a complete change overnight, but small improvements that will improve both your life and the environment.
There is no set definition of clean beauty currently, and everyone has their take on it. To me, it is about putting sustainability for humans and the environment first and foremost. We only use the ingredients necessary to produce the desired product.
Your skin is flawless, glowing and, of course, “egg-like”. What are some of your own holy-grail skincare recommendations?
Thank you so much! I would say a gentle cleanser and a moisturizer are the essentials. SUPEREGG Gentle Elements and Sound Renewal are great places to start as they contain hydrating and soothing ingredients to nourish and protect your skin barrier. For other recommendations, I would say, really go after your skin concerns, whether it is brightening, calming, firming, etc. I love treatments in the form of essences, serums, or ampoules to layer and sandwich in between my cleanser and moisturizer. My favorite ingredients are Vitamin C, B, E, Lactic Acid, and Green Tea. I’ve also been incorporating small doses of retinol into my routine, which has resulted in excellent results.
How has your role as a content creator allowed you to expand and curate SUPEREGG to engage with an Instagram audience?
I always try to see it from the content creator’s point of view, especially when reaching out to fellow creators regarding SUPEREGG. Since running my brand, I have become more empathetic and have helped me understand the brand’s POV, especially one of a small business. I’ve always been grateful for all the gifts I’ve received from brands; however, it’s helped me appreciate even more as even gifting is not cheap in terms of time, logistics, shipping, etc. In terms of product development, it’s helped me think about all touchpoints from the packaging to the textures to the brand communications.
Taking a look into your crystal ball, what does the future of SUPEREGG look like?
I see a brand portfolio of beautiful, efficacious products created with the meaningful intention that helps you achieve healthy, radiant skin, which helps your overall well-being. We will have cultivated a strong community where we can come together for the greater good. SUPEREGG helps to empower and encourage people to feel beautiful inside and out, bringing happiness to their everyday lives.