Selen Kozmetik has all the characteristics of a successful family business. While embracing values such as integrity and openness, the company grabs the chance of representing Turkey at the international scene thanks to its achievements. Selen Yorgun tells us all about this prestigious company’s products and brands that shape the personal care market.
What do you think is the most common mistake people make in hair care?
The first thing that pops into my mind is skipping hair conditioner. Unfortunately in Turkey hair conditioner is seen somewhat unnecessary however we absolutely recommend using cream after each wash. Another common mistake is to think that a single product is good for the hair, however the ends and the scalp have very different characteristics and it is only natural that they need different types of products. Therefore instead of going for the whole set of hair care products of your shampoo brand, it is important to come up with the right and contemporary combinations. For instance the scalp may be oily but the hair ends may be dry. In that case one must go for a purifying shampoo for the scalp and a nourishing and moisturizing product for the ends.
What are your most popular products abroad?
Our serums are very popular abroad. Especially our Argan Oil serum and Shake N Repair restorative care mousse, which cares after your hair all day long and smells great. We are also credited a great deal for our packaging.
One of your brands, Urban Care keeps track of one of the most significant beauty trends in the world with paraben-free products. What is the driving force behind the series?
Thanks to a formula containing herbal keratin, all Urban Care products provide the restructuring, repair and protection all hair types need. With different products for different hair problems, our brand keeps pace with the fast moving times we live in, providing fast and practical hair care for women in their daily urban routines. No-rinse products play an important role in hair care because they continue to work for you throughout the day. You benefit from moisture supplement not only during the shower but the whole day long. No-rinse Urban Care products do not contain silicon and the whole series is based on paraben-free formulas.
Selen Kozmetik was established in 1997. Can you tell us about the company’s journey in the past 20 years? What has changed from past to present?
Selen Kozmetik has been in cosmetics industry since 1997 under the management of my father Bülent Yorgun. In addition to being an import company, we launched our own hair care brand Urban Care three years ago and became a local brand competing with global giants in personal care market. The brand has managed to attract attention instantly with different marketing activities, social responsibility projects, brand identity and a growing visibility in the digital realm. Urban Care was a dream and it became a reality thanks to my father’s support and and faith in it. Since its launching the brand consolidated its success with various awards. Our Argan Oil hair care serum received the “Best Product of the Year” award in the first year of Watson Türkiye’s Personal Care Products Awards which is now in its second year and this time Urban Care’s Biotin & Keratin shampoo received the “Best Shampoo of the Year” award.
Were these awards helpful in gaining access to new sales points abroad?
Yes, these awards have carried our brand to Watsons stores in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. We organized a press launching in Singapore and in just one year we began exporting to 13 countries including India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia and Azerbaijan.
Which hair and care products do you use in your daily routine?
At the moment I am using our Macadamia series developed for lifeless and damaged hair. My dyed and processed hair needs special care. Nevertheless my favorite product is Shake N Repair because I can use it no matter if my hair is wet, damp or dry; it is a terrific product for a person with a busy schedule like me. I carry it with me all the time. Also I apply Lock N Roll spray every day before leaving home.
You have been supporting breast cancer awareness campaigns since 2005. Can you tell us about your projects?
Urban Care as a brand exists in women’s world and takes its power from women, therefore getting involved in issues related to women and contribute in their solutions is our duty. In addition to our breast cancer awareness campaigns of the past 12 years, we launched a new campaign two years ago to raise awareness about cervical cancer, which is the most common type of cancer after breast cancer, causing a woman to die in every two minutes in the world. We implemented the global “Smear for Smear” project in Turkey. This year we will be running our campaign together with Life Without Cancer association and thanks to the support of young and interested actors like Aybüke Pusat and Enis Arıkan.
How do we contribute in the project?
Actually, making a fun video or photo shoot would be enough. We want them to put on their red lipstick which is a typical symbol of being a woman and take a picture or shot a video while smearing it. Then they must share it under #rujunubulastir (smear your lipstick) hashtag. We aim to raise awareness against cervical cancer, underline the importance of the smear test, tell people that early diagnosis is possible with a very simple procedure and there is no reason to be shy about it. We want everyone to reach out their own followers and turn this into an awareness network. Early diagnosis is the key to successful treatment with 90 percent chance of healing. Taking into account all segments of Turkish society we think this is not a widely discussed subject, that people usually shy away from it, therefore we believe it is important to encourage them to share.
Argan oil, keratin and tea tree oil… Which other raw materials do you frequently use in Urban Care products?
In addition to those you mentioned we use natural raw materials like biotin, collagen, Macadamia oil and milk proteins.
What are you working on these days?
We are working on a hair straightening care mousse that lasts up to 72 hours. Our plans this year also include a dry shampoo and a sea salt spray which is widely demanded by the consumers. We are also going to expand our hair styling category. Styling products are demanded as much as hair care, and in fact I believe we are now living in the age of smart products that can do the both.
Washing, caring and styling… Which step is the most important?
Care. It is very important to address the specific needs of the hair with special care products. We play with our hair all the time; we damage them but at the same time we want them to act as an accessory that shapes the way we look. We have to take good care of our hair.
What do you think is the greatest hair problem today?
The most complained about hair problem in recent years is hair loss. Damaged hair comes the second. I believe the problem stems from the fast pace of our lives, the food we eat, the stress and all those chemicals around us. And the solution is to start repairing in the right way both from within and from outside.
What is the right path to success in this very competitive industry?
While mapping out a road plan as a brand I believe it is important to devise the right strategy and write the right story. You need to really listen to what the customer says. Being able to empathize with people brings about power and success in business life as it does in all walks of life. When it comes to sales and marketing, keeping track of your rivals and the developments in the world in general take you to success. I guess the most important rule is to keep on doing what you do with the same excitement of the very first day.
What do you think about the consumption habits of Turkish customers?
Contrary to the wide belief Turkish consumers are very open to and love trying new things. When they like a brand they adopt it to the full extent and even form an emotional bond. They find cosmetic consumption important, they like to be well groomed, they seek out and follow the latest developments, all of which, I believe, has a positive impact in the development of our industry. I think hair and skin products come first for Turkish women followed by perfumes and makeup products.
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