Male best friends, 24, make $7 million in 14 months by creating the ‘world’s best pink clay mask’

Best friends Manny Barbas and James Hachem were just 22 when they launched an Australian pink clay mask under the brand name Alya Skin in early 2018.

The duo, now 24, earned $7million in their first 14 months of business as word of the Kaolin-infused face mask began to spread across Instagram.

Dubbed the ‘must-have’ beauty find and ‘world’s best clay product’, the team capitalised on their early success by formulating a matching exfoliator and berry moisturiser that tightens pores and reduces breakouts.

The three-step process has seen them partner with 1,500 retail stores globally, including Australia’s own Priceline pharmacy, and they’re only set to make further waves in the skincare industry with whispers of another product. 

Dubbed the 'must-have' beauty find and 'world's best clay product', the team capitalised on their early success by formulating a matching exfoliator and berry moisturiser that tightens pores and reduces breakouts

Dubbed the 'must-have' beauty find and 'world's best clay product', the team capitalised on their early success by formulating a matching exfoliator and berry moisturiser that tightens pores and reduces breakouts

Dubbed the ‘must-have’ beauty find and ‘world’s best clay product’, the team capitalised on their early success by formulating a matching exfoliator and berry moisturiser that tightens pores and reduces breakouts 

The response was instant and rewarding with hundreds of posts about the pretty coloured skincare being shared online (before and after transformation)

The response was instant and rewarding with hundreds of posts about the pretty coloured skincare being shared online (before and after transformation)

The response was instant and rewarding with hundreds of posts about the pretty coloured skincare being shared online (before and after transformation)

‘Business is not easy… but working with a best mate has made our 14 month journey some of the best months of my life. We are so excited and humbled by the support shown from family, friends and our loyal customers,’ Mr Barbas said.

Mr Hachem added: ‘Expanding our Australian skincare line to 10-15 products globalled is what we have dreamed of and that continues to be our main focus’.

Mr Barbas remembered noticing pink face masks ‘trending’ on social media, much like teeth whitening kits had done the year before, and decided that this was the market they should be involved in.

They spent seven months perfecting the formula, which contains aloe vera and pomegranate to assist in removing acne and inflammation and witch hazel to heal the skin faster, before they sent the mask to 1,000 influencers.

‘Influencers were vital during the launch phase of our brand. We used nano and micro influencers and were sending out to approximately 500 influencers a week,’ Mr Barbas said.

‘Never underestimate the power of those with less than 5,000 followers. These days its not all about large paid influencers.’

The response was instant and rewarding with hundreds of posts about the pretty coloured skincare being shared online.

Alya Skin’s mask retails for $49.99 per 120g tub and while the boys don’t outwardly ask influencers to share their product once it’s gifted, they manage to get featured on Instagram and YouTube nonetheless.

Best friends Manny Barbas and James Hachem were just 22 when they launched an Australian pink clay mask under the brand name Alya Skin in early 2018

Best friends Manny Barbas and James Hachem were just 22 when they launched an Australian pink clay mask under the brand name Alya Skin in early 2018

Best friends Manny Barbas and James Hachem were just 22 when they launched an Australian pink clay mask under the brand name Alya Skin in early 2018 

It works as a three-part routine now, with product already selling out once - sometimes twice - in Priceline stores across the nation

It works as a three-part routine now, with product already selling out once - sometimes twice - in Priceline stores across the nation

It works as a three-part routine now, with product already selling out once – sometimes twice – in Priceline stores across the nation

Many of its users claim the product has reduced redness on their face, cleared up hyper pigmentation and acne.

At the end of last year the founders took things one step further with the release of two new products – making the brand a three-part routine.

The pomegranate facial exfoliator – which retails for $26.99 – can be used on a daily basis and works to reduce skin inflammation and eczema. 

Meanwhile the native berries moisturiser – which is $24.99 – contains macadamia oil and shea butter to rehydrate the face after the mask is used.

The range has sold out one – sometimes twice – in Priceline stores across the nation.  

Mr Barbas and Mr Hachem have hinted that a fourth product is in the works, but it’s not known what part of the routine they’re wanting to add to. 

'We were blown away by the growth in sales when we launched. After our first two weeks we had completely sold out of stock,' Mr Barbas told FEMAIL

'We were blown away by the growth in sales when we launched. After our first two weeks we had completely sold out of stock,' Mr Barbas told FEMAIL

‘We were blown away by the growth in sales when we launched. After our first two weeks we had completely sold out of stock,’ Mr Barbas told FEMAIL

Mr Barbas and Mr Hachem have hinted that a fourth product is in the works, but it's not known what part of the routine they're wanting to add to

Mr Barbas and Mr Hachem have hinted that a fourth product is in the works, but it's not known what part of the routine they're wanting to add to

Many of its users claim the product has reduced redness on their face, cleared up hyper pigmentation and acne

Many of its users claim the product has reduced redness on their face, cleared up hyper pigmentation and acne

The mask also uses aloe vera and pomegranate to assist in removing acne and inflammation, with witch hazel added to heal the skin faster

‘This is a product that does what it says. I noticed a difference in my skin in only a few days. The longer I use it the better it works,’ one reviewer said of the moisturiser.

‘I have super dry, sensitive skin that can flake and gets red and irritated easily. But when I tried this product, my skin feels so smooth and no flakes or dry patches, and it actually feels clean,’ someone said of the exfoliator.

Previously, FEMAIL spoke to the owners about their young business and the miracle-working properties of its ingredients.

Online the popular vegan product is being heralded as the cure-all treatment, particularly because it's safe for pregnant mothers and sensitive skin owners

Online the popular vegan product is being heralded as the cure-all treatment, particularly because it's safe for pregnant mothers and sensitive skin owners

 Online the popular vegan product is being heralded as the cure-all treatment, particularly because it’s safe for pregnant mothers and sensitive skin owners

If you use it 2-3 times a week it'll last two months - making it good value for money

If you use it 2-3 times a week it'll last two months - making it good value for money

If you use it 2-3 times a week it’ll last two months – making it good value for money

‘We were blown away by the growth in sales when we launched. After our first two weeks we had completely sold out of stock,’ Mr Barbas told FEMAIL.

‘In our third week we were already over the $50,000 revenue mark per week. This number has grown steadily since launch, and we expect revenue to rise by 300 per cent next year.   

If you use it 2-3 times a week it’ll last two months – making it good value for money. 

The vegan mask is safe to be used by pregnant mothers and those with extremely sensitive skin. 

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