Alya Skin founders Manny Barbas, left, and James Hachem.
Alya Skin founders Manny Barbas, left, and James Hachem.

Aussie mates make $1m in four months

BEST mates Manny Barbas and James Hachem are just 22 years old and raking in the cash - all because they picked up on a hot trend.

People around the globe are going wild for their product, Alya Skin's Pink Clay Mask, which has been dubbed the beauty world's latest "must-have".

"Clay masks are really taking off at the moment, and we saw an opportunity in the market," Mr Barbas told news.com.au.

"I think the reason why people are so crazy about our mask is simply because it's pink, and it works. People love the colour, and it's a newish product. Over the next two or three years pink clay is only going to become more popular."

Alya Skin's Pink Clay Mask retails online for $49.99 for a 120g tub. Along with Kaolin clay, the mask uses pomegranate, aloe vera and witch hazel to tackle acne, inflammation, blemishes and to promote skin regeneration.

It has amassed a cult following, with fans raving about the benefits.

So how did two school friends from Melboune become the latest beauty moguls? According to Mr Barbas, it wasn't that much of a leap. Before founding Alya Skin, he owned a teeth whitening business, while Mr Hachem owned a number of cafes.

"We always wanted to get into the beauty niche, as funny as it sounds for two 22-year-old males, but we knew there was a massive market for it," Mr Barbas said.

"It took us about six to seven months to come up with the product, going back and forth with samples, but once we were happy with it, we gave it 100 per cent, and it's gone very well for us."

Gone well is a bit of an understatement. In just four months since Alya Skin's launch, the boys have raked in $1 million in revenue - and the demand isn't slowing down.

"In the first week we were already at the $50,000 revenue mark. And now our sales are just increasing," Mr Barbas said.

"We're partnering with distribution companies in five or six countries who will distribute for us exclusively, which is going to majorly bump our revenue. We're predicting $3 million-plus hopefully by the end of the year."

Not content with a single "hero" product, he said the pair was working on a moisturiser, but remained tight-lipped on details.

Whatever you may think about this beauty trend, who doesn't love an Australian success story - and a good excuse to pamper yourself?


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