Today, manufacturing giant Church & Dwight announced the acquisition of Hero Cosmetics for $630 million. The sale comes after several years of continued growth for the acne-focused skincare brand, but for founder Ju Rhyu, it all started in a single moment.
Rhyu was living in Seoul when she first discovered the acne-fighting powers of hydrocolloid patches. After years of battling breakouts, she was desperate for something that would help her acne without making the skin dry or irritated, and after trying hydrocolloid, she knew she’d found just that. “It was easy to use and better than the traditional white cream or pink cream we all used for breakouts,” Rhyu recalls. “I knew more people needed to know about this product.”
With a mission to provide people with a real solution in their time of need, she founded Hero Cosmetics in 2017 with just one product, the Mighty Patch. The round hydrocolloid dots helped educate the world about the possibilities of hydrocolloid as an acne solution and made the glue accessible to everyone. The Mighty Patch was quickly embraced by consumers and became an overnight bestseller for retailers like Target and Ulta Beauty, but it also inspired an industry-wide obsession with pimple patches.
Since its launch five years ago, Hero Cosmetics has expanded tremendously and has added a number of other patches and anti-acne skin care products to its range. The brand sells a box of the Mighty Patch every three seconds, and it has been the number one product in the skin care and acne care categories on Amazon for several quarters. “I loved seeing how our brand and products have a positive impact on people’s lives and that impact is only going to increase over time,” says Rhyu. “We get a lot of reviews and feedback about how Hero products have been life-changing.”
Over the past few years, the brand’s success has sparked internal discussions about an acquisition, a path the founder knew would help ensure Hero’s legacy, so the team is delighted to have found a new home at Church & Dwight , the giant manufacturer behind Arm & Hammer, OxiClean and Nair. “We expect to accelerate some of our growth plans, such as further expansion in the US and increasing our international presence, while leveraging some of Church & Dwight’s infrastructure and back office capabilities,” said Rhyu. who will remain as Hero’s Co-Founder and DIRECTOR. “This acquisition with Church & Dwight marks a huge milestone in our company’s history and I’m so excited to drive further growth with them.”
But beyond the promising future the acquisition holds for Hero, Rhyu hopes it will serve as an inspiration for other founders. “It’s a huge win personally, for the team and for the consumer ecosystem,” she says. “But it’s also a win for entrepreneurs because it shows that you can turn a small idea into a successful business that is both fast-growing and highly profitable.”