The Right Image
Janna Ronert’s beauty company uses research
to become a global force
By Arnie Rosenberg
Janna Ronert already had been in the beauty business about 15 years when she took stock of what she’d accomplished. More important, she looked at what she still wanted to achieve.
“There comes a time when you look around and say, ‘I think I can make a better product of better value, and have a better company that people have a deeper confidence in,’ ” she says.
That was 2003, and, working from her apartment in Houston, she followed those entrepreneurial aspirations to launch a line of skincare products. Today, Lantana-based Image Skincare is on the verge of becoming a $100 million company.
Using evidence-based research to develop new formulas and products—from masques to moisturizers and primers to peels—Image Skincare has carved out its niche in a doggedly competitive market, Ronert explains, and now sells in more than 40 countries.
“What was on customers’ minds 13 years ago is not what’s on their minds today,” says Ronert. “The beauty industry has become much more sophisticated, much more ingredient-savvy. We get a lot of questions about where we source our ingredients. Is it from America? Is it sourced from China? Is it near a nuclear plant?”
For the record, ingredients do come from around the world, but all manufacturing is in the U.S.
What’s been invaluable to Image Skincare’s success, however, is its president and chief innovative officer, Mark Ronert, Janna’s husband of 11 years. A European board-certified plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon, who also holds a Ph.D. in research, he joined the company in 2006 and has been the force driving its innovation, Janna Ronert says. The couple also has 7-year-old twins.
“He’s just been an integral part, and has added a tremendous amount of value through his clinical trials and research,” she says. “In the professional market, there’s no other company that has the CEO and founder a licensed esthetician and the president and chief innovative officer a Ph.D. and a board-certified reconstructive surgeon. That’s what brings science and beauty together.”
Janna Ronert is quick to point out it’s not only the chemical formulations of Image products that carry Mark Ronert’s imprint. She also credits him for the “coolness” of the product line.
Keeping that line fresh and innovative (and cool) has helped carve out a unique market position for Image Skincare, Ronert says.
Products are sold only through professionals—not even online—and are linked to treatments.
“So if you want a facial, if you want a peel, if you want a professional treatment, those are things you can’t get on the internet. It’s like a massage: You’ve got to go there. You’ve got to experience it.”
Ronert brought Image Skincare to South Florida—“a mecca beauty capital”—eight years ago. She and Mark had married in Palm Beach, and soon found it was “a very good move for us and a terrific move for the company,” which came here with about 20 employees and today has nearly 150.
Fulfillment, customer service, sales, marketing and finance have filled the current location, and the company likely will move to larger quarters soon, she says.
If there’s any question that Image Skincare, and Ronert herself, are making their mark in the beauty industry, consider that the company became the official skincare sponsor of Miss Teen USA, Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants four years ago when they were owned by Donald Trump.
That led to Ronert’s selection as a Miss USA judge in 2014.
“We worked with Mr. Trump and his organization for several years, and he asked me to be a judge for the Miss USA pageant. It was a great experience, dealing with these women who really are confidently beautiful, and trying to help women who believe you can be very confident, beautiful and intelligent all in one swoop. It was fun,” she says.
She hasn’t stayed in touch with Trump, though. “He’s kind of busy with other things,” she says.
One thing is for sure: Ronert isn’t letting Image Skincare rest on its successes. In 13 years, the company hasn’t retired a single product.
“We’re really serious about the clinical trials, the testing, the studies,” she says. “When we bring a product to market, we know it’s going to be long-lasting. Every two or three years, we will take that base formula and that concept and add new things and call it ‘new and improved.’ It’s a very costly procedure, but we think that’s how we keep things fresh and innovative.”
There’s no better example of that innovation than its newest product, a beauty collagen liquid that takes its name, Yana, from Ronert’s first name, honoring her Polish roots.
Drinking a shot of Yana daily, according to Ronert, benefits everything from wrinkles to hair to nails.
“Ingestibles are just part of a 360-degree approach that includes products and treatments,” she says. “I don’t think we can stop the clock, but I certainly think we can help you age later.
“We’ve only just scratched the surface of what technology can do.” ↵