#BeautyBioBoss Series: Marc Elrick

Marc Elrick

Meet the man without whom we’d all be paler (oh, sorry, just me?)

But for real, Marc Elrick saw a big gaping hole in the beauty industry and not only created a solution, but an effortlessly bronzed-glow phenomenon. After experiencing his first (second and third) streaky at-home self-tans, the Scottish-born entrepreneur started gathering opinions from skincare lovers and tanning aficionados about missed market opportunities. “I always thought that people could customize their makeup, so why not their tan?” Marc says.
Wanting to offer consumers an alternative option to the one-size-fits-all self-tanning approach, Marc created TAN-LUXE, the leader in clean, dye-free self-tanning that doubles as skincare to enhance and nourish our customizable glows from the inside out. Marc shared with us his famous formulation secrets (bye, bye streaky tans!), his non-guilty guilty pleasure and how TAN-LUXE pivoted during lockdown to manufacture 10K units of hand sanitizer for frontline workers.


Current title/occupation?

I’m the founder & CEO of Future Beauty Labs

Your background is in hair, right? How did you make the transition from hair health to skin health?

Well, I actually started out in advertising, but my husband and I own a salon and I’ve always been addicted to skincare. Over the years, my visits to the salon became this really valuable way of immersing myself in the world of beauty. I was constantly talking with clients about the products that they used and loved- which grew into this amazing real-time focus group of people who we knew absolutely loved skincare and especially tanning. During this time, I came to realize that there was a huge gap within the tanning industry in particular. The industry as a whole was very one size fits all, and people were looking for something more approachable and customizable – basically, something that didn’t yet exist. So that’s when I came up with the idea to create TAN-LUXE- and we’ve been glowing ever since!

Why tanning?

There was such a huge opportunity in tanning because there hadn’t been much in terms of formulation development in the same way that we’d seen in the world of skincare. I knew I wanted to disrupt the category and provide innovative solutions to people’s tanning problems. I always thought that people could customize their makeup, so why not their tan? I felt it was time for that to change.

Do you remember your first self-tanning experience?

Good question! I think that honestly, all of my early tanning experiences have kind of blended out into one. The thing I remember most sadly, is a lot of the negatives. Although I loved the glow, I hated the smell, the dryness, and of course the notorious streaking that I- and many others- have come to associate with most self-tanners of the past.

How do TAN-LUXE products work?

Back when I was first creating the brand, it took us 5 years in the lab to get the formula just right. That’s because my criteria was so strict. The products needed to look natural on the skin, have the ability to adapt to different skin tones, and tackle the key issues that tanners had in the past. That’s why we created our own molecule called Triple Tan Technology that reacts with your own skin tone to deliver a believable, fully customisable glow. We use only the highest quality DHA (tanning actives), derived from rapeseed oil grown in the South of France. The DHA produces a maillard reaction on the surface of the skin, which leads to the overall browning effect. We include this high quality DHA in all our products, which means they deliver a flawless, natural glow every time.

Is self-tanner a harder sell than skincare?

No, I don’t really see it this way. I view our products as skincare products, with the added benefit of a radiant glow. A huge advantage we have is we formulate at our own in-house lab. So, we take this customizable, skincare-led approach to tanning that no other brand really does- taking total control of each and every ingredient present in our formulations. I then personally test every product to make sure it’s something that would work with my regime and that I know the modern beauty consumer would use and love- if I’m not totally obsessed with it, then we don’t do it- simple as that. Of course, you have to contend with the element that some people are still kind of scared of using a self-tanner, but usually when they hear about our products- they’re keen to give them a try and they soon see that tanning has moved on from those of the past- we have a lot of converts! Our approach is very much about working WITH your natural skin-tone- not masking it!

Tell us about coming up with ‘Transparent Tanning’?

As a brand, from the very beginning we didn’t believe in colour guides – also known as the dark stain used in most traditional self-tanning products. These synthetic dyes have been shown to break down tanning actives and cause streaking, uneven fading, clogged pores and skin dehydration. Us researching and bringing this concept of Transparent Tanning to market has totally revolutionized the industry, and many brands have followed suit in creating products like ours. 

You’re a customer-fave on HSN and clearly a natural on screen, how did you hone your live, on-air selling skills?

A lot of practice, and I LOVE what I do! As I mentioned, I started out in advertising- so I have a bit of a sales background already. But I’m so passionate about our products, the brand and helping people to GLOW, that it kind of just comes naturally after a while. I just look at it as a conversation between myself and a friend- explaining why I love our products is really second nature to me.

What’s been the most challenging part of starting and running TAN-LUXE?

The initial product development process was pretty intense. I’m such a perfectionist, so it took a lot of back and forth with the lab team to get the formula just right, because the products needed to look natural on the skin, have the ability to adapt to different skin tones, and tackle the key issues that tanners had in the past. I also needed to have total control of all of the ingredients and where they came from to ensure that each ingredient was of the highest quality- as well as being cruelty-free, and non-toxic- so it was a long process getting everything just right before we launched.

What do you want to do next?

The sky’s the limit, really. As a person, I really don’t ever switch off- I’m always thinking of new ideas and concepts- whether I’m at the gym, on a flight or having dinner. For example, at the beginning of lockdown we stopped production of Tan-Luxe to create 10,000 units of our incredible hand sanitizer, Hand-Luxe. To be able to help frontline workers, even in this small way was so amazing- we’re going to continue producing this going forward. I’m now really putting a lot of energy into thinking of ways our business can be reactive to help our communities in times like these- it’s so important.

Any secret Scottish beauty tips?

My top beauty tip (and I’m Scottish, so this counts)– is that when it comes to tanning is to treat your tan like a natural sun-tan, so keep your skin hydrated between applications. Hydration, hydration, hydration is the secret! This keeps your glow going for longer, and ensures an even, natural fade.  

What is your power statement/personal motto?

My overall philosophy is best summarized as the three P’s! Performance, People and Personality. Performance – I’m a total product perfectionist at TAN-LUXE and inspire my team to be innovators in their respective fields, whether it’s product development, operations, or marketing. The team as a whole is 100% committed to bringing the best formulations with the cleanest ingredients to market first, and I motivate them to be true industry disruptors. I empower my team to create with me – and no idea is a bad idea. Our products are inspired by them, and are tried and tested, and tested again by real people, and if they don’t need, love and obsess over them we simply don’t do it. People – People are everything to the business. Collaboration is crucial to our success and my team truly shapes and drives the company’s vision. Personality – Diversity, transparency and inclusivity are values that hugely important to me as a leader, and I instill these values in my team so that they inform every element of our business. I’m lucky that I work with proudly inclusive teams who know that the key to standing out from the crowd is being true to those values, so it’s important to me that we all live and breathe them each day.

One thing you do every day without fail?

I’m a huge green tea drinker. It’s a big ritual for me. I lose count of how many cups I have each day- but without fail, I need a cup every single morning to start my day!

Self-care hacks in whatever form that takes for you?

I LOVE meditating, I have such a busy brain, so this really helps me to switch off, and feel more creative and relaxed as a person- which is great. My skincare regime is also such an important part of self-care for me- the two are linked in such a close way I’ve found. No matter where I am, it’s comforting to ground myself, and take some time out to see what my skin needs & check in with myself.

#1 on your playlist?

Anything uplifting right now! Music’s really gotten me through lately - I’m loving Dua Lipa’s new album, it’s the perfect upbeat soundtrack to my day.

Guilty pleasures?

I’m a big believer that you shouldn’t feel guilty about anything you enjoy! I love dancing with my friends to disco music when I get the chance- that’s one of my biggest pleasures in life.

Fave BeautyBio product and why?

I’m obsessed with The GloPro Microneedling tool. I tell absolutely everyone about it. It works so well with my skincare regime and honestly there’s nothing that makes my skin look or feel as good!

What are you working on now?

I’ve always got something in the works- and I wish I could share all the projects we’re working on at the moment, because I know you’d be so excited. All I can say is that we’ve got some SUPER, top secret product launches coming up next year that you guys are going to be OBSESSED with. I can’t wait to share them with you all! You can find out more by heading to our Instagram @tan_luxe.

To learn more about Marc Elrick visit instagram:  @marcelricktan & @tan_luxe


Shop Marc's Fav

GloPRO Microneedling Tool
GloPRO® Microneedling Tool