Q&A: The 'magic' touch with Mezei Jefferson of Softsheen-Carson

With a history that goes back more than 100 years, Softsheen-Carson’s Magic Shave has become a legacy brand within the African-American male grooming segment. To learn more about the brand’s history and its new Bump Rescue Skincare line, Drug Store News recently talked with Mezei Jefferson, director of education for Softsheen-Carson.

DSN: After more than 100 years, Magic Shave was reformulated and revamped with a new look. Can you elaborate?

Jefferson: Magic Shave has been the pioneer in men’s depilatories for more than 100 years. With that said, in 2013 we decided to re-introduce their iconic men’s shaving brand Magic Shave. Keeping its classic, unique formula — available in both a powder and cream form — Magic Shave continues to remove men’s facial hair while reducing the occurrence of razor bumps, revealing a smooth, clean and razor-bump-free face.

To stay at the forefront of men’s grooming needs, Magic Shave has improved its convenient cream shave lineup to be faster-acting with a new fragrance and a cool new look. The new, reformulated Magic Cream Shave now “works in four minutes and lasts for four days” — a key shaving benefit for today’s on-the-go, busy man. Consumers also will enjoy the updated “fresh scented fragrance,” an herbal blend of mint and basil. Lastly, the new Magic Cream Shave packaging has been upgraded with a cool, contemporary-yet-classic feel.

DSN: Can you tell us about the new Magic Shave Bump Rescue Skincare line?

Jefferson: The history of Magic really is for the African-American man, but [also] really any guy who shaves and is prone to razor bumps. … The purpose of Magic Shave was to allow men to get a close, smooth shave without the use of a razor so they wouldn’t get razor bumps. As we continue to expand the brand and listen to our consumers’ needs, we are proud to introduce the new Magic Shave Bump Rescue Skincare Line, a range of three skin care products formulated to help men visibly reduce the look of razor bumps. The [Magic Shave Bump Rescue Skincare] line includes an exfoliating cleanser that will visibly reduce the appearance of bumps and also has charcoal to absorb excess oils and exfoliate the skin. … Then we have a moisturizer, and we made ours a 2-in-1 moisturizer. This product really is replacing our previous Bump Rescue. … So, with the 2-in-1 moisturizer you get the benefit of the Bump Rescue, and then you also get the moisturization. … Then the final product is a spot treatment [for acne or razor bump breakouts]. Magic Shave Bump Rescue Skincare Line visibly reduces the appearance of bumps, fights blackheads, helps prevent new acne blemishes and diminishes the look of ingrown hairs.

DSN: What makes these products unique and different from the competition?

Jefferson: Obviously, the first thing is that it is coming from Softsheen-Carson. We have our Ethnic, Hair and Skin Institute in Chicago. This comprehensive system is built around cutting-edge technologies and contains such key ingredients as salicylic acid, charcoal, zinc and allantoin to deliver smoother skin. [Plus], there’s not a lot of product out there that is dedicated to the African-American male. The launch marks an exciting entrance to Magic Shave’s journey into the skin care category.

DSN: Are there any new marketing initiatives in the works for the Magic brand?

Jefferson: You will be seeing a lot more from Magic. We are going to do different events around the country, and people will really be able to get out and experience the brand.

DSN: How can retailers better reach the African-American male shopper?

Jefferson: I think for the African-American male it is [about] product location. It has to be in the section they are going to in the store because men are not always going to want to walk through the shampoo aisle and the hair color aisle to find what they are looking for. The packaging, imagery and location are all really big when you’re targeting a male shopper. Also, they have to use it somewhere or see in somewhere because in the African-American community, barbershops are like the meeting place.

DSN: What are some challenges currently facing the men’s grooming segment, and how can Softsheen-Carson help retailers overcome those challenges?

Jefferson: Men want something quick and easy, and if there’s a dual purpose for it, that’s even better because they aren’t going to spend a lot of time. And I think the education piece of it really is key. … They need to really understand that there are other alternatives out there, or they need to understand how good grooming and good skin care will make a big difference. That’s why with our campaign this year we have a variety of different men from all walks of life to try to resonate [with consumers].

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