At this point, you have probably seen Dr Esho everywhere, whether it’s on the E4 show, Body Fixers, or Instagram, where he is lauded for his expertise in aesthetic medicine. Kindred. previously spoke to Dr Tijion Esho MD, the multi-award-winning founder of ESHO. skincare and the ESHO MD clinic group, about the path that has led him to the success he’s been experiencing over the past few years.
ESHO, the first black, doctor-led, cosmeceutical brand, was launched in May last year on QVC. After an incredible first year when the brand sold out six times and became QVC’s fastest-selling lip product (as well as recently launching on Birchbox), Dr Esho speaks about the creation of the product line as well as the importance of maintaining a lip care routine.
Known as the "Lip Doctor", Dr Esho is an industry leader in non-surgical procedures, where he has taken new techniques and methods in lip augmentation to another level - creating a collection of four hero lip products (COAT, PAUSE, SCULPT and DRENCH), with much more to come.
His first product line with Deciem was a hit, but the success was only short-lived, as Dr Esho didn’t even know that the products had launched. Describing his first efforts in creating the lip care line, he shares how the late CEO of Deciem, Brandon Truaxe, first got in touch with him.
"Brandon found me out of nowhere and just messaged me out of the blue," he says. "I'm like, 'This guy is the CEO of Deciem, The Abnormal Beauty Company', you know, I was really fangirling at that point because I was buying their products, everybody buys their products. Everybody knows about them."
Recalling feelings of nervousness, he says that they sat in their meeting forever, just talking.
"We were just so similar in terms of how we saw the beauty industry, how we saw so many things. Like, he was probably one of the smartest people I've met.
"By the end of it, he said: 'I want to do a product with you, we haven't done any products, we've got the lip bio-lipid concentrate, but we haven't got anything else. And you know, every time I look at anything lips, your name is there. So, I think it would be great if we do this'," says Dr Esho. "So they flew me to Canada, and afterwards, we all brainstormed and came up with the ESHO product line which was to give non-surgical solutions in a topical form."
But due to Truaxe’s poor mental health, things began to take a turn. Dr Esho mentions that the problem was that he lost control.
"Brandon was starting to change, you know, from a mental health aspect. And when it launched, I didn't even know it launched," he says. "From the beginning, I was involved. But with changes to the formula, the taste and everything, I was always trying to chase Brandon to see how things were. And he'd always say, 'It's gonna be fine'."
He recalls being tagged in a post, saying "I've got my hands on ESHO Sculpt", and being confused. "I was like, I haven't even got ESHO Sculpt, so how have you got it? And then, you know, I went on to QVC, and it sold out on there, but I remember still not being happy with little things like the taste and the texture, but Brandon reassured me that we could change these things and not to worry. But then obviously his health took a turn for the worse when he started going off the radar, cancelling all these different lines and one of them was mine.
"And so, Nicola [Kilner, co-founder and current CEO of Deciem], who I'm still very good friends with, spoke to me, and she was really upset about it because she believed in me and the product. She was like, 'Look, if you ever want to do this on your own, I'll give you my full support', and she's always been there," he says.
"But at the time, it was the last thing I wanted to do, because I felt humiliated to be honest, with what had happened, and particularly because being successful in so many other avenues in my life, it felt like the world was looking at me failing in this thing. So, I stepped away for a long time."
Fast-forward a few years later, and it was the pandemic that became a blessing in disguise for the ESHO line. "We got the time to stop and think, and look at the formula, change what I didn't like and have a vision of how it would all look," says Dr Esho. "And then we decided that now was the time. It just grew very, very, very quickly. And grew into this whole product already, like kind of almost overnight."
When mentioning to him how people rarely talk about having a lip care routine, he says: "That is exactly what I wanted to change. Because when I looked at it, for me, even in aesthetics, when I'm in the clinic, I want to do things differently. I don't want to do what's been repeated or done before.
"I'm constantly looking to see, what are we missing? Being the 'Lip Doctor', I see so many lips and every lip is different. And when I started looking at the lip care market with all these advances in technology, there wasn't much beyond Vaseline, and that’s crazy.
"The only way to increase (sic) the lips we've got is to sting them with irritation, and chilli oil; the only way to moisturise them is with petroleum jelly or sheep sebum in lanolin," he says. "Like come on, there's more, you know. So, when I started looking at that, I was like, 'Man, we don't even have a regime for lips'."
With people having multiple skincare regimes, Dr Esho seems almost shocked and confused that people do not show as much care for their lips as they do for their skin.
"When we look at our skin, our skin has about 15 layers, but our lips, which have only three layers, no sebaceous glands and are arguably more delicate, we don't have a regime for them."
It only makes sense then, that feeling this passionate about lip care, Dr Esho decided to produce skincare for lips.
"It was that simple concept of 'I'm going to do skincare for the lips, and I'm going to break that down'. We’re going to have different products that will treat different lip problems. But then the key is, that people can layer and combine them for their specific lip needs. And that's where we've gone from."
Dr Esho has plans to expand the range with the launch of two new products - RENEW, a hydrating lip peel, and SEAL, a hydrating, overnight lip-boosting mask. His hero four products are a part of a lip care day routine, so "when you wake up in the morning, your lips look silky soft, ready for the day".
But if you thought that’s all you can expect from ESHO, don’t be fooled. Dr Esho teases that there are more products coming out later in the year, that "are going to surprise people".
He says: "For me, there are so many iterations of what can be done with the lip. We do have skin stuff for 2023 which we were going to bring out at the end of the year, but I was like 'No, no, I'm not done with lips yet, there's some more we need to do here'. So yeah, people are going to be really surprised about what they see. The key is everything is targeted, so when we do things, each product is targeted for a specific thing."
The ultimate treatment for dry cracked lips provides immediate relief and protection. Its smooth, butter-like texture repairs and soothes instantly, with long-lasting protection derived from sustainably sourced concentrated plant extracts. Squalane, formulated from sugarcane and delicious Golden Jojoba Oil infuses skin for fast hydration with long-term effects. COAT can also be used on dry patches of skin for instant relief.
This peptide-based bio-active formula reduces the need for frequent cosmetic lip injections by maintaining a lip plumping appearance. Enjoy fuller lips for longer by applying PAUSE daily to keep your contour and volume and prolong the effects of enhanced lips. Key ingredients in the rich formula include Wakame Algae, Pauseile and Pentavitin all work to improve overall skin hydration and ceramide levels on a short and long-term basis.
"Pause is the perfect way to support your lips by reducing hyaluronic acid breakdown and boosting hydration; this optimises the results post-procedure and acts as the perfect product for those with fillers."
Lip serum is your no-needle solution to achieving volume and that ESHO ratio without any invasive treatments. Formulated to enhance lip shape without taking any chances of long-term scarring which is sometimes an effect of lip augmentation, SCULPT provides a gentle tingling sensation that plumps and defines lip curvature, increasing lip volume whilst leaving your lips feeling hydrated, soft and sculpted.
"It’s me in a tube! I spent over a decade transforming lips with a needle so to now be able to do this in the short term and long-term without a needle is amazing."
A daily dose of hydration for your lips - packed with ultra-nourishing, plant-derived actives, DRENCH keeps lips super hydrated for up to 24 hours with only a single application. DRENCH can be worn under lipstick like a primer thanks to its lightweight and easily absorbable formula. DRENCH contains Wildplum Harvest AF derived from three Australian plums to improve the skin’s synthesis of hyaluronic acid and collagen for short and long-term hydration benefits.
"I love this product as your instant go-to, easily absorbed moisture for your lips, perfect on its own or as a primer before lipstick - it’s so versatile."
Have you tried the ESHO products? Let us know in the comments!