Some people can come up with pretty creative ideas, for better or for worse, after taking a shot. For Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, it was a ginger-infused wellness shot that birthed the idea for Sweet Chef skincare. “Earlier in the Glow Recipe business, Christine and I were constantly traveling and working late nights, but we both found that taking ginger shots helped with our energy levels and made us feel healthier, even with working long hours,” Lee says. “We were curious about the skincare benefits of ginger and found that it had so many amazing topical benefits—from brightening dark spots to calming inflammation—and we wanted to find ways to make it accessible since we didn’t see many brands harnessing its power.”
With ginger as their guiding light, the duo went down a rabbit hole researching other superfood ingredients with topical benefits, and like that, Sweet Chef became more than just an idea. On the heels of the success of Glow Recipe, Lee and Chang launched Sweet Chef, zeroing in on clean formulas that paired antioxidant-rich veggies with clinically-proven actives that play well together.
Based in: New York, NY
Pricing: $3.50 to $24 for individual products, multi-product sets range from $20 to $135
Best known for: Antioxidant-rich formulas centered around farmer’s market favorites, each bearing an accessible sticker price.
Most popular product: The brand’s ginger-focused Vitamin C range proves to be the crowd favorite overall, with the Ginger + Vitamin C Serum racking up the most positive reviews across the Sweet Chef and Target websites.
Fun fact: The Sweet Chef team often taps their fans and followers for ideas on products they’d like to see next, and the brand’s new acne-focused Carrot Ginger lineup is a direct result of community feedback.
Other brands you'll love: Glow Recipe, Yes To, Peach & Lily, Peach Slices, Versed
Similar to their brand Glow Recipe, building community was a focal point for both Chang and Lee, as was accessibility to the potent formulas. The Sweet Chef team began tapping into micro-influencers for authentic, relatable user-generated content, and solidified a deal to be sold exclusively at Target, with all individual formulas priced under $25. “Sweet Chef’s UGC-first approach resonates really well with our community, as it lends itself to our accessibility viewpoint, rather than an aspirational outlook,” Chang says.
But the role of the community isn’t limited to just gorgeous before and after shots—the team will regularly tap into their fans and followers for feedback on what they’d like to see next, which is how the brand’s new breakout-focused Carrot Ginger line was created. “We want our team to feel entrepreneurial and really make decisions that connect with our Gen Z and Millennial community,” says Lee. As for what the brand does next? That’s in the hands of you and the Sweet Chef community—their DMs are open.
Keep reading to learn more about some of the most-popular products in the Sweet Chef lineup, and why the community loves them.
Ginger + Vitamin C Serum Shot
This radiance-boosting serum is a fan-favorite, thanks to its potent mix of glow-enhancing Vitamin C, antioxidant-rich ginger, and calming turmeric. While the product can help to fade the appearance of hyperpigmentation, it also pairs well with acne-prone skin to improve the appearance of post-breakout marks.
Carrot Ginger Blemish Rescue Patches
These hydrocolloid patches get extra blemish-fighting power with an infusion of the brand's carrot and ginger extract. "These fast-acting hydrocolloid patches help to absorb moisture, decongest, and treat the blemish, while protecting from picking," says Lauren Chan, Sweet Chef director of marketing. "The carrot and ginger extract works to gently soothe skin and help minimize post-breakout hyperpigmentation over time."
Beet + Retinol Nightly Firming Mask
Give the term "beauty sleep" a literal twist with this rich, cushiony moisturizer. Apply a layer as the final step in your nightly skincare routine, and let the beet root extract, granactive retinoid, squalane, and hemp seed oil take the night shift to hydrate and help firm skin while you sleep.
Squalane is the hydrogenated form of squalene. It is a lipid that is naturally found in the skin and secreted by the sebaceous glands. It calms inflammation, supports the outer skin barrier, and works well with actives like retinol.
Celery + Hyaluronic Acid Serum Shot
Consider this hydrating serum the skincare equivalent of that refreshing green juice you reach for after a yoga session. Packed with cold-pressed celery, hyaluronic acid, mixed green sprouts, and niacinamide, this featherweight formula delivers a burst of moisture on contact, and is absorbed quickly by skin.
Carrot Ginger + Salicylic Acid Pore Cleanser
Formulated to help balance breakout-prone skin, this foaming cleanser gently exfoliates and works to create a brighter appearance without over-drying. "Carrot is rich in Vitamins A and C and contains beta carotene, which is loaded with antioxidants to fight off free radicals, and can help resurface and smooth the look of skin," Chan says. "We paired this with ginger root extract to help visibly brighten and even out tone, while salicylic acid gently exfoliates and decongests pores."
Ginger + Vitamin C Bright Spot Tonic
Love at first swipe isn't reserved strictly for dating apps, thanks to this radiance-enhancing toner. It's a fan favorite at Target for its abilities to hydrate skin with hyaluronic acid, while ginger, 3-O Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, and turmeric work their brightening magic.
Turmeric + Vitamin C Booster Eye Cream
Turn around, bright eyes. This refreshing gel-cream is loaded with nourishing actives like turmeric, Vitamin C, niacinamide, ginger, and probiotics to show the delicates skin around your eyes some extra love.