Karen Ballou knows how to combine her love for skin care and beauty with some seriously impressive investment strategies. Karen is the founder and CEO of Immunocologie, a first of its kind skin care brand truly devoted to the mission of creating ‘healthy skin.’ The brand uses natural ingredients that work with the skin’s microbiome and immuno-protection system. Meanwhile, Karen and her husband are also founders of the growth equity firm, LB Equity, based in New York City, investing in emerging brands in the wellness, beauty and personal care space. Since 2013, the firm has invested in more than a dozen brands in addition to Immunocologie.
Karen and LB Equity are committed to building ‘brands with a mission,’ True to this conviction, Karen sources ingredients for Immunocologie directly from female producers in Africa, with whom she works closely. She also works with one of the world’s leading botanists to create skincare products that are truly distinct and of the highest efficacy. As Karen says, “To me, it’s about creating the most incredible brand ever.”
Karen has been in the beauty industry since the start of her career, working with giants like Elizabeth Arden and Redken before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. With a desire to develop a deep understanding of the skin and how it behaves, she also decided not only to earn an aesthetician’s license, but also founded the organization, Aesthetic America and opened her own spas in Atlanta, Chicago and Connecticut. With her expertise in formulation and skin science, she has been involved in the development of more than 65 products during the course of her career. However, after successfully battling cancer, Karen took another step forward, creating her own brand and utilizing some of the insights and ingredients that helped her combat her illness. Saving the best for last, Karen is thrilled by the success of Immunocologie and the impact it is having for so many women, and men, too, across the world.
“I want to be a brand that stays around forever,” Karen says. In addition to managing her company, equity firm, and brands, Karen is also in the process of writing a book about the beauty industry and her journey within it.
Founder & CEO — Immunocologie Skincare; Founder — Lucas Brand Equity
Instagram: @karen.ballou / @immunocologie