Tatler: The women who inspire us: DMark Beauty and DermAsia founder Nikki Tang on shared success with fellow female leaders

Impassioned by the entrepreneurial women who made her who she is today, Nikki Tang continues to set an example for the next generation of women leaders

There is perhaps nothing more empowering than witnessing a self-made woman rise to the top with her empathy and inventiveness at the fore. Throughout her life, Nikki Tang, the visionary behind the brands DMark Beauty and DermAsia, was fortunate enough to see this up close with two figureheads to be inspired by. Looking back at her start in the cutthroat industry, she muses about discovering her knack for entrepreneurship thanks to strong female representation in her family.

“My grandmother being the first woman entrepreneur in our family and my mum’s business acumen inspired me to take on the beauty business and become an innovator and trailblazer, believing that ‘beauty is power’,” Tang shares.

Following a short stint in the dental care business and with the belief that she was in the wrong place, the perfect opportunity eventually came when her mum received news of an anti-ageing breakthrough from a leading dermatologist.

After conducting intensive research on the product and brand that is Neostrata, she realised the vision that would eventually form DMark Beauty in 1998. “The prospect of breaking new ground challenged me,” she recounts. “I was excited by the idea of helping Filipina women feel beautiful, confident and empowered.” Driven by both passion and innovation, Tang has helped DMark Beauty evolve since. With renowned names like Sebamed, Heliocare, Teoxane, Bioderma, Puressential and more as its partners today, the company continues to push skincare and aesthetic trends forward in the local market, all while bridging the gap between consumers and professionals by providing safe, ethical and scientifically proven products from around the world. 

Supplementing DMark Beauty’s offerings, Tang also founded DermAsia in 2004 as a trusted distributor of top-of-the-line aesthetic and medical devices in the Philippines, and it has likewise made a name for itself in the field. “Making a mark in the beauty industry is influenced by a culture of quality, excellence and integrity,” states the now-established CEO. “Change is inevitable and much has evolved in the industry and the company, but our core values and dedication to offering cutting-edge skincare for the face, body and hair remain resolute.

It comes as no surprise that the values at the heart of DMark Beauty and DermAsia are reflective of the very lessons Tang learnt from her elders. “My grandmother, who is well into her nineties, taught me that upholding the right values makes one a great leader. These include loyalty, discipline, gratitude, a deep appreciation for the simplicity of life and a strong work ethic,” she admiringly relays. “On the other hand, my mum, who is part of the Baby Boomers generation, has instilled in me hard work, perseverance, resilience and independence, as well as the importance of being structured, competitive and a rational decision-maker.”

Ever fortified by these insights, Tang is proud of the many milestones and recognitions that both companies have garnered over the years, as well as her self-development as a leader, a role model and a woman entrepreneur. She was recently awarded the “Woman of Substance” title in the Asia Leaders Awards by Rising Tigers Magazine last November 2022, and she also began the new year as a speaker at the Asia Women’s Forum 2023. 

“It was great to be with women in leadership positions, sustaining each other, making a difference and being recognised for their contributions,” she shares. “For me, beauty can be seen as more than just a platform for business. It can be a means of self-expression, a form of art and a tool for empowering individuals. It can be a source of inspiration and creativity. Additionally, the industry can play a role in promoting inclusivity and diversity, as well as addressing social and environmental issues. So, while it can certainly be a lucrative business, it can also be a powerful force for good and positively impact people’s lives and communities.”

Tang continues to grow her sphere of influence through a podcast titled Grace, Grit and Glow and a Facebook community page called “Beauty & Beyond with Beautypreneur Nikki Tang”, which were both launched last year. Through these platforms, she emphasises the value of being visible, providing support for today’s game-changing and women-run companies, and ultimately dispelling the notion that entrepreneurship is a male-dominated field. “It is my heartfelt desire to leave a legacy in the field by recognising the numerous benefits that it can bring to one’s life,” she says. “I want to use some of my time and efforts to advance the concept of beauty as a way to stay authentic—as a tool for living life with a purpose, promoting self-care and wellness, and inspiring others to appreciate the value of beauty in their own lives.”