Like so much of my life, starting a skin care company was kind of an accident. I was pretty happy being a doctor and part time TV presenter.
The thing is, I would periodically do segments on Sunrise on “what really works in anti-aging skin care” which would lead me to the USA’s National Library of Medicine for a thorough search of medical journals. Lots of studies exist to support various cosmeceutical ingredients.
So we’d talk about what to look for in a vitamin C; “studies say it has to be in a water in oil emulsion at a 5-10% concentration, in an acidic form and in a light repellent, airless bottle.” After these segments, I’d be bombarded with emails from viewers about what to buy.
Every time I looked into it I would draw a blank. From start to finish I couldn’t match the evidence in medical journals with any available brands.
It really started to annoy me! For a start I’m a woman and my face matters to me so I’m interested. I have sensitive AND acne prone skin (hmm lucky me!) so I am NOT interested in getting on the skincare roundabout trying various evidence-less products in an endless pursuit of something that works! What was wrong with skin care companies? Was it laziness? Unconscionable ripping off of their customers? How could there be a vitamin C serum in a dropper? How could a 1% vitamin C serum be sold in good conscience? What about ineffective forms of vitamin A like Retinyl Palmitate or Retinol?
Daniel, my husband was working in corporate finance but as a weekend amateur science nerd, he caught my itch and started to scratch it after hours. And then, being a man, he simply had to solve this quandary. He downloaded medical journals, spoke to plastic surgeons and dermatologists, and many, many formulation chemists. His hobby cannibalized his day job and we started a cosmeceutical skincare company.
Our intention was simple; disrupt the skincare industry with some unshakable principles;
1. Be ethical. Where evidence does exist, make our skincare ONLY according to the evidence published in independent peer reviewed medical journals. (Radical!!)
We need to sleep well at night and being ethical is non-negotiable.
2. No nasties. I have sensitive skin so Daniel and I became obsessed with the EWG (Environmental Working Group). Any ingredient with a high risk of irritation or potential skin damage was off the menu.
So no perfumes, phthalates, soaps, parabens, oxybenzone or cinamates.
3. Be simple. I am a busy woman and have no interest in a complicated 5 step process twice a day to manage my skin.
4. Offer good value. Cosmeceutical skincare isn’t the same as a chemist bought moisturizer and formulating it isn’t cheap or easy.
For example, one ingredient for must be kept at -20 degrees Celsius from the factory in Europe to our factory in Sydney!!
But we pride ourselves on producing skincare with amazing value for what you get.
5. Cruelty free and Aussie made. Kind of speak for themselves but we proudly make everything right here in Australia and will never test on animals.
We started life selling only through dermatologists and plastic surgeons who share our values. The results speak for themselves. This skincare is the bomb!!
So we have now brought ESK to the public. I hit 50 and my skin now looks MUCH better than it did in my early 40s and still haven’t had to use Botox, fillers or plastic surgery.