Featured image: Courtesy of Haute Custom Beauty
Amidst over-used scientific claims in skincare products which boggle brains in hope to sound legitimate, Haute Custom Beauty is cutting through the rubbish by providing credible, easy-to-digest science with the mission to place priority on your ‘skin wellness’. We sat down with the founders, Gerald and Diego, to hear about how they began their journey in skincare and what the ‘science of individuality’ means to them.
We absolutely love your brand and the initiative to make skincare tailored to the individual, but, before we chat about the brand, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves? Where are you from? What was life like for you before you began Haute Custom Beauty? What sparked your ideas for the brand?
Our brand is born and quite related to ourselves and our origins. Gerard and his family provided the beauty heritage from their 3 generation Spa in Barcelona where he basically grew up, while Diego brought in his origins from the US and his 2 generation research institute, as he also grew up following his father’s footsteps in the research world since he was a child. They met in Austin when Gerard was doing an exchange for his MBA and the rest is history, not just a merging their lives, since they got married, but also a merging of the family business concepts by creating a fusion using the tradition of the established spa and beauty world from Barcelona and the research from the US.
Before HCB started Gerard was already working in the beauty industry, and had spent some time managing the Spa. He has been always around beauty as this is what his entire family (including uncles, aunts and cousins) do. Diego was working heading research studies not only for personal care and cosmetics, but also within the technology and pharmaceutical industry. Diego was already making his own face cream, which he called “The Dream Cream” by studying everything that was available at the time, sourcing actives and extracts, and truly putting together the best of the best. Both Gerard and Diego have always had a passion for beauty and skincare, always experimenting with all the newest skincare products and visiting the best spas and facialists from all over the world as a hobby.
We think it’s amazing that as a brand you prioritise the health of your customers by eliminating controversial preservative and chemicals to give people happy, healthy skin. What made you want to decide to do this and was it a challenge to create?
Both Gerard’s and Diego’s family had a lot of cancer, including siblings, parents and grandparents. When Diego’s father got cancer, as a curious mind and researcher, he dove into quite a bit of research to try to get explanations. It was evident that although a lot of disease can be genetic, that more and more there are a lot of links from exposure to environmental factors and pollution to disease such as cancer. Curiosity about how to live in a truly healthy lifestyle and finding out that cosmetics, and anything you put on your skin actually has a very direct effect on health and wellness ignited an almost obsessive quest on trying to decipher what was healthy, what was unhealthy and what was just controversial and unknown. Trying to file through the myriads of health studies out there is almost like a Russian Roulette, and it became evident that the skincare and cosmetic industry is playing quite a passive role on feeling and acting responsible what should be a common goal of safeguarding their client’s health. It was quite a challenge to create this. It is much easier, and cheaper, to formulate products using commonly used preservatives and chemicals than to run through numerous stability tests to create new-generation formulas free from parabens, PEGs, mineral oil, sulfates, phthalates, silicones and any other petroleum derivatives.
Can you explain a bit on your concept ‘the science of individuality’ and how this is such an important method to use to benefit a person’s unique skin?
Skincare is not fashion, however the industry has glamorized it and has focused more on creating beautiful cosmetic jars, supported by glamorous advertising campaigns, but doing this by creating one-size-fits-all formulas instead of personalized skincare. At the end of the day we all want better results, and in order to do that we need to be able to have undiluted formulas. You cannot do an undiluted formula of any product unless you know who it’s for. Whenever the typical serum is created they must lower actives in case it will create a reaction with sensitive skin types, they will lower nutrients in case it will flare up combination and oily skin’s blemish activity, etc. Therefore the result is that formulas end up being quite diluted and generalized, therefore yielding lower results. The Science of Individuality is the concept of being able to personalize skincare rituals based on 800+ skin types which we call Dermaprofiles™. Understanding someone’s precise needs and concerns allows us to go much further, yielding bigger results.
How do you hope a woman/man feels after using your products or having one of your spa treatments?
Our concept is always what we call skin wellness. We hope our clients who go through our treatments and products to look in the mirror and feel and see healthy skin. When they use exquisite plant and marine extracts, in combination with very advanced biotechnological actives, the skin transitions into optimal conditions, cell regeneration functions well revealing a healthy complexion and the skin automatically becomes radiant with a healthy glow. Our goal always is not to have someone look like anyone else, but just to have everyone be the very best versions of themselves.
The skincare industry is typically awash with false claims to provide ‘miracle’ results, how have you combatted this?
Honesty and education is what we believe in. There are some ingredients often used that give more of a ‘cosmetic’ result, and there are others that actually treat, feed and improve skin, therefore the first step in ‘skincare honesty’ is to not use any of those ingredients that give a false sense of hydration and wellness. Some of these controversial ingredients not only do they not internally improve skin but actually damage it in the long run. We never claim that someone is going to magically look 20 years younger, however we promote the concept of skin wellness, and tell everyone that the goals they will attain will be on that front, and on their skin looking radiant and healthy. When skin is healthy everything does work better, cellular regeneration is improved, skin tone is even, collagen synthesis works better, therefore the result indeed yields a reduction in appearance of lines and wrinkles, tighter skin tone and that healthy glow that everyone wants to attain. We promote skincare as a lifestyle and not as an overnight miracle result.
What are your hopes for the future of Haute Custom Beauty?
We are seeing amazing results with our clients, and we constantly get feedback of what we see as success stories. At the end of the day our philosophy is to educate first and our belief is that we are at a time where it is our responsibility is to provide skin health and overall health and sustainability. We constantly hope to be able to spread the word and have education available for clients, spas and beauty stores to promote skin health and revolutionize something that we see has gone too far and is often not regarded as part of our daily health. We get excited when we have clients that walk in and tell us that our skincare is the first time they haven’t had a negative sensitive reaction to using products, or when we see clients who had a lot of blemishes and all of a sudden have beautiful clear glowing skin, and clients who tell us that they now don’t have to use any makeup or that they have to use less makeup. While we are promoting and hoping more clients notice that adhering to skin wellness will provide them much better skin while safeguarding their health, we are also hopeful that this will set an example with other skincare brands so that as an overall industry we start treating this more with the responsibility that we hold and less as an accessory or fashion. We are working on some very cool, futuristic concepts that will be announced soon, we are always researching and trying to push the limit as to what we do. In our research and development process it always starts with…wouldn’t it be cool if _______ ? From that we accept the challenge and move forward with it.