Interviews, TBG
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TBG Interview: Nicolas Travis, founder, Allies of Skin 

With his new skincare label finally hitting shelves after years of planning, Nicolas tells The Beauty Gazette why Allies of Skin is a necessary addition to your beauty arsenal.


What made you decide to start your own skincare label? 

It’s been a lifelong dream of mine. I’ve always been fascinated by the link between good skin and confidence. I had really bad acne as a teenager and it took years to clear up. I remember the experience of finding the right products extremely daunting especially when you’re a student with a budget. There’s just so much noise and so many empty promises.

The ability to leave the house as you are is powerful and it all starts with good skin. I want to help facilitate that.

There is no silver bullet that is going to fix everything in a week. It takes diligence and patience. Using the right products is half the battle won.

There are a lot of fear-based directives in the beauty industry – the use of the term ‘anti-aging’ for example. I’m opposed to that term because it connotes that aging is somehow negative. But the truth is, we get older every single day. It’s a natural biological process and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. What I believe we can do is be the best version of ourselves at any age; and it all starts with good skin. I felt it was time for products to empower instead of sending one on a guilt trip.

 

You have a background in biomedical science. How has that knowledge helped you to better formulate your products? 

The skin is the first line of defence we have, and so it is designed to be a barrier and keep out a lot of things. So when formulating, I knew I had to find a way to increase permeability and efficacy.

Our 1A All-Day Mask for example is made with a delivery system of complex fatty acids biologically similar to the skin; so the skin recognizes it and allows it entry. This ensures that all the actives get pushed deeper into the skin.

Our Molecular Saviour Toner Mist is made with a special heavier water molecule that is able to withstand the usual rate of evaporation. This means that it clings to skin cells instead of simply vanishing into the air. This allows the skin to better receive all the nutrients in our mist because it’s got one less environmental factor standing in its way.

 

Why did you decide to formulate your products in the US?

I go where the technology is and I was fortunate enough to find a team of chemists there who understood my vision and my formulation ethos. We don’t formulate with silicones, mineral oil, petrochemicals, parabens, polyethylene glycol, sulfates, GMOs, triclosan, phthalates, alcohol, synthetic dyes and fragrances.

 

The entire range is “adaptogenic”. What does that mean?

Every Allies of Skin product is a nutrient reservoir. This means that they are concentrated and packed to the brim with actives. We don’t believe that one ingredient or antioxidant is singularly superior to another. Just like one cannot survive on broccoli alone; our skin needs a cocktail of nutrients.

Just like how a multi-vitamin pill would work: you take one and your body absorbs however much it needs from it. We fill our products with a multitude of nutrients; providing whatever your skin needs to repair itself. So our products are able to adapt to the varying needs of the skin.

For example, our 1A All-Day Mask has 35 different actives and so if you need more moisture that day, two forms of Hyaluronic Acid and 12 healing hydrators will provide ample. If you had too much to drink the night before, optimal levels of caffeine will reduce puffiness and excess water bloat.

 

What is “chirally correct?”

Chirally Correct refers to the use of the correct, active form of an ingredient. Just like humans, nutrients have both left and right “hands”. Vitamin C is “left-handed”, for example. Since a lot of actives are produced in the lab, it takes extra effort and cost to extract the correct form of the ingredient. If the “right-handed” form of Vitamin C is used, it will cause a lot of irritation as well as produce negligible effects.

So using the right form ensures not just efficacy but no irritation. It’s like ensuring the right shoe goes on the right foot. Doing otherwise, no matter how beautiful the shoe is, would render it pointless.

 

What’s next for Allies of Skin?

We have seven other formulas in the pipeline and hope to launch two new products a year. International distribution is next.

Read The Beauty Gazette’s review of Allies of Skin here.

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