Five minutes with: Richard Wolstenholme

You must know a lot about cosmetics and skincare for women. Is it hard to understand from a male point of view?

Good question. I believe that to really understand cosmetics and skincare you need to first understand women’s beauty needs and desires. That’s easier said than done. But having worked in Britain, France and Australia there seems to be a universal willingness of women to share these needs, desires and feedback – even with a guy. And what’s great about Nutrimetics is that we have a network of over 50,000 consultants across Australia and New Zealand who are always willing to share new ideas and give feedback which really helps myself and my team to understand their needs.

What is the philosophy behind the Nutrimetics brand?

To draw upon 40 years of home grown dermatological expertise through the Nutrimetics Beauty Lab to develop the highest quality naturally enriched products to meet the beauty and lifestyle needs of New Zealand and Australian women.

Nutrimetics products are developed to meet strict quality and safety guidelines, are not tested on animals and are free from animal derived ingredients.

What does “naturally-enriched” mean?

When we develop a product we look to nature for inspiration, such as botanical extracts or minerals. For example in the Brighten range, the inspiration of the Lotus flower led us to search for ingredients based on this concept. Once we select an ingredient, we will carry out an efficacy study and from there we work towards incorporating the benefits with other necessary ingredients to obtain optimal efficacy.

What natural skincare ingredients can be found in the Nutrimetics line?

Each product range typically has a primary natural ingredient selected for a specific benefit:

• Apricot Kernel Oil in the Nutri Rich range

• Hibiscus seed extract in the Restore range

• Alpine Glacial Water in the Hydrafinity range

Examples of individual products with specific ingredients:

• Soy bean oil in Skin Clean

• Avocado Oil in Nutri Eye Eye Crème

• Cranberry extract in Hydrafinity Serum

How do the Nutrimetics products address the beauty needs of New Zealand and Australian women?

Our network of over 50,000 Consultants across New Zealand and Australia (combined) gives us a unique firsthand perspective into women’s beauty needs. From this information we derive consumer insights which are the basis for a product concept. For example, capillary damage is common in New Zealand and Australia due to the UVA/UVB issue.

As a result a high incidence of women, particularly in their later years experience red spider veins on the face. Consequently, Nutrimetics recently launched “nc Colour Corrector Mint” as a quick and convenient way to neutralise and mask redness on the face.

Are our needs different to our Northern Hemisphere counterparts?

There are many similarities – for example concern over the signs of skin ageing, whether that be for prevention or correction. I believe the differentiators are in New Zealanders’ and Australians’ attitudes to beauty. In this part of the world women are equally serious about their beauty regime to their northern counterparts but are more relaxed in the way they wear their beauty.

The overall look is more of a relaxed, accessible, wearable beauty that I believe fits with the active/outdoor lifestyle versus an arguably more complex approach to beauty.

What is the Nutrimetics Spa Experience?

It’s an at home party, that groups women in the comfort of the home of a “hostess” and gives them the chance to experience the relaxation benefits of a day spa amongst friends. It’s simple, fun and gives women the opportunity to get together, enjoy some social time and discover the Nutrimetics product range (through an inter-active demonstration that allows guests to try before they buy) as well as the earning opportunity of becoming a Nutrimetics Consultant.

The Nutrimetics Spa Experience includes a 15 minute guided relaxation (by the Nutrimetics Consultant) that responds to the insight that women today are time-poor, stressed and need some time out.

This experience leaves them feeling relaxed and renewed and they get to enjoy the personalised one-on-one service from the Nutrimetics Consultants in choosing the best-fit skincare regime of cosmetics for themselves.

What are the current trends for skincare and cosmetics?

Right now, we’re seeing the ripple effect of the recession on the cosmetic market. Consumers are still spending, however they are increasingly looking for the best value and turning to the brands they trust and are most familiar with. They are less willing to take risks on higher ticket items, which is consistent with the lipstick effect that we are currently experiencing at Nutrimetics with colour makeup being our highest growth category year to date.

For skincare, the growth area continues to be anti-ageing. Specifically what we are seeing is that, as treatments such as Botox become more affordable, the role of skincare in treating the signs of ageing is evolving. There’s a shift towards correcting unwanted pigmentation as well as the more established anti-wrinkle skincare treatments. This trend has evolved out of the ancient oriental tradition of skin whitening into a broader, western “skin brightening” approach.

What do you think the future holds for both skincare and cosmetics?

I believe the future is bright. Women have been concerned with beauty for millennia and that isn’t going to change. In the short term we’ll see the return to thrift affecting the number of new launches, which will significantly benefit the brands that choose to innovate and launch products with affordable price points.

In the medium to longer term as the economy recovers I believe we’ll see environmental agenda re-emerge even more aggressively that will shape the formulations and packaging of across cosmetics and skincare.

Five minutes with: Molnar Ferenc

How does Ilsci differ from other “natural” brands?

Ilcsi products have a uniquely high herbal and fruit content that varies from 5 to 50 per cent. The herbs and fruits we use are all grown in Hungary. Due to the natural characteristics of Hungary, the soil, the climate and the abundance of sunshine, these herbs and fruits are especially rich in active ingredients and aromatic agents. It has been scientifically proven that Hungarian herbs have five times more inner content, than herbs grown anywhere else in the world. The herbal, cosmetic, dermatologic experiences of my mother, Molnár Dánielné Ilcsi, improved greatly the development of our products.

Some people avoid natural organic skincare because they don’t believe it is active enough. What do you think of this?

I can only talk about our products. We always preferred mild methods. It is true that with natural products it is a bit longer process to heal the different skin problems, but without any side effects and that is their great advantage.

Tell us about the thermal waters used in the Ilsci range.

In 1925 people were searching for oil when accidentally 73C hot thermal water broke out from more than 1000 metres depth. The thermal spring is located in the middle-eastern part of Hungary in the city of HajdĂşszoboszlĂł.

What minerals can be found in the water?

The water that breaks through the ancient Pannon sea’s deposits is uniquely high in iodine, salt, bromine and hydrogen-carbonate. The ancient sea’s flora and fauna deposits enriched the thermal water with various trace elements. Besides the above mentioned, the water contains titanium, copper, zinc, silver, manganese, lithium, iron and oestrogen bind to bitumen.

Does the water come from thermal lakes or cave baths?

It is a thermal spring well.

How does the water affect the skin?

HajdĂşszoboszlĂł thermal spring water has a fantastic regenerating, wound healing effect. It is very effective for treating eczema, psoriasis, cellulite as well as acne. Due to its alkaline 9.0 pH, it softens and smoothes the thickened keratin layer. The ingredients of the water are similar to those of the human bodily fluids and that is why it heals skin of deep layer water deficiency.

The cult treatment of the range seems to be the Before Event mask. How does it work?

The Ilcsi Before Event Mask, besides various other herbs, contains Hungarian hot paprika. The capsicum content of hot paprika is responsible for the blood circulation stimulation. With stimulating the blood circulation we increase metabolism, and enhance the absorption and the effect of the products used later in the treatment.

It also makes the pressing treatment easier and less painful. In order to dissolve the thickened keratin layer, we combine the Before Event Mask with the AHA Biological Peeling Mask containing apple, grape and medlar.

You say that linseed, clover, yucca, tomato, paprika, nettle and cabbage have a great phytooestrogen content – what benefit does this have when applied topically on the skin?

By applying herbal oestrogen directly on the skin it is possible to balance the androgen level of the skin without any side effects. Androgenic hormones can cause undesirable skin problems, like symptoms of ageing, hair growth on the face, rough skin. The products of phyto-oestrogen content have beautifying, softening, smoothing, rejuvenating effect and they help to increase the elasticity of the skin.

The Green soap is an intriguing product – can you tell us how it’s made.

The recipe is a secret, of course. But I can tell that the different herbs and ingredients are mixed into the soap basis that we cook ourselves. Its liquid state should not deceive anyone, it is not a shampoo basis. It is a soap, which has a great importance in the effectiveness of the product.

How did Ilcsi’s grandmother influence her interest in herbal skin treatments?

As a young girl Ilcsi grew up in the countryside, where she fell in love with nature. Her great-grandmother was a herbalist, so Ilcsi experienced and learned very often how the herbs cured the different problems of the people in the village. As a career-starter Ilcsi soon realised that the choice of cosmetic products was very poor at that time in Hungary. So she started to develop her own creams using only naturally occurring ingredients in her recipes for skin care remedies and treatments.

How many salons do you have worldwide?

We export to 15 countries. Approximately 20000-23000 salons worldwide are working with Ilcsi materials.

Where are the herbs grown?

We hand-pick and collect most of the herbs in forests, meadows, and fields. Some we buy from bio gardens. Those herbs that we use in greater quantities as well as the stonecrop, which is a protected herb in Hungary, we grow in our own plantation. We have a thermo house where our aloe grows.

Obviously the percentage of organic ingredients varies according to each product. Can you tell us which product contains the highest amounts – and what the ingredients are?

Many of our product range have very high per cent of herbal ingredients. I would list a few: AHA Biological Peeling Mask, Sour Cherry Gel, Sorb Apple Gel, Peach Cream Gel, Stonecrop Moisturiser, Cucumber and Parsley Oxygen Mask.

What’s the best-selling product in the range?

I would tell a few which are in the first place: Green Soap, Before Event Mask, Apricot Whip Moisturiser, Stonecrop Body Lotion, Tomato Mask and Rose Hip Toner.