Many women are faced with problematic skin when growing up, but few would go to the lengths that Elisabeth Visoanska did to fix it.
"In my teenage years, my delicate skin, which was prone to imperfections, made me discover the notion of holistic beauty," says the founder of French skincare brand Visoanska, which recently made its Hong Kong debut.
"Skincare was my passion since I can remember. Frustration and crisis are motors of many inventions - this was my case."
After graduating with degrees in music and literature, Visoanska followed her passion into marketing for the medical-pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland. Seven years later, she headed for Paris to pursue an MBA in international luxury brand management. Visoanska was created not long after, in November 2005.
"I started with our iconic global anti-ageing products that combine skincare and food supplements in a single exclusive package: the Formule Anti-Age Optimale Day and Night Cream," she says. "It was my holistic theory of beauty. For a consumer, it's also a simplification of choices and a one-stop purchase."
The eco-luxury brand now features a range of hi-tech anti-ageing products designed to protect, repair and rebuild the skin. Visoanska chose to focus on the anti-ageing segment for its forward-thinking approach.
"It's a domain that inspires the most innovation, new solutions and cutting-edge products," she says. "It's also a category that likes best quality, perfection and excellence because of its consumers."
Visoanska stands out for its commitment to high-quality ingredients and ecological responsibility. "We searched throughout the world for plants that have an exceptional ability to withstand extreme external conditions. We isolated their molecules that teach your skin unparalleled resistance to external aggressions, and to repair its genetic damage, working to boost cells' longevity," Visoanska says.
"Some of them come from Arctic [climates], some from the deserts, some from hyper-toxic environments, some from high summits. It's a real luxury casting for our epidermis."
The company also keeps an extensive black list of potentially harmful ingredients, including parabens, silicones and synthetic perfumes. "Our mission is to bring more ecological responsibility to luxury, and a more luxury feel to natural products," Visoanska says.
Her ideal consumer is "a woman of age who loves excellence. She has an ecological conscience but at the same time she will never compromise on the effectiveness of her beauty products and the quality of their ingredients".
Visoanska sees beauty in simple terms - "glowing skin, sparkling eyes, a beautiful mind and a young spirit". But perhaps given her own struggles with achieving the perfect complexion, she also understands the power it can bestow.
"Beauty has the ability to touch deeply, to move, to inspire, to seduce," she says. "Preserving our youthfulness does not mean stopping the course of time; it means living life with continually growing passion."