Nourishing ‘the theater of life’

Growing up in a big Italian family featuring strong women, Pietro Simone was fascinated by the choreography of women’s beauty rituals. At a young age, he knew that he wanted to recreate the satisfaction they displayed with their lotions and potions. His Essential and Prestige Collections — which we were introduced to during a “Beauty Made in Italy” Zoom conference this summer and whose signature technique for facial lymphatic drainage we’ll learn about in another Zoom event this month — address skin maintenance and anti-aging respectively. (The collections will be available at Neiman Marcus beginning Sept. 15.) Recently, we had an opportunity to e-mail some questions to Simone, who views skin as “the theater of life”:

Pietro, thank you for answering our questions and for your Zoom presentation. First, I must ask how you are doing in London. How did you weather the virus and how are things there now?

“It was my pleasure sharing my passion, motivation and dedication for skincare. Regarding the virus, I don’t think London is very different from New York City, and things are slowly reopening. Every day, new measures are being put in place and I trust that people will be respectful of them.”

You have five spas worldwide, including the flagship in London and one at The Greenwich Hotel in Manhattan, which use specific techniques, such as your signature facial lymphatic drainage treatment. How have you had to adapt your practices for the coronavirus era?

“Despite the very different opinions, I have always loved and used masks in my London clinic as I think it is a great service for myself and for my clients. I have added the visors and the use of more gloves, even for facial treatments. Sometimes people have the preconceived idea that gloves are impossible to work with during facial treatments, but they’ve always been a must for me.” 

You have said, “Skin is the theater of life.” How is skin theatrical?

“The skin is the theater of life, because too many times we just think of our skin on a superficial level. However, the skin is an organ, the largest one, with so many different functions and, for this reason, the skin shows a lot about yourself. Diet, water intake, lifestyle, stress, even emotions affect the skin. For 20 years, I’ve been performing facials almost every day and I have learned to listen, read and understand the skin. So the skin is the theater of life. It shows a huge amount of information about each individual person.”

You have two distinct skincare lines. Would you elaborate on the differences?

“The two different collections, Essential and Prestige, are based on different skin concerns. The Essential Collection is the ‘must-have’ for your skin maintenance — hydration, nourishment, antioxidants, water-binding properties, revitalization and daily support, while Prestige is an intense anti-aging collection that’s targeted for skin in need of more advanced technologies. It is fundamental to the anti-aging process and improving the skin’s texture. The two collections can be combined together without any problem.” 

Both use the Italian Bella Complex, which in turn uses one of our favorite vegetables, tomatoes, or more specifically, tomato seed oil. How do the five key ingredients help the skin?

“The Italian Bella Complex is the current breakout star of my skincare collections that’s created from a culture-rich Italian foundation of unique inspiration and authentic, active core ingredients. My ultimate aim is to form brilliant synergy on the skin, building on its integrity with high-tech innovation, combined with natural Mediterranean jewels of the earth that deliver exceptional visible results. 

“Italian Bella Complex is a perfect unison of purity and performance, including:

• Cold pressed, filtered tomato seed oil lipoactives, sensory selected from Puglia, which have the ability to neutralize the effects of free radicals and improve skin tonicity;

• Annurca apple extracted from the volcanic region of Vesuvio, which has anti-fatigue, anti-stress properties and reactivates the skin’s natural defenses. It also has an anti-glycation action and helps to brighten the complexion and even out skin tone;

• Tuscan grapeseed oil, which is rich in beta-carotene, vitamins C, D, E and essential fatty acids (EFAs) and is a potent anti-wrinkle combater;

• Edelweiss merestamatic cell cultures sourced from the Alps of northern Italy, which possess anti-oxidizing and anti-aging properties that protect against photo-aging and environmental aggressors, while lifting and firming the skin. Edelweiss is also known to promote collagen production;

• Vinacciolo oil, sourced from the abundant agricultural Tuscany region and Sicilian almond oil, which extensively nourish and smooth the skin.”

You’ve talked about watching fascinated as the women in your family applied their skin creams when you were a child. Why did you want to make skincare for women your life’s calling?

“Luckily enough, I never had to choose what to do. I felt that it was my mission to recreate those satisfied faces. I am the result of love from many inspiring women in my life — mum, grandma — a big Italian family and other female mentors who, over the past 20 years, have taught me the value of love and an aspect of beauty that’s more healing than fancy. And here I am more passionate and dedicated than ever before.”

What is next for you and your company?

“I’ve been working intensely to create my ultimate anti-aging and age management skincare collection where I’m also trying to reach a level of sustainability that hasn’t yet been offered in luxury. In the meantime, I’m curating and creating what before was only a fantasy and now this dream is becoming reality.”

For more, visit pietrosimone.com and neimanmarcus.com. 

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