June’s – ‘The Beauty Issue’ – Download Now
Miriam Quevedo, Founder of her namesake brand, discusses creating a sophisticated hair and skincare range using stem cells and extensive technical research.
What do the first 30 mins of your day look like, your morning routine?
Beautiful skin begins with an effective and non-aggressive cleansing ritual. To support my skin for the harshness of the summer sun, I like to start my day with a magic cleansing and pre-treatment ritual before having my breakfast. I built my personal skincare routine on three core steps which begins with using the Glacial White Caviar Precious Cleansing Foam to increase my levels of oxygen while removing impurities accumulated during the night. This is followed by Black Baccara Volcanic Cleansing Powder a toner to re-mineralize my skin with Glacial White Caviar Toning Lotion and finally, I like to blend with the Black Baccara 30% Vitamin C + 24 k Gold Booster and the BB Energizing Boosters, for a very glowing complexion. It prepares my skin to combat pigmentation with a dual-action blend. I am obsessed with Vitamin C essentials to combat cell oxidation so I take a supplement of natural Vitamin C, in combination of Niacin (B3 Vitamin) and Iron as it’s ideal to recharge my cells during this season. I also have a quick haircare ritual where I apply the Black Baccara Scalp Concentrate from our Haircare luxe line with a very short but effective scalp massage to activate microcirculation and combat damage as it nourished my roots. An amazing day follows as I re-mineralize my body with a soft infusion of Mediterranean thyme and rosemary, anti-inflammatories, and drink tea with one piece of buckwheat toast and extra virgin olive oil. It is one of my favourite moments of the day as I enjoy it without rushing. It also gives me the opportunity to play with my two dogs. Having a complete morning ritual really helps to start the day with a lot of energy and positivity as I feel good and beautiful.
What was the catalyst to launching the brand?
There were different key aspects, first and foremost was my knowledge and passion for ingredients. When I was working in my mother’s herbalist shop, I developed a strong passion for mixing and combining ingredients but also for taking care of people, accompanying them in a holistic approach to wellness. I became known for my special blends, but also for the special care I was giving as clients were enjoying coming back to me. It is so gratifying. Beauty was my world as a child and products were literally surrounding me as far back as I can remember. From a young age, I worked in my family apothecary shops and I was always fascinated by-products, ingredients, raw materials and plants as well as treatments. Beauty was a part of me and this exposure to the business unlocked a passion within me that has guided my journey. I believe I was always destined to make my brand and business my life’s work. Then came the frustration as I have very sensitive skin and rebellious hair and I couldn’t find any product in the market responding to my needs. I eventually realized, I am most probably not the only one. I have always dreamed of launching my own cosmetic brand. Together with my husband, the owner of a cosmetics laboratory with over 35 years of experience, my brand, Miriam Quevedo was born. We combined my decades-long experience working with exceptional ingredients with the scientific and cutting-edge innovations of our laboratory and R&D centre. Leading me to do it, as I launched my own beauty care brand.
What have been the largest challenges to date and how did you overcome them?
My objective has always been to pioneer the introduction of anti-ageing skincare concepts to haircare also known as the ‘skinification’ of the hair movement because hair and scalp age too. Our scalp is an extension of our skin after all: both scalp and hair are affected by the same ageing factors as the skin. A revolution that it was not easy to launch, almost no competitors on anti-ageing haircare treatments, thus, wide space to express ourselves, but big challenges to communicate this key information: take care of your scalp and understand it as an extension of your skin. We overcame it by educating, explaining, transmitting the key messages to our consumers, by taking care of them as we accompanied them with a professional diagnostic and recommendation of personal rituals. The rest was done by the product, it is so efficient and giving such spectacular results that it talks for itself with our first ambassador being our product. The second challenge was reaching excellence in all the essential areas for us: maximum performance, respect for health and the environment. We search and secure the most precious, rare, unique and effective ingredients such as gold, diamond, caviar, fresh rose stem cells and black rose extracts no matter how challenging it is to source them.
Did you have any mentors or support systems in the early days and how did they help guide you in the right direction?
My mother was such a strong influence in my life and set a shining example of a working mother, a creator and an entrepreneur such as I aspired to be. She was certainly the heroine in my story and taught me important values in business and in life. I watched her create products and share her passion for beauty with others and help women look and feel their best. I have made it a point to try to continue the same values of honesty, hard work and integrity. But in the end, Miriam Quevedo as a glowing skin and hair brand would not be possible without so many people, but the one I have to say made the difference was and is my husband. His family business and background was in research and manufacturing of cosmetics and cosmeceuticals. So, while I ultimately understood segments of the business, there were so many technical elements to launching a brand and taking it so scale in other markets globally. We had a shared common interest, passion and goal. He believed in me and my philosophy and was willing to take the risks, do the work necessary and support me in any and every way in this endeavor. He was truly the missing piece to my puzzle and it was the combination of our experiences and knowledge that made this possible for me and for us as a family and a brand.
What intensive anti-ageing techniques have you applied to the brand?
My passion is mixing precious raw materials to create my own exclusive blends. Understanding our client’s needs in order to help them improve the way they feel about themselves is why we focus on effectiveness and prevention to combat global premature ageing. We look to activate the auto-repairing systems of the body and calm and combat the micro-inflammation. This premature ageing is based on an innovative concept of beauty pioneered in research and selecting these precious exceptional ingredients to design our formulas capable of combining the benefits of the most exquisite natural ingredients with the latest technological advances to rejuvenate the skin. Until now, most of the science applied in anti-ageing cosmetics was based on combating or preventing the visible signs of skin ageing (wrinkles, loss of volume, dyschromia as our purpose is to revert ageing. We based all our research and development on mastering and combating the theories of ageing. All our collections and products try to combat all the theories of ageing in order to preserve skin tissue in optimal conditions and minimize the effects of senescence on the skin, influencing our lifestyle. With our anti-ageing cosmetics, a new era of treatment related to the theories of ageing appeared. I have focused, together with my scientific and technical team, on approaching skin rejuvenation through a set of biomedical disciplines that clear the determining factors of the causes of skin ageing which include the theory of free radicals or oxidative stress, theory of photoaging, Digital ageing theory, theory of the accumulation of toxic waste substances and more.
What part of the process relates to your stem cell research and what properties do they harness?
In my research, I learned that specific flowers and botanicals have unique properties. The alpine rose which grows at very high altitudes has adapted to cold, dryness and UV, so that it can resist these harsh environmental conditions. The skin, including the scalp, protects our body from the environment, also the hair has an important function. To perform this barrier function efficiently, the epidermis is constantly renewed and repaired by the epidermal stem cells. But environmental changes and ageing impair the skin barrier leading to drier, more fragile skin and accelerated ageing. Thus, the first strategy to enhance the skin barrier is to preserve the activity of epidermal stem cells and protect them from environmental stress. Our Fresh Rose Stem cells from alpine rose leaves have been obtained using specific technology in order to preserve its special epigenetic factors that contain and metabolites that are able to preserve the human skin stem cells’ function. The incorporation of these powerful fresh rose stem cells to our advanced stem cells hair care and scalp care formulas help to increase the vitality of epidermal stem cells by helping them to maintain their characteristics.
How do you maintain a balance between nature and science?
My objective is to create products offering the maximum efficacy yet the maximum respect, for both health and the environment. We have a big commitment to clean beauty that is materialized through two areas of innovation and methodology in our research and development. In terms of methodology, we always look first at natural ingredients. Nature is rich and has a lot to offer. Very powerful ingredients can give you incredible results when you know how to use them and combine them – this is among botanical ingredients but also precious elements. We always starting with nature, precious ingredients, powerful combinations while adding biotechnology and science to give it the extra power it would need to match with our requirements, commitment and product efficacy expectations.
Was being vegan as a brand a clear intention from the outset?
Yes, I rarely eat meat or dairy myself. However, it was one of my daughters that involved me more with a vegan lifestyle and taught me about this approach to life more profoundly. This made me realize that there certainly are scientifically proven, excellent quality alternatives for animal products and active ingredients that, coupled with green technology, green science and sustainability achieve exceptional results. I didn’t hesitate in creating and producing a 100 per cent vegan, global anti-ageing collection Black Baccara, which is of top quality and has proven to be a great success.
How has biotechnology played a vital role in producing these high-quality products?
Biotechnology is at the core of our production process. We have active ingredients, such as, let’s say, stem cells, that, thanks to biotechnology, are liberated from rose petals and transformed – a process that allows us to elevate our cosmetic line to the next level and at the same time to preserve the environment. Another great example of how biotechnology plays a vital role in the production of sulfate-free surfactants, all our products are sulfate-free.
This is ‘The Beauty Issue’ – what does beauty mean to you?
It’s a priority. What products do we use and how we take care of ourselves today have long-term consequences on our beauty in the future.
June’s – ‘The Beauty Issue’ – Download Now
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