Think cold-pressed, think juices? Independent skincare brand Arcona is poised to take beauty standards to the next level. Li Ying Lim visits the Arcona Studio in California to discover why it’s Hollywood’s best kept secret.
In the thick of fresh-pressed juiceries and raw vegan sushi joints in Santa Monica, there is a place where skincare is also cold-pressed, vegan, and pretty much gluten-free. Welcome to Arcona Studio, where the philosophy goes skin-deep. “The whole philosophy of our brand is that of exfoliating the skin and laying on skincare that is actually recognisable to the skin cells,” says Chanel Jenae, co-owner and vice president of Arcona. Jenae came to the brand in 2000 and met the late Arcona Devan, founder and chemist of the holistic brand. Now in 2015, she speaks of the visionary owner as her mentor. “When I met Arcona [Devan], I thought she was so incredible. Everything was very clean and pure. I used four of the products and I was so blown away by it. She was such a great mentoring friend and teacher, very generous with her knowledge.” Jenae continues to carry on the beacon of Devan’s beliefs.
Jenae has done facials for celebrities such as Sarah Michelle Gellar, Emily Deschanel, and Mandy Moore, all of whom swear by the brand’s Basic Five, which is made up of the essential five steps of daytime cleansing and exfoliating, hydrating, protecting, and then toning and regenerating at night. “It addresses wrinkles, melasma, acne, hyperpigmentation, acne scarring. It will introduce a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients. This helps to speed up the natural renewing process.”
Customers claim to see results in 48 hours. “You can see a difference in the skin rapidly because of the purity of the products,” Jenae says. And because the products are so pure, gentle, and hyper-effective, the brand actually advocates exfoliating in the morning daily with bestseller Cranberry Gommage. Jenae reasons, “A lot of times people don’t exfoliate enough, and there is a dead layer on your skin, which leads to larger pores and sluggish skin cells. That’s when you start to age. It’s really gravity and the heavier stuff on the skin. You want to speed up the cell turnover of your skin, so you want to do that without causing any inflammation. A lot of the commercial moisturisers just sit on the surface, and this makes the skin lazy, enlarges pores, and reduces oxygen flow.”
She further points out the sad truth about massproduced skincare – even if the skincare formula contains some of the priciest jewels in the industry, much like fruit juices, the heat processing and pasteurisation will render the enzymes lifeless, or at least, the potency is reduced considerably.
You will not find that in Arcona. “Our products are made in small batches,” divulges Allison Marks, Arcona spa director. “It helps in efficacy and integrity of the ingredients. And since they are also cold-pressed, we are able to preserve the active ingredients and nutrients.” Jenae adds, “We leave out the emulsifiers and binders so you get a much purer product, so your skin cells will recognise it, and it can naturally process it, so you get better results.” Arcona is available at Sephora stores nationwide.