BRIGHT LIGHTS

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.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Beauty - Chanel Je­nae

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.

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