Om On The Range

Dr Om Prawarisa

Debra Brock chats to skincare scientist Dr. Om Prawarisa about her multi-purpose capsule collection.

DB: What inspired you to work in the beauty industry?

Dr Om: I’ve always had a passion for skincare, ever since I was a little girl. I originally wanted to be a dermatologist but then I realised you had to do general medical training first which wasn’t my thing. So I found a Cosmetic Science degree instead and then did Pharmaceutical Science for my PhD. Afterwards, I worked for a number of brands and in a lab doing research into nano technology. I found that I was using products from brands but having to customise them to work for me, which started me thinking about making my own product range.

It took ten years to come up with a capsule collection of five products. Because everyone is really busy these days, I wanted to make products that would do multiple things, like a cleanser that could be used to remove makeup and as a really deep cleansing mask, or a primer that also has SPF in it.

DB: When you create a product, who is in the back of your mind?

Dr Om: I made the capsule collection for all skin types, ages and climates. I travel a lot between Thailand and London and wanted something that would adapt to the changes in my skin. In Thailand my skin is very oily, because it’s humid and hot, and when I’m in the UK it’s very dry and sensitive because of the cold and wind. So I’ve done things like including ingredients in the moisturiser that reactivate lipid production if your skin gets too dry.

When I travel with my mum and my sister we bring one set of products between us and share.

DB: You’re a better woman than me – I wouldn’t share my skincare!

Dr Om: It’s just easier – they forget things and this way we always have a complete set! And the products are hygienic, as we use pump dispensers as much as possible. Put your fingers in a pot and it can cause contamination. Pumps also protect the ingredients – when you open a pot the product starts to oxidise, which ruins the benefit.

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DB: Do you start with an idea for a product to meet a particular need or an ingredient that’s of interest?

Dr Om: Both. I constantly search for new ingredients, from all over the world. I’m fascinated by botanical ingredients and how they work. I’m a girl – I like pretty things – but at heart I’m a scientist. I love the combination of cutting edge science and the properties of nature.

DB: So if someone wanted to buy something from your range, which product could they start with?

Dr Om: Well, the cleanser makes an instant difference – when you wash it off you’ll see that your skin is smooth, not tight, and ready for the next step. You’ll also see an instant difference with the primer because it gives you a no-makeup glow, and protects your skin from UV and pollution.

DB: What do you think the major trends are in the beauty industry?

Dr Om: Tailor made skincare – people want to be their own boss and decide their own routine. They know what suits them and they expect more. Thanks to social media there’s far more information available about products than there was ten years ago. It’s great, I love it – people can come to us directly with their queries.

I’ve recently launched two boosters (Revitalising and Serenity) which mix with our capsule collection so people can personalise it. Our moisturiser has no fragrance, as a lot of women can be sensitive to fragrances. But for those that like some scent in their product, we offer boosters which they can mix in. You can also use a booster during the day, over makeup (it’s not oily), whenever you feel you need it. It’s got a hyaluronic acid to hold moisture and botanical complex to treat skin.

DB: Has anything from other areas of your life crossed over into your work?

Dr Om: I’m Buddhist, I do yoga, and my parents always encouraged us to meditate and be mindful. I truly believe that beauty comes not only from what you put on your skin, but from inside you as well. That’s why we encourage mindfulness when you use our products to maximise the effectiveness, just to take even 30 seconds to be focused on your skin. I believe that tapping your skin as part of your skincare routine encourages circulation and also releases chi energy. It tells your skin you love it!

You can find Dr Om’s products at Space NK and online at her own website and Victoria Health. The boosters are exclusive to Space NK.

Debra Brock

Debra Brock is co-founder of salihughesbeauty.com and a contributing writer.

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