Meet the Mediterranean Brand Maven
As a chemical engineer by training and an MBA post-graduate, Lena Korres knows a thing or two about the business of beauty. Having held a number of strategic posts at Korres – sales, marketing, communications, export and new product development – she is currently the Brand Development Director for the Korres Group including Korres Natural Products, Kings & Queens, Golden Krocus and Krocus Kozani Products. We asked Lena for her take on the original homeopathic pharmacy brand that hails from Athens, Greece, and has become a cult favorite among natural-loving beauty mavens with an itch for prestige.
What is the secret to Greek beauty?
Less of a secret, more of an industry observation regarding Mediterranean countries: the climate – not extremely cold over the winter months and not too humid during summer despite the high temperatures. The Greek diet also plays a part – heavily based on olive oil, which is a rich in vitamins and polyphenols that nourish the skin.
Have you incorporated any family traditions into your products?
Our Yoghurt Cooling Gel was inspired by a long-lived Greek tradition of applying yoghurt onto sunburned skin to cool and soothe it. Thus, the first product containing edible yoghurt and one of my absolute favourites was our Yoghurt Cooling Gel, the development of which happens to be one of the most rewarding projects I worked on with the Korres team. Yoghurt contains thousands of live cultures, so it was a real challenge for our R&D team to create a stable cosmetic formula preserving all the benefits of live yoghurt. It took three years to develop and it was a global first at the time! Another product inspired by a family tradition, George Korres’ family, is the very first Korres product: an aromatic herbal throat-soothing syrup with honey and aniseed, a recipe inspired by “rakomelon,” a warming spirit-with-honey concoction, which George Korres’ grandfather used to make in his hometown on the island of Naxos.
What is the connection between food and beauty?
Though I don’t consider myself an expert on the matter, I believe our diet influences our skin. Brightness, blemishes and spots are some of the basic examples of diet’s impact on skin.
An antioxidant-rich diet can contribute to skin radiance. The daily water intake is also very important. Moreover, regular exercise benefits the skin by helping us maintain better circulation, calm nerves and ensure a deeper, more revitalising sleep. This approach does not promise next-day miracles, but guarantees the healthiest and brightest looking skin long-term.
Which products from your line are the most in-demand?
The Korres Wild Rose 24-hour Moisturiser – the first ever Korres cosmetic – is a worldwide best-seller and the preferred choice of industry experts and celebrities alike. It contains a dessert plant extract – Imperata cylindrica – ensuring 24-hour moisture by continuously regulating cellular water balance. Our latest line, Quercetin & Oak, based on a Nobel prize awarded discovery, is also in great demand, despite just having landed on shelves. The current economy played a part in its immediate success. Quercetin & Oak cancels out the theory that only conventional age-defying creams work. Time can be held back naturally and at no ‘supercream’ cost. It has been crash-tested against the market’s top-selling conventional antiageing creams and scored higher on all tests [see below]. This is the first time globally that a natural antiageing cream has achieved higher scores on all of the following, and it’s just at a fraction of the cost of the majority of this season’s antiageing supercream launches.
· HYDRATION (laboratory equipment)
· ELASTICITY (laboratory equipment)
· DEPTH OF WRINKLES (laboratory equipment)
· APPEARANCE OF WRINKLES (observation by supervising dermatologist)
· SKIN SMOOTHNESS (observation by supervising dermatologist)
· SKIN RADIANCE (observation by supervising dermatologist)
What’s in your bag?
Currently the Quercetin & Oak moisturiser SPF 12. I always carry the Quince Lip Butter and the Watermelon Tinted Moisturiser SPF30 for a touch of sun-kissed hues and high sun-protection all year round. The Korres Pomegranate cleansing wipes are also a must have item for those on the move.
Are you a mom?
Yes – the working, struggling to cope kind.
What’s your favourite bag?
A Balenciaga I’ve carried for years – I’m not an IT-bag fan. I go for classic, elegant, durable pieces.