MEET CORNELIA ZICU, GLOBAL CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER OF RED DOOR SPAS
The “Three Wow” policy is what sets the Red Door Spas apart from the competition, according to Cornelia Zicu, Global Chief Creative Officer of the venerable spa and and hair care authority. This philosophy maintains that every guest should say at least three “Wows” during their spa treatment. If it doesn’t happen, then a Red Door Spas professional will go the extra mile to further enhance the guest’s experience. Nurturing and maintaining beauty—both physical and within—is very important to the Spas’ aesthetic and also to Ms. Zicu. We chat with the CCO about her beauty regimen, her Romanian roots, skincare in the 30s and beyond, and how to maintain a youthful appearance—with or without a doctor’s help.
What is your beauty philosophy?
For me, beauty is a state of mind; a reflection of health and happiness. Beauty is not just about having good skin and wearing nice makeup–it’s also about having a combination of well-being and glamour. You have to be nice and beautiful inside and outside to attract the admiration from others.
Can proper facial treatments and skincare prevent the need for Botox, fillers, and facelifts?
It depends on what makes you happy. For my beauty standard, having a healthy and glowing complexion that can be achieved by doing facials, using good products, and having a consistent home skincare routine is enough. People who start using Botox at the right age and who stick to a consistent monthly facial, use sun protection, and constantly remove the dead skin layers (microdermabrasion, acid peels, scrubs, etc.) can look much younger than their peers. At any age, a few expression lines should be accepted as a sign of wisdom.
Your Romanian roots and international travels have given you a wealth of knowledge about indigenous skincare remedies and secret family beauty recipes. How does the Romanian skincare philosophy differ from that of the US?
In Eastern Europe, we start at an early age to understand the synergy between the human body and nature. We also learn from our families that a good diet and skin that is in a healthy condition can keep you away from doctors. In our culture, beauty is part of the everyday lifestyle, like the way skiing is part of the Austrians’ lifestyle. Another special thing about us is that we are not afraid to show our love to others and we believe our touch is healing. We also like to make others feel beautiful and happy. We like to take care of others.
What one thing can women do to improve their complexions?
First, we have to permanently protect our skin from the sun. Second we have to religiously clean our skin and never go to sleep before removing makeup. To have a great complexion, we should prevent large pores, pigmentation, and dehydration. To achieve these we should use a cleanser with AHA twice a week (evening is better), exfoliate a minimum of once a week, use a good hydration mask at least once a week or everyday for 15 minutes if we have time, and use products with strong antioxidants, peptides, minerals, fatty acids, and vitamins. A good diet is crucial to assuring a balanced metabolism.
What should women in their 30s look for in skincare? What should they look for when they are 40?
At 30, we should avoid facial expressions because the collagen level is lower now and this will easily produce expression lines. I recommend you test pH levels once a week and try to keep this at a healthy balance because a pH level high in acid will speed up the aging process and can affect your health. A pinch of sodium bicarbonate in a glass of water will turn our pH to alkaline when we need it. Drinking water first thing in the morning to replace the water lost during sleep is necessary for good body hydration. Replacing hot water with warm water during a shower is another mandatory step to prevent skin dehydration. Your daily skin routine should now include products with retinoid, ceramides, AHA, and other strong ingredients that will prevent age signs. Cleaning your teeth with baking soda once a week for whitening is a good for the mouth-pH balance. Staying active and happy is important for attitude, too.
At 40 years old, we go through big hormonal changes and we have to start carefully taking care of our hair, bone density, body shape, skin elasticity, swollen feet, body energy, and sleep quality. Our diet should be rich in calcium and vitamin D, folic acid, and some vitamins and berries are vital for overall good health. We should watch our daily caloric intake and stay very active. Drinking enough water for ligaments, muscle structure, and skin elasticity is a must at this age. Apply a good body lotion after showering, take a weekly bath with marine salt to de-stress and help with swollen feet.
Twice a year, I recommend a detoxification program. Fruits with enzymes are great and should be part of your breakfast at least 2-3 times a week. Probiotic food and probiotic products are essential for a healthy digestive system to function correctly. At this age, our beauty is more affected by our health and lifestyle and we have to be more alert. Everyday at night and morning, use a rich and hydrating cream on the neck and décolleté. A specialized eye cream (not just a generic brand) for morning and another one for evening will work wonders. Specialized serums before using a moisturizer (such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, peptide, collagen, etc.) will help to prevent signs of aging.
Tell us about the new Red Door skincare line. Is there a hero product?
The Red Door Spa Professional collection is 100 years of experience and knowledge in a jar. We created each product around a strong ingredient that we know is vital for a glowing and healthy complexion. The Red Door Spa Professional collection is a perfect combination of nature and science and provides our therapists with the tools needed to deliver value in each customized treatment for our guests. Our expert aestheticians were involved in perfecting the texture and consistency for each product.