It’s a balmy night in New York City and I’m headed to The Smile Restaurant in Soho, to meet up with Paula Simpson, skin nutrition and formulation expert and Co-Founder of ZSS Skincare. The intriguing thing about this brand is the holistic way in which way it approaches skincare, treating the skin from the inside out. Aside from a topical serum, each Z Skin System comes with 30 days worth of supplements. Together, it’s a unique way to look at our overall health and well being—one that is quickly gaining traction.

How did you become involved with ZSS Skincare? I met both Dennis (Founder) and Emily (President) at an industry event. We were attending a skincare-based conference and think we were the only ones there with a background in nutraceuticals with key interest in skin nutrition.

How have you seen the demand for nutricosmetics rise over the years? Ten years ago, there was little thought about the connection between what we consume (nutrition, diet, supplementation) and how we live (lifestyle, environmental pollutants, chronic sun exposure) on the health and appearance of our skin. In this time, a growing body of clinical data is strengthening the correlation between nutrition and it’s effect on skin health. Moreover, targeted nutrients through supplementation have been shown in human clinical studies to work effectively in re-balancing skin health and improving overall appearance.

What is your background? I studied biochemistry, nutrition in university and then studied holistic nutrition that analyses traditional or eastern focused practices in nutrition and health. Working internationally in natural health, regulations and medical aesthetics has brought me to where I am today.

What is it about paprika, one of your key ingredients, that seems to be so revolutionary? What intrigued me about zeaxanthin is three fold:

  1.  It is absorbed and utilized in the skin: Although we hear about the benefits of antioxidants for skin health, when taken orally many are neutralized in the gut before they can reach skin tissue. When consumed in supplement form, zeaxanthin can bypass the digestive system and reach skin tissue where it works effectively as an antioxidant and improve overall skin radiance.
  2. It is naturally derived: Zeaxanthin, from paprika, is not modified or technically manipulated. So it is truly natural.
  3. Clinical Significance­­: It has been recommend by eye doctors for over twenty years and clinically evaluated for skin health, zeaxanthin is naturally derived and clinically validated for skin health when taken orally and applied topically.

I love the inside/outside approach of ZSS Skincare, how hard has it been to win over consumers with this approach to skincare? What you consume through nutrition works differently than what we apply topically to our skin. However, when you combine the two together, then you have a much more powerful regimen towards protecting and nourishing your skin. The synergy of our topical Nutri-Serum with the skin nutrition component offers a 360 degree approach for balanced, radiant skin. Education on how each component works (from the inside out and outside in) independently and together, is integral to help people understand our philosophy.

We’re all very impatient when it comes to seeing results with our beauty products, why do you think it’s important to aim for a longer lasting solution to overall well being? Skin nutrition works on a whole different mechanism than what topical skincare can do. Because the results will improve overtime, you need to be patient. By building a healthier foundation (from within) this will bring out an improved appearance of the skin all over the body, not just on the places you apply your topical skincare. It is about a balanced lifestyle and diet but, this is where nutricosmetics makes it easy to get the right doses of nutrients to support healthy skin. Once people understand this, they are more than patient and happy with the results.

Do you foresee this change in demand—from synthetic to natural solutions—continue to rise in popularity? Yes. I think with advancements in manufacturing technology, we have lost the quality of nutrients that is found in whole foods and naturally derived ingredients. Many propose that our bodies are not equipped to efficiently digest and utilize the foods we consume today because they are not in their natural, whole form. Processed foods, functional foods and beverages contain a lot of artificial fillers and chemicals that are hard to digest and eliminate from our system. We wanted to keep it simple with ZSS, focus on naturally derived ingredients without the complexity of chemicals and additives. We are truly a nutrition focused skincare company. — ANGELA GILLTRAP