Lena Korres heads up the Product Development division at beauty brand Korres, which was founded back in 1996 out of Greece’s oldest homeopathic pharmacy. Today, Korres is a mega-brand, sold all over the world, and Lena is involved in everything from product concept development, to skincare formulations, clinical testing, and design. As such, the affable entrepreneur was the perfect person to chat with about winter skincare regimens, what to pack when traveling, tips for building a successful brand, and more.
The Fashion Spot: What’s your favorite product in the Korres line?
Lena Korres: Do I only get one choice? My current favorite is our latest anti-ageing cream – the Quercetin & Oak Antiageing & Antiwrinkle Oil Control Treatment. It is part of an overall collection based on a Nobel-awarded discovery, and the first natural anti-aging line to achieve higher scores on all crash tests with some of the market’s top selling conventional anti-aging creams. If I could get away with a second choice, I would add the ultimate Korres classic, our Yoghurt Cooling Gel with edible Greek yoghurt!
tFS: To what do you attribute your huge success?
LK: The key to the success in the case of Korres, if such a thing exists, is the balance of our core principles and choices combined with the people working for this brand. Our philosophy and core principles remain the same as in our pharmacy days – the use of herbs and natural ingredients of the highest quality; skin and environmentally friendly products with clinically tested effectiveness; products that are also affordable for every day use, yet of high aesthetics with strong artistic direction. The balance of these principles and the people sharing the same vision, passion and enthusiasm is the driving force behind the brand’s journey so far.
tFS: Your products are available all over the world – do people shop differently in the US than they do in other parts of the globe, or do they tend to go for similar scents/products?
LK: One would think that, but when we take a look at our best sellers in each market, it’s always the same products that make the top five: our Wild Rose 24-hour Moisturizing and Brightening Cream, the Lip Butters (above), Quercetin & Oak (right), the Yoghurt Cooling Gel, and our Guava Body Butter. What is interesting in the case of the US market, apart from the ever growing trend for more natural formulations, is the interest in anti-aging products as well as primers. Consumers seem to be more savvy when it comes to these specific categories.
tFS: What’s the first skincare product you ever bought?
LK: All-time classics such as Liposan and Clinique’s soap; Body Shop’s makeup, and skincare by brands found in Greek pharmacies such as Avene and Vichy.
tFS: Any celebrity you think could really use a boost from one of your products?
LK: Anyone interested in exploring more natural ways to maintain their skin. We are fortunate enough to count a number of A-list celebrities amongst our devotees and that is a huge honor.
tFS: What skincare products do you never travel without?
LK: Korres Milk Proteins Foaming Cream Cleanser is a must-have, as it is ideal for effective, soap-free cleansing that leaves the skin soft and moisturized; the Wild Rose 24-hour Moisturizing and Brightening Cream, that’s suitable for any conditions, whether you’re exposed to a highly polluted city atmosphere, an air-conditioned office or even regular air travel; finally, our night beauty regime must not be neglected, even when traveling, so I always use our Quercetin & Oak Antiaging & Antiwrinkle Night Cream, an extremely efficient anti-wrinkle and skin elasticity boosting treatment.
tFS: Should men and women care for their skin in different ways or can they use the same products?
LK: Top skincare priorities – cleansing, skin hydration and sun protection – apply to both. Based on their skin type, each should look out for products that satisfy their individual needs. Of course, the general rule is that male skin behaves differently compared to women’s – it’s more oily, thus the need for matte moisturizers and so on. However, the best judge in the process is skin itself as it tends to reject what is not really suitable.
tFS: What skincare products do you consider the basics for the winter season that no woman/man should be without?
LK: Moisturizing is an absolute skin essential as the winter season tends to leave our skin dry and dull. I would opt for one that works in any environment since we tend to switch from warm indoor spaces to harsh weather. Do not neglect the need for SPF protection, even during the winter season. A night cream is also recommended as well as a highly nourishing lip butter that can help us avoid the unpleasant effect of cracked lips.