Founded by Dr. Carl R. Thornfeldt more than 16 years ago the Epionce brand is synonymous with good skin.
A practicing dermatologist with over 25 years of skin research experience, 22 U.S. patents granted and over 20 scientific publications in the area of treatment of skin diseases and conditions, including chapters in five dermatological textbooks, there is little Dr Carl doesn’t know about skin.
In 2003 and 2005 he was selected as one of the top 50 doctors in the U.S. by The Sinatra Health Report. He was the only dermatologist on the list. Dr Carl has also spent nearly two decades focusing on researching the skin barrier and inflammatory conditions. It is the findings of this that form the basis of the Epionce range.
Hailing from Portland, Oregan in the United States, Dr Carl was in Belfast’s Malone House recently to address the crowd about the importance of good skincare and protecting the skin’s natural barrier.
The Style Edit caught up with the skincare guru and his daughter, Trish ahead of the event to discover more about the brand and learn why Epionce has always been at the forefront of modern day dermatology.
What is Epionce’s ethos?
The thinking from some brand’s is that you damage the skin’s barrier to create anti-aging but when you do that you’re effectively harming the largest organ in your body. We’re all about repair. The skin is the largest organ in the body, it’s part of our immune system – why would we want to be damaging that?
Our philosophy is if you make the skin barrier healthy and help the skin repair itself the way it was naturally created to do the signs of ageing as well as the symptoms of many of the skin diseases and conditions that people struggle with tend to go away because the skin is rejuvenating itself naturally.
I know there are many compelling theories about skin. Through years of research and treating my patients, I found by repairing the barrier and blocking chronic inflammation had the most profound effect on ageing and skin health in my patients. I have spent a lifetime on proving the safety and efficacy of our product.
How does it differ from other skincare lines on the market?
Trish: There has been a signifiant shift in the thinking in the beauty industry in recent years and it’s a shift towards what our original philosophy has always been.
When we started as a company the dermatology field was still very focused on inducing reactions in order to get a benefit and because of the foundational work that Dr Carl has done that has now been integrated into the text books that the new generation of dermatologists are studying.
The philosophy of repairing the barrier and stopping the chronic inflammation is becoming more common whereas when we got started we were the ones fighting an uphill battle against the common thinking.
It’s been very gratifying to know we were at the forefront and now others are following our example.
Is it a natural brand?
Yes. People always ask what is our key ingredient but we don’t have one single key ingredient; we have a blend of botanical ingredients that work synergistically together to create the results that we’re looking for.
When I was doing my original research there were no synthetic ingredients that could modulate all of the multiple pathways and mechanisms that are happening in the body – the botanical world provides that solution.
However, just because a skincare range is botanically based doesn’t mean it actually works. We do our clinical studies on the final product, not the individual ingredients. Everything was carefully selected based on how the ingredients responded together in the formulations.
Because we’re privately held we only launch products that I’ve invested time in researching and developing and feel that there is a gap in the market for and that my patients need. We don’t randomly launch products to meet quarterly news reports, we do it because it is the right thing to do at that moment.
What age range is Epionce aimed at?
I am first and foremost a clinical dermatologist and as such I see patients of all ages. I see infants right up to the very elderly so it’s important that any of my products can be used by, or are safe to be used by, any of my patient base.
My mother is 91 and still uses Epiconce and I know it’s used on my grandchildren.
“The philosophy of repairing the barrier and stopping the chronic inflammation is becoming more common whereas when we got started we were the ones fighting an uphill battle against the common thinking.”
What advice would you give anyone looking to invest in new skincare?
You want to use products that are safe and effective and know that the final product you are using has been proven to be just that. I’ve always said it’s all fine and dandy to say something on a package but you have to prove it. Where’s the clinical study? Our resources have always gone on clinical research rather than marketing.
Trish, how did you get involved with first working for the brand?
I’ve been professionally involved with the brand for 11 years. My dad’s always been a scientist and thinking up with ideas to improve the health of his patients so from I was very little he would be coming up with these formulations and bringing them home to test on us. He would line me, my mum and my brother up then he would mark our arms and then put test formations all up our arms to check it didn’t sting, itch, turn red and just generally assess what was going on. We were his guinea pigs! When I got older and went to university I inevitably ended up doing some literary research for the company and now I’m involved in marketing.
What is it like working with your dad?
Family businesses always have their own challenges but we’ve come to a good place of figuring out how to best work with each other. In the beginning we had to work through the dynamics and now we have a really good working relationship.
It’s very satisfying to support him and the work he’s doing. I’m very proud of his endeavours and now as a parent myself I’m able to have a new appreciation of his life’s work.