I am meeting Patricio de Román and his wife Maria Escobar at their Skinpharmacy on Madrid’s most elegant shopping streets, Jorge Juan. Patricio is a lawyer and economist and his wife Maria a pharmacist, they have seven sons together and ten years ago they came up with the idea of Skinpharmacy, a concept that is all about healthy skin, from inside out.
You will find a variety of international, well approved and tested products, like Royal Fern, Sarah Chapman and Nescens to name a few.
IRMA: Tell me a bit about your initial idea and how that effected the skin care market in Madrid.
PATRICIO DE ROMAN: When we started, selling not so well-known skin care products and supplements 10 years ago, people first thought, that this concept would never work. You must imagine that at that time only big skin care brands like Estée Lauder and co. were distributed in Spain.
Me and my wife wanted to focus on a different concept. For us the marketing of a product was not important. We rather wanted to study the ingredients and values of composition that make a skin care product most effective and of good quality.
IRMA: How did you do that?
PATRICIO DE ROMAN: Well, my wife is a pharmacist and a nutritionist and at the Skinpharmacy work only pharmacists who specialize in skin care and dermatology.
IRMA: How did your clientele react to this new way of skin care shopping? Before, they were used to go to a classic perfumery or drugstore.
PATRICIO DE ROMAN: The beginning was risky. But we designed a space in the middle of Madrid’s Fashion Square that drew attention to the modern interior design, the light, the concept and of course the products on a shelf.
People passed by and were curious, entered, got their consultation and after a few weeks of using their new skin care routine they happily returned, because they saw results.
IRMA: Tell me a little bit about how your skin care consultation looks like.
PATRICIO DE ROMAN: We have the best techniques and equipment to look at the skin.
Some patients even bring their blood tests from a laboratory.
After the consultation we can prescribe a skin care routine with supplements and skin care products that perfectly fits the patient’s need and of course budget.
IRMA: You carry products and supplements from around the world. Some well-known niche brands, but also smaller ones which are only locally known. Who makes it to your shelves?
PATRICIO DE ROMAN: We have many inquiries from manufacturers who want to sell with us. But we first spend a lot of time researching ingredients, testing and working with approved tests before we decide to add a new product to our range.
It is interesting how some products may have the same components, like for example Vitamin C, but how one works better than the other because of their different composition and the way the product is made. There are many little nuances that make for example the best Vitamin C product. It is our task to find the perfect one.
IRMA: Shopping at your space is like a skin care journey through the world and I like how you communicate the uniqueness of each brand.
PATRICIO DE ROMAN: Yes, it is also my job to do a true story telling. That is the reasons clients keep on coming back. They want to know why we advise them on a certain product and how they can make that impact even stronger and faster by prescribing the matching supplement.
IRMA: Your concept works from inside out.
PATRICIO DE ROMAN: Most time we start with supplements and how one can change nutrition to improve the skin. My wife specializes in this, and we all work together to renew and rebuild the skin, from the cleansing method to a lifting serum and nourishing cream. Of course, we keep in mind the patient’s lifestyle and place of residence, as well as the seasons.
IRMA: To name a few brands, what comes to your mind?
PATRICIO DE ROMAN:
– ROYAL FERN / The extract of fern and benefits of a product that is easy to use, both for man and women.
– DELBÔVE / A brand from Belgium which has been created by a former skin care pharmacist from Helena Rubinstein. A small variety of high value ingredients
– MIMI LUZON / A brand from Tel Aviv which has also excellent body skin care products
– ANCIENT & BRAVE / These supplements are known for their pureness and high value ingredients, like the coconut oil or the coffee and collagen which tastes delicious, and the same time builds up the skin.
– NESCENS / A skin care company from Switzerland that works with cell renewal and stem cells. A high-tech product with the pure ingredients