Health Speak with founder of Nourish Skin Range, Pauline Hili

What was your first introduction to skincare?
From a young age I was fascinated by the power of smell and fragrance and its ability to evoke feelings. I studied Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physiology and began my career as a brewing and plant scientist. Eventually all the pieces joined together – my passion and my professional skills and here I am today after working in the industry for over 20 years.

When and why did you decide that you wanted to delve deeper into the world of natural skincare?
I sort of fell into the world of skincare accidentally. I was like all young Aussies back then and travelling around the world after completing my first degree and had a parachute accident that grounded me in London with a broken ankle for a while. I meet someone in Bar Italia of all places and they suggested that, with my education and background, I try one of the london skincare companies.

What, so far, has been your most exciting finding?
Some of the most exciting findings have been through the research papers I have been involved in writing and my own research into essential oils.  The  complete effectiveness of essential oils at stopping common bacterial and yeast infections was really exciting when I was doing my early research. In recent times some of the work examining the effects of various plants on the skin has been very exciting.  I am also a keen supporter of argan, alpine foxberry and vitamin C on the skin.

What would your top skin care tip for clear skin?
Eat five a day and make sure that seeds and nuts are included in your regular diet. Also cleanse your skin morning and night time and very soon after exercise. Often post exercise is when the skin has an opportunity to become clogged and then break-outs can arise if the by products of perspiration are not removed.

What is your top anti-aging tip?
Laugh a lot and enjoy the things you love and do everything with 300% passion.  Seriously, new theories emerging about anti-ageing are less about a magic solution and all about long term maintenance and good practice.  Like a great athlete it’s about training regularly and  rigorously. Cleanse, tone, moisturise and use your sunscreen regularly and start looking out for your skin early. This will mean the genetic assets you have will last longer.

What question on skincare do you get asked the most?
As a scientist the most common question I get is – is this ingredient safe, do you know what this does?

What product from the Nourish range can you not live without?
I personally love the Radiance Brightening Moisturiser and Rejuvenating Peptide Serum. I also use the Balance Essential Moisturiser – I find it effective to dip between these two ranges depending on what is happening in my life and how my skin is responding to my surroundings (environment and weather).  And I don’t leave home without lots of golden glow toning souffle on arms and legs.

What is your own skincare regime like?
My own skincare regime is pretty simple – cleanse, tone and moisturise and then top up with serum. I swim a lot some weeks so I end up using the Balance Essential Moisturiser quite often as it has the lovely effect of neutralising the smell and dryness that chlorine can sometimes leave on the skin.

Do you make sure your make-up is natural? If so which brand do you like?
I am a minimalist with make up – I tend to wear Neal’s Yard Remedies eyeliners and NVEY foundation. I always use natural products.

What are your working hours like?
The mix of being in a start up business and a scientist means that your work is 24/7. During the day it’s all the practical stuff, manufacturing issues, development, testing and then at night I read all the latest papers and research emerging theories and new materials. It has always been like that with my career. In  the beginning I worked full time and did my PhD part time and on weekends and that has kind of stuck as a work ethic. I think if you are driven by research and ideas you just don’t switch off. I try to ensure I take in exercise to switch off.

Where or when do you feel happiest?
On a work level – achieving things in formulas that haven’t been done before. But on a personal level – I feel happiest on the beach in the sun.

How do you relax?
I find cooking to be relaxing; I love blending flavours and textures to make new recipes.  This year I planted my own vegetables and have found great enjoyment in watching vegetables start as seeds and becoming a pickable product to use in my kitchen.

Best book you have ever read?
Can I have two?  J D Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye,  which I re-read this year and The Prophet by Kahil Gibran.

What motto do you live by?
Work hard for what you believe in and do everything with passion and honesty.