Two ambitious girls, a little bit of chemistry (well, a little bit more) and a passion for organic beauty products. You are what you eat or, in Sabrina (Marinescu) and Maria (Ianuș) way, you can use on your face only only ingredients that you can eat. Therefore, fruits, vegetables and plant extracts are the base of Panacea products. I spend an afternoon with them talking about the story of their brand, about their newest beauty discoveries and the best beauty places around the world.
Your story has started…
It all started when we both realized that we have entered the real world in which you have to find a job and start practicing all the things you’ve been learning in school. Knowing that, in order to both succeed and be happy, you must find an area that will fulfill you and make sure you love what you do, health and beauty came up right away. We had both the scientific skills to create such products and the knowledge to market and sell them, so it all made sense. We were going to produce beauty products, more precisely natural organic face creams to begin with.
Why did you choose the name Panacea? And why creams made of organic ingredients?
We had a pretty clear vision from the beginning. Panacea is the ancient Greek goddess of all remedies which described very well what our brand is trying to do, to come up with solutions to all skin problems. We always loved and cherished the traditional creams prepared in pharmacies, which were custom made and used mainly natural ingredients. We wanted to take this concept of pharmacy made creams and make it more contemporary, add some science to it and cater to nowadays needs and people. The name came naturally, Panacea Urban Apothecary said it all. The main ideology behind our natural creams is the fact that over 60% of what we apply on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream. Our generation started paying close attention to what and how they eat and we felt that we needed to stress the importance of the ingredients used in face creams too. Therefore, we have only used ingredients that you can eat, fruit, vegetable and plant extracts.
What was the most difficult moment from the beginning?
The entire decision process which lead to the final version of the products was extremely hard as we both were very precise about what we wanted. It took a lot of formula trials, endless graphic design hours and a lot of planning but it was more than worth it.
What products your line includes, so far? How hard is to find the right ingredients, where do you find them?
We have launched the brand with three face creams with very powerful names, Time Reversal which is our anti-aging cream, Skin Rescue which is perfect for hyper sensitive skin and Detox which addresses acne-prone skin problems. Taking into consideration that our ingredients have been carefully selected and each brought in from a different corner of the world, we must confess that it is rather hard to plan production. However, we have established great relationships with our suppliers and we have not encountered any problems.
Where do you produce the creams? How can we order them?
Our products are carefully produced by a certified laboratory which is known for their excellence. They can be ordered online from our own e-shop www.panacea-apothecary.com.
The big news we have been rather secretive about is the fact that this autumn we will be adding new products to our line. We have been working for the past year to reach the perfect formula and we will be launching them rather soon. We are also working on another project related to health and beauty which will be revealed by December.
Your holiday beauty kit consists of…
Sabrina: I have a rather expansive way of packing, therefore my beauty bag is always heavy and ready for any destination. What I could never live and leave without is my Skin Rescue face cream and my secret Panacea face serum. You will most likely find in my travel bag the following too: the mind-blowing Vitamin B5 body cream from Malin and Goetz, my signature Musc Ravageur from Frédéric Malle perfume, my Beach Waves spray from L’Oréal, the Mario Badescu magical pimple solution and my Mascara Effect Volume Faux Cills from YSL.
Maria: I am constantly mixing ingredients on my own, creating face masks or scrubs or anything I might feel my skin needs. I am always researching new ingredients and this is the best way to test them, by actually using them in different combinations in order to see how they interact and see if we like them. It is amazing to be able to customize your products like this and we definitely hope to be able to do this soon for our customers too.
Your best beauty places around the world?
We are in awe with beauty concept stores and go looking for them wherever we go. On our top 3 around the world there is MDC Cosmetic Store from Berlin, The Beauty Candy Apothecary from Singapore and the beauty corner from Liberty London. However, right across from our Bucharest showroom there is Madison perfumery which is amazing as well.
The most recent interesting beauty &lifestyle &health discovery?
One of the things that got us very excited was the opening of new Face Gym in London. It is basically a workout for your facial muscles which tones them and fights against wrinkles in a natural, non-invasive way. We found the concept really cool and we can’t wait to try it out ourselves.
Photo: Daniel Păduraru