The Other Skincare Company arrived on the clean beauty scene with a well-edited line of premium skincare products created exclusively for problem skin. Pioneering a whole new segment in the clean beauty space, The Other Skincare company is focused on “skin-identical” ingredients as skin immunity and barrier boosting mediums to target skin problems. Unlike most skincare products that only address the symptoms of skin issues like acne, rosacea, eczema, and the visible signs of aging, often at the cost of the skin’s equilibrium, the brand focuses on improving the skin’s barrier function, boosting the skin’s innate immune system, and ultimately teaching it to self-repair. We chatted with founder Elitsa MiIanova to learn more! —Noa Nichol
Hi Elitsa! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
I was born and raised in Bulgaria and moved to Canada in 2005 when I began a career in the fashion industry. It had been a childhood dream of mine to become a fashion designer, and I was determined to follow my dream. I worked as a merchandizing manager for high-end brands for about eight years, which was incredibly creative and fulfilling, but also very demanding and stressful. My fashion career, combined with the stress of being a new immigrant and a new mom took a big toll on my health. This is when I began formulating skincare, as I desperately needed products to calm and care for my rosacea prone skin. I wanted to use all-natural skincare, which was a lot harder to find in those days. Needless to say, this quickly became my new passion and eventually a business and a career. Today I run my brand The Other Skincare Company and I also consult and formulate for a Bulgarian skincare brand.
When and why did you launch The Other Skincare Company? What niche were/are you aiming to fill?
I launched the brand in 2020 after creating a few products for my son’s acne that proved to be very effective. My goal has always been to create products for skin prone to redness and inflammation, like my own, but after researching acne in great lengths I realized that adult acne is actually a huge issue in today’s modern world, and more and more women (and men) seek natural skincare alternatives that not only target their symptoms but address ageing and overall skin health.
We understand that The Other Skincare is for “problem” skin; can you explain what problem skin is, and what special care it needs?
Normal, healthy skin should be smooth, calm and hydrated, with clean pores and even skin tone. Normal skin is also able to self-exfoliate and regulate its sebum production, as well as protect the skin from bacteria overgrowth. Problem skin, on the other hand, is skin that frequently breaks out, is red, irritated or inflamed, has large, congested pores or is extremely dry or flaky. Basically, the moment the skin stops performing its normal functions like keeping itself hydrated and balanced we can expect skin problems to occur. (I am not referencing severe skin issues like severe acne, atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis etc. These are medical conditions that need medical attention.) And what is responsible for keeping our skin functioning properly is the skin barrier. The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum and its main functions are to protect our body from UV radiation, pollution and harmful substances and microorganisms like bacteria, viruses and fungi. The skin barrier is also responsible for maintaining proper hydration levels within the skin reducing trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) and keeping a healthy equilibrium.
What are skin-identical ingredients, and how can they help problem and other skin types?
Skin-identical ingredients are compatible with the structure of the human skin. They work with the physiology of our skin tissues repairing the skin barrier function, reducing inflammation and increasing skin hydration.These ingredients are naturally part of the structure of our skin. A few examples are ceramides, cholesterol, free fatty acids, hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, glycerol, squalane and certain proteins. A great deal of scientific data shows that applying these compounds topically, results in an improved barrier function and restored skin integrity and health. Interestingly, research has shown that most skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and acne are associated with some level of impaired skin barrier, which makes sense since the skin barrier function is similar to our skin’s immune system. When our barrier is down, impaired, disturbed or surprised, the skin becomes more vulnerable and susceptible to skin problems and unable to effectively heal itself. So, skin-identical ingredients should be an integral part of any skincare regimen meant for the support and maintenance of skin that is prone to problems. However many of these ingredients are also incredibly beneficial for anybody with normal skin as well. They are first of all invaluable and very capable skin moisturizers as well as being extremely underrated anti-aging agents.
How does your study of corneotherapy fit into all of this?
Corneotherapy is a skincare methodology based on repair and maintenance of the skin barrier defense systems and overall boosting the skin’s innate immunity. The inventor and founder of this methodology was Dr Albert Kligman (the co-inventor of Retin A). He was one of the first scientists to recognize that the lipid barrier of the stratum corneum (skin barrier) plays a significant role in skin health. It can communicate with the underlying living epidermis and influence the regenerative processes in deeper layers of the skin.
All of that said, what products do you currently offer, and what makes them unique?
The goal of our products is to teach the skin to repair itself instead of simply treat isolated symptoms. Our products are intended for long-time use which allows the skin to literally be re-taught in how to keep itself healthy. We are pioneering the use of skin-identical ingredients in the green beauty space, combining them with phytonutrients, bioavailable extracts and cosmeceuticals, in our pursuit of alleviating skin problems, achieving a beautiful, healthy and youthful complexion and making the skin robust and resilient. We are currently offering four products and have a fifth product coming soon, an illuminating serum, and are planning stages on a line for skin prone to redness and inflammation, which will launch toward the end of this year.
What does your own daily skincare regime currently look like?
I am actually very low maintenance when it comes to skincare but there is 1 product I don’t go anywhere without. This is the Phantom moisturizer it has literary transformed my skin from dry, sensitive and flaking to silky smooth, hydrated, bright and glowing. I don’t use a face wash in the morning, our skin produces precious and protective oils overnight that we want to keep on our skin throughout the day. I splash my face with lukewarm water and apply my Phantom moisturizer. In winter, if I feel like I need for extra hydration, I add a few drops of oil serum to my moisturizer (these are usually experimental serums that I am working on or very simple DIY oil blends with added botanical Retinol). At night, I wash the day away (including makeup and sunscreen if I am wearing any) with Keep Calm oil cleanser, follow with the Phantom and voilà. On days that my skin feels a bit congested, of if I start breaking out a bit around my period, I mix the moisturizer with a few drops of the Plant Voodoo blemish concentrate.
Win! A $300 The Other Skincare Company Prize Pack!
Congrats Allison D. of Coquitlam, BC, who will receive a $300 The Other Skincare Company prize pack, including the entire line of products! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.