Each week over the month of March, Beauty Food is highlighting Women of Influence. This week we sat down with INSKIN COSMEDICS CEO & Founder Maria Enna-Cocciolone to ask her what she is currently loving and what keeps her inspired.
Celebrating Beauty Icon, Maria Enna-Cocciolone
Passionate about people, skin health and getting the most out of life, Maria Enna-Cocciolone is the CEO & Founder of INSKIN COSMEDICS, an Australian owned Medical Aesthetic Distribution Centre founded in 2007 in Maria’s family garage with a vision to return the heart and soul to the beauty industry.
In 2010, Maria went on to create her first skincare brand O COSMEDICS which was created to bring to life a skin solution in-line with medical breakthroughs and scientific research. Australian made, owned and loved, O COSMEDICS is formulated with the highest respect for the skin and was designed to fight the causes of ageing, correct serious skin conditions and ultimately result in skin health, youth and confidence.
Maria didn’t stop there, in 2018 she co-created Ginger&ME a luxurious and mindfulness brand that treats the skin, mind and body in one. Designed as a powerful reminder to be Happy, Brave and Grateful.
Over the years, INSKIN COSMEDICS has transformed from a beauty distributor to a leading Medical Aesthetic Distributor and is home to a powerhouse portfolio of skin health products and devices. Today, with four thriving business under her belt, Maria works closely with us at Beauty Food to help deliver our products to consumers across the country. In the perfect collaboration, Maria and her INSKIN team support beauty from within, supporting internal collagen loading with topical application; the perfect recipe for optimum well-being and skin confidence!
Getting to know Maria..
What's your earliest beauty memory?
I would have to say as an 18 year old visiting a careers market in search of my dream job. Having had acne in my teen years, trying all sorts of potions and lotions, when I stumbled across the Diana Nolan School of Beauty Therapy, it was love at first sight. After finishing my HSC I completed my Diploma in Health Sciences and it's fair to say, “I have never looked back”.
Biggest career highlight/most memorable moment to date?
There have been sooo many, and I mean MANY! One of the most incredible moments was in October 2010 watching my skincare baby O COSMEDICS come to life. The launch was beyond exciting, somewhat surreal, a little like bringing a new born into the beauty industry world. To think I was launching into a professional market full of skin experts a new category of skincare. More memorable were the reorders, knowing that the industry approved and was happy to endorse it. Ten years later it is Australia’s NUMBER 1 Cosmedical brand.
Image: Maria with her mother Antonietta Enna
How did you start INSKIN and why?
I felt if I was to work in an environment with a culture and ethics that reflected what I stood for I would need to build it from scratch. I first began my distribution company with other peoples' brands, but soon realised my success was totally dependant on theirs, and so to eliminate that risk and to ensure I was able to support my team, partners and family long-term, INSKIN COSMEDICS was born.
When you need inspiration, where do you turn?
My biggest inspiration comes from people. You have questions, find the right people and you have the answers. Human behaviour inspires me, understanding their needs and wants. The good news is I am tapped into people from all segments, my team, my clinic partners, the consumer, my family and friends! Travel used to be another one of my inspirations, so I look forward to the day I can fly and visit amazing places, conferences and learnings again.
What's coming in 2021 for INSKIN?
Where to start? Ironically COVID-19 was great for the professional skincare industry. Consumers were exposed to skin experts. While clinic doors were closed, professional skin therapists took to social media and taught consumers the difference between brands; why a cosmedical brand is where the real skin difference is made and how it supersedes department store, MLM and many online brands. Consumers started to understand the difference between an influencer and a skin expert and their response was awesome! INSKIN will continue to support our partners in order to teach consumers where they can get the “big guns of anti-aging” and “how they can truly support skin health and ultimately skin youth!”.
The simplest piece of beauty advice you can give every woman is...?
There is so much fluff and puff that confuses consumers, so simply said, you need to ensure your skin care is made up of “functional actives”. What does this mean? You need to use the recommended dose of active ingredients to make a skin difference. These products are sold by skin experts, you can't get them on a shelf, over the counter and your friend can't sell it to you unless they are qualified in skin science. If your sales person can't tell you how much vitamin A, B or C is in their products, chances are there’s not enough to make a difference.
Favourite Beauty Food product?
Without a doubt, the Collagen Peanut Nutter Cookies! They are all yummy, but this one is the best! Think I need one now!
How did your relationship with Beauty Food come about?
As a distribution company that specialises in skin health I had been searching tirelessly for a quality product, made in Australia that supports collagen loading. Whilst topically we have collagen stimulation covered we desperately needed an internal supplement that came in more forms than just a powder. We were wrapped to find a brilliant marine collagen powder, cookies and nut spreads that can be consumed at different times of the day to keep collagen intake at its optimal levels.
How is the beauty industry changing at the moment, in your opinion?
Since COVID both men and women are embracing self-care and as a result are prepared to pay for quality products in order to get results. With less travel and events, more money is being spent on not just looking but feeling good. With COVID and clinics closed, consumers took the time to learn about skin, watched endless tutes and many had their first professional skin consult (virtual). The industry is booming and ageing is simply not an option!
Why should women educate themselves on collagen?
Collagen is the skin's building blocks. Like a house is made up of bricks, collagen is the protein responsible for holding up the skin. Collagen production is at optimal levels up until our early twenties, then its production starts to decline over the years. Sadly as a woman’s hormones change, collagen levels plummet leaving the skin deflated (loss of volume), lined, wrinkled and dull. Understanding the collagen cycle of life allows women to take a preventative approach and not allowing the fibroblasts (cells responsible for making collagen) to go to sleep. Incorporating internal supplements with topical products and treatments maintains skin youth and skin health long term!
Last book you read?
You’re not that great (but neither is anyone else) by Elan Gale.
Dream Holiday destination
Returning to the Maldives! We went on our honeymoon and have been dying to get back there!
Image: Maria with her son Alexander, daughter Cassandra and husband Mario