Your Purpose is Beauty Episode 44 (with Transcript): Pamela Friedman, CV Skinlabs: Products for the Most Sensitive, Compromised and Fragile Skin + Understanding Medically Treated Skin

october 12, 2020 | by: mercedes | filed under: podcast, episodes

Your Purpose is Beauty brings you eco/organic, luxury, and niche beauty product reviews and critique, as well as intellectual discussion about the beauty and alternative health industries. Hosted by independent beauty journalist and PhD sociologist Mercedes Lyson, this podcast will also explore why people have chosen beauty as their profession or passion through interviews with brand founders, beauty professionals, bloggers/influencers, and creatives. Exclusive episodes of this podcast are available at Patreon.com/lamouretlamusique, and Mercedes’ 6 years of eco beauty video content can be found at Youtube.com/lamouretlamusique/videos.

Episode 44: Pamela Friedman, CV Skinlabs: Products for the Most Sensitive, Compromised and Fragile Skin + Understanding Medically Treated Skin

Today I have a conversation with Pamela Friedman, the President and CEO of CV Skinlabs. CV Skinlabs was born out of a need for truly safe and effective skincare products for people with the most sensitive and compromised of skins – those dealing with the side effects cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. These solution-based formulas are also excellent for people dealing with skin issues like eczema, rosacea, dermatitis and chronic dryness. In this episode Pamela and I cover:

*Pamela’s longstanding interest and work in beauty and wellness

*Why CV Skinlabs is unique in their focus on medically treated skin

* What actually happens to skin undergoing chemotherapy and radiation?

*A thorough tour through the product range

*Other products and wellness habits in Pamela’s life

And of course lots more! I have been using the CV Skinlabs Body Repair lotion *religiously* over the past 4 or 5 years. I’m never without a bottle. These products are especially made for certain challenged skin conditions but are truly good for EVERYONE, all ages, all skin conditions. I hope you enjoy hearing from Pamela and see below for a special offer for Your Purpose is Beauty listeners!

Episode Notes:
For listeners of the podcast –
Use the code LAMOUR20 at CV Skinlabs to save 20% on your entire order from now through October 31st!

Visit and shop CV Skinlabs
Read the CV Skinlabs blog
Follow CV Skinlabs

To Listen –
Episode 38: Lin Chen, Pink Moon // Elevating Women Through Mission-Driven Eco, and Ethical Beauty & Wellness

Products discussed –
CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture
CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm
CV Skinlabs Rescue + Relief Spray
CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion

Raw Elements

Find Mercedes:
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OVERVIEW

00:08 – Introduction– (Jump to section)
08:49 – Welcoming Pamela Friedman– (Jump to section)
09:33 – Pamela’s Background in Wellness– (Jump to section)
12:39 – About CV Skinlabs– (Jump to section)
16:49 – The Needs of Sensitized & Damaged Skin– (Jump to section)
23:57 – The “Clean Beauty” Debate– (Jump to section)
28:23 – CV Skinlabs Product Tour– (Jump to section)
36:00 – Pamela’s Beauty Favorites– (Jump to section)
40:18 – The Impacts of COVID– (Jump to section)
42:34 – Where to Find CV Skinlabs– (Jump to section)
43:13 – Closing Thoughts & Announcements– (Jump to section)

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT
00:08

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to another episode of Your Purpose Is Beauty. This is Episode 44 and I’m really excited to bring you another interview today. The last interview here on the podcast was Episode 38 with Lin Chen and today we’re going to be talking with Pamela Friedman, who is the president and CEO of CV Skinlabs. This is a brand that I can’t even really remember my life without. I truthfully can’t even remember when I discovered them. I’ve known about them a really long time. They’ve been in the eco/green beauty space for I think close to a decade – 8 or so years. I had definitely heard Pamela’s name. I knew of her and I’ve kind of always wanted to connect with her because I have such a deep respect for this brand, not just because I love the products so much, but because I feel like they hold or fulfill this niche in the beauty industry, the eco beauty industry, that really no one else is directly serving, at least not really that I have come across. And that niche is that they’re targeted – the products are made specifically for people with medically treated, medically sensitive skin. So this is namely skin that has or is undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, but can also encompass other dermalogical procedures, anything that may result in skin damage. So the products are basically made for the most sensitive skins but also skin that needs rehabilitation, that needs barrier protection. CV Skinlabs really came about as a result of thoughtful innovation by a team of leading dermatologists, toxicologists, and holistic skincare chemists. Their formulas are award-winning, natural, organic, wonderfully skin-supportive and nurturing ingredients to repair and restore skin back to being healthy.

So just a little bit more about Pamela: she is a seasoned veteran of the beauty and wellness world. She’s been in this space for over 20 years. Early in Pamela’s career in New York City, she was instrumental in starting and running a retail store called Felissimo – you’ll hear her mention it early on during our conversation. But while at Felissimo, she was able to instill some of her personal values in marketing and the product assortment that they carried there. Felissimo sold artisan-made, eco-friendly products and was committed to socially responsible practices for a cleaner world. So Pam has really been ahead of her time. I believe Felissimo was in the ‘90s? Maybe late ‘80s but I think that she was there in the ‘90s. From there, she went on to play integral roles in the success of brands like Crabtree & Evelyn and Victoria’s Secret Beauty, and after a long executive career, she left the corporate world to start and consultancy company working with beauty, wellness, and lifestyle brands and manufacturers to provide marketing, sales, product development, and business strategies, which ultimately led her to CV Skinlabs.

Pamela is actually a cancer survivor herself and also a recurring caregiver, and she’s been there for family and friends battling the devastating side effects of chemo and radiation. She knows firsthand how cancer treatments can damage the skin and is surprised that even today, we know so much about skin and what it needs to be healthy that our healthcare providers are still recommending products with potentially harmful and irritating ingredients. So through her work with CV Skinlabs, she’s passionate about helping to create awareness around potentially harmful ingredients in personal care products and dedicated to offering safe and efficacious solutions to help soothe, repair, and revive health and radiance to dry, dull, and the most sensitive skin there is.

Pam does give kind of an overview or a walkthrough of the products in the range. Like I said, I have tried almost everything. I think the only product they do that I haven’t tried is the Face and Scalp Cream. I’m sure I’ll try it at some point, especially after hearing Pam talk about it. So if after hearing from Pamela herself about the brand and hearing her talk about the products, you have an interest in trying these products – because you certainly don’t have to have medically sensitive or medically treated skin to use them, they really are skincare products for everybody. The Body Repair Lotion – that would be my number, number one recommendation. You can mix it with different body oils, you can mix it with thicker body balms, it’s one of the most multi-purpose body care products and it’s such a staple for me. I stock up on them 2 or 3 at a time and I always have one going. So Pam has generously offered a special offer for Your Purpose Is beauty listeners from now through the end of October 2020. CV Skin Labs is offering 20% off your order at CVSkinlabs.com. You just need to use the code “LAMOUR20.” So again, good off your whole order, no minimum, and let me know if you decide to pick up a couple things and check them out.

In today’s conversation, we get to hear about Pamela’s background, where her interest in natural health, wellness, and beauty came from, her career trajectory, finding her way to CV Skinlabs, and the meaning behind CV Skinlabs – it actually stands for “cinco vidas.” She discusses the ins and outs of medically treated skin and what that actually looks like, so someone that has undergone chemotherapy, what that actually does to someone’s skin and how CV Skinlabs products really address that during active treatment or after. I also asked Pam a question that I kind of am asking everybody right now, which is – you know, especially people that have been in the eco or green beauty space for a long time – I asked her about this split between green beauty and clean beauty and now how clean beauty has really kind of splintered into these different factions of people that are kind of turning their backs on this space around so many different claims, claims of pseudoscience, claims of elitism, claims that certain chemicals that are deemed unsafe in a more precautionary sense are actually deemed safe in the North American context, the U.S. context specifically. I also asked her a bit about how COVID has been impacting both her personally and CV Skinlabs. She gives us a really amazing tour of the brand and then I asked her a little bit about other products that she is using at the moment and really liking, and what’s kind of in her wellness or wellbeing toolkit, among other things, I think, but those are kind of the high points.

So thank you guys so much for being here. I hope you enjoy hearing from Pam. It was just so uplifting to talk to her. I was in a good mood the rest of the day. She’s so kind and I’m so thankful that she gave me her time and decided to come on and share about CV Skinlabs with you. I’ll check back in at the end of the interview just to close out and say goodbye and give you a few additional announcements about what’s going on through L’Amour and Your Purpose Is Beauty for the rest of the month. So please enjoy this wonderful conversation with Pamela Friedman from CV Skinlabs.

(music)

08:49

Mercedes:
Hi, Pam. Welcome to Your Purpose Is Beauty. I’m so, so happy to have you on the podcast today.

Pamela:
Thank you, Mercedes. I’m very happy to be here.

Mercedes:
Wonderful. So I’d love if we could just jump right in and start learning a bit about your background. I have known about CV Skinlabs for many years. I’ve been into eco beauty for so many years and I’m just so happy to connect with you. So I want to start at the beginning and learn about where your personal interest in natural health, wellness, and beauty came from.

Pamela:
Yeah, sure. Sure. By the way, thank you for your support over the years. I’ve enjoyed listening to your videos. They’re always fun and thorough and very informative, so thank you.

Mercedes:
Thank you.

9:33

Pamela:
So yeah, so I’ve always had a passion for healthy living, really from my teens. And in my later years, I’ve seen how food can help with medical conditions like diabetes and inflammation and even more serious kidney disease. And so I tend to view food and skincare as medicine and I find it a way to nourish and keep strong and can be preventative and just support overall good health and immunity, and obviously keep you looking and feeling young and radiant. So I am a cancer survivor. I’m also a recurrent caregiver. And I’ve always been concerned about the health effects of chemicals and toxins that are everywhere and sometimes hard to avoid. It seems everywhere I turn, you know, we all hear stories of cancer and illness and skin sensitivity and skin reactivity, and we’re definitely living in a world of toxins, and right now we’re living in the craziest world ever.

But it was really while working in the cosmetic industry that I saw, surprisingly, the rampant use of harmful ingredients being used in skincare. So I really became interested in helping create awareness about potentially harmful ingredients and of course, with CV Skinlabs and providing natural solutions for skin health, wellness. And although I’ve been in the beauty and wellness industry for over a decade, I started my career in fashion and then had the opportunity to open a lifestyle store in New York called Felissimo. I think you’re too young to know about Felissimo. [laughs] In any event, it was a Japanese-owned retail store and it was such an outstanding time in my career. I worked with amazing people and was able to instill some of my personal beliefs in marketing and products. We sold artisan-made, sustainable, and eco-friendly products. And although it was popular and sort of groundbreaking then, it was probably too early for eco-friendly linens and so-called “natural products” to be truly understood.

But along the way, I got the beauty bug and went on to Crabtree & Evelyn and Victoria’s Secret Beauty, and then eventually, started my own company, helping others from start to finish in concept development, business plans, product development, marketing, manufacturing, operations, and ultimately sales. So really, you know, truly from start to finish. And during that time, I was also a consultant for many years at a contract manufacturer of beauty and pharmaceutical products, and there I learned a lot about ingredients and how products were made and marketed by small and large companies. And you know, my heart was just really always in naturals, which ultimately led me to CV Skinlabs. So now I’m super passionate and purposeful and proud about sharing our products, products that don’t compromise safety and truly help transform and reclaim healthy and beautiful skin.

12:39

Mercedes:
So I want to hear all about how you found your way to CV Skinlabs. So I’ve known about the brand for a while. I know that the “CV” in “CV Skinlabs” stands for “cinco vidas,” I think?

Pamela:
Yes.

Mercedes:
So please share whatever you would like to about the origin, what this name means, what it refers to, the mission of the company, and how you got into all of it.

Pamela:
Yeah. First of all, CV Skinlabs stands for “five lives” and has a nod to cancer. CV Skinlabs is really a health, wellness, and beauty company, and was born from a very serious place of medical conditions and skin issues. We actually, we believe that healthy skin is beautiful skin and the formulas are really a result of a need for non-toxic, truly safe, and truly efficacious skincare solutions for those with the most sensitive skin there is, those going through chemo and radiation and other medically challenged skin issues. So it was at that time and still kind of is evident and surprising that there weren’t a whole lot of choices for products that worked and were without harmful chemicals, and what’s more, products that didn’t cause further irritation, which is so important when you need soothing, nourishing, and healing skincare during cancer treatments.

There are a whole lot of studies that show serious health issues – not only cancer, but other health issues that are really on the rise due partly to exposure of toxic chemicals. You know, as we all know, they’re in our food and the water and the air we breathe and sometimes in our personal care products. So our goal was really to set a new standard of safety, along with advocacy to ensure that our products can be used by the most sensitive skin and compromised skin there is with real results and to restore and maintain skin back to health and a youthful radiance, no matter what your skin type is actually, whether you have cancer or not. So our devotion for these completely safe and effective products led us to engage an expert team of specialists and leading doctors in the field of health and safety. And 10 years later, after research and development, CV Skinlabs was launched.

So the team is interesting. It consists of leading board-certified dermatologists, doctors, researchers, a toxicologist, holistic chemists, and cosmetic industry experts. And they developed our formulas in order to work with the skin’s biology so that they’re really nurturing and protective and deeply hydrating. We actually went many steps further; each ingredient was screened by toxicologists to make sure there were no links to any health issues or irritation whatsoever, and all the ingredients were chosen for their therapeutic function. We took a scientific approach, using active levels of ingredients that have truly been proven in science and in unique combinations, so they’re effective – or for maximum efficacy, I should say. And then we went another step further and conducted clinical trials, both scientific and with a panel of men and women, and the formulas were proven to increase moisturization, reduce redness and irritation, and left skin feeling comfortable, soft, and smooth. We actually developed a proprietary Tri-Complex, which is in every formula, and that Tri-Rescue Complex consists of three really extraordinary ingredients: turmeric, Reishi mushroom, and bisabolol. And it was blended in aloe emulsion and provides superior anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antioxidant, wound healing, and even antimicrobial benefits. And we use a whole host of other wound healing and skin soothing and hydrating and moisturizing ingredients. So the result is a range of products – we only have four products, by the way, and that is kind of by design because we don’t believe you need a lot of products. They’re all really multitasking and can be used by everyone, all ages, gender, and skin and skin types, even newborn babies.

16:49

Mercedes:
Well, so I’ve been a longtime user of CV Skinlabs, and it’s always appealed to me, you know, someone that is not a caregiver of someone with cancer, someone that has not had cancer, but the products are still very appealing to me as someone with quite sensitive skin. But what I feel has always set your brand apart is this specific attention to medically treated skin. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a brand, definitely not in the eco space, that has this specific focus. So you kind of were getting into it a little bit already, but for people who don’t know or aren’t aware, maybe could you help us understand what this can actually do to the skin – chemotherapy, radiation? And then I think I also saw on your website certain medical dermatological treatments can also, you know, have adverse effects on the skin, and what can CV Skinlabs do to help people undergoing these sorts of treatments, you know, beyond just retaining moisture, for example?

Pamela:
Yeah, absolutely. So as I said, we help soothe and treat and heal the most sensitive skin there is, which is skin, unfortunately, going through chemo and radiation and with really devastating side effects. I myself am a cancer survivor and I know firsthand the effects of both chemo and radiation, and I’ll talk about that a little bit later. But also dermatological treatments – you asked about that, so I’ll talk about dermatological treatments, which you know, also damages the skin, like laser peels, fraxel, and resurfacing, even Retin-A, you know, can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles and age spots and hyperpigmentation and reveal, you know, beautiful skin. However, before doing that, it has some pretty serious side effects like redness and inflammation and blisters and even, you know, some oozing are common after a treatment. And many times, a dermatologist will recommend an ointment like an Aquaphor or something. But we recommend our balm. It works to tame the side effects with soothing and healing relief, so you’re not only getting the calming and soothing, but also you’re getting some healing relief.

So in fact, we’ve heard from several of our customers who’ve gone through any of these treatments that the heal time is greatly reduced when they use our balm. So chemotherapy can create a number of difficult side effects on the skin. They can be mild or severe, and it really depends on the treatment and duration and individual body chemistry. You can experience dry, rough, and flaky skin that becomes itchy, peeling, and shedding. Redness and rashes and flushing are very common. Inflammation and irritation on your scalp, on your hands and your feet; cracking and peeling of nails is very common. And skin, you know, overall becomes very thin and fragile and tends to look dull and lifeless. That was one of my biggest issues coming back from chemo and radiation. I couldn’t get the life back in my skin; It looked so lackluster. And with radiation, concentrated x-ray beams sort of pass through your skin and kill healthy skin cells as well as the cancer cells in that treated area, so this can cause a lot of damage, obviously. And as treatment continues, the inflamed skin can become quite severe. Same thing happens with a sunburn, by the way. Basically, the skin doesn’t have enough time between treatments or doses to heal, and so the skin starts to break down. And this causes obviously a great deal of pain and discomfort and what’s called radiation dermatitis, and that is defined as a red rash, which we call erythema, and itchy, peeling, and flaky skin, sometimes blisters. In my case, I had it pretty severe, so the burning and the soreness and the swelling was pretty uncomfortable. And then sometimes you get itchiness, as well.

Along with our Tri-Rescue Complex, ingredients like beta glucan soothe and relieve and moisturize. The water lily in our Rescue + Relief Spray literally takes out the heat sensation. When your skin is burning, you want that heat sensation to go away, so you truly get some relief with some of these ingredients. And you also want to protect your skin’s outer layer. So you want to keep it moist and comfortable and aid in healing. And as I said, every ingredient in our products is chosen to do something, there are no fillers, you know, whether it’s wound healing, or calming and soothing, or helping to strengthen the skin barrier. These are all important things going through any of these treatments, whether it’s chemo, radiation, a dermatological treatment, or even people suffering from, you know, reactive or sensitive skin. I’m sure you know, if you have sensitive skin, that once you go off, it’s very hard to get your skin back and balanced again.

Mercedes:
After, say, a standard – I know there is no standard because it’s so individual – but after, say, a typical round of chemotherapy and radiation, how long would it take someone’s skin to restore itself back to some kind of balance with the proper care, say using CV Skinlabs products?

Pamela:
Yeah, you know, as I said, everybody’s different. And I can speak – you know, personally, in my case, I was pretty severely burned and my skin actually turned black, so there was some concern about necrosis. Thankfully, it wasn’t that. But I religiously used our products and even the doctors and nurses – I ended up in the hospital – the doctors and nurses were amazed at how quickly I was healing. So, you know, it was really, I would say within a week, my skin was better. But I was probably one of the more severe cases and I think not just using our products after the fact but using them as preventative – you want to work to strengthen the skin. And, you know, we talk a lot about the skin barrier. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of people are talking about the skin barrier now, especially with washing your hands and you know, all the things that are really affecting your – mask wearing, where the skin barrier is compromised. And when the skin barrier is compromised, it’s really less able to protect and renew itself, and ultimately becomes dry and wrinkled and thin and dull. So when your skin cells are healthy, they’re kind of smooth and tightly woven together and skin repels any damaging irritants and protects the body from bacteria and pathogens. But in the damaged skin, it’s like it creates open holes almost in your skin and so that bacteria can penetrate easily causing all kinds of reactions, infections, and sores. So I recommend even before going into treatment to strengthen your skin with good products like ours.

23:57

Mercedes:
So I want to unpack, you know, I guess it’s somewhat of a controversial conversation. But you know, as someone who, you know, I know you’ve been in the green beauty space for a while, and I’m not sure how much you interact in the green beauty community at large or know some of the broader debates that are going on. But you know, when CV Skinlabs came on the scene, people were referring to this segment of the beauty market as “green beauty” or maybe “eco beauty” or maybe “organic beauty.” And now in the last couple of years, this new term “clean beauty” has really taken over, and it’s somewhat related to the things you were talking about earlier because I think there is this awareness that we live in a pretty toxic environment, some people more than others. I mean, there’s a lot that goes into that, but that we all bear a body burden of which personal care products that we use can contribute to a chemical body burden and a lot of really interesting epidemiology and things like that, trying to parse out how that contributes to different kinds of health outcomes – cancer and many, many others. However, what I have observed as someone that does journalistic work in this space is that clean beauty as a label has really been getting a lot of pushback in recent years for being elitist, for being an unregulated term, for being marketing fluff, that actually a lot of these ingredients are safe. You know, there’s been this whole backlash, I feel, to green beauty and now clean beauty and people saying, “Well, actually, petroleum in skincare is wonderful. It’s amazing.” And even going so far as to assert that people in this space are propagating forms of pseudoscience. So I know I’ve just kind of word dumped a very big topic, but I’m not sure if these are things that you engage in, or how you think about them, or how you would maybe respond to some of these polarizing claims.

Pamela:
Yeah. First, I feel like for CV Skinlabs to define as “clean” is almost not correct. But to your point, there was, you know, green and then came greenwashing, right, and making pseudoscientific claims. We also talk a lot about pink washing, so there’s a lot of positioning of products for oncology that happened to have, you know, irritating fragrance, hormone-altering essential oils, and chemicals, bad chemicals. So, you know, from our perspective, you know, I hear it a lot. We don’t necessarily define ourselves as clean beauty, although a lot of other people do. It kind of always happens when marketers want to compete and capitalize on the current buzzword in any industry. Think about, you know, gluten-free. I mean, that label would be slapped on a banana if it would help sales. You know, I think that the consumer is more savvy these days and they read labels and they ask questions, and in a couple years, it will be another term. It’s just the way marketing is. So you know, for us, it’s really, we’re not a trendy company, it’s always truly been about safety, skin health, and wellness. We were kind of a pioneer in the space when it all started and however you want to define it, I mean, you could say we’re clean, but we’re really solution-based and we’re coming from a medical perspective where products are needed that are truly safe and non-irritating and truly efficacious for specific needs for compromised skin, for dryness, for lack of radiance, and even to prevent premature aging. We did do the research and went above and beyond with testing and clinical trials, both scientific and with the panel of individuals, and we have, you know, clinicals to prove the efficacy. And so you know, what to say? I mean, truly, I believe that there’ll be a next term that will have a whole host of issues. It’s just the way marketing is.

Mercedes:
Yes, yes, that’s very, very well said. And I think that those of us that have been in this space for quite a long time, it can be, I think, difficult to see people attacking something that we really feel – not just feel has merit, but see has merit. You know, I’ve used CV Skinlabs products for years and as you say they’re solution-oriented and they actually work, so when things work, people use them. And I think you’re right that we’ll see this whole controversy over clean beauty probably morph into something else.

28:23

Mercedes:
I’d love it if for anyone listening that hasn’t had the pleasure of trying your products – and since it is such a limited range – if you’d be willing to give us just a little tour through the brand, you know, the names of the products and just a few quick sentences on what a user could expect from each of them.

Pamela:
Oh, sure, yes. As I said we only have four products, and – although we may introduce some new ones. So I’ll start with the Rescue + Relief Spray. These products are all very multitasking. When we do a training, it’s quite extensive because each product has many different uses. So from the severe to real medical issues to – let’s say the rescue and relief – to using it as a toner. And with that, you can certainly use Rescue + Relief as a toner. It will refresh your skin throughout the day and soothe and hydrate, so men love it because it’s a great way to get moisture without, you know, putting gook on their face, which my husband would never do. So he loves Rescue for the ease of it. But it also brings instant cooling relief to dry, red, burning skin, and by the way, is having its heyday with mask rash and maskne because it definitely helps with all the issues that people were experiencing with that. And it’s oil-free so it’s great for acne-prone skin, and obviously eczema, rosacea, dermatitis, psoriasis. And the Rescue’s won two awards for best after-sun soother and best overall soother. It’s super for after shaving and baby diaper rash. We often recommend it for – a lot of our spa partners use it post-facial extractions to calm the redness without adding any oil or clogging your pores. And again, the Rescue was really, if you notice the bottle, it’s not the most attractive bottle in the world, but it is very ergonomic for people who have any mobility issues. And also, and I can speak to this, when your skin is so inflamed you don’t want to touch it, the spray is perfect, because you don’t have to touch your skin and you get that calming, soothing effect immediately.

Mercedes:
I never thought about that. Thank you for highlighting that because I’ve gone through bottles of this in the past. It’s such a unique product but I was always kind of wondering why it was in a – is it still in a nozzle spray bottle?

Pamela:
Yes, yes.

Mercedes:
Yeah. I mean, it’s so – you don’t see products packaged like that. But yeah, I really, I really appreciate learning that about that product, that the design was intentional in that way.

Pamela:
Yeah, I mean, it’s one of those – it’s our most misunderstood product, I think. People don’t know really how to use it or why it has so many uses. But again, we’re solution-based so any issue you have – itching the third trimester of pregnancy. It is filled with beta glucan which, you know, calms and soothes and takes out the itch.

Mercedes:
Wonderful ingredient. I love that you mentioned that. When I was going through my very, very dry postpartum skin, the only thing that helped was a face mask I had that had beta glucan like, very high in the ingredient list. It’s like, truly a wonder ingredient.

Pamela:
It truly is. Yeah, it truly is. And it is, you know, it’s got our Tri-Rescue Complex and it’s in an aloe emulsion. So aloe is really also a great ingredient. It helps balance skin, it’s hydrating, but it’s not oily, so again, it’s great for you know, acne-prone. And I mean I could go on and on. But moving on to our bestseller, which is the Calming Moisture. It is again, you know, it has our Tri-Rescue Complex, but it also is deeply – it’s very lightweight, but it’s deeply nourishing and hydrating and it immediately calms your skin. I’m left with very reactive skin after my treatments and I can’t really find a whole lot that I can use without getting some sort of sensitive outbreak. So I’ve just been using the Calming Moisture and it truly is calming and soothing. It also revives dry, dull, and lackluster skin, even ashy-looking skin. It kind of gives you that rosy glow back and obviously, fine lines and wrinkles and imperfections are softened. And a lot of makeup artists like to mix it with foundation because it gives your skin a really smooth and luminous glow. And again, you know the – it’s great for post Retin-A use. A lot of times, you know, you’re in that cycle of trying to clear up acne or using Retin-A and your skin gets irritated, and so Calming Moisture kind of brings it back to balance and you can continue to use Retin-A or any other retinol-type products. Again, great for newborn cradle cap. You can use – rashes and again, skin suffering from post-procedural effects of chemotherapy.

The Body Repair is kind of like an extension of Calming Moisture. You know –

Mercedes:
This is my personal favorite. I’ve gone through so many bottles.

Pamela:
Yeah, it is our second bestseller, but it’s a little bit richer. And you know, it’s great for dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, diabetic dry skin, excessive hand washing… you know, any kind of red or rashy skin, but also many makeup artists have used it backstage because it again gives your skin such a beautiful, luminous glow. Yeah, I agree. I love Body Repair.

Mercedes:
It’s so good. It just feels like it’s so plumping to the skin. I mean, I love mixing it with a body oil, I love using it alone. I mean, I’ve truly never found a body lotion like it. It’s very, very beautifully formulated.

Pamela:
Yeah, well, thank you. Well, it also absorbs very easily and it is lightweight but it is very hydrating. So a lot of people don’t like to put, you know, heavy, rich product on their skin. So it is a beautiful product and it works very, very well.

And then our balm, which is like an ointment, is 100% natural and it is truly a cure-all balm. We often recommend it as an alternative to Aquaphor, which is so widely recommended by dermatologists and doctors and nurses, for lack of really anything better, but as we all know, petrolatum is not the best thing for your skin, or for your health, I should say. But you can use it anywhere: for severely rough, dry, cracked, chapped skin, on your lips, on your nails, your cuticles, on scars, acne scars. I use it on deep wrinkles and I really see a difference. Even to smooth your eyebrows. Castor oil is one of the ingredients in this product and there’s some talk about castor oil maybe increasing hair growth. So, you know, why not?

Mercedes:
Why not! Well, I love how portable this one is, you can just throw it in a purse or a diaper bag or keep it on your kitchen counter or whatever. I love the portability of this one.

Pamela:
Exactly, exactly. And this is also a product that really helps protect the skin barrier, so it’s great for during radiation and chemotherapy and post all those treatments like fraxel, laser, and chemical peels. It really helps protect the skin barrier. And even – we recently have gotten a lot of emails from nurses who are desperate for product for their hands because their hands are so cracked and dry. And this is a great product. It really creates an occlusive barrier on your skin to really, truly help protect your skin.

36:00

Mercedes:
Thank you so much for sharing all those details on the products. I’m sure that listeners will find it extremely helpful. But I’m also wondering if you have any other personal beloved beauty brands or products that you rely on as part of your own beauty routine?

Pamela:
Well, at this very moment, as I said, I have very reactive skin. So I love to try a lot of different things but I’ve pared down my routine and only use CV, with the exception of sunscreen. I live in Florida and it’s a must.

Mercedes:
Oh, okay. I thought you were in New York. You’re in Florida.

Pamela:
Well, I used to live in New York. And I – well, I used to go back and forth a lot, too. But not anymore. So I’ve tried a whole bunch of them and recently, I’m testing something from Raw Elements. It is a tinted face moisturizer and I like it, actually. It’s an SPF of 30 and it leaves my skin a little greasy, but over time, it kind of balances out. So I’m actually having good results with that, but no irritation.

Mercedes:
I haven’t heard of – it’s Raw Elements, you said?

Pamela:
It’s Raw Elements, and it’s got organic cacao, and it doesn’t leave any kind of white film – well, because it’s tinted, it kind of offsets that, but it’s a tint that matches all skin tones. I don’t know how they quite do that. But so I like that, you know, it’s sort of – it’s very, very light.

Mercedes:
And then beyond beauty, do you have any integral parts of your own wellness toolkit or routine that you think would be useful to share?

Pamela:
Yeah, I mean, I’m really no-fuss when it comes to beauty, but I am a huge proponent of self-care. And self-care is, these days, another one of those buzz words. But the truth is there is, I feel, a connection between body, mind, and spirit, and you know, the goal is to feel good and calm and happy. And so engaging in anything soothing and comforting, whatever it might be, can be helpful in reducing stress. And, you know, we all need that these days. And of course, the process of caring for your skin can be really meditative. As women, you know, we juggle a lot of stuff and we don’t have a whole lot of extra time, and self-care can mean so many different things to different people. For me, it’s my – my bathroom is my sanctuary, kicked my husband out a long time ago and sent him to the guest bathroom. [laughs]

Mercedes:
I didn’t even have to kick mine out. He left of his own accord. He’s like, “I’m gonna give you this space. I’m just gonna go use the shower in the basement.” [laughs] So yeah.

Pamela:
[laughs] The secret to a long marriage.

Mercedes:
Yeah. So are you – do you take baths, or…?

Pamela:
Yeah, I love taking baths. I take a little extra time to apply lotion. I love dry brushing before a shower. And I love doing masks. Many times, I make my own, and I’m even trying a couple from a lab. But these days, working from home, you can put on a mask and sit at your computer.

Mercedes:
What are some of your favorite DIY at-home masks?

Pamela:
I like honey a lot. I play a lot with turmeric but be very careful because it stains and yeah, it stains your hands as well. And I’ve been playing around with pure aloe, although not with good results, it’s very sticky. And bananas. After my treatment, my scalp was really very itchy and I developed some sort of psoriasis and so I would make concoctions for my scalp with oils and banana and aloe. And actually, ultimately, just ended up spraying Rescue + Relief on my scalp and got great results, actually. Immediate relief. And meditation is great, but if you can’t meditate, I’ve been puzzling as my new passion.

Mercedes:
Like crossword puzzling?

Pamela:
No, real puzzles! Everybody’s –

Mercedes:
Oh, puzzles! Like, I’m like, oh, wow, a puzzle. Yeah, okay, got it. Like a jigsaw puzzle.

Pamela:
Like a jigsaw puzzle. Exactly. I find it very meditative. And I think, you know, just grabbing even 10 minutes out of your day for yourself to do something that takes you away is really important.

40:18

Mercedes:
Definitely. Thank you so much for sharing that. I guess the one last little thing I wanted to ask you – because I’m just curious about how people that lead beauty brands through this time, you know, the world has turned upside-down as we’ve been alluding to, since March, and I’m curious how you’ve experienced COVID, you know, either personally or with the brand. I don’t know if you’ve noticed how your interactions with customers have changed or if you’re witnessing different things in the collective consciousness around natural and alternative health and wellness. Any observations that you have?

Pamela:
Yeah. Well, obviously, COVID has certainly changed our lives dramatically. So aside from the social, the financial, the mental health, and so many more aspects in terms of our business, it has been difficult. I mean, many of our retailers have struggled, unfortunately. But actually, fortunately for us, our web business is very good. We get a lot of questions about our products. Sensitive skin conditions have become so much more prevalent than ever before. We touched on this a little but mask wearing causes a whole bunch of skin aggravations like dermatitis and eczema flare-ups and rashes and acne breakouts. And so our Rescue + Relief and our Calming Moisture have been surprisingly doing very well on the web. Well, not surprisingly, but you know, we, our web business is definitely improved. And then with the constant hand washing and hand sanitizers that cause the breakdown of the skin barrier and itchy and cracked skin, we’ve been doing really well with the balm as well. So you know, for that reason, thankfully, our web business has been doing well. But you know, as we continue on this path, and you know, if there’s going to be another outbreak and if our retail partners are going to remain open or have to close again… it’s all quite concerning

Mercedes:
Yeah, there’s a lot of uncertainty. But I’m glad to hear that your web business is still doing well and that people are still looking for high-quality and safe skincare products.

42:34

Mercedes:
So how can people find you if they want to stay up-to-date with what’s going on with CV Skinlabs? Please just share all of your handles or, yeah, where people can find you.

Pamela:
Yeah. Obviously our website, CVSkinlabs.com, and on Instagram and Facebook at CVSkinlabs.

Mercedes:
Wonderful. Well, Pam, thank you so, so much for coming on. It was just such a pleasure to talk to you after all these years of enjoying your products.

Pamela:
Thank you, Mercedes. It was really nice to talk with you, and thank you for providing your venue to share CV Skinlabs. We appreciate it.

Mercedes:
Absolutely.

(music)

43:13

Alright, I’m back to just say goodbye and end with a few closing notes. I hope you enjoyed that wonderful conversation. I hope you feel inspired to try some of the products. I’ll have everything listed both in the show notes, and if not in the show notes, then everything is captured on a blog post that contains a streaming version of this podcast episode. But that’s where all of the extended show notes are, as well as a full transcript with hyperlinks to references. That’s all on lamouretlamusique.com. If you’re listening in a podcast player and you just click into the show notes, most of the time I can include references but if it’s a product-heavy episode, then I usually publish the full list of products to the website. But this – today’s episode, I should be able to include any relevant references directly in the show notes. But you can just click below to episode webpage, for example, if you want to go check out the transcript, which I’m hoping is a useful resource for people.

If you have enjoyed this episode and you enjoy Your Purpose Is Beauty generally, please consider sharing it with a friend. Tell a friend about it, rate and review it on iTunes, if you feel so inclined. Or you can come support Your Purpose Is Beauty and L’Amour on Patreon. It’s Patreon.com/lamouretlamusique. There are four or five different tiers of support and I just enabled an annual membership option, so I’ve published a lot of details and how-to’s about that. There’s actually a post on Patreon; it’s not a private post behind a paywall or anything, it’s just on – if you were to go to Patreon.com/lamouretlamusique and look at the feed, you would see it. I think it’s the most recent public post, and it’s kind of an update for me – basically, what I would put in a newsletter. Which – I’m starting a newsletter this fall. It’s another big undertaking. I feel like even though I’m so tired all the time, I just keep pushing forward with all of these different facets of L’Amour and Your Purpose Is Beauty and different projects. We’ll see where it all leads me. But you can go read that update. I talk about the annual memberships. They’re at a 12% discount, so if you sign up for 12 months of support at any of the tiers, then you get a 12% discount, which ends up being about a month and a half or so, a month and a third free of the 12 months. And there’s some details about how you can switch between tiers once you lock into an annual membership. So please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions on that.

I did just also want to say that October’s exclusive podcast episode for Patreon – so I make a special, exclusive podcast episode once a month for supporters of the podcast on Patreon at the $3 a month level. This month in October, I talked about – brace yourself – childhood immunizations, AKA vaccines. Very polarizing topic, but it felt wonderful to sit down for an hour and talk just openly and candidly, really without fear of retribution or fear of having people attack me in Instagram DMs or something. And it’s – I’m not even necessarily – I was gonna say I’m not as radical as some people I see online, but I’m not sure if that’s true. But there’s a lot of – as with everything, these debates that are – they look so black and white in the outerscape or on social media. They really aren’t black and white issues. So I’ve had an interesting history with this topic and it’s something I think a lot about and I talk quite a bit about homeoprophylaxis as a third way between fully vaccinating and doing no vaccinations. So there’s quite a bit there. I hope that you’ll be interested to go check it out. It’s one of, I think, now eight or nine exclusive episodes that I’ve done since January and I’m just going to keep forging ahead with some of these topics that are, you know, kind of more challenging to talk about more publicly. I feel like even when I hint at certain things on Instagram, I get messages from people that are semi-confrontational, and I’m still just trying to parse out how to be me in a world that’s really difficult to be an authentic expression of oneself without dealing with things coming at you. And maybe that’s just part of it and I haven’t been in a space of wanting to deal with that, but maybe I need to if I really want to be myself and be in my truth. I’m totally rambling now. It’s like now at the very end of doing this episode, I’ve like gotten into my talking groove.

(music)
It’s pretty late here. It’s past 9:30PM and my body is actually screaming at me to do some stretching or some yoga, so I’m going to go ahead and turn the microphone off. I think you guys know everywhere you can find me: Instagram @lamouretlamusique. I am going to be revising some of the ways I put out content on there, so stay tuned. Website is lamouretlamusique.com. YouTube is youtube.com/lamouretlamusique/videos. And let’s see… Next week, I think you’re going to be hearing an October Boxwalla Beauty Box review from me, and I haven’t thought much further than that. So I can’t wait to see you guys here next week. Thank you so much for choosing to listen and support the podcast in whatever ways you are able. I appreciate you. Wishing you all wonderful week and I’ll connect with you here next week. Bye!

(end music)