How Grandma’s Serum Became an International Skincare Company

I found Skin & Co Roma on Peta Mall; a site I frequent often to find new vegan brands.  What caught my attention was the image of a lovely brown bottle against luminous green leaves, but what intrigued me was an ingredient I had not previously associated with skincare – truffles.  That’s right!  That little fungus also has some very unique and powerful anti-aging qualities.

I had to know more!  I reached out to SKIN&COand was connected with their Business Development Manager, Vanessa Anglade.  Vanessa has a lot of experience in the skincare industry, so I was curious to know how she ended up at Skin&Co.

“Joining skin & co was an exciting opportunity for me because it was new brand, it was niche, and it had such a unique history that not many brands have.”

A Family Company

The unique history is the heart and soul of SKIN&CO.  Gabriel Balestra is the company’s founder, but it was his grandmother who began infusing truffles into her botanical face serums in the small farm town of Umbria, Italy in the 1950’s.  The family purchased their first acres of land in Umbria over 100 years ago, which at the time was served the local community with fresh products straight from their farm.

“SKIN&CO is still family owned and operated out of Italy,” Vanessa explains.  “They own a farm, warehouse and treatment facility in Umbria, which is known as the Green Heart of Italy. From there Sabatino Tartufi distributes fresh truffles to our other offices in Hong Kong and our U.S. offices in Connecticut, Florida and facilities in Australia.”

See Also: Beauty Bullshit – Greenwashing in the Beauty Industry

It’s an impressive progression from small farm in Umbria to international distribution, and it was all built on the natural antioxidants of one special ingredient.  One faithful day Gabriel stumbled upon his grandmother’s recipes and focused in on one common ingredient found in all her serums, the Black Winter Truffle. 

Umbria, Italy. Picture from Skin&Co Website

“Gabriel took the Black Winter Truffle to the University of Bologna for research and found out there are skin healing qualities present in the Black Winter Truffle that aren’t present in other truffles, or at least not to the same degree.”

“The Black Winter Truffle is rich with Superoxide Dismutase, which is an antioxidant.  Superoxide Dismutase is not a brand-new discovery in skincare.  It’s the level present in the Black Winter Truffle that makes it so powerful. There are other properties in the truffle that are extracted when we create our proprietary blends, but it’s the Superoxide Dismutase that is the super star.”

Skincare that is Anti-Aging & Cruelty Free

Vanessa went on to explain the Superoxide Dismutase, or SOD for short, acts as a scavenger that looks for damaged skin cells that have been damaged by free-radical activity.  Free radicals are all around us from the food we eat to the air we breathe and have a negative impact on the aging process.  The SOD finds the damaged skin cells and breaks it down to create natural cell rejuvenation. 

Essentially, the natural healing power of the botanicals used in SKIN&CO’s formula helps our skin heal more naturally.  As a woman in her mid-thirties, I dig that!  Of course, I wanted to know more about SKIN&CO being a vegan brand.  Was it an intentional choice or added benefit of using organic ingredients?

“It was a natural result.  As I mentioned, our products are manufactured in Italy, and the European Union has much stricter standards.  By the time we get the ingredients in the United States the products are already eco-friendly.”

See Also: Bunny Approved! Cruelty Free Makeup Cheat Sheet

SKIN&CO Products

SKIN&CO was checking all the boxes for me, and they offer a variety of products from serums to bath and body products, so I wanted to know the best place for a new customer to start.  What do Skin & Co customers love the most.  I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting Vanessa’s answer.  

“The crowd favorite, which took us by surprise, is the Truffle Therapy Face Toner. We sampled it 2 years ago, and it was received very well by our customers.  We weren’t expecting that because no one really talks about toner. It was only going to be a summer featured product, but we received over 120,000 reviews and likes from our ipsy subscribers.  It became one of our best sellers and is still one of our best sellers today.

“People are really receptive to the toner because it’s alcohol free.  It’s great for all skin types, but really good for people with sensitive skin because it has Calendula, which is really soothing.”

Skin & Co Truffle Face Toner

Lastly, I wanted to know about the price point.  SKIN&CO products aren’t cheap, but they aren’t outrageous either.  In fact, they are in line with other, much larger luxury brands, which had me asking how Skin & Co can stay competitively priced being a smaller brand.

Vanessa laughs and admits, “That’s a question we get asked that all the time, and people close to us think we are crazy for pricing as low as we do.  But we wanted our products to be accessible. There are a lot of fantastic luxury beauty brands on the market, but some people don’t feel like they can afford those brands.  People should feel like their skincare is an everyday luxury, but the price point doesn’t have to be.

We are able to keep our prices down because we don’t have a lot of middlemen.  For example, we have our own farm and facility and our own team of chemists that we work closely with. Everyone we work with is very close to the brand; very close to the company and are like family. And, that’s how we keep our pricing low.”

What a better way to bring the luxury of truffle oils and the rolling green hills of Umbria, Italy into your daily routine.  We want to thank Vanessa Anglade for her time and sharing the history, science and passion of Skin&Co with us. 

You can find Skin&Co at or on Instagram at @skinandco. If you liked the article and support small brands making, please share! 

Note: We are not affiliated with SKIN&CO

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