Dr Irena Eris On Bringing Her Scientific Skincare Brand To India

In times when skincare is getting complicated with every new product release, the Polish brand Dr Irena Eris launched in India with the promise to give you only what you really need. And this idealogy has been directly inherited from its co-founder and owner, Dr Irena Eris herself!

A PhD in physiology, Dr Eris strongly believes that the same product can never work in the same way for two people with different skin types. For optimal results, the only trick you really need to follow is to identify your problem areas and find products that have the right ingredients and are backed by research. From starting with making one rich creme moisturiser in communist Poland to then going on to open the Dr Irena Eris Centre for Science and Research as well as adding a handful of 5-star spa resorts to her repertoire, the skincare expert has been in the business for four decades and is now bringing her brand to India.

But what sets it apart? Well, the brand has several ranges of skincare products that comprise day and night moisturisers, serum and an eye cream. Each range caters to specific skin types and needs, like hydration, tightening and cleansing pores, lifting and firming and more! They’re very proud of how much research and testing goes into each of their products and come with the promise that the quality standards of their products will never waiver. When most brands are sorting to create more products to add to your already never-ending skincare routine, Dr Irena Eris’ products presents themselves as an effective and uncomplicated solution.

We had the chance to catch up with the co-founder, Dr Irena Eris, regarding her principles, journey and skincare hacks. Read on and we’re sure you’ll learn a new thing or two about the world of beauty.

In Conversation With Dr Irena Eris

HELLO!: Why and how did you decide to venture into the beauty industry and start your very own skincare business? What are some challenges you faced along the way?

Dr. Irena Eris: “It’s long, long story… I am in this business since 40 years! And why beauty? I studied pharmacy in Warsaw in Medical University and then I got my doctorate from the Humboldt University in Berlin. My education gave me a very big, bright knowledge of physiology. Moreover, I’m someone who always questions everything and won’t give up until I find the answers. After gaining my doctorate, I worked at a research centre of a pharmaceutical company. But after some time, I realised that it wasn’t what I wanted to do, my work didn’t give me satisfaction. I was looking to find something that made me happy. I was young and like everybody, I wanted to look wonderful, but I also suffered from sensitive skin and acne. Back then, it was such a hard time in Poland back then... It was a socialistic time. You had no choice of cosmetics on the market and thanks to my education and skin, I had an interest in it as well the knowledge of it. I thought maybe if I tried, it could be a success.

So, I started to produce cosmetics but I had no money. We borrowed the money from our friend. And I started to produce only one product, a rich cream moisturiser, because it was too expensive. I had only one employee, a girl who helped me. Soon I learnt, I need to make products that targeted different skin types, issues and catered to different age groups. I had a vision of what I wanted to do, but in 1989, it was not possible with the socialist ideology. Everything changed when the communist government collapsed. Suddenly, I was encouraged and applauded for being a woman who is knowledgeable, working and pays tax. I could now realise my dreams, which had only grown bigger.

I somewhere knew that in order to achieve your life goals, you need to feel confident about yourself. Beauty can play a big part in confidence, and your physical complexes should not hold you back in any way. To look good every day, you need to have good cosmetics that work for you, frequently visit dermatologists and cosmetologists to help treat your specific skin concerns and you have to rest! That’s why, I started to build cosmetic institutes, where you had dermatologists identify your skin concern, give you the proper treatment needed with our special professional products. We even have three 5-star hotels, set up in beautiful locations, offering high-level service and in destinations where people can come take a holiday and get pampered. Our hotels also have many activities if you want to travel with your family ranging from horse riding, cycling, hiking and even skiing! After building a brand name, we started exporting our products to other countries and now, we have arrived in India, which is so pleasant and promising!”

H!: What is it like to have your husband as a business partner?

IE: “My husband was a road engineer and was working too. While he was on the field and building roads, he really enjoyed his job. But as soon as he had to begin working in an office, he thought, no, it is not my place. He found the paperwork to be too boring… he wanted to be active, create something, build something. And I needed the help. He said, ‘Maybe I will come’. So, he joined me in my laboratory and my business and did all the things I didn’t like to do—Financial, the delivery, etc. And so, I could finally concentrate on doing what I love, creating the product. We’ve competed 50 years of marriage, it is a long time… and even today, I say, we are not complete with each other. Not complete, but I trust him. He trusts me.”

H!: What are some achievements made over the years that you’re proud of?

IE: “You know… I’m still involved in the research and am very active in my company until now. I could rest but I cannot… I have to be active! I want to keep researching, developing and upholding our standards. We don’t check our products on animals, we first use new formulas on human cells and then models of human skin, and only after that we begin testing on volunteers. The products are checked on several levels by our special research developing center, where we have a team of more than 20 biotechnologists from different fields, all with doctor degrees minimum.

We’re very proud to say that been invited to several cosmetology and dermatology congresses all over the world, where we present our work. To date, we have 9 patented formulas and 15 patents pending in the pipeline. One of our biggest achievements was when we were invited to Comité Colbert, a French organisation that was founded 60 years ago and they are associated with over 80 different luxury brands from different fields. And we are the only beauty and cosmetic brand they invited which was based outside France. It’s like getting a recognition of the highest honour on the quality of your products.”

H!: How do you cope with the cut-throat competition in the beauty industry?

IE: “It doesn’t affect me. I do my research and I make what the science indicates. With newer raw materials coming to the market, we have to keep advancing our knowledge and consistently developing the best formulas based on our knowledge.”

H!: According to you, what are some of the must-have products from your range?

IE: “This is a tricky question because when it comes to my brand, what works for you will not work for everyone. Each person would have a different must-have, based on their skin. But, as for the range we are introducing to India, we’ve got products for cleansing, some ranges of moisturisers and our hero range, the Y-Lifting, which helps with firming and lifting your skin.”

Dr Irena Eris ©Dr Irena Eris

H!: What is the one skincare rule you have always abided by?

IE: “You have to clean the make-up off your face each evening, no matter how tired or drunk you are. You won’t see the harsh effects of it now, but after years and then, it becomes difficult to ever bounce back. You obviously need to have products that are correct for your skin and age. Also, everyone must have a day cream with SPF, UV filter and a blue light filter.”

H!: Skincare is getting very complicated with single-ingredient products, active ingredients and ceramides coming into play. What advice would you give to a novice wanting to get into a skincare routine?

IE: “I have my own philosophy when it comes to skincare. We create cosmetics which contain everything you need, be it our serums or moisturisers. A lot of times, people layer and mix different products over one another without how the formulas are reacting with each other, whether they are beneficial or toxic… but in our products, we only use ingredients that synergise with one another. My advice would be to choose brands that are trustworthy and have stood strong against the test of time because they’ve had that much time and resources to put the research into what they are creating.”

H!: According to you, what is it about skincare that makes everyone equate it to self-love?

IE: It’s simple… when you look good, you feel good! You feel more confident to take on new challenges, and life seems happier!

H!: What is your take on the toxic beauty standards of today?

IE: “I think, to each his own. Some women opt to get cosmetic surgery to look the way they wish to and match the beauty standard. To some women, the beauty standards don’t make a difference. While I think it’s not necessary, if someone feels like they need it, they should do it. And why not? It’s open and legal. My only advice would be to keep in mind that these procedures won’t always have the kind of outcome you want, and many are non-reversible.”

H!: Can you share your favourite skincare hacks?

IE: “No hacks as such, but I would just say that when it comes to skincare, you have to be consistent and patient. Nothing happens with just one or two uses. So, being consistent with my regime would be my hack.”