5 mins with Pedro Catalá of Twelve Beauty…

There isn’t much about skincare that Pedro Catalá doesn’t know. He qualified as a pharmacist almost twenty years ago, then went onto study a post graduate diploma in botany at the University of Valencia, which inspired his love of plants in medicine especially skincare. This led to a master’s degree in the Science and Technology of Cosmetics at the University of Siena, Italy in 2007 and a PhD in Natural and Formulation Technologies. So you see, Pedro certainly has the credentials!

Pedro used this amazing knowledge to create Twelve Beauty – a beautiful skincare range that really does look after skin. It took five years to develop and research and the proof really is in the pudding; the range of nine products is fast gaining a cult following. As the name suggests the range is built around twelve star botanical ingredients, all 100% natural and all amazing for skin. Pedro designed the products with a sensitive skin in mind; he continues to work as a pharmacist in a London private hospital and offers the products to patients with various skin concerns including radiotherapy and post cosmetic treatment. All skins can benefit from the range.

I’ve used the Hyaluroil Lip Treatment which I loved during the colder months as it nourishes lips so much. With a good dose of hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump lips, it is much more than just a regular balm. Use it as part of your night time routine during warmer weather too, to help keep lips lovely and smooth.

I’ve also been using the Ideal Moisture Level Serum and the Ideal Rebalancing Level Serum in my kit. They go under make-up beautifully and work well as primers. The moisture level is great for dehydrated and dry skins while the rebalancing will help with those excess sebum. Both are ultra light in texture so sink in straight away to work their magic, leaving no residue or excess shine. I’m about to start trying the Ideal Brightening Corrective Serum as I have developed little patches of pigmentation which I am not happy about! Watch this space…

Pedro is an absolute fountain of knowledge when it comes to skincare and green beauty, he very kindly answered some questions for the blog that I really hope you will find useful. It can be so hard to really know what our skin needs these days, so I’ve tapped him for some essential advice..

WHY IS NATURAL AND ORGANIC BEAUTY IMPORTANT?

It is more compatible with the skin composition; plant based oils are similar (from a chemical point of view) to the lipids (natural fat) in our skin. To me the most important fact is that natural and organic beauty is far more efficient than classic or beauty made with synthetic ingredients. If you compare an oil made in a lab, it might be inert and safe but it doesn’t bring any benefits to the skin compared let’s say with an avocado oil. This natural oil is rich in skin friendly vitamins and has an important unsaponifiable fraction to keep the skin structure healthier. This principle does not apply only to active ingredients, but to other categories such as emulsifiers; while the synthetic counterparts might be more performing, the natural ones (especially the recent ones) are very powerful and derived from rice or sugar which have added values such as soothing or moisturising properties respectively.

Having said that, my mantra is “natural product formulation is a science, not an experiment.” You have to understand how to blend oils and how to protect them from going rancid. Understanding the properties of each oil and their structure will help you to add the exact required amount of antioxidant – adding less than necessary won’t make the product stable and adding too much of the antioxidant will make it become a pro-oxidant, which has the opposite effect. Sometimes it is difficult to spot if an oil has gone rancid, they can pose a threat to the skin’s own health.

DO YOU THINK THAT THE PLANT WORLD HAS EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR HEALTHY SKIN?

Absolutely yes. Healthy skin means the upper layers are properly hydrated, elastic and with the right PH. We can find in nature extraordinary moisturisers, skin protectors, barrier enhancers and antioxidants to prevent and repair skin damage.

Ageing is a natural process, so to me it is more important that the skin is healthy and works effectively as a barrier between our bodies and the environment, rather than small lines that will inevitably appear.

HOW DID YOU PICK YOUR TWELVE STAR INGREDIENTS?

During five years of research I identified 12 natural and organic ingredients, hence the name, that I believe the skin needs to keep healthier for longer.

They go from cupuacu butter, on which I personally conducted several studies that show that is one of the most moisturising butters in nature, to white genepi extract which is sustainable and has better antioxidant effects than vitamin C, without the stability issues that the vitamin carries.

THERE ARE SO MANY PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET NOW, HOW CAN WE CHOOSE SOMETHING THAT IS RIGHT FOR OUR SKIN – HOW DO WE KNOW WHAT IT ACTUALLY NEEDS?

We are all individuals with different skin needs, so all manufacturers must make an effort to provide samples and make things easier for potential consumers to try.

I do not believe in long winded beauty regimes, I was talking to a customer last week that uses 27 products in the morning and slightly more in the evening,…in my opinion this is too much. While I totally agree on making the time for a self care ritual and enjoying our skin care regimes, the perfect routine can be done within four products.

We should select the products on what suits our skin. Also the choice is based on our budget and of course once we have identified what our skin likes, keep using it. We can’t choose products because they look good on Instagram or they are part of a current trend. Take for example Korean beauty. First of all they are based in layering several products with formulas giving priority to sensoriality (given mostly by a mix of silicones), but we need to bear in mind that Asian skin has a different structure and therefore different needs let’s say from dark or Caucasian skin. My advice: “Try before you buy”.

HOW CAN WE UNDERSTAND OUR SKIN BETTER?

Always listen to your skin. Sometimes I compare the skin with a small baby, when it doesn’t get the right food or feels uncomfortable, it cries and throw the toys out of the pram. The skin is the same, you just need to look out for the symptoms, for example spots, redness or oily patches that might mean that the skin is dehydrated.

TWELVE BEAUTY IS PARTICULARLY SUITED TO THOSE WITH SENSITIVITIES – APART FROM USING GOOD SKINCARE, WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO TO HELP THESE CONDITIONS?

Food plays an important role on skin health, although it is ultimately what you really apply on your skin which has the most important influence. I always advise to include in your diet plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables; the darker the better. They are packed with antioxidants which can neutralise the free radicals, responsible for skin damage and ageing.

Also what is important is to keep your stress levels down to the minimum. I have seen people having weekly facials, using great green skincare but always presenting a lack of elasticity and tone, which in most of the cases can be related to stress.

WHAT IS YOUR TOP SKINCARE TIP?

Relax and keep your skin moisturised.

WHAT PRODUCT COULDN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT?

It has to be the Ideal Moisture Level Serum. I conducted several tests and studies on this particular product. The result is that it binds moisture like a water magnet. It is a great ingredient to regulate and to retain moisture in the skin.

I always pay attention about the ingredients I choose and their skin’s compatibility. This product contains a naturally occurring carbohydrate very similar to the sugar fraction found on the top layers of human skin.

It binds to some free amino acids in the keratin of the skin (the protein that protects the skin against environmental damage and stress). Once bound to the skin it cannot be removed or washed off easily.

It is an extraordinary booster.

IS THERE A PRODUCT THAT YOU THINK EVERY BATHROOM CABINET SHOULD HAVE?

An effective but mild cleanser. I, of course, love my Purifying Cleansing Beauty Cream. I have tried many fantastic products out there but nothing compares with how my skin feels after I use this innovative, performing and safe product.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLANT AND WHY?
My favourite plant has to be mallow, it is one of the most sustainable plants on earth as far as I am concerned. Mallow is classified as a nitrophile plant, so it grows on soils rich in nitrates which comes from organic decomposition of substances linked to human activities like rubbish dumps. Regarding its skincare applications it offers so many properties from soothing to hydrating.
DO YOU GROW YOUR OWN? DO YOU HAVE A TOP TIP FOR ANY NON-GREEN FINGERED PEOPLE WANTING TO HAVE A LITTLE TRY AT GROWING SOMETHING?!
Despite my four year postgraduate in botany I am not the right person to give advice on growing your own plants. I love looking after the plants on my balcony in London but I am far from calling myself green fingers. Having said that, I am very proud of a wisteria I planted in my house in Spain. When I first arrived in  London, I was obsessed with the wisterias outside the houses. I took so many pictures and made an album called Wisteria city. Now that the house (against all odds) is covered by a wisteria I am so pleased to have a touch of Old Britain in rural Spain.
THANK YOU SO MUCH PEDRO! Your answers are brilliant and so helpful. My skin will benefit from reading this for sure.
Has anyone else tried Twelve Beauty before? What will you take from Pedro’s tips?
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2 Comments

  1. 1st September 2017 / 7:49 am

    I have been lucky enough to try the ideal moisture serum through the lovely Lavanya at Boxwalla and when I was researching Pedro and his brand was utterly amazed by all his qualifications and knowledge. Definitely a brand I want to delve in to more and this great interview put the lip treatment firmly on my radar 🙂 Xx

    • Louise
      6th September 2017 / 2:54 pm

      Hi Ana,
      Glad you like the interview – thank you for reading 🙂 Pedro is amazing – he is a fountain of knowledge!! Yes, delve in more 🙂 the lip treatment is great especially coming into colder weather soon! xx

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