Meet Irene Forte

What pushed you to start a skincare line?

"I was interested in wellness from a very young age. This started with fitness and healthy eating and developed a little later into beauty. It is for this reason that I eventually became Director of Wellness at Rocco Forte Hotels. I first debuted a skincare line in 2015 for Rocco Forte Hotels. I wanted to create something that unified all of the group’s spas. I also knew that Rocco Forte Hotels had an amazing wealth of active organic ingredients at Verdura Resort in Sicily. I came across Doctor Francesca Ferri of EffegiLab in Trento, Italy, who I immediately knew was the perfect fit to help me bring the line to life. The immediate positive reception to my first line made me want to learn more, create more and launch an even bigger line. So, I guess you can say that it has been 3 years in the making".

How would you describe your line in a sentence or two?

"Considered, multi-benefit and sustainable. Inspired by Sicily and made by hand in Italy, it is the Mediterranean diet for your skin".

What does considered mean to you?

"My skincare line has been formulated by Doctor Francesca Ferri and her team of biologists and dermatologists. Ferri has over 35 years of experience in creating skincare. We both believe in products that are considered and healthy for your skin. Our products contain no artificial colours, abrasive fragrances, parabens, paraffin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). They are also free from essential oils, which contain common allergens that can irritate the skin. Our fragrances have been purified from allergens, as have our plant and herb waters. Our products are also packed with the highest-quality active ingredients, that are extracted in the most efficient way to preserve their beneficial qualities. These ingredients are also 100% recognised by the body (given that they are ingredients that we actually eat). Considered for me is also about growing your own ingredients, handpicking them, making products by hand, having sustainable packaging, and sourcing everything from Italy."

What made you fall in love with Sicily, the place that inspired your brand?

"I first stepped foot in Sicily in 2003 to visit the site that would soon become Rocco Forte's Verdura Resort. Six years later, the resort opened its doors and I spent almost a year working there. I fell in love with the people, the culture, the food and the breath-taking nature of the island. I realised that Sicily’s rich ingredients and the bounty of Verdura’s organic farm made for the perfect base for a skincare line. I was also influenced by Sicilian handicrafts, wanting to ensure that my products were hand-manufactured and that my treatments and rituals focussed on the power of touch".

What do you think makes Sicilian ingredients special?

“The Mediterranean diet has been long considered the healthiest diet to follow—and I strongly believe that it is also the healthiest diet for your skin. We have some amazing ingredients in Sicily that really work wonders on the skin. Some of my favourites include Prickly Pear (considered a plant-origin Hyaluronic Acid and the latest superfood, which is rich in Vitamins K, E and C); Hibiscus (known as the ‘botox plant’ and loaded with Alpha Hydroxy Acids); Pomegranate (rich in Vitamin C, flavonoids and anthocyanins, which are strong antioxidants for the skin); Olive Oil (rich in polyphenols and Vitamin E); and much more… We have 75 active ingredients across our entire line that boast serious skin-boosting benefits.”

What has been the most exciting process of creating the brand?

"Every part! Choosing ingredients from Sicily and working on the formulas. Seeing the final product that I love and am hugely attached to. Working on the branding, such as logos, jars, bottles, boxes, and seeing it all come to life. Training Rocco Forte Spas on the treatments and rituals I created and then watching their positive reception to it all. Seeing customers enjoy the products. But in short, seeing everything come to fruition".

What does your current evening skincare regimen look like now?

"I use the Almond Cleansing Milkfollowed by the Hibiscus Serum. I then use our Rose Face Oil and massage this into my skin. The last step is the Hibiscus Night Cream.

Both morning and evening, I always moisturise my body. The Prickly Pear Body Cream is amazing”.

What products would you recommend for those looking to begin a new IF beauty regime?

“I would recommend starting off with a few simple steps. Start with a cleanser, such as our Almond Cleansing Milk, follow with our Hibiscus Serum and finish with the Age-Defying Prickly Pear Face Cream, depending on your skin type.

Once you have mastered the basics, you can then add in a few extra steps for maximum results. I would recommend adding our Lemon Toner, a night cream or one of our face oils as your evening post-serum moisturiser. For weekly maintenance, I would do our Almond Face Scrub and one of our three face masks, each of which deals with specific skin concerns such as balancing, brightening the skin.”

Any exciting projects surrounding IF that you’d like to share?

“There are lots of exciting projects in the pipeline. We just launched the rest of our body care products. We are launching globally on Net-a-Porter this month. Last but not least, we have just opened two new Rocco Forte Spas (Torre Maizza Spa, Puglia and De La Ville Spa, Rome) and are working on a new spa in Palermo called Villa Igea Spa”.