Meet Perricone MD’s Kella England

Our NYC Correspondent visited Dr Perricone’s Madison Ave Flagship store and sat down with  Sales Director Kella England to learn more about the brand…

Mecca: For those who are new to Perricone MD, can you tell us about your brand philosophy?

Kella: An anti-inflammatory lifestyle supports Inner health which results in outer beauty and radiant skin.  There is fullness to the brand, beyond just products; we encourage the process of discovery that ultimately improves our clients’ health, skin and quality of life.  Inflammation accelerates the aging process – Inflammation is the enemy.. Inflammation by definition is part of a complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants.  Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process. While Inflammation at the cellular level is a natural process, it is also triggered by external factors, such as exposure to UV radiation, eating a pro-inflammatory diet, stress, alcohol, smoking, etc.   Dr. Perricone found through his research that cellular inflammation is age-accelerating and is also the greatest precipitator of age-related diseases.

M: What is the ‘three-tiered’ approach?

K: Eating an Anti-inflammatory diet – rich in antioxidants which act as natural anti-inflammatories.  High in protein, bright colored fruits and vegetables, good carbohydrates (those low on the glycemic scale), moderate dairy & very limited refined sugar.  Lots of cold water fish – rich is omegas…. Dr Perricone is often referred to as “the Salmon doctor”… Remember the saying – you are what you eat…

– Taking Nutriceutical supplements – rich in antioxidants which as natural anti-inflammatories.  Obviously when it comes to obtaining the micronutrients your body needs, your best possible source is food, especially bright colored fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, good carbohydrates as mentioned above – circumstances may prevent one from eating optimally every day. The main reasons we recommend supplements are for insurance against gaps in ones diet.

– Anti-aging topical treatments – also rich in antioxidants which as natural anti-inflammatories.   Patented, proven skincare formulated with powerful antioxidants to effectively help correct the visible signs of aging; delivering the look of supple, youthful skin.

M: What is the brain-beauty connection?

K: Before we are born, when we are in an embryonic state, the layer of cells that eventually develop into skin are also responsible for making brain cells. Therefore, what is healthy for the skin is also important to the brain – what is harmful to the skin is also detrimental to the brain.   After all Dr. Perricone did begin his medical studies in pediatrics.

A perfect example of this is a low-fat or non-fat diet. It has been shown that a lack of essential fatty acids and the proper fats leads to dull and wrinkled skin. In addition, a deficiency of such essential fats results in lowered brain function and depressed mood.  The brain needs healthy fats to function – the skin needs healthy fats to help maintain its smoothness & suppleness.

M: Australian skincare concerns differ to those in the US – especially in terms of sun damage and pigmentation.

K: First and foremost – use sunscreen daily and from an early age…  It is easier to prevent sun damage than correct the effects of sun damage.  Secondly; there are some very promising results in lessening the signs of pigmentation with natural therapies such as pycnogenol; a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the French maritime pine tree.  Pycnogeenol – an anti-oxidant; acts as a natural anti-inflammatory & inflammation is a key factor in a majority of skin problems. Applying Pycnogenol topically helps to inhibit melanogenesis, the production of the pigment melanin, responsible for skin color) and lowers skin pigmentation intensity so that skin is a more even toned.

M: How does Perricone MD translate for the Australian customer?

K: Any type of sunburn is inflammation.  Our entire range is chock full of antioxidants which are key to bringing down this inflammation; whether visible or subclinical.  Sun exposure is the obvious threat to the folks of Australia – but others are smoking, environmental toxins, poor diet, excess alcohol consumption, stress, lack of sleep.  So while you may be able to only do so much about the sun exposure; you can personally commit to helping to slowing the aging process by keeping all the other threats at bay.  Also taking supplements can help from The Inside Out. Vitamin C & Vitamin E are both helpful in protecting the body against the free radical epidermal attack generated by sunlight.  Also Alpha Lipoic Acid when taken internally helps the body to regenerate other protective antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, glutathione and coenzyme q10. Did you know that Dr. Perricone carries around a photo of the Alpha Lipoic Acid molecule in his wallet?  It’s true!!

M: What are the key products to help fight these concerns?

K: To combat the effects of the inflammation caused by intense sun; supplements such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Alpha Lipoic Acid are helpful from The Inside Out.  Using topical products formulated with active levels of Vitamin C Esther, Toccotrionols, Alpha Lipoic Acid & Pycnogenol are beneficial for prevention as well as correction of sun damage.

M: What do you love most about living in NYC?

K: The diversity and selection….  The diversity of people, ethnicity, & culture is one of the things I love about the “Big Apple” – this diversity leads to a huge selection of fun things to do.  From plays, events, restaurants, live music & entertainment venues. Always something different & new..

M: Favourite spot in NYC for Coffee?

K: Nespresso – right down the Avenue..  761 Madison Avenue. Nespresso is a European company that was first with the  premium pre-portioned coffee (think Kurig). Their Flagship location is one block away from our Flagship location. Nespresso is a dynamic yet comfortable, welcoming place to relax alone, or meet up with friends. While it is a full-service espresso bar they also serve an amazing tea it’s called Special T. and the green tea is my fav.  In keeping with the anti-inflammatory lifestyle – coffee is frowned upon due to its inflammatory effects and increasing cortisol levels. Also Nespresso kinda feels a bit like “home” as their corporate folks visited the Perricone Flagship in ’05 soon after we opened & they liked the design, décor and vibe of our Flagship so they used the same architect, design firm & builder that we did!

M: For Dinner?

K: Definitely Home Restaurant in the West Village.  Home is a cozy 30-seat restaurant with a hidden romantic heated garden patio; shh.. don’t tell anybody…  A true farm-to-table menu selection – fresh, fresh, fresh… Sunday brunch on the patio is an amazing experience. Patio, serving seasonal American food, fine wine

M: For Relaxation?

K: This is also Home….  We NYers work hard & play hard; so when that special relaxation time is needed – there is no place like home.  Or maybe for a fab relaxing massage – try Eastside Massage Therapy for their Thai massage. You will be in relaxation nirvana when it’s over – then go home!!

M: If we were to do one thing to better our skin, what would it be?

K: Drink lots of water….  Dr. Perricone recommends 8 – 10 glasses of water daily.  All biological function takes place in the presence of water.  Drink up! Make it fun; drink out of a fabulous crystal wine glass.  Fun-it-up with a bit of color w/ SuperBerry – chock full of antioxidants.  Iced green tea is also a great source of water. And no; coffee doesn’t count…  Oh yes; and wear sunscreen… I guess that is two; right? Can’t possible drill down to one..sorry.. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…

M: What inspired you to get into skincare?

K: I had been in the beauty industry for many years.  In 2000 I met Dr. Perricone at a casual dinner party with friends and at the end of the dinner I had 2 revelations.. 1.  This doctor is really onto something – radiant beauty, great skin & good health from within…. From The Inside Out… Not just product but a “lifestyle”.   I had never had that paradigm opened up for me & my shift in thinking began. 2. I had to go work for this man.

M: In terms of ingredients in skincare, what is the next big thing we need to know about?

K: Dr. Perricone has unlocked a new molecule – Acyl-Glutathione along with a patented delivery system.

Acyl-Glutathione is a molecule that replenishes glutathione levels. Also a master antioxidant that is key in reducing oxidative stress and protecting individual cells and tissues from free radicals.  Acyl-Glutathione is also known to enhance healthy growth and activity of immune cells needed for disease resistance and immune protection. Glutathione is present in our bodies though rapidly depletes with age, stress, the environment and less than optimal health; its replenishment is critical to help skin’s defense against accelerated skin aging. Low Glutathione levels show up on the skin in the way of fatigue, dullness, severe loss of elasticity, deep wrinkles, extreme dehydration, and uneven skin texture.  I remember once being at a dermatology conference many years ago and a colleague of Dr. Perricone’s said that the next big thing in skin care would be a penetratable glutathione technology. Well now we have it… Isolating the molecule and housing it in an absorbable composition has been the challenge.

M: If you had to select just one, what is your favourite Perricone product?

K: Advanced Face Firming Activator – it’s been my favorite since 2000.  It is a HERO product of ours and while I use a lot of other products in our range; with great success – I am hard-pressed to leave home without my AFFA; as we fondly have nicknamed it.  No matter what you use; no matter the regimen, no matter the skin concern this product can be added into the mix easily and for everyone. Try AFFA and you will be also be hooked. A visible improvement is seen within days…  An evened tone, smoother texture, and just enough lifting – Tightened & toned; that is the way we like it; right?

M: What can we expect from Perricone MD in 2011?

K: You certainly can expect continued research by Dr. Perricone for revolutionary technologies and ingredients in the skincare field.  A self tanner called No Sun Tanner is in the works. Perhaps even a sensitive skin range of products. And hmmm; might our world be filled with a bit of color?    I’m just saying……without saying…