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5 Questions With... Ken Simpson
Ken Simpson of Skin 2 Skin Care
Three years before he became the CEO and founder of Skin 2 Skin Care, Ken Simpson’s life took an urgent and unexpected turn. It was 2005, and Simpson was enjoying a successful career developing skincare products for a luxury resort chain. But then doctors diagnosed the fit, workaholic 54-year-old with a brain tumor. He was ordered to take more than two months off to undergo five-day-a-week radiation therapy.
The drugs shrunk the tumor, but left Simpson’s skin discolored, raw and showing signs of accelerated aging. “I’d always been conscious of organic and natural ingredients, but now I needed something totally noncarcinogenic and chemical-free, that would also restore my skin,” Simpson says. So he spent hours online, researching product ingredients. “It kept me from dwelling on self-pity.”
When he couldn’t find exactly what he was looking for, he called a lab and had them deliver raw materials to his house. Simpson’s at-home experimentation culminated in the creation of a formula he dubbed Aging Intervention Cream. “Within five days of using it,” he says, “I looked like myself again.” It was the birth of Skin 2 Skin Care, a non-toxic line that combines certified organic extracts with the highest possible peptide concentrations.
Since its founding in 2008, Skin 2 Skin Care has received numerous beauty awards and a PETA certification for being cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. And Simpson has, thankfully, become healthier than ever. “This company was founded to help people heal,” he says of Skin 2 Skin Care’s near-overnight success. “We operate from the heart.“ —Katie O’Reilly
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Other 5 Questions With... Interviews: Barbara Panagos | Linda Nelson | Boldijarre Koronczay | Linda Appel Lipsius | Tony Cuccio | Dr. Howard Murad | Zvi Ryzman | Lisa Crary
Have you been cancer-free since completing radiation treatment in 2006?
No, eight months later I became extremely ill again. The doctors were baffled; it seemed like I was doing everything right, food- and medicine-wise. I was told I had to make a life change: leave my job, or I would die. So I quit and devoted myself to the Skin 2 Skin Care line. I still go into the office every day, but it’s a joy. The stress is totally of a different nature—wanting to do the best and most healing things we can. I went to the doctor a couple months later and they were like, ‘What have you done? You’re so much healthier.’
How did you celebrate your recovery?
I took a vacation to Capri, Italy, and then Rome to see the Coliseum and the ancient ruins. I’m a history buff—it was my minor in college—so I’m absolutely in love with that city.
What’s the most common mistake you see day spa owners making?
Treating the retail side like a secondary aspect of their business, when it should be primary. Protocols and selling treatments are important, but you have to look at yourself like a doctor, sending your clientele off with a prescription of what you believe they should be using and informing clients about their skin when they’re in the treatment room. So many don’t realize how this can double your business!
What’s your ‘miracle’ skincare ingredient?
Alpha lipoic acid is an amazing energizer for the cells, helping them rebuild and become stronger, which makes your organs regenerate cells more easily. It’s the only universal antioxidant, protecting the outside and inside of your cells. It also prevents UVA damage to collagen. It really helped my skin heal.
What would you tell your 30-year-old self if you could go back in time?
Don’t take everything so seriously! Enjoy everything and everyone. When something goes wrong, laugh about it! And if you dislike someone, don’t hold onto that anger and carry it around with you.
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