Lab notes  /  Industry  /  Meet Allies of Skin and PSA Founder, Nicolas Travis

Meet Allies of Skin and PSA Founder, Nicolas Travis

Get to know the brands and how they became Renude approved

Pippa HarmanCo-Founder Renude
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Pippa Harman
Written byPippa HarmanCo-Founder Renude
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Trigger Warning: The content of this blog may be emotionally challenging. This interview is a first hand account of personal experiences that discusses topics including and around mental health, reconstructive plastic surgery and suicide. 

As a team of aestheticians, skincare fanatics and cosmetic scientists, we select the products and brands we work with based on how well they align with our ethos to deliver results, be clear and clinically relevant and support the skin’s ever-changing journey. When we met up with Allies Group, we knew that the brands Nicolas had built - and why - were perfectly aligned with our mission. 

It wasn’t long before Allies of Skin and PSA became Renude Approved and a select range of their products are now available for our aestheticians to recommend to our members as part of their principled skincare routines through video and photo consultations. 

To celebrate Allies of Skin and PSA launching across the Renude website as Renude Approved brands, we sat down with Founder Nicolas Travis so we could show you for ourselves, exactly why these brands have been chosen to help our members achieve momentous skin. 

So Nic, how did your path to being a beauty brand founder begin?

When I was 19 I slipped and fell in the bathroom, breaking several parts of my face, and I needed to have reconstructive surgery. Because I didn't have much money and was spending part of my time in Bangkok, I decided to get it done there. I went to the best hospital and who I thought was a good surgeon. He was a professor at a top university and specialised in microsurgery, complicated surgeries where severed body parts and tissues are fused back together. I figured, if he could do that, he could fix my face. What I didn't know then, in my naivety, was that just because a doctor has an interest in plastic and reconstructive surgery doesn't mean they can actually do the job. 

The surgery was an utter failure. I ended up with two infections, necrosis, and dents on my face. From 19 to 21, I went back to the operating room five times to try to fix the dents left by the infection and the scars left by the negligence, but they weren't successful. I kept trying because I thought I needed to be fixed, but I just ended up with more damage and scar tissue. I felt like a complete failure. 

On my 21st birthday, I remember looking in the mirror and feeling so ugly and stupid. It was the first time in my life that I felt like killing myself. I felt that way every day for years.

I went for weekly therapy and was prescribed antidepressants shortly after. My therapist said, "Let's say you can't kill yourself; what would you do? If you had no choice but to live, what would you want to achieve when you're 30?” It was then that I came up with the idea of having a skincare line. I figured that since I had to live with the damage on my face, my skin was a modality that I could change and be in control of. More importantly, after having severe acne and the accident, if I was crawling out my skin every day and hating myself, I know other people would have similar experiences. If I could help one person feel better about themself through their skin, then my painful experience would have been worth something.  

What is the Allies philosophy and why is it so important in today's cosmeceutical climate?

Our Allies of Skin philosophy is about delivering results you can see and feel. We aspire to help our allies feel fearless in their skin. So, we strive to deliver more results with fewer steps, hence, our focus is on clinical active ingredients at % that make a difference. Customers want products that work, period.

What led you to set up a second brand?

I was inspired by customers who are also makeup lovers. They were always looking for solutions to help their skin look better under makeup. That’s where the idea for PSA came from. PSA is clinical skincare engineered for makeup lovers. Think of PSA as an insurance policy – you can wear all the makeup you want, and when you use our products, you don’t have to worry about the state of your skin. We will take care of breakouts, dark spots, fine lines, enlarged pores, dryness, and dullness.

Why has Allies chosen to partner with Renude?

We knew it would be a perfect partnership as Allies of Skin brings some of the newest formulations and ingredients to the market, many of which customers may not be familiar with but hesitant to try. For us, great skincare should be accessible to all and knowledge is a massive part of this so Renude’s unique service of allowing customers to speak to qualified, experienced aestheticians to guide their routines empowers the customer and allows them to discover the latest and greatest in a safe space.

If you could de-influence one thing, what would it be and why?

Hyaluronic Acid. It's a good ingredient, but it's not the magic panacea. In full transparency, we have a Hyaluronic Acid Serum in our Allies of Skin portfolio, but Hyaluronic Acid is just a supporting actor in the formula.

Our Hyaluronic serum has maxed-out antioxidants like 2% Superoxide Dismutase, 5% Resveratrol Ferment, 2% Vitamin E, 2% Licorice Root, Adenosine. So, it's more than just a Hyaluronic Acid serum. We use Hyaluronic Acid in the name because that's what every retailer requested. 

If you could take three products to a desert island what would they be?

  1. PSA LIGHT UP Vitamin C & E Flash Brightening Mask
  2. PSA MIDNIGHT COURAGE Rosehip & Retinoid Night Oil
  3. Allies of Skin Peptides & Antioxidants Firming Daily Treatment 

If you would like a skincare routine that is selected for you, from a range of brands - that could even include PSA or Allies of skin - in order to help you achieve your skin goals, take our skin health quiz as a first step!

Our members can speak with their aestheticians through their personal dashboards to enquire about the full PSA and Allies of Skin range in relation to their skin goals. 

Pippa HarmanCo-Founder Renude
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