We sat down with Irene Forte to discuss her style, wellness routine and skincare favourites. With her ‘Natura e Scienza’ vision, Irene Forte is the founder, leader and driving force behind Irene Forte Skincare. As the Wellness Consultant of Rocco Forte Hotels and an Advisory Board Member of the Global Wellness Summit, Irene has always understood the importance of a holistic approach to beauty. This is reflected in her constant emphasis on nourishing, organic ingredients. However, natural ingredients alone don’t guarantee results, so Irene has married nature with science to make it possible for the latest scientific understanding to drive product performance.
Tell me about you / your business?
I'm an Italian that was born / grew up in London. I worked in my family's hotel business for almost a decade before setting up my skincare line, Irene Forte Skincare.
Characterised as ‘Natural Science’, Irene Forte Skincare is all about achieving outstanding results with natural ingredients. Our formulations are shaped by 35 years of skincare research and development thanks to my amazing Scientific Director, Dr. Francesca Ferri. Together, we've introduced novel ingredients in products which have shown outstanding activity in independent clinical trials. For all Irene Forte products, the core ingredients come from Verdura Resort's organic farm in Sicily (a place that lies close to my heart). Alongside these, we've integrated zero-waste upcycled ingredients, made from nutrient-rich plant-based leftovers; all of our ingredients are vegan. Indeed, sustainability is a primary business focus for us and something that I built into the DNA of my business from the beginning.
Describe your style?
I'm a conservative dresser and like to be comfortable. I love high-waisted skirts and flares. I love colours and prints. I also like to be in gym gear whenever it's acceptable!
How do you workout each week?
I’ve always been relatively ‘sporty’ and I’ve tried not to lose that since leaving school (a long time ago now). I tend to work out 4 times a week. One session will be just cross-trainer because I tend to be short of time. I’m a member of Equinox so I tend to do a mix of different high-Intensity interval training classes there; this includes Tabata, Boxing and Barry’s style running classes. I might also mix this up with some Reformer Pilates at Heartcore and some Barre at Barrecore. On a beautiful day, I’ll run in Kensington Park Gardens.
How do you recharge/ clear your head / stay focused ?
I think the most important thing for me is sleep. I sleep 8.5 hours per night. ‘Why We Sleep’ by Matthew Walker was a great book that helped me understand the importance of sleep.
A healthy and balanced diet is also key for me. I follow a Mediterranean diet, which is widely believed to be the cleanest, healthiest and most balanced diet in the world, associated with good health and longevity. It is not about faddy trends and unsustainable eating habits (just like my skincare).
I also love to have regular treatments. I like all sorts of treatments; they help me unwind, recharge and relax.
And lastly, I would say regular exercise, vital for good health, and for me to stay sane.
What is a trusted quote or advice you live by?
Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Where are you dreaming of travelling to and how will you pack?
Being Italian by blood, I adore travelling to Italy. Be it Rome, Florence, the Tuscan countryside, Puglia, Venice... the list is endless. In particular, I’m extremely attached to Sicily. I fell in love with the island when I worked for our resort, Verdura, for six months in 2006. Its landscapes, culture, food, people, and sense of family are unrivaled. So, I'm dreaming of traveling to Sicily.
In terms of what I would pack:
- Lots of Lucas Hugh, as I'm always active there.
- Some Lido swimwear (sustainable and entirely made in Venice).
- Some Olivia von Halle silk pyjamas; they are my essential travel companions for a good night’s sleep, no matter what season.
- My new Essenziali Rigeneranti Kit, which contains Irene Forte Skincare's six regenerating hero products.
- It’s so important to always wear SPF and I never travel without my eltaMD clear tinted broad-spectrum one. It’s a lightly tinted facial sunscreen and is great as a make-up base alternative. What’s more, it's paraben and phthalate-free and is rich in hyaluronic acid and vitamin E – basically skin food.
- I’m not a big make-up person, but RMS’s "Un" Cover-Up concealer is great when paired with my Elta-MD tinted facial sunscreen. The concealer is a skin-perfecting, illuminating concealer that I use under my eyes, lightly applying it with my ring finger. I love this because it’s clean and doesn’t dry out the skin under my eyes.
Favourite beauty essential or treatment?
I don’t have one favourite beauty essential or treatment. However, I would say there are three beauty products that I can’t live without. They are part of my Irene Forte Skincare Myoxinol™ regime: Hibiscus Serum, Prickly Pear Face Cream and Hibiscus Night Cream. Alongside each other in clinical trials, the Hibiscus Serum, Prickly Pear Face Cream and Hibiscus Night Cream deliver visible wrinkle reduction that gets more and more noticeable the longer the products are used.
Do you have a recommended book/ podcast or show?
I love the book Shoe Dog by Phil Knight who created Nike. He is a case in point that success isn’t handed to you, his story is amazing.
Favourite pieces from the Lucas Hugh collection?
It's actually the only workout clothing that I wear. It's the absolute best. The performance V2 leggings are the most flattering workout leggings I've ever worn.