Camille Coton is the story of a beauty product to help your skin, but it's also the story of Lisa Cohorn, an entrepreneur who left the corporate world to strike out on her own.
Cohorn had a long career in the beauty industry, working for companies such as Estée Lauder and Mary Kay where she helped create lotions, lipsticks, fragrance and foundations. The creating part was what she loved; the corporate part not so much. After 17 years, it was time.
Camille Coton is her attempt to create a youthful elixir with two products: Soft Microdermabrasion Cream and BB Bloom Balm Oil Serum. You use the two together as a treatment to make your skin smooth and glowing.
First you apply the cream to your face, neck or chest. The cream softens dead skin cells, which you remove with a towel. You follow that with the serum, which she says soothes and protects. The products are designed to replace more invasive techniques.
"As you age, your skin does not exfoliate like it does when you're younger," Cohorn says. "When you don't shed those bad skin cells, it makes you look older. That's why people get microderm treatments, but those use crystals that are either sand-blasted onto your face or else mixed into a cream with acids. Both of these can cause a bad reaction and irritate your skin.
"This has no acids, no crystals, no scrubbies, nothing environmentally harmful," she says. "It's like a cold cream. You let it sit on your face for a minute or two, and the dead skin rubs off. This was attempt was to do something that won't rip your face off."
Part of her motivation was the untimely passing of her aunt, who died after undergoing plastic surgery on her nose.
"She went in for plastic surgery and never woke up," Cohorn says. "It turned out she had sleep apnea and had stopped breathing. But it made me realize that there had to be a more subtle course than plastic surgery."
Cohorn used the connections she'd made in the beauty industry, including a local chemist. They'd meet at Starbucks, brainstorming ways to exfoliate skin using soft, nurturing ingredients such as almond oil and marula oil, which has become a favorite new beauty potion.
"These are non-pore-clogging oils," she says. "People used to think that you had to have an oil-free product. Maybe that was the case in the '70s and '80s when they weren't using natural oils. But we're starting to understand that a product with natural oils will balance out."
She says the product is great for all skin tones, including darker skin. "Microdermabrasion can disrupt the melanin in darker skin, and our products are a great alternative that won't cause harm," she says. And rather than go to a clinic or doctor, you can do the treatment yourself in your own home.
For now, Cohorn is the only employee at Camille Coton; she has the products made in a local lab in small batches. The company name is a nod to her background and to a former flame.
"I grew up on a cotton farm," she says. "I used to hoe and pick cotton. It's near and dear to my heart. And there was a French guy I once fell in love with. It's an ode to that."
She launched the line in early June. Products can be purchased online at Camille Coton or Amazon, and they are priced between $34-$85.
"I feel like everyone is beautiful, and we get so caught up in the this crazy 'how you look' society," she says. "I wanted to create something that makes someone feel and look good, without having to do something radical."