Q & A with Robert P. Manzo, president of Skinprint

Robert P. Manzo.jpgWhat was the path that led you into the spa industry?

I worked as a cosmetic chemist and clinical researcher for Fortune 100 companies for 25 years. I knew as a researcher that skincare products can be formulated with much higher strengths and efficacy if they were recommended by skin professionals and not sold online. I started Skinprint in 2002 to deliver the highest efficacy skincare cosmeceuticals in the spa market. Ensuring that only spa professionals have access to Skinprint products protects their business and provides the best performance products on the market.

What has surprised you most about working in the spa industry?

Coming from a research and development and clinical research background, the level and quality of education on skincare available to professionals in the spa industry was surprising to me. Spa professionals are constantly hungry for accurate and useful information and many of them tell me it is hard to find. I spend a lot of time teaching professionals how to read a product’s label copy of ingredients, for instance. It is in an old chemist language and is not easy to understand. If they can understand basic skin anatomy and physiology and the ingredients that are put on the skin, then they can predict more reliably what result will occur on skin. It’s extremely rewarding when I can impart some knowledge in this regard.

If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would it be?

Interestingly, when I hire cosmetic chemists all over the world, I start by asking them if they like to cook. While there is a vast amount of technology to sift through when formulating skincare cosmeceuticals, at the end of the day, a great chemist understands the technology but delivers a product that feels good, smells good, and has great sensorial properties. When a woman uses a great product, it should be experiential. Great chefs work the same way, they know their ingredients well, understand how to prepare the food, and make it a great experience—one worth going back for. I think my other profession would be a chef.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

I’ve been involved with the Look Good...Feel Good program throughout my career. This program helps women with cancer to look better during and after cancer treatments and, therefore, feel better. I am often asked if there is anything I can do for a patient who has a skin condition as a side effect of a treatment. In conjunction with their physician, we often help patients minimize serious skin side effects. It is very rewarding to use the power of newer skincare technology to help patients like this look and feel better.

Where do you think the industry is heading?

The industry is definitely heading toward a more efficacy-driven position. Many more women and men are seeking professional skin experts to solve their skin esthetics challenges that they cannot find from mass market products or those online. This will continue for some time due to the aging demographics we see. We are also seeing a more educated younger consumer who is serious about preventative care to not only enhance their aesthetics but also prolong their good skin health. We have also seen several skincare brands in our industry bought by large pharmaceutical companies and others bought by large mass marketing companies. The industry is consolidating a bit now due to these large company influences. We will continue to see more companies in our industry grow rapidly with efficacy-driven positions solving the difficult problems that we are all faced within this industry.