Anne Onwusowulu

The House of Purple Rose founder talks about the effects of stress on skin, and why skinimalism is a beauty trend we should get behind

The idea behind House of Purple Rose was conceived after you suffered stress-related skin problems and couldn’t find a solution on the market. Can you tell us what exactly happened to your skin, and how you created the ideal product to deal with your issues?

I started suffering an unusual amount of breakouts on my face – it seemed as if my skin was suddenly purging and it left multiple dark spots and marks on my face. My skin became uneven and dull and I became very conscious of my looks and desperate to find the one thing or many things that could help.

I tried so many different products to try to solve the problem; some helped with stopping the fresh spots and drying them out, but none helped with the dark spots and marks left behind, and that was my main concern. Therefore, I decided to try to make my own product to solve this.

I started Googling, researching heavily, joined different DIY community groups to create something, and from my research I was able to make a formulation that actually helped with gradually fading my spots. I started noticing the positive progress, close family and friends noticed and commented, and my confidence came back.

A few friends that suffered same concerns started asking what I used to achieve my results – I then decided to formally get educated and understand skin, what ingredients to use and how to use them properly to create products that are effective and promote a healthy skin tone  – and that was how HOPR was born.

Anne Onwusowulu
Anne Onwusowulu

How does prolonged or intense stress have an effect on skin?

Stress can cause new skin issues to develop or existing skin issues to flare up. Prolonged stress aggravates existing inflammatory skin conditions.

Cortisol is the primary stress hormone in humans that regulates a wide range of stress responses. Cortisol leads to an overproduction of sebum (oil) in your skin glands, which then causes acne breakouts. Multiple neuroinflammatory conditions can be triggered or aggravated by stress, and can cause uneven skin and premature wrinkles.

What are your tips for managing stress to avoid skin issues?

Stress is very common and every now and again we do get stressed so my tips are:

  • Maintain a good skin care routine every day, even on days when you feel too tired or anxious.
  • Identify your stress triggers and try to keep them low.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that will improve your energy, mood, and outlook.
  • Keep an eye on your food and diet and make it healthy  – sometimes when we are stressed, we tend to binge eat less healthy options. Processed foods trigger inflammation.
  • Get enough sleep where possible
  • Find the time to engage in a relaxing, re-energising activity that makes you happy. Take a warm bath, get a massage, meditate, or practice yoga and deep breathing exercises.
House of Purple Rose

The gold flakes in your flagship Regenerating Gold Concentrate Serum are definitely luxurious, but what do they do for the skin?

Gold, as we know, is a precious stone and when used in formulations for the skin, it generally makes the skin more radiant and smoother.

A study was carried out on 12 female volunteers by the Skin Test Institute on the efficacy of the 23k gold flakes grade that we use in our serum and they found that skin firmness was increased by 13%. Skin appeared more radiant at 1 month and 2 months and with less visible wrinkles, and generally skin was smoother.

What does ‘perfect skin’ mean to you?  

Personally I feel that there is no perfect skin – I would rather say 'healthy skin with an even skin tone'.

Tell us more about your background as a cosmetic formulator and herbalist!

I started out joining different DIY communities and then formally enrolled with Formula Botanica for their International skincare entrepreneur course. Alongside this, I took other cosmetic training with Perry Romanowski and the Institute of Personal Care Science. Whilst studying as a formulator I also studied herbalism with Herbal Academy and Herbal Hub.

House of Purple Rose

‘Skinminiimalism’ (embracing minimalist skincare routines) is a popular trend for 2021 - what do you think about this concept?  

This concept is focused on using what you really need to achieve the results. So, basically, focus on using the minimum number of products possible for maximum result. Using many products doesn’t necessarily lend itself to results. In fact, using a range of different products can actually exacerbate the skin issues one has.

I like this concept - it helps to do away with all the random trialling of any products one sees. Narrowing down to a routine which is more likely to be cleansing, refreshing, treating, and protecting

The key to achieving healthy skin is understanding your skin concerns – what your skin requires and using targeted products for the identified needs.

Where do you see House of Purple Rose in five years’ time?

To be a global go-to brand for women of colour – a brand that the everyday woman will seek to help with their daily skin concerns and to see our products in retail outlets (online and stores).

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