Interview with Isabel V, founder of skinIV
Updated: Mar 3, 2022
When it comes to skincare, there’s no shortage of what can affect skin health and appearance. Many causes, we can’t even see with our own eyes.
Isabel is the founder of skinIV, an upcoming line of skincare products which will utilize probiotics to regulate and care for the skin’s microbiome. What is the skin microbiome? Simply put, it’s the ecosystem of trillions of “good” bacteria that helps keep our skin healthy.
“skinIV aims to rebalance your microbiome and improve your skin’s overall appearance, texture and feel,” said Isabel. “The formula is for people who may have tried everything, and haven’t found a solution for their skin. It’s also for people who are fine with their skin health, and would just like to improve it.”
According to Isabel, companies have tried to use probiotics in skincare products before, but the issue has been keeping the bacteria alive long enough in the formula to reach the skin. This means that they can’t truly be classified as probiotic. With skinIV, Isabel is determined to deliver a true probiotic skincare product that protects the skin’s microbiome.
Currently residing in Michigan, Isabel studied PR and Advertising at DePaul's College of Communication. She graduated in 2020, where following graduation she started working for one of the largest cosmetic companies in the world.
Q: What was the "ah-ha"moment which started skinIV?
Isabel: “After college, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. While driving for work one day, I was listening to a podcast with the founder of a well-known skincare brand. She was talking about how she created her skincare line as a stay-at-home mom, cooking up these skincare products right in her kitchen.
In my head, I was like, ‘this is so crazy, that she’s just able to do this from her kitchen,’ you know?
At that moment, I had this weird craving for building something that was my own. I already had so much love for this industry, and I don’t even know how to describe the feeling. I was almost searching for a company type to start, and it hadn’t even clicked for it to be skincare until I heard this interview.
I remember that night, I came home and instantly started researching how to build a skincare formula; what are the components of it, what do I want it to do. That night, I had actually drafted my first formula.”
Q: What led to your interest in probiotics?
Isabel: “Probiotics came about because of my interest in health and fitness. I listen to a lot of health & biology-focused podcasts. On this one show, they were talking about the gut microbiome, and the gut-brain-skin axis. Specifically, the use of probiotics in the gut – how that improved your gut microbiome.
I thought to myself, ‘wow, that’s pretty interesting. I wonder if these have any application on the skin?’ At first, it was really a fleeting thought.
I went home that evening to research, and I truly opened Pandora’s Box. I discovered there is so much going on. It’s such a new industry that I could really make my niche here. Nobody is doing this currently, and there’s so much information and we’re right on the cusp of it. It’s such an exciting field to be a part of.”
Q: What else was behind your leap into entrepreneurship?
Isabel: “The most important thing to me is my time. For me, a rich life is not found in monetary value, but in ‘do I have autonomy over my life? Am I able to prioritize where I spend my time?’ I make it a point to attach as much meaning and enjoyment into every moment that I can.
Entrepreneurship has really elevated that for me. All of the time I’m spending working on skinIV, I feel like I’m doing something that’s good for me, and good for my community. It feels like I’m building something, and that’s very rewarding as far as life goes.”
Q: What role has content played in skinIV, and why is it so important to have strong content?
Isabel: “As I was doing all of this research for my own line, I found that I had this huge accumulation of knowledge. So, I decided one day, ‘hey, I’ll just start a blog.’
To be honest, at first I was like, ‘I’ll just put it out there and whatever comes of it, comes of it.’ Now, in retrospect, that was such a good thing that I did because it builds credibility and your customer base. People follow it and see you’re really investing your time, doing the research and getting your nose into all of the intricacies of skincare and how the skin works. As far as collaborating with other professionals, it's a great way to build community and build business for yourself. It’s been a huge part of it, but also one of the most challenging.
At first, it was challenging to put myself out there like that (on Instagram). Sometimes, I think I’m a little too self aware in that respect for the digital space. But you’ve got to do it, it’s part of the game and I would just keep telling myself, ‘you’re doing it for the business.’”
Q: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Isabel: “I really love the building process. Whether that be the website, or my formula, or expanding my network, building a whole unit continues to be a very rewarding experience.
Seeing all of my research and work come to fruition is another major piece. I currently have one pilot batch, to test out the probiotics. That has garnered some very interesting results, and seeing that is amazing. It’s all so exciting!”
Q: For student entrepreneurs reading this, what would you recommend they invest their time in?
Isabel: “Connections and networking, by far. Having people skills and learning how to garner those relationships is the most important thing. You never know who can help you out in the future, and networking has been a major part of building skinIV. If I would’ve known skinIV would be my future, I probably would’ve done a better job of picking out certain people and building relationships while I was still in college. Having skills to network is super important.
There’s the phrase, “pay it forward.” One of the most surprising things as an entrepreneur is how willing people are to network and help you. When you have somebody coming to you, help them out. That piece of it is really interesting, because it’s so true.
Finally, don’t be afraid to start. Nothing is ever going to be perfect, and just getting your foot in the door is a major step in itself. Just lay that brick, and once you lay that one, lay the next one. One thing at a time, and your initial idea starts to gain momentum.”
To learn more about skinIV or reach out to Isabel, you can visit her website at skiniv.com or connect through Instagram at @skiniv.co. Be sure to give her page a follow!