"Our purpose is to create products which treat the cause of aging at the cellular level, not just symptoms at the surface," said Purvis, who maintains that aging skin is self-induced and both preventable and reversible. "We're not into me-too or things that work only at the surface. If you combine the right products with the right diet, you'd be amazed at what you can do."
That view has its roots in Purvis' previous entrepreneurial endeavor, NutriMax, a global manufacturer of nutritional supplements. Antiaging became a major focus for him after a seminar in New Zealand, Purvis said. "The lecturer spoke of certain raw materials capable of reducing inflammation at a cellular level," he said, "and I learned that inflammation is caused primarily by lifestyle, diet, stress, pollution, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption. It intrigued me, and from there, I knew I wanted to get into face care and body care."
Along the way, Purvis met John Knowlton, a cosmetic chemist who had long stints developing products for Johnson & Johnson, Avon and other major cosmetics companies. Then Skin Nutrition was born.
Skin Nutrition's first products, the Essential Anti-Oxidant range, was launched in 2002, using South Africa — where the company is currently based — as a testing ground. (Later this year, Purvis plans to move Skin Nutrition's operations to Los Angeles.) Distribution in Europe followed, including Selfridges in the U.K., as well as doors in Malaysia and Australia.
The line has grown to include the Advanced Peptide Therapy Facial range, with seven products ranging in price from $120 for a Facial Resurfacing Exfoliator to $190 for a Face Lifting Gel, and the Body Beautiful skin care range, with seven products ranging in price from $80 for Therapeutic Massage Oil to $125 for Body Rejuvenation Lotion.