Debbie Matenopoulos—the Emmy-nominated TV journalist responsible for portraying one of the warmest personalities on television—has translated her talents into the beauty space through her clean skincare line, IKARIA Beauty. With a collection of wellness supplements and skincare products that draw on the star’s own Greek roots and California lifestyle, IKARIA adds a much-needed refresh to today’s beauty market.
We had the chance to connect with Matenopoulos and ask her questions about IKARIA Beauty, the importance in tapping into her Greek heritage for the project, and the value in building a clean beauty brand.
Contemporary Fashion Magazine: I read that you have been working on this product line for years. Where did you get the inspiration to start Ikaria Beauty?
Debbie Matenopoulos: I have had skin allergies my whole life and have spent thousands of dollars trying to find something that did not irritate my skin. I could never find anything that worked so I looked to my roots and decided to create something similar to the skincare routines my Greek relatives have been using for centuries.
CFM: You’ve always been very vocal and proud of your Greek roots. How special has it been getting to incorporate elements of that into this line?
DM: It has meant the world to me! I love that I am able to share these age old and age defying tips that my family and so many others in the Mediterranean have been practicing for years. The entire line is based on my Greek heritage. For centuries women in Greece and the Mediterranean have been using natural products from the area that are incredibly effective to keep their skin looking youthful, vibrant, and healthy. If you look at the people who live in that part of the world you will notice they look decades younger than they actually are, despite spending so much time in the sun. They also live much longer healthier lives than most other people around the world.
CFM: What steps did you take to ensure the brand was built on clean products?
DM: Our team researched and compiled a list of over 50 harmful ingredients that are commonly used in the beauty industry. We use that as a “never include” list whenever we start formulating a new product. We test and review all of our product formulations from beginning to end to ensure we only have the best ingredients.
CFM: With so many different skincare and beauty products out on the market right now, what do you think it is that sets Ikaria Beauty apart?
DM: Authenticity is what sets my clean skin care apart from the others. I set out to create this skin care line because I was truly looking for a solution for my own skin allergies and irritations. In doing so, I realized I didn’t have to look much further than my ancestors. I have never been the type of person who would just put my name on something just because. If it doesn’t deliver results I wouldn’t ask someone to spend their hard-earned money on it.
What Ikaria offers that’s unique is using natural ingredients to achieve the same or better results as chemical ones. For example, the Ikaria Renew daytime retinol serum uses a cool, plant-based ingredient called Bakuchoil that’s a natural alternative to traditional retinol. So, it delivers the anti-aging effects without the drying and irritation of regular retinol products. And of course, I’m proud that my skincare line honors my Greek heritage in moniker and ingredients – there’s not too many Greek-facing skincare lines out there!
CFM: Looking ahead, how would you like to see Ikaria Beauty expand?
DM: I would like to expand into an entire range that covers everything from a cleansing foam, masks, sunscreen, firming and toning body butters, salt scrubs and bath soaks. All of the products will invoke the feels and the smells of the Mediterranean. The sky’s the limit really.
For more information on Ikaria Beauty, visit https://ikariabeauty.com/.