A Day in the Life of Restorsea CEO Patricia Pao

Restorsea CEO Patti Pao found her business idea in a salmon hatchery.

Restorsea CEO Patti Pao found her business idea in a salmon hatchery.

Founding and running a luxury skincare brand is exhausting: Patricia Pao, the CEO of New York City-based Restorsea, sleeps 4 hours a night without an alarm clock, has racked up 150,000 flight miles on United Airlines, and recently got back from Oslo (try Alex Sushi, she suggests; ask for Wolfgang, the co-owner and manager). She walks to work when in town. To relax, she relies on Pilates, guided meditation, and a trampoline. We asked Pao, a veteran beauty executive who started Restorsea three years ago, about her daily schedule, her own beauty regimen, and what she’s seeing in the skincare world. Perhaps her answers will provide inspiration for those of you reading who are thinking of creating your own cbd skincare brand at some stage in the near future.

– How did Restorsea come about?

When I graduated from Harvard Business School all I wanted to do is work in the beauty business. My poor dad asked me, “Why can’t you be an investment banker or consultant like everyone else?” My first job in the beauty business was with Avon. It was there that I learned that I was really good at finding new technologies and ingredients and turning them into blockbuster brands. I discovered the potential of glycolic acid as an anti-aging active ingredient and helped to create the billion-dollar Avon Anew franchise.

In August 2010, I was touring a salmon hatchery and saw that the workers’ hands, which were constantly submerged in the baby salmon post-hatching fluid, looked like they were 20 years old while their faces looked much older than their actual ages. The reason why is because of an enzyme that baby salmon release at birth. Unlike a chicken who can physically peck its way out of its eggshell, a baby salmon can’t get out of its eggshell unassisted. Therefore, when it is ready to be born, it releases an enzyme. This enzyme is designed to only dissolve the eggshell so that the baby salmon can swim safely out of the opening carved by the enzyme. When this enzyme is applied to human skin, it only dissolves the dead skin cells leaving the living skin cells untouched and able to thrive. Plus, we believe that the amniotic fluid from the eggshell has anti-aging properties and the eggshell fragments have skin strengthening properties. The workers’ hands, submerged in the post-hatching waters, were constantly exposed to this enzyme.

I spent a year formulating a day cream and an eye cream and in August 2011 I sent lab samples to beauty executive Pat Saxby at Bergdorf Goodman. A month later she called and said that she would take the brand. And that was the beginning of Restorsea.

– Walk us through a recent day in your life.

5:00AM Wake up, feed cats (Max & Peter) and bird (Woody), clean bird cage. Now I know what it’s like to live on an urban farm…
5:15AM Read The New York Times, WWD, WSJ. I read three newspapers every day.
5:30AM Jump in the shower and cleanse my face with Restorsea Reviving Cleanser and the latest lab sample of our Body Wash which will be launching in the first quarter of 2015.
6:30AM Assemble my nut mix for the office. We are trying to eat healthy. My nut mix recipe is: 1 cup of unsalted: macadamia nuts, cashew nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, dried cherries, dried apricots (chopped) and dried figs (chopped).
7:00AM Guided meditation with my instructor Naomi Ponce de Leon.
8:00AM Walk to the office. It’s about two miles, but I started doing this because since starting Restorsea, I barely have any time to exercise.
9:15AM Speak via phone or email with our MD Affiliates. These are licensed aesthetic physicians who recommend and give the Restorsea Regimen (Cleanser, Serum, Day Cream, Eye Cream) to their extremely loyal patients and in turn receive 10% of the orders for 10 years.
11:00AM Make a Starbucks run (Grande Misto). Sitting is the new smoking. It shortens our telomeres, which are responsible for aging. So I make a concerted effort to get up and walk around.
12:00PM Meet with NextBee to discuss developing Restorsea Rewards, a loyalty and referral program which we are planning to launch in the first quarter of 2015.
2:00PM Break for lunch. When I am in the office I make smoothies for everyone. Today’s recipe is: 2 cups of kale, 1 cup filtered water, 1 cup coconut water, ½ cup almond milk, 1 cup blueberries, ½ cup raspberries and 1 banana, and blend well. This recipe makes 2 servings.
3:00PM Meet with Restorsea Conference team regarding our conference schedule. Our weekends are spent exhibiting and speaking at medical conferences.
6:30PM Update with my co-founder and business partner, Muneer Satter. He is a genius. The universe gives all of us one gift—he is a very successful business man and is always six steps ahead of me. I say that when the money waterfall flows, I am running back and forth trying to catch the droplets. In contrast, Muneer has a huge dumpster positioned directly under the flow of the waterfall.
7:30PM Begin the walk home (in the pouring rain).
8:30PM Feed my cats.
9:30PM Write the weekly Restorsea newsletter, and answer MyRestorsea customer profile inquires. Our app, MyRestorsea (available in the iTunes store) enables you to 1) virtually “try on” the Day Cream and Eye cream, 2) complete a personalized skincare profile and send to me for 3) a custom consultation. From October 6-November 30 we will be offering a FREE Day Cream (value: $150) to the first 1,000 to download the app, fill out and send their personal profiles to me for a custom consultation. We pride ourselves on our customer service and answer all correspondence within 24 hours.
11:00PM I need to read for an hour before going to bed. I read between 3-6 books a week. I just finished reading The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy and The Two Faces of January by Patricia Highsmith; they are both great beach reads. I am re-reading Katherine Neville’s The Fire, A Calculated Risk and The Eight. For non-fiction, I am currently reading Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys and rereading one of my favorite business books, The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.

– What’s in your toiletry case when you travel?

For makeup: mascara (Black Ecstasy), lip/cheek color (Stila Convertible Color in Poppy), Nars: The Multiple Makeup Stick in Orgasm, Givenchy Waterproof Ombre Couture Cream Eye Shadow in Taupe, and Laura Mercier Tinted Foundation SPF 20 in Nude.

For skincare, I carry the following from Restorsea: Reviving Cleanser, Revitalizing Eye Cream, Rejuvenating Day Cream, 24kt Liquid Gold Face Oil, Repairing Neck and Decolletage Gel, Retexturizing Body Butter, and Revitalizing Scalp Treatment.

– What trends are you seeing in skincare today?

Face Oils: The concept was formulated in the ‘70’s by Shu Uemura. He believed (and was right) that in order to fight oil, you need oil. The tendency of people with oily skin is to strip the skin of the oil. By doing so, it tricks the body into thinking the skin is dehydrated and it actually starts producing more oil. Applying oil to the skin causes the body to regulate sebum production because it thinks that the skin is hydrated. I believe that face oil will be a part of the standard skincare regimen. To use face oils correctly, you need to pat on the oil over your moisturizer. Why? Because if you apply the oil before the moisturizer, you’re preventing the moisturizer from penetrating into the skin cells because it can’t pass through the oil. But if you apply the moisturizer first and then pat the oil on top, the oil creates a moisture barrier, sealing the moisturizer into the skin and preventing the air from making it dissipate.