Q&A: We chat with Hollywood’s renowned skin specialist Mila Moursi

With more than 35 years experience in the industry and a celebrity clientele comprising Hollywood’s elite — not to mention a collection of day spas, institutes and skincare lines under her belt— it’s clear to see that skincare specialist Mila Moursi is truly a force to be reckoned with. In a bid to learn more about the face behind the eponymous brand (and to discover what really goes into those celebrity, pre-award beauty regimes) we tracked down Ms Moursi for a quick Q&A.

What inspired you to work in the world of skincare? 
From an early age, my grandmother was very influential, encouraging my love for plants and flowers and helping me to understand their connection to beauty. She was like a mad scientist with her garden being her laboratory, where at any given point she was making natural face masks, toners, hydrating tonics. 

How did you become a skin specialist?
I first attended the Academie Esthetique in Paris for aesthetician training before moving on to study Hydrotherapy in England. Upon realising my passion for creating products, I studied cosmetic chemistry under cosmetology pioneer Dr Louis Renaud in Paris — together we created all the original Mila Moursi formulations — and also taught advanced skin care techniques on the side. 

What makes your method unique?
We believe in a dedicated daily ritual of manually connecting with your skin, and my philosophy for restoring and maintaining radiant skin is rooted in the synergy of science and nature. Our skin care line offers customized, nourishing regimens to revitalise and protect skin from the five key factors responsible for accelerating the ageing process of skin cells: free radical damage dryness fine lines dark spots/uneven skin tone inflammation.

Do you have any hero ingredients?
I only choose to use the highest quality of ingredients for all of my products, as that makes all the difference in the quality and penetration. I use a lot of plant extracts, amino acids and peptides in my product formulations, although ingredients by themselves aren’t enough. You can have the best ingredients, but if you don’t have a strong base formula to carry it then you don’t have a high-performance product. 

If you could only use one product for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is hard to say. I really believe in a regimen, as you need products that are developed to work in synergy for optimal results. I do, however, truly love a high-quality natural oil blend to nourish and regenerate the skin — I would have to say our Aromapure Oil.

How should we be cleansing?
Using a skin cleansing tissue or micellar water is not a thorough cleanse as debris, makeup and sweat will stay and clog pores. It is necessary to cleanse for a few minutes in a circular massage pattern, rinse with warm water and a warm washcloth, and then follow with a toner to further remove any lingering matter from the skin.

What is the biggest skincare myth?
There are a lot of ’empty’ products out there promising you hope in a jar for half the price. They often use the skincare ingredient buzzwords, but in the end, the concentration of the actives they have in the product is minuscule. It should be about the performance of a product – often products can have a higher price due to the high percentage and quality of anti-ageing actives such as hyaluronic acid, peptides and amino acids. I do recommend that if on a skin care budget, homemade skin products such as toners, face spritzers, scrubs and masks work beautifully. Choose quality over quantity. 

How do you feel about ageing?
I believe that beauty starts from the inside, and I believe in ageing gracefully. There really aren’t any skincare miracle elixirs, but with a long-term personal commitment and positive mental outlook, I think you can certainly delay it.

What are your opinions on cosmetic surgery?
Moderation is key. It can be a great tool when needed but I see a lot of people rushing into it and overdoing it. They look for the quick fix, thinking it is a fountain of youth, whereas often it is more counter-productive. Skin care and professional treatments are so advanced these days that just by investing in a regular skin programme with a spa and a good product line you can naturally maintain younger-looking skin and still look like yourself.

How would you define beauty?
Beauty is the synergy between the inside and the outside. Adopting a healthy, balanced lifestyle with the combination of a daily regimen, sleep, hydration, and a positive outlook can deliver the most beautiful, glowing skin.

How do you prep celebrity skin for a big event, like an awards ceremony?
A month or two prior to awards season, we recommend our Mila Moursi Boot Camp — six weeks of one a week treatments to help transform the skin, and then regular treatment maintenance after that. In the weeks leading up to an award show, I recommend limiting alcohol and abstaining from sugar, gluten and dairy, due to its inflammation of the skin, alongside avoiding excess salt for a few days before. In terms of daily habits, I suggest warm lemon water first thing in the morning daily on an empty stomach, for balancing the PH and detoxing, while a mixture of one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with a litre of alkaline water should be sipped on throughout the day. We also encourage bone broth for collagen and elastin stimulation. Omega supplements and hyaluronic acid capsules are recommended for daily intake to nourish and moisturise the skin from the inside, and dry brushing every other day helps exfoliate, detox and encourage lymphatic drainage. Finally, add in some form of stretching and deep breathing exercises every day for circulation.

What is in the future for Mila Moursi – both yourself and the brand?
I love seeing the brand grow and I am excited for more individuals in different countries to have access to it. There is a lot of growth planned for this coming year, so that’s very exciting. Also, philanthropy is very important to me and I would love to expand my personal, and the brand’s philanthropic, outreach – especially for organizations aiding animal preservation and underprivileged communities worldwide.

All Mila Moursi products are available exclusively at a select number of Mecca Cosmetica stores and at Mecca online

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