The Science Behind Zelens - With Dr. Marko Lens
From consultant plastic surgeon to pioneering skincare founder - we ask Dr Marko Lens about his early career, what inspired him to reformulate the much loved Zelens formulas to his favourite holiday destination.
Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
Dr Marko Lens holds a Master of Science from Harvard University and a PhD from Oxford University in the field of skin cancer
A global authority in skin ageing and skin cancer - Dr Marko Lens launched Zelens skincare back in 2005 – a trailblazing marriage of potent botanicals and clinical effectiveness.
At the forefront of science-based skincare and with many more years of research and development Dr Lens and the Zelens team unveilled a complete transformation of the Zelens brand. This exciting evolution included new formula upgrades, pioneering new products and a rejuvenated identity.
Here we asked him everything we needed to know..
What led you to create Zelens?
My passion for botanicals started when I was a child. As a boy I was like a little alchemist and I have wonderful-vivid memories of collecting plants with my grandmother and watching her use them to create her own skincare recipes using olive oil and different things.
However, it was whilst living in Oxford and doing my PhD in the field of melanoma that I started to look more deeply into the role that antioxidants play in protecting the skin from cancer.
This prompted me to really explore the use of topically-applied antioxidants in slowing down premature skin ageing and the results of this research inspired me to create the Zelens line.
Why the name Zelens? (Of course, we see the Lens in there)
We played with words around my family name. Then Zelens was suggested as in many Slavic languages Zelens means green. As a brand botanicals along with science was at it’s heart. Now we have the Zelens Garden of potent botanicals.
What sets Zelens apart from other brands?
Zelens differs from other brands because of its unique philosophy and integrity in developing and testing its products.
We are a hybrid brand, known for a combination of high-tech and botanical ingredients. We are also a brand that doesn’t believe in a single hero product or ingredient (i.e. basic Vitamin C) as one single ingredient is not sufficient to combat a rather complex process of skin aging.
We combine multiple ingredients - combining both botanical and high-tech actives that work in synergy targeting different molecules in the skin and different pathways involved in a complex process of skin aging to achieve efficacy - that’s what distinguishes us from many other brands.
We are also really keen on sharing our research with our customers. We do very extensive research but there are no false promises and no miracle claims because I don’t believe in miracles.
For us integrity is key and that’s what our clients love us for.
The Zelens brand may look different now and there are a number of new products and formulation updates but our philosophy and integrity remain the same.
What are your thoughts on supplements in general and beauty food supplements?
I love food supplements as they play an important aspect in our overall well-being and health. Regarding supplements for the skin I would like to see more research and clinical results.
What was the reason behind the rebrand and reformulations?
Over recent years, there has been a lot of scientific innovation in skincare, and many new finding and studies. So our knowledge has advanced and I simply wanted to offer our customers the absolute latest in skincare science; to put that new knowledge into every jar.
The new look is understated luxury - do you get involved in the look and feel of the products outside of the laboratory?
Absolutely, I am personally involved in everything that we develop as a brand. Our new look was designed by a fantastic designer, Moses Voigt, a former creative director at Acne in Sweden. We kept the frosted glass that our customers know and love. And since it allows the many beautiful natural colours of our new formulas to shine through, it felt right to change from the previous green logo to a contemporary black logo and black lids - it’s simply more chic.
Tell us some easy steps we should all be incorporating to help us realise healthy, beautiful skin?
It is essential to wear a daily broad spectrum sunscreen - we are working on a new fantastic formula at the moment - and to protect skin from environmental factors like pollution, blue light and other stressors, which can cause premature skin ageing. I recommend to look for formulas with antioxidants, and ingredients which support a healthy skin barrier, such as provitamin D, which we use in several of our products.
What do you consider the most essential Zelens products for people living in the Middle East? (think dehydrated skin through air conditioning, dust storms and city life)
Tea Shot – Urban Defense in combination with Microbiota P3 Balancing Mist.
What two products are you most proud of from the new collection? Did you have any ‘oh wow’ moment during the development and discovery process?
I am excited about our new Powers vitamin alphabet. High-potency vitamin concentrates formulated with potent botanicals to target specific skin concerns that can be added to any routine to boost it further. We already had Power A, C and D, and now we have B and E as well. The Powers are High-potency concentrates formulated with potent botanicals to target specific skin concerns that can be added to any routine to boost it further.
Our Tea Shot Urban Defence Serum is also a wonderful new formula; we used five different types of tea for their antioxidant benefits, and the result is a daily-anti pollution serum that protects skin from the environmental stressors that we all face every day.
We have learned a lot about the power of antioxidants in combating the signs of ageing. What guidance would you give to maximise this?
Do not believe single hero ingredients (i.e. a single form of vitamin c) In order to effectively fight various types of free radicals around us we need to use different antioxidants. That is why Zelens combines multiple antioxidants and botanicals to work in synergy within one multi-functional formula.
We see many beautiful ingredients listed such as Beetroot extract, Blue Agave and Red Seaweed, what unique benefits do they bring to your formulas and our skin?
We choose plants that have proven benefits to skin, and source them from around the world, utilising them in innovative ways. For example, we often use fermented extracts to get the maximum benefits from each. One of my favourites is Shiso, also known as Japanese mint, which has multiple benefits for skin: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-allergic properties, and so on.
For the first time you have developed a Professional SPA Range can you tell us your thoughts and ideas behind creating it?
I wanted to create a clinical Spa line, line that will give the clients immediately visible results. It contains many ingredients that target different molecules of the skin. Use of our device 3D URF helps with the delivery of active ingredients and at the same time helps improve skin firmness and elasticity.
Most loved holiday destination?
Your favourite food since childhood?
Pizza, of course. (Marko is Italian! 😄 )
Thank you Dr Marko Lens
You can explore the Zelens range here.
Images: Dr Marko Lens and Zelens