Five Minutes with Beauté Pacifique's Vivi Holk

Five Minutes with Beauté Pacifique's Vivi Holk


Vivi Holk, Beaute Pacifique’s Global Science Director, was recently in Australia to train beauty therapists on the skincare and ultrasound scanning equipment for which the brand has become known. Nina Richards caught up with her.

How did Beaute Pacifique come to be?
In the early 1980s, Dr Flemming was working as an engineer for a large Danish medical company, developing the first brain scanner. In 1986 he wanted his own business and, together with another engineer, developed the ultrasound scanner for hospitals. Using ultrasound, Dr Flemming could see what was wrong with the skin and, having been in contact with dermatologists worldwide he realised if he could find a way for vitamin A could reach the dermis, he had the key to repair the skin. He visited some big cosmetic brands and thought they’d like to share his skin knowledge but was surprised when they wanted to purchase the scanner but not use it with customers. He decided if they wouldn’t show consumers how to analyse their skin, he would.

In 1997, he developed his first product, Crème Metamorphique, which contains a form of vitamin A that doesn’t irritate skin like retinol. It utilises squalene (of which 10 per cent of skin consists) in the form of an oil (containing vitamin A) which the skin recognises and is able to absorb. This delivery system is patented. The formula for Crème Metamorphique has never changed. In 2006, Dr Peter Bjerring wrote about the benefits of the product after using it on patients in the pre-stages of skin cancer, finding it strengthened skin by 80 per cent. Once this paper was released the brand got noticed.

What does your job entail?
I have been with Beaute Pacifique since 2008 but have known the product since 1997 when Dr Flemming was first developing them. At the time I was working as chief beauty buyer for a large department store in Denmark; he introduced the brand to me as he was finding it difficult to enter the market since nobody knew the brand. I wanted to help him bring it to market as I liked the idea behind it and how he really wanted to help people repair their skin; I wanted to be a part of that and share his knowledge and passion with customers.

Over the years I gave him feedback about new products, sale prices, etc. and, in 2007, he asked me to join the company as science director for the Danish market. I accepted and have never looked back. After working in the Danish market for 18 months he asked me to help on the export side of the business. My job involves bringing Beaute Pacifique to new markets and overseeing them. I travel 120 days a year. The brand is now available in the US, Chile, Australia, UK, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Spain, SA and Asia.

While in Australia, I have been training in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane and hope to bring some of my passion and knowledge to our dermatologists here.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
If you work for Beaute Pacifique you need to have passion and compassion for others. When I have clients whose psoriasis or eczema has cleared up after using our products I get great fulfilment. In Asia they once asked me how a Danish brand could repair their skins. I said it doesn’t matter where you come from we all have the same problems.

Tell us about your ultrasound equipment
With the ultrasound equipment clients can see results for themselves – they are not buying an illusion. Our ultrasound equipment is part of the Beaute Pacifique process and available wherever the brand is stocked – be it in department stores or through salons and clinics. When we do the scanning we look at your skin – how strong is the epidermis? What do you have in your dermis – collagen, elastin, fibre? Do you have any sun damage? From that we take a photo and recommend products. Then, three months later we rescan the client’s skin, take another photo, and show them the results.

How did Helena Christensen come on board?
Helena Christensen is our global ambassador and spokeswoman. Two years ago she contacted Dr Flemming because she wanted to be our face and spokeswoman but at that time we were not ready. You have to remember our founding philosophy to make a difference: don’t buy because of Helena, buy because of the results. We were afraid she would be a conflict of interest. However, we kept in contact for a couple of years and she was still very interested since she and her family were using the products. Last November we signed the contract with her.

She is not only the face but who we will develop new products with – beauty and science together. We’d next like to develop a great day care cream with makeup properties. Helena has now been fully trained in and educated about Beaute Pacifique; as an ambassador you need to know everything about the products. We are proud to have her on our team and believe it will open some more doors on our export market.

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