Stephanie is a California native, now based in London with my husband and three teens.
My career and life keep taking me further away from my beloved California – first moving to NYC, then to London. But the California mindset, the positivity and optimism, remain in me wherever I am – and in what I do. It is the ethos behind our brand, something we have tried to bottle at 31st State.
Gen Z, Stephanie Capuano
Where did your love for the West Coast start?
I grew up in Southern California – and I imagine that like with most people, you’re so defined by where you grew up. California is not only a place but a way of doing things – it is geography and philosophy in one. A philosophy where we keep things more simple and natural, where we ‘untry harder’. This idea of effortless, California clean is at the core of what we make.
Why do you believe young people need to learn how to take care of their skin?
Teens go through lots of changes during puberty – physically, emotionally and mentally, which can be pretty overwhelming for them. Early on, some of the most frustrating physical changes (acne, oily skin, odour) can be managed with good daily hygiene habits, of which skincare is fundamental. Studies show that acne is linked to an increased risk of depression – anyone who has ever suffered from skin issues knows that it is more than skin deep and can affect someone both emotionally and mentally. Getting into the practice of having a good skin routine early can help mitigate this. When my boys were 13 and 14, I saw them struggling with their skin and the related confidence issues and insecurities. They suffered just as much as girls do, yet so few people talked about the related issues in boys. When they started to need grooming products, I couldn’t find anything for them on the market that wasn’t packed full of chemicals. What I wanted to be products that were made from clean, high-quality ingredients for my boys – what my sons wanted to be was for them to really work, and be cool, of course. Stuck between green-washed, fake natural products that smelled awful and lacked efficacy, and stereotypical male aftershave-type products laden with chemicals, there seemed to be no option for boys like my sons, or me, the purchaser.
What beauty tips do you give men and women?
I think we have overcomplicated beauty – too much to choose from and too many messages from brands telling us we need more, more, more and new, new, new. I think beauty for men and women should be simple and natural – use super healthy skin and body care products that don’t harm you or the planet. It’s this idea of not trying so hard, being gentle on our skin, our bodies and our minds.
Tell me more about that?
California has always been at the forefront of= health, nutrition and fitness, so from the earliest age we led extremely healthy lifestyles – from what we ate to what we put on our skin, and there was always a focus on nature and the environment. It’s not a new concept by any means, but I think the clean beauty movement that has become such a force, has put this way of living front and centre. I think this period in history will refocus people on nature, and the power of it.
Why is that important to you?
It feels especially important right now to be more gentle on ourselves (physical and mental) and the planet.
What is the new normal for you?
Our team has always worked remotely from the UK and the US, so we have not had to adapt a tremendous amount with working from home orders. Instead of a weekly day of work together in person, we are fixed to a weekly zoom call. We also keep in touch throughout the day via our Whatsapp team chat. The bigger challenge is staying close to contractors and agencies with whom I have had to curtail work. It is important to stay in contact and keep relations positive until we can afford, once again, to bring them all back into the mix. The biggest change to that ‘normal’ is all the increased housework and cooking since my entire family is home every day!
What did you learn from being quarantine?
The 31st State community, and those who have contributed their stories to the Corona Diaries https://31st-state.com/blogs/news, have taught me the importance of optimism. Their positivity and determinism to come out of this stronger than before inspires me, and is a reminder that it is an attitude we should all have!
What happens if nothing changes in the world after this pandemic?
We don’t have to look far to see that there are many changes already taking place. Communities and businesses of all sizes have come together, supporting those in need and finding new ways to work. This show of community spirit, togetherness, and enthusiasm in the face of uncertainty help me to remain optimistic and hopeful for the future.
How are you coping?
I am taking each day as it comes, prioritising the tasks which are most important on a daily basis. I have also found it helpful to have days where my phone is put away, and the news is switched off.
How are you coping not being allowed to congregate?
With all my kids studying at home, our home has become quite crowded, so it feels like we are having a gathering every single day!
What are you grateful for?
I am extremely grateful to all healthcare professionals around the globe, especially in the UK, and to the hard-working essential workers. I am also grateful that my nearest and dearest are remaining healthy and safe.
What is the lesson you learned from your grandmother?
(they both died when I was super young, so didn’t really know them! But I did learn from my mom that women are most beautiful with their hair tied back off their faces, great skin and a little lippy! Something I now constantly tell my daughter!)
What message do you want to send the universe?
Please forgive us for the harm we have caused you! We promise to live more intentionally!
Stephanie Capuano is was a pleasure getting to know you and your brand we learned so much. We have a lot of healing to do and young people are the future of the planet so teching them about self care is important. I wished some one had taught me early in life to takecre of my skin. Thank you for starting a skin care elevation. Check out her blog to stay up to date with teenager skin care life.