Irene Forte on her farm in Sicily

Introducing Irene Forte Skincare

As the daughter of Sir Rocco Forte, Founder and Chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels, Irene Forte is well versed in the world of beauty and wellness, thanks to her role as wellness consultant for the global hospitality brand. The inspiration for her own line, however, was planted many years earlier, on a trip to Sicily in 2003 to visit the site of the company’s Verdura Resort when she first saw the piece of land that would become the inspiration for Irene Forte Skincare. “Six years later, the resort opened its doors and I spent almost a year working there,” she says. “I was living in the resort, and didn’t have a car, so I spent evenings testing lots of different things in the spa and from that point I got into beauty. I also fell in love with the people, the culture, the food, and the breath-taking nature of the island.” 

That was also when Irene realized that Sicily’s rich organic ingredients and the bountiful produce of Verdura’s organic farm would make the ideal foundation for a skincare line with health and wellness at its heart. Three years in the making, she debuted the eponymous line, blending her combined passion for natural ingredients and proven science, in 2018. Created in partnership with pharmacologist Dr. Francesca Ferri of EffegiLab in Trento, who has over 35 years of skincare research and development under her belt, and using ingredients such as olives, lemons, oranges, pomegranates, almonds, and prickly pear cacti all grown at the Verdura Società Agricola organic farm, the line distills the sun-soaked richness of Sicilian plant extracts into formulations that are scientifically sophisticated.


Irene compares the vegan, nutrient-rich line, which is made entirely in Italy, to a Mediterranean diet for the skin. “And, just like the Mediterranean diet,” she says, “We believe in skin health and longevity, not faddy, quick fixes.” Among the line’s 75 active ingredients, you’ll find a brightening Italian Alpha Hydroxy Acid blend derived from Tartaric Acid from grapes, Malic Acid from apples, Mandelic Acid from almonds, and Citric Acid from lemons; a smoothing patented Oligopeptide complex obtained from Hibiscus Esculentus Seed Extract; a plumping bio-liquefied Wheat Bran from the Po River Valley in Northern Italy; and antioxidant Prickly Pear Polysaccharides. “The Irene Forte approach is synonymous with the very best that breathtaking Sicily has to offer, distilling the benefits of the Mediterranean diet into sustainable, organic skincare that nourishes the skin from the outside in,” she says. “These formulations are tested by science, in both laboratory or clinical trials, to deliver outstanding benefits with exceptional skin kindness, and in turn evolve the natural beauty industry from esoteric to effective.”

Sustainability is also at the forefront and the line, which is not only B-Corp certified but has also been awarded the Butterfly Trust mark by Positive Luxury for sustainable excellence. “The cosmetic industry is the biggest user and waster of single-use plastic,” she says, “So I also want to show that you can be sustainable while still looking luxurious.” To that end, the line uses 100% recycled fiber paper packaging and vegetable-based inks. The spatulas are crafted by hand by a Puglian-based carpenter using sustainable Italian olive wood, and the bottles and jars are recyclable glass. “I have also always been committed to ethical practices; this is something I built into my business DNA from the start,” she says. “I see my skincare company as part of a much wider system of people and organizations, nature, and the environment.”

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