What began as a doctor’s creation in an office basement in Meriden has turned into a worldwide anti-aging empire with a celebrity clientele.
The man behind it all, Connecticut native, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, persevered against the odds and now stars, including Kate Hudson, Uma Thurman and Eva Mendes, are fans of his upscale brand, Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals.
The idea behind the brand is that inflammation can cause signs of aging, including wrinkles and breakouts, and research that Dr. Perricone, a dermatologist and a board-certified nutritionist, conducted revealed that certain foods have anti-inflammatory properties.
“The reaction was very positive because it had the anti-inflammatory effect. It was very soothing and tended to even out the different discoloration we get on our skin as we get older and also had some other effects -- tighter pores, radiance, the effect of a lift, and so it was very gratifying to do that” Perricone said.
Perricone grew up in New Haven and Branford and still lives in Connecticut.
He started his practice on Pleasant Street in Meriden and the world headquarters remain in Meriden, visible off Interstate 91.
He admits that the road from Meriden to Hollywood was not easy.
Perricone’s theory that eating an anti-inflammatory diet could improve skin was not widely accepted at first. Even with more than 150 patents worldwide, most related to skin care, major cosmetic companies had no interest years ago and they all turned him down.
“When I first proposed this inflammation aging disease theory in the early 90s there was tremendous criticism, almost anger on the part of some people in the medical profession, but now it’s mainstream,” Perricone said.
He was told not to start his own company, he said, but he didn’t listen, and sales for the brand Perricone MD exceed $100 million a year worldwide.
He has also written best-selling books, and appeared on several talk shows, including Oprah, touting his diet of so-called miracle foods.
“Perricone Prescription” includes a certain diet, supplements and his topical products and Dr, Perricone recommends a diet consisting of fish, fresh fruits and vegetables.
He likes salmon, preferably wild, and other cold water fish, which he said are rich in Omega 3, a beneficial fatty acid.
He recommends avoiding sugars and starches, which cause inflammation in the body and skin, he said.
A healthy lifestyle is also key and that includes plenty of sleep to allow the body to rejuvenate.
The man behind the anti-aging empire offers simple advice to others with a lofty goal.
“The key here is if you do have a vision, I’m just going to recommend people viewing this, that you follow that vision and don’t listen to the naysayers,” he said.