A Product to Go Nuts Over

Pistachios have always been one of my favorite snacks. They’re fun to crack open (except when you get the tough ones) and provide an excellent source of vitamin E and good fat. They also contain lots of lutein, which benefits the eyes.

I had never considered pistachios beyond their dietary and appetite quick fix perks until I came across the skincare line Pistache. As the name implies, pistachio oil is one of the core ingredients.

Created by a fourth generation pistachio farmer, the founder, Sima Mostafavi, really knows her nuts. After using the moisturizer for a week I was converted and caught up with her to learn more.

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Pistachios have been a big part of your family for generations, but you’re the first to create a skincare line utilizing their oils. How did that happen?

Sima:  Our family loves everything pistachio related and we are constantly looking for creative ways to use pistachios in our lives.  I personally have been using pistachio oil under my eyes and in my hair for quite a while.

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Sima Mostafavi, founder

About two years ago I was consulting for an Italian skincare company, so I was attending beauty conferences. During these conferences, I kept hearing that “nuts are very big right now.” But pistachios were always missing from product lines. This was especially surprising since pistachios have higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals as compared to most other nuts.

So I started asking exhibitors why they didn’t have pistachio oil, but none were able to give me a great answer. Some told me that they don’t have access to pistachio oil, or that it is more expensive that other nuts. And that is when I had my “ah-ha” moment. I decided to launch a skincare line that harnesses the rich vitamins and minerals in pistachios. And voila, Pistache was born.

What separates pistachio oil from other types, like almond, sesame, olive, etc.  What makes it so unique?

Sima:  Pistachios are a richer source of vitamins and antioxidants relative to other nuts, such as almonds. Pistachio oil is a rich source of lutein and vitamin E, both of which have been shown to have anti-aging properties and to provide essential antioxidant protection for the skin. Recent studies, (for instance, a study by Department of  plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery at Saint Eugenio Hospital) have found that topical use of lutein provides significant antioxidant protection for the skin.

In short, given how potent pistachio oil is, it is a great and a unique way of making natural but effective skincare.

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What type of skin type is your product best suited for? Can it be used day and night?

Sima:  My products are suitable for all skin types, especially those with sensitive skin. My current moisturizer is great both for night and day. It is light enough for day use and hydrating enough for night.

I like to think of my hydrating moisturizer as the little black dress: Every woman needs at least one and it always makes you look good. I collect quotes, and one of my favorite quotes is by Coco Chanel. It reads, “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” I followed this simple principle as I was creating Pistaché Skincare.

Will you be adding more products to your line?

Sima:  I will be launching six new products at the Indie Beauty Expo LA.  

  • Hydrating Serum with Hyaluronic Acid
  • Eye Serum with Vitamin C
  • Exfoliating Clay Cleanser with Glycolic Acid
  • Pistachio Body Butter
  • Pistachio & Lavender Divine Beauty Oil
  • Pistachio & Rose Divine Beauty Oil

I am so excited to launch these products and have already received raving reviews from beta testers. I am especially excited for my two multi-purpose beauty oils; they are simply divine.

Can men use this product?

Sima:  Yes, my products are light and unscented so men can use them. Actually, my husband uses my moisturizer nightly.  

I know that skincare is still a relatively new concept for men and many are unfamiliar with this complex category. Currently, studies suggest that men heavily rely on packaging in making their skincare purchase decisions. In other words, they purchase products with the most masculine look. As men become more familiar with the category I do believe that there is enormous potential there. 

A lot of people are stuck in their ways and creatures of habit.  I know a lot of guys that won’t use anything but their trusted name-brand commercial products, despite many containing ingredients that are anything but natural.  How do you convince people to go “nuts” over your product?  What is your art of persuasion?

Sima:  I think the pendulum is already swinging toward indie beauty brands. When discussing my business with men, I like to compare the beauty industry to the beer industry: both experiencing a renaissance right now. Also, there are so many new and innovative brands and these brands are giving the established brands a run for their money.

There used to be limited options for skincare, dominated by the same few brands (same can be said about the beer industry). But large brands have become passé because they became complacent and failed to innovate. Thus, smaller, more innovative brands are blossoming and working to meet customer demands for cleaner and more effective beauty products.  

The Indie Beauty Expo is a champion of the small business owner.  What are some of the positives and/or challenges that go into launching your own line?  

Sima:  Launching my own skincare line has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I think launching your own business is the ultimate test of your core and your self-confidence.  You need to trust your instincts when you have limited information and no senior personnel to confide with.

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