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Professional Beauty brings to you our Powerful Women series – interviews with the leading ladies behind some much-loved salon industry brands across the skincare, cosmetics and technology spaces. Anita Quade caught up with One Truth 818‘s founder and company director, Rachael D’Aguiar.

Tell us what inspired you to set up your company?

“I was starting to get concerned about the way our industry was heading and it didn’t sit well with me. I was seeing new clients with thin, sensitive and severely compromised skin and they thought they were in great shape. Their professional treatments consisted of scraping, melting, burning and sand-blasting the skin off their face and at home they continued to scrape it away all in the name of increased cellular turnover and ‘rejuvenation’. It wasn’t working – they looked anything but rejuvenated. I knew there had to be a better way. We simply couldn’t keep blasting harder!”

What was your lightbulb moment?

“When I met Dr Bill Andrews PhD and learnt about telomeres I had that moment. Learning that every time a cell divides it actually gets older was a revelation! Cells cannot be ‘rejuvenated’ in this way because after a set number of divisions the cell dies of old age. I was both enlightened and horrified at the same time! What many ‘anti-ageing’ treatments are doing is actually accelerating the ageing process. One Truth 818 works in the opposite way, by working to lengthen the telomeres and undo the biological ageing process.”

What was one of the hardest challenges starting out?

“When we first started talking about telomeres in 2011 barely anyone had even heard of them. We pioneered a field that simply did not exist before us, it wasn’t a matter of doing something ‘better’ it was (and still is) us doing something completely different to everyone else! As the first person in the world to be able to impact telomeres topically I had to have irrefutable proof that what we were doing worked and to educate why it is the way forward for anti-ageing skincare.
The fact that cells cannot continue to divide forever was discovered over seven decades ago yet the skincare industry is still mis-informing consumers that speeding up cell division and therefore the ageing process itself, is the way to go. It felt like a real David versus Goliath scenario. The independent testing we conducted in Italy before going to market bolstered my confidence enough to take up the challenge.”

Being a powerful woman as a business leader – what is an important piece of advice you can share with your peers?

“Two main things really. Firstly, don’t try to ‘do it’ like anyone else. I started out (very young!) with an idea in my mind of how a successful business leader acted and tried to bring out those qualities in myself. More direct (read bossy!), look out for number one and come across as more serious. I now know that creating a win/win situation for yourself and those who you do business with is the only way to long-term success. Attempting to trample others in an effort to come out on top is neither sustainable nor ethical nor FUN! If you are not enjoying what you are doing you’re either doing the wrong thing or doing it the wrong way.”

“Attempting to trample others in an effort to come out on top is neither sustainable nor ethical nor FUN! If you are not enjoying what you are doing you’re either doing the wrong thing or doing it the wrong way.”

Any other words of wisdom?

“The second piece of advice is to play to your strengths. I used to ‘be’ every part of my business and invariably would have to spend more time working on the pieces I wasn’t naturally good at, leaving less time for me to do the things I excelled at. In hindsight not the smartest way to grow a business but so many of us fall into this trap because we think we can’t afford to not do it ourselves. The truth is you become a handbrake on your business and can easily lose sight of the passion you began with. Hire people to do the things you don’t like – believe me, they’ll do them better than you – and allow yourself to flourish in what you are great and unique at.”

How have you found the support from likeminded women in the industry?

“I’ll be honest, I still don’t think, as women, we support each other enough. There are still many women in our industry that only see each other as competition. The real competition for our client’s dollar is supermarket brands and the marketing, leading customers to think there is no difference between them and professional skincare.
The biggest support I have felt in the industry is from the many clinic owners who stock One Truth 818 and are so grateful that we followed the science and created this technology. They love educating their community on the true cause of ageing and have made me a team of many voices and so many people now know about telomeres, partly because of their support.”

What is it you love most about being an industry trailblazer?

“I can do it any way I want because no-one created the path for me. It can be daunting and liberating at the same time so I always challenge myself to choose to look at it positively. I love feeling like I am making a real difference to an industry I love. Our industry is full of caring and intelligent people so the easiest way for me to illicit change is by educating those people – which I love! I am so passionate for people to understand telomeres, telomerase and the truth about ageing so that they can make better decisions that will keep them healthy for longer.
On a personal note, I am a mother of 2 young daughters, eight and 10, and I feel proud that they see their Mum as an entrepreneur and pioneer because the best way to raise leaders is by example.”

This article originally appeared in the March-April 2022 issue of Professional Beauty.

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