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Hotel De Russie spa

text Gabrielle Bolzoni

December 10, 2019

The exclusive line of all-natural face and body creams by Irene Forte

The exclusive line of all-natural face and body creams by Irene Forte. A preview at the Hotel de Russie

We met with Irene Forte, wellness director at Rocco Forte Hotels, on a rainy winter day in a luxurious suite at the Hotel de Russie, with a breath-taking view of Rome, where the beautiful, 30-year-old, Italian-English entrepreneur talked to us about the newest developments in skincare and beauty. The second child of famous businessman Sir Rocco Forte, originally from Ciociaria, she lives in London but often travels to the 11 luxury hotels founded by her father and aunt, Olga Polizzi, director of design at Rocco Forte Hotels. She offered as an exclusive presentation of her new line of face and body creams, named Irene Forte Skincare and dedicated to Sicily and the Mediterranean.

Tell us about where your line Irene Forte Skincare comes from…

Eight years ago, I interned at the Verdura Resort Rocco Forte, near Sciacca. I should have stayed for two months, but I fell head over heels in love with Sicily and ended up being there for eight months, during which time I developed the motivation to make something related to this incredible island. I’ve always loved sports and wellness, so in 2014, I decided to dedicate my time to the family company’s SPA. The following year, I created my first line of products, Forte Organics, designed for the SPA Rocco Forte, which was very successful and served as my springboard into cosmetics. Moved by my desire to create my own beauty line, which pays tribute to Sicily, I started to work with Dr. Francesca Ferri in our laboratory Effegilab in Trento, together creating Irene Forte Skincare

What is it?

It’s a complete line of moisturizing, illuminating, rebalancing and anti-aging products, suitable for all skin types. It was created using flowers, fruit and organic plants from the 2,600-square-metre vegetable garden at our Sicilian resort, Verdura Resort, including orange blossom, almond, hibiscus, lavender, pomegranate, pistachio, peach, apricot and rose. My line contains 75 organic active ingredients, Geraci mineral water, taken from springs at 1,500 metres a.s.l. in the heart of the Madonie Nature Park and boasting an excellent source of magnesium, and our IGP olive oil, rich in vitamin E and polyphenols, which is proudly served at all the tables in the Rocco Forte Hotel’s restaurant. Few people know the beneficial properties of some fruits, including hibiscus, whose extract contains natural botulin, perfect for combatting wrinkles. I use exclusively vegan products that are free of parabens, like hyaluronic acid, produced by fermentation, and ceramides, extracted from plants. Every product contains 16 natural active ingredients at most, which guarantees their effectiveness. The line also has unisex products designed for both men and women. We developed an eco-friendly packaging made from recycled fibres and glass, and even our ink is made from soy and plants. Today, I’m presenting our green facial line, comprising 19 products, but in January 2019, we will release the blue line of body products. Later, we will have the orange line of sunscreens and brown line of facial and body oils. There are also a diffusion line dedicated to the wider public and a professional line for the SPA, with prices ranging from €44 to €156, a good balance between quality and luxury. 

What is your concept of SPA?

During my international travels, I’ve seen several Asian-inspired concepts, while mine is a concept inspired by the Mediterranean and entirely Made in Italy. Every treatment and ritual starts and ends with three rings of a tailor-made bell (following the Tibetan model) cast by hand at the Fonderia Virgadamo in Burgio, Sicily, and with a spray of orange blossom oil. The ceramics used for the footbaths and other treatments come from Sciacca. In addition to the creams and oils I mentioned, we also use volcanic stones and muds for the treatments, as well as aromatic herbs (from Sicily, of course). Everything is a tribute to Italy, which I adore and always carry in my heart as this is where my origins lie. 

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

In 2019, our second hotel will open in Rome, in via Sistina, 69, Hotel De La Ville, where I will inaugurate the first SPA Irene Forte. Guests will find 550 square metres of paradise and well-being, not to mention a slice of Sicily in the heart of Rome, with six rooms for treatments, an inhalation room with Mediterranean salts, a Kneipp program, several baths and video projections of Mediterranean nature. I’m also developing high-tech endosphere and hydro-facial treatments, both of which will work wonders. My goal for abroad is to publicize my line of luxury, Made in Italy products and my “Mediterranean” SPA products, because everything in inspired by this place.

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