The term “clean beauty” doesn’t seem to have a clear, singular definition. Because of this, there’s often a lot of confusion around the term, what it truly means, and the intention behind products marketed as such. For Italian skin care expert Pietro Simone, clean beauty is simply an effective, no-frills approach to skin. “My focus is to avoid ingredients that aren’t necessary or have the potential to become negative for the skin,” he tells TZR. “I truly believe in evolution and therefore my formulations are constantly evolving to offer new, greener, and more effective results.” His latest collection of skin care essentials, the FIERCE Collection, is free of artificial colorants, essential oils, and a host of other ingredients that are typically thought of as “unclean” — not purely for a marketing purpose, but in order to deliver the strongest performance possible.
I saw — and felt — these formulas in action when I visited Simone’s studio in New York City for a facial treatment using the FIERCE Collection. I warned him that my skin is ultra-sensitive and prone to reactions, fully expecting to leave with a red, irritated face (as I usually do after a facial). Aside from a clarifying mask, I barely felt my skin tingle during the treatment, but it was clear that these products still packed a punch. The hormonal pimple on my chin had noticeably decreased in size and redness, and my skin looked plump and radiant — like it had had a massive drink of water.
Though Simone had assessed my skin before we began and selected products accordingly (we focused on hydration), the 18-piece kit is designed to suit any and all skin types — and stages of life. “Generally speaking, people will select their skincare products based on their biological age, and I wanted to create something that was accessible to all,” he says. The collection addresses skin concerns that can crop up at any stage of life (acne, rosacea, irritation) as well as menopause and hormonal imbalances.
There are a few standout ingredients in the FIERCE Collection’s formulas, powered by Revolutionary Skin Drone Technology, which helps them penetrate deeper in the skin so you see more benefits, faster. Unlike other vitamin C products that quickly oxidize and therefore become unstable, Simone uses leading Vitamin C Glutathione, a stabilized and 100% penetrable ingredient.
Bio-Fermented Reishi Compound helps fight hyperpigmentation and prevent further imperfections by increasing the skin’s natural regenerating healing properties. And, of course, no skin care collection would feel complete without retinol. Simone’s Star Retinol Formulation, however, contains a natural biodegradable lipid carrier, meaning the risk of irritation is much lower. This advanced retinol improves scars, minimizes pores, and tackles multiple signs of aging including environmental aging and thinning skin.
You might notice that one of the skin care world’s trendiest ingredients, glycolic acid, is nowhere to be found in the collection. Simone is known for his strong stance on the popular AHA exfoliator, which he laughs about when I bring up. He clarifies that he doesn’t have a vendetta against the ingredient, he’s just never found it to be hugely effective. “I just never felt that I had great results from it,” he says. “Many of the products on the market now, such as peels, might incorporate glycolic acid into the product, but it will not be the only working ingredient.”
Another of Simone’s hot takes? Don’t mix your skin care brands. It’s not the most realistic advice — especially for a beauty writer whose job it is to try out lots of products — but he explains that it really is the best way to test a products’ effectiveness. “If someone is using multiple different brands at the same time, it is much harder to determine what works best for your skin,” he says. “My collections are meticulously bio-engineered to create lasting results, and you can see them very quickly, but if you are mixing too many products those effects might be delayed or clouded.”
But don’t panic — Simone concedes that mixing skin care brands isn’t a cardinal sin; rather, it just has to be done carefully. “For example, I won’t mix an organic brand that uses essential oil with a brand that uses active ingredients and retinol, because I have seen the skin get stressed by the multiple different categories of active ingredients layered,” he says.
And that, essentially, is the ethos behind Pietro Simone’s skin care — cutting out the unnecessary, potentially irritating ingredients so that your skin is only getting what it really needs.
The full FIERCE Collection, which includes body care, is available to shop on Amazon.
We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.