Inner Circle: Jennie Gao
Tell us about Versine and how it came to be?
I was working as a domestic violence prosecutor in Queens, NY, when I became pregnant with my second child. My skin went haywire due to the stress and the hormones - I was trying a lot of cases, and juggling my career with a toddler at home. Skincare was my refuge and method of self-care, but then I found out by happenstance that I wasn't supposed to use benzoyl peroxide or retinoids during pregnancy. That realization really pushed me to re-evaluate my skincare.
The more I dug into it, the more confusing everything became. There was so much conflicting information, and the ingredients lists of most products are miles long. Harmful ingredients like phthalates often aren't even listed, instead hiding behind labels like fragrances.
I just wanted something that was completely uncontroversial, yet that would take care of the blemishes, and dry and dull skin I was dealing with. But that was so hard to find - few products combined active ingredients that are clinically proven with a conservative safety profile. I also wanted something beautiful, because pregnancies are hard, and I thought mamas deserved some everyday luxury, instead of just a generic and boring product. That's why I created Versine Skincare. I alternately regret and love my decision. Starting a company is hard but I also get so much joy and satisfaction when I receive feedback from women who tell me Versine has given them their confidence back.
What are some common misconceptions about pregnancy-safe skincare?
That pregnancy-safe skincare has to be boring! That was my initial belief - that the most I could do was moisturize, and I had to wait until after pregnancy to address blemishes, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, etc. However, through this journey, I learned there are a lot of pregnancy-friendly ingredients that are also proven and powerful.
What is your AM / PM skincare routine?
Versine Skincare Gentle Actives Clarity Crème-Serum
Eye cream (eighteen b - sadly, it has closed, and I am on my last bottle)
Sunscreen SPF 50
Versine Skincare Gentle Actives Clarity Crème-Serum + Azelaic Acid
Eye cream (eighteen b)
If needed, additional moisturizer (currently trying Grown Alchemist Hydra-Repair Day Cream)
Occasionally, I will also use La Luer's Mira 6-in-1 skincare tool with LED lights, microcurrents, etc.
What other practices do you have that support you feeling your best?
Now that my kids are older, I love hiking with them. They are very short hikes, but it's such a pleasure getting out and enjoying nature. I also live in Sydney, and it is such a lucky city with amazing hikes in the city itself.
Something you always have on your night stand?
A book of course! Currently reading Bunny by Mona Awad. Not sure how I feel about it yet.
Shop Versine Skin HERE