TITLE Chairman since 2000 of Clarins, the company his father, Jacques, founded in 1954.
HIS MANTRA “I like to compare cooking and skin care: if you don't have your hands in the kitchen, you can't pretend to be an expert chef.”
HOW IT ALL STARTED As a medical student in Paris, Courtin-Clarins' father began treating circulatory problems with massage and noticed an improvement in his patients' skin. He decided to focus his research on improving the way his patients felt and looked, eventually opening the Clarins Instituts de Beauté. What started as a few botanical body oils has become a $1 billion global beauty company.
COMPANY PROFILE The first to use 100% pure plant extracts, Clarins is now also known for its fragrances (Mugler, Azzaro and Clarins) and makeup. It is the No. 1 skin-care company in France and Europe. Courtin-Clarins calls Clarins a “citizen of the world” company, financing arthritis research in more than 400 laboratories around the world and investing about $2.4 million a year in environmental and educational charities.
CLAIM TO FAME “We were the first to speak about pollution, and we are the only ones who have an antipollution complex in every cream.”
THE PHILOSOPHY “Respect. We don't want to pretend that because we are expensive, we are good. We don't want to sell skin creams for $300.”