If Daphne Chapman’s clients had neglected their regular skincare regimen while on a trip, she could tell.
“They would come back with destroyed skin after using hotel soap,” she says.
The Minnesota native who moved to San Antonio in 2016 for her husband’s job has worked as an esthetician for 25 years, training at the Minneapolis-based Aveda and spending months learning other skincare products as part of her work in places like Hiatus Spa + Retreat at Pearl and The Thompson San Antonio spa, where she practices now.
“I’ve been obsessed with skincare since I was a teenager,” says Chapman. “At 18, I was spending my paychecks on skincare items.”
In all of the skincare brands she’d used and learned about, though, she did not know of one she could specifically recommend for travel.
So, she decided to fill the gap. In 2019, she created Airo Skincare, a line of plant-based products meant for travelers.
Its signature offering, which was picked up by Hotel Emma’s Curio shop this year, is a TSA-approved travel pack that includes a toning mist, hydrating serum, restoring eye gel and lip treatment. Each product is focused on hydration since Chapman says both air travel and hotel products tend to leave skin dry.
Chapman also has created a similar package that’s targeted toward beachgoers, and she recently launched a Jetsetter Recovery Mask that she says people can apply when they get back to their hotel room and leave on while they sleep.
Through Students + Startups and the 80 | 20 Foundation, Airo Skincare was matched with a new graduate who starts her internship this month and will help Chapman with marketing and other tasks as the company grows.
Chapman says when her family moved to San Antonio in the height of its summer heat, they did not see it as a place they would stay long-term, but while watching it grow, the mom of two fell in love with the city and the future it’s chasing.
“I did not ever think I would be the one starting a business,” she says. “You do not know where life will take you.”