Getting to the Root of Skincare

by | Feb 2023

Daphne Chapman holding the Airo Skincare travel kit.

Photos: Chris Emeott; Airø

Minnetonka native develops travel skincare line.

This community has an amazing way of nurturing its residents through education and opportunity, and it’s interesting to discover how the area has specifically influenced current and former residents.

Lake Minnetonka area native Daphne Chapman took inspiration from growing up in this area with her to San Antonio, Texas, where she’s developed a private aesthetician practice and skin care line that combines her passions for travel and self-care. She developed Airø, a travel-driven, plant-based botanical line that works to hydrate skin to keep it healthy, so travelers (on airplanes or in the sun and water) can keep their “glow on the go,” Chapman says. Products includes cleaners, hydrating mist, lip treatment, masks, oil, serums, travel kits and much more.

Airo Skincare travel kit.

But how did she get there from here? Chapman’s parents and grandparents lived near Lake Minnetonka, and she graduated from Minnetonka High School in 1983. “For those of us who got to experience the area then, it really was an honor,” Chapman says. “I’ve lived in Europe and on both coasts, but Minnesota will always be home.”

One early experience ended up being a part of her essence and life’s work.

Daphne ChapmanChapman’s mother took her to Horst and Friends salon in Deephaven in the ’70s. “There were so many cool people there,” she says, noting one person there included Horst Rechelbacher, known to most simply as Horst, “who changed the face of beauty in Minnesota and globally,” she says. He founded Aveda Corporation and Intelligent Nutrients. Little did she realize then that he would be a guiding force in her life.

Chapman eventually lived on the grounds of Horst’s home in Osceola, Wisconsin, where she worked at his spa and would talk at length with him about healing and therapy. She was inspired by him to learn massage therapy and practice in Los Angeles. She returned to Minneapolis to attend Horst’s Aveda Institute. “He turned energy into action into an empire,” Chapman says. She became at esthetician and considered it to be calling.

Like Horst, Chapman developed her own line of products from the ground up. After working for others for decades, she runs her own line, which is sold online. New opportunities have developed, including a partnership with a five-star hotel, Thompson San Antonio, which offers her products and signature facials. “It’s a very expensive line to produce,” she says because of its purity and small production. “These days, people buy skin care from celebrities … and there is no brand loyalty,” she says. It’s a challenge to educate clients, who are bombarded with products that they don’t understand. “Most are full of fillers and just sit on top of the skin,” she says.

“I have a passion for travel and skin care,” Chapman says, but autonomy and integrity are most important to her as the line grows. “It’s all evolving organically,” she says, just as it did for her mentor, Horst.

Memory Box:

“I love to return to my roots and enjoy the new Excelsior and Wayzata, but I also miss the simpler days when I could walk through the back door of the Excelo Bakery and order a fresh glazed [donut] or purchase a crisp new pair of Levi’s at the Foursome.”—Daphne Chapman

Airø Skincare
Instagram: @airoskincare


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