NBC NEWS 10

BEAUTY BATTLES CANCER

MATTHEW MILÈO AND HIS GODMOTHER SHARE THE INSPIRATION BEHIND MILÈO NEW YORK

WHEC TV, MAY 18, 2018

 

A unique, new beauty product, derived from the most rare botanical extract on earth, was inspired by a woman battling cancer here in Rochester. 

Matthew Mileo created the product in an effort to bring back his aunt's vibrant skin to match her personality while she undergoes chemotherapy.

And because of this, he went from spending summers and holidays here in Rochester with his family, to "dolling up" the rich and famous. 

He spent a decade working for Chanel in New York City.

"My passion was always skin care and I love the beauty component but my heart was always with how the skin functions," stated Mileo. 

That passion, combined with his chemistry degree, changed his aunt's life.

Joell Cunningham was diagnosed with cancer. When she was undergoing treatment, Mileo saw the physical and emotional toll it was taking on her.  

"I was really inspired by creating a product that was strong enough to not only battle the effects of aging, but that also battled the effects of cancer," stated Mileo. 

That's when he discovered 'oud', an extract from the southeast asian agarwood tree. According to a study found in the U.S National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine, 'oud' is very promising.   

"It reverses damaged, sick and even cancerous cells back into a healthy, functioning, youthful cells," stated Mileo. 

The tree produces 'oud' to protect itself from infection which is the same effect it has on skin. It's expensive because of its rarity. In fact, the process that creates it takes about 100 years. Mileo pays an astounding $25,000 a pound.

"I didn't find that returning her skin to healthy vibrant skin, had a cost," stated Mileo.

It was a process fueled by love.

Mileo spent years perfecting an oil for his aunt and now he's in negotiations with Bergdorf Goodman. He also just signed a partner agreement with the New York City luxury boutique, Osswald, that will also sell his product in Switzerland. 

"My skin, from the chemotherapy, was extremely dry so that really helped quite a bit with the dryness. But it just helped more with the vibrancy in my skin for sure," stated Cunningham. "It's very luxurious and I feel very special using it." 

And for Mileo, the hard work was well worth it.

He says, "I always found that my aunt's skin and my aunt's smile was something that I wanted her to have back, and I gave it to her."  

For more information about this product and the man behind it's creation, visit mileonewyork.com.