1913. Nadia Grégoria was one of the first female doctors to graduate from the Lausanne School of Medicine.
Some time after her marriage to Edmond Payot, an engineer by training, the couple began to travel abroad. It's in Argentina where she continued her research by helping the population, stricken by poverty and disease.
During a trip to New York in 1917, she discovered the first beauty institutes and made the life-changing acquaintance of the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. This meeting proved to be a real revelation.
Struck by the difference between the youthful appearance of the dancer’s body and the signs of ageing on her face, Dr Payot developed a beauty philosophy based on movement, facial “physical culture” (exercise), and essential skin care products.
Learn more: 1920-1950: Creative Development ›
In 1920, the Payots settled in Paris. Nadia created her first products - Golden Rays cleanser and Crèmes N° 1 and N° 2 in her kitchen. Convinced that these products alone were not enough, she developed her first beauty recommendations and exercises.
In 1925, Dr Payot opened her first beauty institute on rue Richepanse in Paris.
She later published “Physical Culture for the Face and Neck”, which described seven massage techniques and four exercises. She further established her philosophy in two books and introduced her beauty care credo: cleanse, nourish and stimulate.
The steadily growing success of her approach prompted her to move her business to 10 rue Castiglione in 1937. She expanded her range by developing products specific to each skin type and each problem: dehydration, sensitivity, lack of vitality, lack of radiance and small irritations.
In 1947, she decided to teach her method to others and opened the first beauty therapy school, and she rapidly became a major figure in the cosmetology field.
Learn more: 1950-1966: Passing on Knowledge ›
Nadia left the management of the company to her husband while she devoted herself to passing on her philosophy through her school. She became widely recognised for her precise diagnostics and treatments, and perfected the concept of her famous “42-Movement Facial Protocol”.
Dr Payot travelled all over the world and her avant-garde vision met with enormous success. Fluent in French, Spanish, English, German and Russian, she gave presentations in the host country’s language, commenting on demonstrations given by beauty therapists.
Dr Payot was always observant, from her childhood to her last days. She was a generous, warm person who passionately strived for balance between mind and body.
Dr Nadia Payot died on Christmas night 1966, but her pioneering spirit lives on in the PAYOT brand.