Beauty devices are often seen as a business that is entriely distinct from personal care and cosmetics products, and then accordingly, they are relegated to a separate sphere in the industry. This may not be wise; the newly launched 2.0 version of Dara Levy’s DermaFlash device is sold with a coordinating cleanser and moisturizer. And the brand also makes a Daily Defense SPF 50 as well as resurfacing peel pads. Which is all to say that every iconic device requires the proper preparation and follow-up care and inevitably changes the way women treat their skin and the sorts of skin care they buy.
Here, the entrepreneur behind DermaFlash shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Dara Levy, Founder and Inventor
Indie Beauty Company: DERMAFLASH
Launched: December 2015
Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
Cash flow: In April 2017, we announced an equity investment from Guthy-Renker. I am honored and excited about our partnership With GR as they are the masters of the universe in the direct response world. Our infomercial will begin rolling out in February. The brand awareness this will provide is beyond exciting!
We also launched DermaFlash 2.0 on QVC on January 5th and sold almost 30,000 devices in one day.
Team work: 30 full-time employees
Distribution: DermaFlash is sold across the US at mass retailers including Sephora, Nordstrom, QVC, Neiman Marcus, ULTA.com, Dermstore and dermaflash.com. We are also carried in over 100 spas nationwide with plans for expansion in 2018.
Years in beauty: 9
Years at DermaFlash: 3
Entrepreneurial experience: I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I majored in fashion merchandising in college, and then switched gears and spent 15 years in the financial world supervising a team of 15 men at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Years later, I owned a high-end Med Spa and decided to make dermaplaning the foundation of all services offered at my spa. I trademarked DERMAFLASH as the name of my dermaplaning facial.
Five years and 6,000 DermaFlash treatments later, I had an epiphany: all women want smooth, radiant, fuzz-free complexions, yet many do not have access to a spa that offers dermaplaning, and the cost of a single treatment is prohibitive to most. I realized an at-home solution did not exist and decided to create it.
In 2016, DermaFlash, the at-home sonic dermaplaning device was born.
The business: DermaFlash represents a new paradigm in beauty. This first-in-class patented device was inspired by the in-spa facial treatment “dermaplaning”. DermaFlash uses a subtle sonic vibration and a proprietary edge to simultaneously remove the oldest layer of dead skin cells and built-up debris while painlessly sweeping away unwanted vellus hair.
This revolutionary tool offers immediate results with no downtime. Smooth, radiant, camera-ready skin is instantly revealed. DermaFlash has quickly become the go-to tool for celebrities, makeup artists and real women everywhere, because like a magic wand, DermaFlash allows skin care to do its job more effectively and creates a flawless canvas for makeup.
The wow-factor: DermaFlash changes women’s lives by instantly revealing their best skin while preparing a flawless canvas for a full face of makeup or no makeup at all.
DermaFlash is changing women’s skin--and therefore, their confidence--every single day. I am so proud and grateful that I am able help empower women to feel more confident in their own skin. DermaFlash allows women to take their skin care concerns into their own hands, in the privacy of their own homes and on their own schedules.
The customer: DermaFlash was created by a woman for all women, regardless of age, skin tone, type or color. I am hopeful that the future of beauty will focus on women supporting each other. I love seeing women uplift and empower each other – that is the culture I insist on in my company and also instill in my daughters.
At DermaFlash, we believe in being your best self and revealing your best skin. After flashing, your skin is perfectly prepped for makeup application OR not…it’s up to you! We believe in using makeup to enhance beautiful skin not cover up flaws.
Milestone moment: Having the top celebrity makeup artists in the world stand behind my product has been incredibly humbling. I just co-hosted our New York launch party alongside MUA Daniel Martin, who said DermaFlash is his secret weapon for prepping his A-list clients before makeup application. Patrick Ta, who works on The Kardashians, Chrissy Teigen and just about everyone fabulous said the same thing of my invention, and the list goes on!
I also could not be prouder of my DermaFlash team. We now have 30 full-time employees, and over 90% are strong, beautiful women!
Advice for fellow indie beauty entrepreneurs: In the process of developing DermaFlash 2.0, I have learned that 'if it can go wrong, it will go wrong.' Each obstacle is a learning experience. I consider these challenges to be gifts that help myself and my team grow wiser.
I always try to remain positive, pick myself up, dust myself off and keep going. The word 'can’t' does not exist for me. I believe 'if you say you will, you will, say you can’t and you won’t.' Everyone has the power to manifest their own destiny.
Just one: My Dermaflash …of course! I can’t live without it and I am constantly taking strangers from fuzzy to fabulous in a flash!
And, if I could choose one more, I would add in Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream. It is amazing and has a 50 SPF.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.