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Why Dara Levy Went Back to the Drawing Board to Relaunch Dermaflash

Dermaflash was selling well, but that didn't stop its creator, Dara Levy, from retooling it.

Dermaflash has sold out every time its creator Dara Levy demonstrated how the device delivers dermaplaning at home. Numerous celebrities have been “flashed” with Dermaflash before hitting award show red carpets. And it is a go-to tool for makeup artist Daniel Martin, known for his looks for Meghan Markle, who said it’s his starting point for “impeccable skin care and makeup application.”

So why with all that success did Levy go back to the drawing board and rebrand her tool for a relaunch of Dermaflash 2.0 Luxe earlier this year?

“I listened to my consumer. This isn’t just like another lipstick, this is a whole new paradigm in beauty,” Levy said of the process that removes dead skin cells, built-up debris and peach fuzz. “I had the proof it was an idea whose time had come because we sold 30,000 units in one day [on QVC],” she said, adding there are still dollars left on the table.

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In addition to the big numbers on QVC, Dermaflash had a successful collaboration with Perricone MD and the brand had a solid track record at Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Ulta Beauty and Nordstrom. “I thought I had created a dummy-proof design, but there were things that didn’t come second nature. I wanted to take it to the next level and make it even more gorgeous and user-friendly.

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Several tweaks were made to make the do-it-yourself process even easier. For one thing, users couldn’t insert used blades back into the tool with the new device. The old tool indicator light went dark when fully charged — which confused users — so the new one blinks while charging and stays illuminated to indicate it’s ready for use.

The original Dermaflash was not compatible with international requirements. The new device is equipped with a USB charger to open up international distribution.

The gamble has paid off handsomely. Total sales in 2018 are up 221 percent over last year. The web site alone has posted a 245 percent boost in volume versus 2017. Retailers have responded, too, with rollout of Dermaflash 2.0 Luxe in all Nordstrom U.S. stores, branded endcaps in select Sephoras, a jump from 25 Neiman Marcus doors to 45. And a further testament to the payoff from the rebuilt device — the number of Instagram followers jumped 115 percent in 17 months.

And now, Dermaflash is gaining exposure from a direct-to-consumer infomercial from Guthy Renker. Dermaflash inked an equity investment by Guthy Renker Ventures in April 2017. The infomercial version is slightly less expensive than retail options and has pared down features. “It has the same DNA,” explained Levy, who believes the infomercial will expose more women to the benefits of dermaplaning. “I want to turn Dermaflashing into a verb,” she said.

Levy realized the opportunity for an at-home device after performing more than 6,000 dermaplaning treatments at her luxury med spa in Chicago. With dermaplaning, she said, results are immediately noticeable. “But, not everyone has access to a spa that offers dermaplaning and the cost of a single treatment is prohibitive to most.” A professional dermaplaning treatment can cost between $150 to $300 per visit. Dermaflash, along with Essentials, which are ancillary products to boost results, retails for $189. In addition to the Preflash Cleanser and Postflash Moisturizer that comprise the Essentials, Dermaflash just launched Dermaprotect Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ and Flash & Go Resurfacing Peel Pads.

Why Dara Levy Scrapped Her Original
Hot pink Dermaflash for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Tru Studio

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dermaflash added a hot pink device that will be followed up later this year with a navy-blue option. The company also teamed with Violet Grey for an exclusive white model in a sliver base. More items are in the pipeline include a sonic device.

The stage is set for products like Dermaflash to expand. The at-home device market is buzzing along, fueled by innovations such as dermaplaning, LED light therapy and micro needling. According to Kline and Co., device sales should grow at a compounded annual rate exceeding 18 percent through 2020.