Dara Levy has marched from medi-spa to at-home merchandise to the delight of retailers looking to capitalize on the growing beauty device segment.
After performing 6,000 dermaplaning treatments at her former Chicago luxury medical spa Cellular Intelligence, she harnessed their ability to purge peach fuzz and dead skin cells in Dermaflash, a $189 device that recently launched at Sephora, QVC, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, and will enter Macy’s and Nordstrom by the summer. It’s sold more than 7,000 units in six appearances on QVC and, according to industry sources, is on pace to reach $15 million in retail sales this year.
“When I went to Sephora, I had a story board and a sample. It wasn’t even a working sample. I met with the powers that be, and they said, ‘This is an idea whose time has come. We want to be your first retailer,’” recounted Levy. “The enthusiastic response has been overwhelming because exfoliation is one thing, but women struggle with peach fuzz, so they wax and use lasers, and do really not good for you things. Dermaflash is the only thing that effortlessly exfoliates and removes the peach fuzz from women’s faces.”
Before Dermaflash hit retail, facial hair removal for women was already making waves. “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Caroline Manzo, and social media sensation Huda Kattan, founder of Huda Beauty, revealed they shaved their faces with razors, prompting beauty editors, dermatologists and aestheticians to weigh in on the value of different techniques for banishing unwanted fine hairs and sloughing off the outermost layer of the skin.
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For women’s faces, Levy is firmly antirazor and argues Dermaflash offers a superior option. She said razors are made with men’s scruff in mind and don’t work as well on women’s peach fuzz. Dermaflash depends on sharp single-use edges — each device comes with six edges — striated with tiny teeth and a subtle sonic vibration to de-fuzz and exfoliate. Users are instructed to stroke the Dermaflash across their faces for five to 10 minutes. The device is paired with prepping and soothing skin care products for pre- and post-Dermaflash treatments.
“There has been an incredible amount of press on women shaving their faces for exfoliation purposes, and I can’t stress how detrimental that can be. Picking up your husband’s razor is probably the worst thing you can do for your face. We are at the forefront of a new and right way to do it,” said Levy. “The blade in our edge is specifically and painstakingly designed for the delicate hair on women’s faces. There is no face that Dermaflash can’t accommodate. It is for all skin types, colors and ages; and there is no pain. It feels gentle.”
In the early days of Dermaflash at retail, Levy has found that customers 35 years old and above tend to pick up the device for eradicating facial hair, while customers under 35 are keen on exfoliation. “In a perfect world, skin turns over every 28 days. If you don’t remove it, it serves as a barrier. Light can’t bounce off your skin, and your products won’t work as effectively,” she said. “Dermaflash removes the barrier to fresh young skin underneath that, to be honest, most women don’t know they have.”
Dermaflash doesn’t replicate in-spa dermaplaning services, however. Levy underscored professional services are aggressive and can be quite expensive, easily $100 to $250 in New York. At Cellular Intelligence, she detailed, she’d perform “a triple exfoliation with a surgical blade. After that, we would do a glycolic or lactic acid peel. It’s meant to do monthly, and Dermaflash is intended for weekly use. Our [Dermaflash] treatment is very benign. You can immediately put makeup on and go out.”
Dermaflash is rolling out to retailers hungry to establish follow-ups to Clarisonic, a leader in the device category, to satisfy burgeoning demand for beauty tools. According to P&S Market Research, the U.S. beauty devices market was worth $9.2 billion in 2014 and is expected to expand with a compound annual growth rate of 19 percent through 2020. Levy emphasized Dermaflash is particularly appealing to bring into stores because it doesn’t compete with topical products that account for the majority of skin-care sales. Case in point: the brand will be introducing tie-ins with skin-care brands.
“It enhances all skin care and color,” she said. “It makes your skin care penetrate better, and it makes your makeup look better. It should be the first step in everyone’s beauty routine.”