Darya Hope Pishevar was inspired to bring the spa facial experience to homes amid the pandemic.
“The main thing is to really have a base set for your serums and moisturizers to sink in,” said the 21-year-old. “That’s the most important thing for skin care. And in these facials, they would be so extensive with three, sometimes four, different kinds of cleansers to really exfoliate and open up the pores. I wanted to bring that for people, especially during COVID-19 when nobody was doing facials. You could still have those experiences for yourself.”
With her brand Darya Hope Beauty, formulated in Beverly Hills, she offers an oil cleanser, gel cleanser and “face polish,” at $50 each (or as a trio for $120), to prep the skin for her hero product: the $300 “Youth Elixir Stem Cell Serum.”
“It’s a very complicated technology,” said the brand’s chief scientist, Anton-Philip Battiade, who specializes in stem cell therapies and research. “There’s not really many people working with these technologies. If they are, it’s mainly in a medical field rather than in a cosmetic field.”
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Pishevar, who’s currently in college in Santa Monica, Calif., studying biology and business, was just 19 when she decided to launch the brand. She was “infatuated with skin care,” she said, and with the encouragement and support of her father, entrepreneur Shervin Pishevar, she began building her team. She met Battiade through mutual friends, she said.
“I came into his lab, and he explained the CTT complex, which stands for cell turnover technology,” she went on, of Battiade. “It stimulates your growth factors and sees what you’re lacking and just repairs it.”
“With our cell technology, the original concept was to use it for burn victims,” explained Battiade. “You want to grow skin very quickly, because then they don’t develop infection. So, it can use stem cell extracts to trigger very quick skin growth. But at the same time, if you put that on your face, your wrinkles go away, dark spots go away. So now it has a cosmetic use. Those technologies coming from medicine, we can translate them into cosmetics. And that’s what we’ve done here.”
Can that technology be available for the masses as the brand grows?
“Yes, we had to develop technology that we can expand as well, and that’s quite difficult,” he said.
“The fact that we have this turnover technology is absolutely amazing,” said Violet Grey alum Leah Vairo, vice president of Darya Hope Beauty, who also works alongside Pishevar. “For a young woman like Darya to harness that type of technology in her skin care line, that really sets us apart on so many levels.”
Darya Hope Beauty, available now at Daryahope.com, anticipates more than $6 million in sales by the end of 2022. The business is currently raising its first round of venture capital financing, which the brand expects to be “in excess of $3 million,” to put toward new hires and products. Next, Pishevar will introduce an “Age-Defying Peptide Lotion and Rejuvenating Rich Cream” in November and a “Nordic Kelp Skin Brightening Toner” early next year.
“A lot of skin care lines that you see out there, they use one ingredient through all of their products,” said Vairo. “What we decided to do was put different marine ingredients in each product, and I am just so blown away by what these marine extracts can do.”
The sea oak in the oil cleaner synthesizes collagen to heal the skin, she said, while the sea fennel in the gel cleanser works on breaking down pigmentation and the “face polish,” with laminaria saccharina extract, is anti-inflammatory and helps with acne. The serum also utilizes red sea algae, which promotes circulation, a peptide that mimics injectables, and alaria esculenta extract, “firming amino acids.”
“You see such an immediate result,” said Vairo. “But we didn’t want to just do that. We wanted to go deeper than that. And we wanted to actually heal your skin. So while you’re getting this immediate, tightening sensation, you’re also getting a treatment that goes deep into your skin to regenerate your skin.”
The marine extracts — sourced from companies with ethical and sustainable practices, according to Darya Hope Beauty — are handcrafted in small batches to minimize waste. Partnering with SeaLegacy, an organization working to protect oceans, the brand is offering a dollar for every product sold for the cause. Pishevar plans to launch a membership and loyalty program, “conservation club,” to educate consumers on the science and ingredients behind the products, as well as the brand’s mission and practices. Darya Hope Beauty uses recyclable glass and boxes, with post-consumer recycled plastics for its pumps and Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper for packaging.
“Sustainability was really important for me from the beginning,” said Pishevar. “I knew I wanted to be as sustainable as possible.”