Dermelect Cosmeceuticals was founded 15 years ago and today offers solution-based treatments with a self-care bent for an ingredient-focused, yet luxurious positioning. The brand, which generates $5 million in sales, includes several problem-solving hero products, such as Smooth Upper Lip Professional, Self-Esteem Beauty Sleep Serum, Makeover Ridge Filler and Revitalite Professional Eyelid & Dark Circle Corrector. Here, we caught up with founder Amos Lavian about the indie beauty brand’s point of difference, its social-media strategy, and plans for growth.

Beauty News: Describe the brand’s point of difference.
Amos Lavian: Every treatment in the range must meet our four brand tenets—luxurious, multi-tasking, universal, and, most importantly, effective. Dermelect takes a formula-first approach to beauty utilizing conscious formulation to provide a clean, worry-free solution that marries the best of both natural and high-tech ingredients. The line encompasses multiple beauty categories: skin care solutions, décolleté, total body, as well as the first peptide-infused, anti-aging nail treatments.

BN: What is Dermelect’s aesthetic? 
AL: Dermelect has been referred to as the ‘power-suit of beauty.’ The brand exudes a professional, clean and inclusive look with honest, informative messaging. The crisp red color of the containers pops as it combines luxe, soft-touch packaging with a shiny, embossed logo, conveying the feel of dewy soft skin exuding a natural, beautiful glow. The stacked logo symbolizes a compact solution packed with effective ingredients that function cohesively within the formula.

BN: Who is your target audience?
AL: The person going through change. From the initial formation of a line or crease to a reversal of a sun-damaged past, the mission is to provide effective problem solvers for targeted concerns, covering a range of beauty categories.

BN: How are you raising brand awareness? What’s your marketing strategy?
AL: Dermelect has ramped up its marketing efforts by using a holistic approach to get our message across. In addition to traditional editorial outreach, we have implemented a digital program consisting of affiliates, search, influencer, and performance creative marketing resulting in millions of online impressions monthly. In addition, we partner on aggressive subscription box sampling programs to put millions of units in the hands of everyone from millennials to boomers. Weekly Facebook and Instagram Lives plus quarterly newsletters inserted in our outgoing packages reinforce newness, promotions, brand messaging, and community.

BN: How do you get to $10 million in sales and beyond? 
AL: We need to be everywhere our customer is. While the growth of our direct-to-consumer is a priority, our expansion will be fueled by partnering with key wholesale partners that can benefit from our expanded marketing efforts and in turn further communicate our mission to a newer audience. Expanding our reach is really important to the future of the brand.

BN: What’s the brand’s distribution? 
AL: Our multi-channel distribution covers professional, retail, online retail, international, catalog, and direct to consumer.

BN: How would you say the brand is innovating? 
AL: Newness is key to our brand growth. 2021 saw some incredibly innovative product launches. Phyto Strong Nail Treatments are plant-based and bio-sourced. The vegan, 12-free, manicure extending formulas touted a true skincare approach to the nail category. Made with soy keratin peptide, squalene, bamboo, Japanese yuzu, organic cane sugar, and bilberry extract, it established itself as the gold standard in nail care.

We continued that momentum with our skin care launches. Flawless Bakuchiol Treatment, a sunshine-approved retinol alternative, Bounceback Forehead Line Treatment, a velvet-gel bouncy cream, Smooth & Supple Lip Mask Melt, featuring proprietary Moisture-Veil technology and All-Aglow All Over Scrub, antioxidant-rich dual face/body exfoliator. We also relaunched newly formulated and repackaged hero treatments Outcrease Retinol Trifecta, Confidence Crease Concentrate, Empower Anti-Wrinkle Treatment and Redness Rehab Rosacea Relief.

Our new product pipeline for 2022 features two new and innovative treatments slated to launch in January.

BN: What considerations did you take into account when first developing the line?
AL: The main thing we took to account was the client herself. She has been disappointed before by beauty brands with exaggerated claims leading to unattainable expectations. Her consistent sensitive skin type self-diagnosis is further testimony to the confusion encountered at the beauty counter. We looked to declutter her choices by providing universal, multitasking treatments that speak to her concerns with full ingredient and formulary transparency. We wanted to empower her with the tools to achieve real results.

BN: Who is funding the brand? 
AL: Dermelect is completely self-funded with continued reinvestment into the brand.

BN: Are you looking for investors? 
AL: I project we will seek additional resources to help support and expedite our growth plans.

BN: What has been your biggest challenge when launching the brand?
AL: The regulatory restrictions  involved with expanding into different international markets is exhausting. U.S. brands entering the E.U. and beyond need to comply with dossier requirements that are both extremely time-consuming and expensive with a lot of bureaucratic red tape. The borders are open, but the barriers to entry remain high.

BN: Can you speak to the brand’s social media strategy?
AL: Our team is creative with their approach. Producing a constant stream of video and engaging content is our top priority. Fun and informative Lives and Reels, beautiful imagery and consistent brand messaging across all channels is key. We also partner with micro-influencers who share our brand values and aesthetic.

While the industry’s focus is primarily on Tik-Tok and Instagram, our client remains active on Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube. Social is a 24/7, continued work-in-progress.