WOMEN WE LOVE – DAFNA SHAHAM, founder, Dafna’s Personal Skincare
Plant-powered, intelligently curated skincare with ingredients labels good enough to eat isn’t just having a “moment”, it’s dominating our world right now. This year’s Beauty Shortlist Awards saw more products ranked a 10 by our ten judges than in any previous year – exciting stuff, not least when a lot of the brands that entered were new to us.
One of these was DAFNA’S PERSONAL SKINCARE, with its deliciously luxe glossy black pots of spa-style creams that made us want to zip them all into a weekender bag and escape to a luxury hideaway for a month to try them all out.
Amid a good deal of very stiff competition, not one but two products from Dafna’s range took home a 2016 Editor’s Choice Award, her targeted EYE CARE therapy and the exceptional NUTRITION Night Treatment (which, it turns out, is the best-seller).
We caught up with the brand’s founder Dafna Shaham last week to ask her why her legion of loyal fans just gets bigger and bigger, how she manages to juggle being a new mum with all that running an award-winning beauty brand entails, and why personalised skincare is one of the big trends shifting the beauty landscape right now.
Q: Dafna, how would you describe your range in a sentence – and what sets it apart?
A: Based on many years of working with women and learning our needs (women in their 30s and 40s) I have created the line for the city women- DR2. Detox from free radicals and skin oxidation, so common in the city and stressful life we live, Repair from daily and accumulated damages, De-stress- essential oils that are calming and comforting for the mind and soul and Recharge- with energy both our skin’s cell and our mind. With this great mission in mind and all our experience, I personally have selected the ingredients and created the unique formulas.
Q: You recently had a baby, how do you juggle being a mum with running a beauty brand…any tips?!
A: I have a 2 year old boy and now a 4 month baby girl. But it’s actually more like 3 babies with my new beauty brand. So life with 3 babies is tremendously busy – you’re always juggling! My tip would be to be as flexible as you can – both with the babies and the business. Working hours can be funny (if I am awake to feed my baby at 4 am, after she is asleep, I am thinking about new formulas or sometimes even send some emails). I learnt the art of flexibility in my previous job as a consultant – you work with so many different clients internationally, so you have to become flexible. And now it’s really paying off!
Q: There’s a definite feel good, wellbeing element to Dafna´s Skincare at a holistic level, in addition to the efficacy of the products with their intelligent formulas…so how easy – or not- was it to decide on the final formulas and branding of the whole brand?
A: For me the wellbeing part is integral, it’s such an essential part of these beauty creams. One of the beautiful elements of natural skincare is that you can really use Nature to help your whole self. When we created the aromas from 100% bio essential oils, I wanted people to fall in love with the scents and also reap the benefits of the essential oils themselves. It took me some time to finalise the formulas, my business partner and I did a lot of test marketing (with more than 100 women) to really define them. We adjusted the formulas a few times until the testers really fell in love with the products.
NUTRITION night treatment, part of the advanced DR2 range to Detox, Repair, Destress & Recharge skin at the deepest levels
Q: What’s the best thing about creating a skincare brand…and what has been the hardest, would you say?
A: The best is that you put your heart and soul into it. You design and create the best you can and you fight for this baby to live and become a grown up… The hardest is the same thing… since it is your baby, it all matters so much to you, you live every single moment of it and sometimes it can be quite challenging.
Q: If you weren’t running Dafna Skincare, what would you be doing instead?
A: Wow, now it’s hard for me to think of doing anything else, Dafna’s is so much a part of me now. I worked in consultancy before, mainly with pharmaceutical clients, and I actually enjoyed it a lot. In a way, each project is your own business: you design it and you are the person ultimately responsible for it.
But for me designing formulas, each time more sophisticated: with new ingredients and new bio-technology solutions, just makes life so much interesting, so I would not change it for the world!
Q: Last but not least, Dafna, if you had to narrow it down to just ONE hero product from the range, what would you pick?
“NUTRITION NIGHT treatment is a skin indulgence and repair cream. It has 21 natural active ingredients, among them really interesting ones like Ginseng, Propolis and Green tea, and SOIL registered organic essential oils like Rosewood and Vanilla.
As the brand stands for, there are some biotechnology ingredients as well that create an immediate up-lifting effect while delivering long term anti-ageing results.
As it sounds, this treatment is highly potent in fighting skin oxidation and the accumulated effects of ageing, improving skin texture and look. The unique aroma of the essential oils helps you calm down and disconnect, so it really is the perfect treatment before a good night’s sleep!”
Which would be my pick? At the risk of playing copycat, I’m going to single out NUTRITION Night Treatment, too, although EYE CARE is like a radical, results-driven cocktail of good things for the eye area and I’ve always been a fan of eye-specific products, I think you need them, not least pre- and post-30’ish.
I love that Dafna’s formulations incorporate cutting edge biotechnology. Like TensUp, for immediate firming and a more lifted look…another USP would be the small molecule Hyaluronic Acid (small, for better/deeper absorbtion), an incredibly potent moisture retainer which we have in our own bodies, interestingly, and Hydrolised Soy instead of peptides to absorb into skin more effectively.
Next on my list…MOISTURE, SUMMER EDITION
But I’ve already got my eye on MOISTURE, The Summer Edition. It’s got Mediterranean Fig, Mexican Ivy, Mimosa Bark extract and Aloe in it and the ingredients list is packed with plant extracts including 19 natural active ingredients. Dafna’s range I would say was one of the Beauty Shortlist Awards highlights this year. I love a luxe, glossy black bottle but when what’s in it works and is gorgeous to use in the true sense of “aromatherapeutic”, it’s a lovely win-win. Plus, Dafna’s seems to inspire an emotional attachment to it (just like NEOM, Aromatherapy Associates, Aurelia Skincare, Weleda and ila Spa also do) and I think a big part of that comes from Dafna’s love for what she does and her own good, vibrant energy.
PREDICTION: Expect to see Dafna’s Personal Skincare at UK retailers in the next year or two…there’s a lot to love about this brand.
You can find Dafna’s individually-targeted, high powered skincare collection at: