As natural beauty segment of the market continues to grow, it’s interesting to observe the differences between brands launched around the world and how they navigate increased competition from their fellow competitiors in the same skincare niche. Dafna’s Personal Skincare is a Spanish brand that earlier this year was launched at Content Beauty, where I had the pleasure of meeting Dafna, the brand’s founder. I got to quiz her about her approach to beauty, what makes her brand unique and how she balances work and family commitments.
Putting your own name on a brand automatically makes it more personal, but in addition, Dafna’s name also means ‘laurel leaves’ in Hebrew, which works as brand’s logo. Dafna creates natural products, of which there are currently five, by combining high concentrations of 40 active ingredients (11-25 actives per product), which include essential oils and botanical extracts with advances in biotechnology that together bring visible results to your skin. Due to ingredients being at a low molecular weight, they make formulas more effective. Created to work synergestically, they aim to fight early signs of ageing and accumulated damage to cells caused by free radicals, skin dehydration and intristic oxidative stress, to which most of us are exposed daily, irrespective of seasons or places where we live. But a word of warning – don’t jump from product to product or from brand to brand – if you want to see results, be consistent with what you use for at least a few months, unless your skin reactes negatively to something – only then you can draw conclusions about efficacy of a specific product for your skin.
Dafna lives and works in Madrid. For years she has been passionate about natural world and becoming a mother only maginified the strength of her feelings for the chosen mileiu. She is a certified aromatherapist, psychologist, naturopath and product blending formulator, who started creating her first batches, based on botanical and essential oils, from 2000. Initially for herself and later making it for clients, she also noticed the effect her products had on skin conditions and stress that her clients experienced. Through trial and error she blended products that addressed skin repair process and helped elevate her clients wellbeing through scent. At the same time Dafna worked as a consultant to pharmaceutical companies and that work allowed her to identify the need for natural skincare, as well as the demand for it. It was clear to her that integrating bio-technology processes with the right ingredients will allow her to maximise product efficacy. 2014 became a somewhat lifechanging year, as Dafna collaborated with scientists, the result of which was DR2 Wellbeing line, aimed at the following processes that our skin and body experience:
– Detoxing: ingredients that purify the skin and help reduce accumulated damage tdue to sun exposure, pollution, air-conditionning. Active ingredients are chosen to provide vitality and protection to skin cells DNA.
– Repairing: ingredients that minimize signs of ageing, such as pigmentation and fine lines.
– Destressing: ingredients that help fight oxidative stress, one of the biggest factors to have negative impact on our skin as we age. Their aim is to balance the skin and make it look healthy.
– Recharging: ingredients that give cells the energy and help enhance Collagen and Elastin production.
As I mentioned earlier, there are five products in the range at the moment, namely:
– Night Treatment Nutrition aromatherapeutic cream with 21 actives to repair skin & relax senses, it is one of Dafna’s personal favourites (and after using it for a month, so is mine, but running pretty close to the serum as well!). This cream addresses various skin needs, including lightening the skin prone to pigmentation, but even more importantly, it helps bring the skin into equilibrium. Dafna developed it with mature, dry and normal skin in mind and calls it ‘food for the face’.
This aromatherapeutic cream puts you at ease as soon, as you inhale its calming aroma and I adore putting it on my skin as soon as I come home in the afternoon or evening, letting it work its magic on my skin & my mood ahead of bedtime. In its base it has essential oils & plant extracts, but its foundations lie in the advanced Biotechnology extraction and maximisation of ingredient efficacy. The list of components, like green tea, reishi, propolis make me good hungry and the scent of vanilla and rosewood calms the fraught mind, as intended, very quickly. It also has a rich texture, which sinks effortlessly and quickly into the skin & I like ‘tapping’ it into my skin, releasing the tension, increasing the circulation & drainage, as well as making sure my skincare works more effectively. Another lively surprise is the ‘lifting’ effect that it almost instantly has on your skin – don’t confuse it with tightness – so I recommend extending its application to your neck & decollate area! A couple of times a week I combine the serum, that I review below, with Nutrition, and they create a very powerful synergy together, to such an extent that not only do I notice how my skin looks, but I actually get compliments from strangers. It really is a luxurious beauty and wellbeing cocoon encapsulated in a sophisticated crystal violet jar, that turns my evening skincare ritual into a pampering session at the spa, but in the sanctity of my own bathroom.
– Day treatment Moisture cream has 19 actives to revitalize skin & uplift the senses. It is supposed to be used both morning and night and was created based on tester’s feedback. Notably, it contains hyaluronic acid in small molecules and penetrates the skin well. The scent of neroli and lavender is uplifting, yet relaxing. Again, judging this one ‘superficially’, only having tried several samples of it.
– Day Treatment Moisture Light cream with 19 actives has the same effect as the cream above, but works particularly well for mixed skin, as well as sensitive. Dafna recommends using this cream in warmer weather.
– Anti-Ageing and Glow serum contains 11 actives and is the product I will tell you more about further down.
– And one of brand’s best-sellers, – Eye Care to repair and revitalise the delicate skin around the eyes with 16 potent actives. It has light texture and customers really seem to love it, possibly because it is suitable for all skin types. The cream contains chicory root, which improves the circulation that can be stagnant is that area, plus helps reduce fine lines. It is easily absorbed and works perfectly well as a base for make-up, notably concealer.
Now, to the Anti-Ageing Serum & Glow, the role of which, in general, shouldn’t be underestimated in our daily skincare routine. The formula of this serum is composed from natural active ingredients obtained via advanced Biotechnology of extraction, called TensUp. It has a double effect: immediate lifting (it is a kind of matrix that stretches over the face and creates the lifting effect) and long-term anti-ageing (collagen production and synthesis) with regular use. Dafna says that this serum offers one of the most advanced solutions to combat skin’s anti-ageing process, something we all want to delay for as long as we can. You have such actives as Rosehip and Olive oils that nourish and soften; Chicory Root Oligosaccharides that increase collagen synthesis and production, resulting in almost immediate ‘tightening’ effect, as it ‘closes the pores and plumps the skin, due to Hyaluronic Acid which helps to maintain skin’s hydration levels. After using this serum for about two weeks I noticed improvement in radiance and general feeling of my skin’s contentment.
Dafna recommends using this serum before the party or even better, for a few days before the party or an importantly event, consistently, and then you do notice a difference in your skin – how it looks (more glowy in my case), feels and helps make-up stay ‘fresher’ looking for longer. I was really taken with this serum’s light, yet sophisticated texture that feels like a creamy gel and which sinks into your skin without a trace, just making your complexion look and feel plumper and better moisturised.
Its subtle scent is comforting and applying it to the skin feels like a mini-ritual in itself. I ended up using it on its own in the mornings, maybe with half the usual amount of my moisturiser and ‘topped’ up with the night moisturiser at night and it seems to have offered my skin exactly what it needs, as the weather started cooling down and then warmed up again, proving the versatility of its formula.
This serum works well for all skin types but if you have oily skin, use it as a stand alone product, with no cream/moisturiser afterwards. If you have other skin types – apply, leave for a couple of minutes and then apply your usual cream, lotion or moisturiser. You can use it day and night but if you prefer, you can use it just at night-time.
Dafna’s knowledge of skincare also affects her outlook on life and when I asked her about some advice that she could share with me and you, my readers, she smiled and said that sometimes the best things that make the difference to how you look and feel are the simplest ones:
- Start the day with a glass or cup of warm water that will help your digestion and circulation get a gentle, not forced, start and wait for about fifteen minutes before you eat something
- Make sure you eat seasonal vegetables daily
- Be careful with spicy food, especially if you have sensitive stomach or prone to redness on your skin
- Effective skincare is simple, not complicated, you just need to find what works for YOUR skin. In the morning cleanse, tone, apply serum & moisturiser or just a moisturiser, as serum really only works for about half a day. At night, cleanse, tone (it closes the pores after cleansing and in Dafna’s view is an essential product in one’s skincare routine) and apply serum, eye cream and if using Dafna”s skincare, Nutrition cream
- Treat your skin with care and respect
To find out more about Dafna’s Personal Skincare click here. In the UK the products are available in-store & online at Content.
Dafna’s products don’t contain the following: parabens, mineral oils, allergens, dyes, synthetic preservatives or synthetic fragrances. All ingredients are certified by Natrue and Ecocert and organic essential oils are Soil Association certified. The brand is against animal testing. The products come in Crystal Violet packaging that protects formulas from light exposure and are made in Spain.