Time to shine a spotlight on my first new brand of the year, DAFNA’S. A Madrid-based, Ayurveda inspired, botanical meets biotech natural skincare line now stocked in the UK at green beauty mecca Content. I recently met the founder, Dafna Shaham, a globetrotting, multi-tasking, multilingual, naturopath, aromatherapist and skincare formulator to learn a little bit more the range and ‘beyond skin deep’ philosophy.
She mentioned that the line is geared towards tackling the damage done to skin by stressful city life. Living in London, I’m all ears! Read on….
Why did you decide to launch DAFNA’s?
DS: “I decided to launch Dafna after I realized how happy my clients were with the natural products I designed and created for them. For about 10 years I have been creating creams at my clinic and really got to solve people’s issues such as ageing, sensitive skin, skin issues after cancer, atopic skin etc.”
Why do you base the products on Ayurvedic philosophy?
DS:”When I traveled to India and Tibet in 2000, I first learnt about Ayurvedic powders solutions. I was sceptical but it worked amazingly (we were a bunch of people who suffered from high altitudes and difficult weather conditions in Tibet). After that I started to dig more into Ayurveda and holistic medicine and I got to see the importance of combining this philosophy into my daily life and my skincare. Also, I agree with the Ayurveda description of our skin – in Ayurveda skin is part of the personality, of the total self and I can see it daily in my clients.”
You’ve travelled a fair bit. Do you think that has influenced the ingredients you use or how you create?
DS: “No doubt! I love to travel and discover the traditional ingredients wherever I am. In each place, I try and learn about the ingredients and in some cases I fall in love with them. I like ingredients that are very nutritive, antioxidant rich and at the same time have their story. Like when I was in China, it was with reishi which is considered the ‘Kings Medicine’ and ginseng. When in Japan, I adored Centella Asiatica for its curative abilities and in Greece figs which have a high power to hydrate the skin and have been used for generations as a home remedy.”
Why is it important to you to use mainly certified organic ingredients and what is your ingredients policy?
DS:”I love my essential oils to be organic. As we use it in such small quantities and it is made from the most delicate part of the plant, I want it to be the best of the best. As an aromatherapist I can smell and feel if the oil is treated, natural or organic.”
Tell me a little more about the biotechnology that you use?
DS:”Since biotechnology is so advanced today, I truly think we can get more from nature in a very responsible and clean way. Where we maintain natural properties but can maximise them to create even more effective skincare. Which is what we want. For example our serum is one of the best sellers, as you can really feel it works – its anti-ageing properties, thanks to the biotech we use made from tara and chicory root, are unique and have a tremendous effect.
With our biotech, as well as with the ingredients, what I am doing with the chemist team, is to look around the world to find what we believe to be the best and most suitable ingredient / biotech for our formula. It always has to be certified as natural, no animal abuse, no toxic chemicals etc and to be HIGHLY effective. Usually it takes years to develop and the combination we are looking for is hard to find… so we search the world.”
Essential oils are a key part of the formula but some people react to them. Are there any products in the range suitable for very sensitive skin?
DS:”We are very responsible in the amount of essential oils we use. We do have clients with sensitive skin and they love our products. Nevertheless, sensitive skin has many origins, and can be reactive to different things. We do not have any essential oils in our serum, and we use a minimal amount in the eye care. So I would say these 2 products are the most suitable ones for sensitive skin.”
What are the benefits of the application technique you recommend for creams?
DS:”Technique is so important! And people tend to forget about it. The application of a cream should be done in certain way, otherwise you waste too much of the product and with less benefits! Our specific technique not only guarantees better application but also benefits from the amazing organic essential oils we use. This way the user can enjoy the product – skin and soul.”
You also offer tailor-made customised skincare. Can you please tell me more about this?
DS:”I started my skincare at my clinic, where all I offered was customized solutions. I helped people with different skin issues to overcome them – whether over sensitivity, dryness, issues after skin cancer, atopic skin etc. And this is what led me to understand so well what our skin really needs. I still offer this service as I have clients that really need it and I want to be able to help them!”
What does natural beauty mean to you?
DS:”Natural beauty is a concept. It is not just about what you apply, it’s about your beliefs. For me it’s about taking care of us as a whole, not just to look prettier but to feel better and to make right choices (like sustainability, no animal testing, helping others etc).”
What is your top (non product) beauty tip for healthy skin in the winter?
DS:”I have two… the first would be – not to shower in too hot water. It keep pores open which makes skin drier and essentials fats to evaporate. The second tip would be to consume (by eating or topical use) oils that are rich in Omega 3 and 6 like Hemp oil and white fish.”
What is your personal favourite product in the range?
DS:”I completely love our NUTRITION night treatment, it is so rich, and has such an amazing effect over the skin. My clients that use it report a big difference before and after. It leaves skin soft, dramatically reduces fine lines and fights skins’ oxidation. It also has lovely essential oils that are relaxing and perfect for night treatment. I worked on the formula for long time and I managed to include 21 active ingredients in a truly innovative mix with reishi, gingseng, rosewood essential oil.”
Any new developments for 2017?
DS:”Yes! I am currently working on our cleanser which is much more than a cleanser, it is so nutritive and reveals new skin that it can be used as a moisturiser as well. Stay tuned for more details very soon.”
It was a pleasure meeting Dafna and feeling the passion she has for her products and commitment to overall wellbeing. I’m totally with her that everything is connected! I’ve just started to testing the night treatment so will report back. Have you heard of or tried anything from DAFNA’S?
For more information on DAFNA’S visit www.dafnaskincare.com