NOVEMBER 5, 2019
Meet the Maker: Dermaenergy
Sean Abel is the founder and creator of Australian cosmeceutical skincare brand Dermaenergy. I had the opportunity to interview him and gain an insight to how the brand was born and how the Dermaenergy products help simplify your beauty routine. Sean has over 24 years of experience in the beauty industry and has literally done it all! From beauty editor to beauty therapist he has extensive and hands on knowledge about ingredients and what skin needs. Enjoy the full interview below.
What inspired you to start DermaEnergy?
I was inspired to start Dermaenergy 19 years ago.
Back in the year 2000, at the age of 24, I was introduced to the wonder that is topical Vitamin C. A new concept at the time, it heralded the introduction of active skincare and ushered in the era of cosmeceuticals. At the time I was reviewing skincare products for the magazine I wrote for and I road tested my first Vitamin C serum. Unfortunately, the Vitamin C serum I tried made my skin break out. Although my skin occasionally experienced the odd break out, I did not have acne. After a few days however, this serum sent my skin into a frenzy and I was covered in angry pimples. Naturally, I stopped using it. It was frustrating as I was inspired by the benefits of Vitamin C, but unable to benefit from it personally. To me this was a shame.The problem was that the Vitamin C serum was formulated for an ageing skin. It was rich and overly nourishing. It wasn’t formulated for my demographic. I still find it interesting that most cosmeceutical brands seem to formulate exclusively with acne or ageing skin in mind. They seem to assume all young skins are acneic. Preventative anti-ageing for young skin seems to be neglected. Back then, I kept thinking about the results my skin would have achieved in the future if I was able to have benefited from this serum. Flawless, wrinkle-free skin well into my 40s.
This is when the DermaEnergy seed was first planted in my mind. Why wasn’t there a cosmeceutical skincare line for those wanting to prevent ageing? I dreamt of creating an active skincare line aimed at those in their 20s and 30s who, like me, wanted to start preserving their skin, but weren’t acneic. Super-light serums. Something fun and colourful, but with serious ingredients. And something that kept skin looking ‘fresh’ and stimulated. In 2014 I eventually took the risk, and started working on DermaEnergy. It took over 3 years to come to fruition, but eventually in 2017 DermaEnergy was born.
How do you test and trial the products in your line?
I have many willing friends!
When you send out a new product to a small test group, usually 12-20 people, you think that is enough people to see if there are reactions, irritations or issues but sometimes you can be unlucky. The issue with not testing on animals (not that I’d have it any other way!) is that customers who buy the products also become test subjects. Overtime, once you sell in the hundreds or thousands, then you may get feedback that may determine reactions. We’ve only had one issue with reactions and that was a citrus based essential oil in our cleanser, Clean With Envy. Once we realised the reactions we quickly changed over to a synthetic fragrance.
In terms of testing for results, well that is why we buy ingredients from Research and Development companies that have done extensive research into their own ingredients that can confirm the results. The most exciting ingredient we use is ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate)
What is your approach to skincare?
Keep it simple!
And be kind to your skin. Scrubbing the skin is not being kind to your skin. It is not a natural way the skin exfoliates itself. Scrubbing it is going against the grain (so to speak). Instead, use Acids to exfoliate the skin. When most people say “I just feel like I want to give my skin a good scrub”… to me this is saying they aren’t cleaning it properly. We created a silicone based cleansing brush to use with a cleanser every time you clean the skin. It’s like a toothbrush for your skin. Think about it, you don’t use your fingers to brush your teeth, but we do for our skin, why? To be clear, iUsing a (very soft) brush when cleansing the skin removes the need to aggressively scrub it.
What are top three products from the range?
It changes, but currently I am LOVING A Mean Clean, Calm the Harm and Light As A Feather.
A Mean Clean is a sulfate-free, Alpha Hydroxy and Beta Hydroxy acid cleanser. Non-drying, non-irritating, and non-stripping, it’s just perfect. For me the smell is divine and the skin feels so clean afterwards.
Calm the Harm is our soothing serum. With a blend of soothing extracts and Niacinamide (B3), this serum is instantly soothing. I am completely in love with this serum.
Light As A Feather is our oil-free moisturiser. The inclusion of silver means my skin never breaks out. The mattifying ingredients keep my oily skin matte all day long.
What are your top tips for glowing skin?
Change the way you clean and exfoliate the skin firstly. Cleaning it properly means your active serums will penetrate better and therefore results in glowing skin!
Solution From Pollution, our Vitamin C serum, is very brightening to the skin. So this instantly refreshes and brightens it!
Shed the Dead, our liquid exfoliant, contains Citric Acid and Mandelic Acids, which are both helpful to brighten and refresh the skin.