{Beauty} Ask the Inventor: Amos Lavian, CEO and Founder, Dermelect Cosmetics

We sent Dermelect’s Makeover Ridge Filler to our FOF Beauty Testers wondering if yet another nail treatment could actually stand out from the pack. Turns out, the testers were all impressed by how much it strengthened their nails.

We called Amos Lavian, founder of Dermelect Cosmeceuticals, to find out more about Dermelect and why this formula nailed it.

There are about a million nail-strengthening products out there. Why the Makeover Ridge Filler?
Amos: No one has ever addressed discolored, rigid, hard-to-grow nails as an aging issue. We are the first to do that.

How are nails an aging issue?
As we age, the protein levels in our nails go down, weakening them. The object is to reinfuse the nails with protein–in this case, pure protein.

We sourced and imported an ingredient called Prosina, out of New Zealand. It’s a protein peptide derived from sheep’s wool.

How did you come up with using a peptide from sheep’s wool?
Four years ago, I read in a New Zealand medical journal about a biotech company that was extracting protein from sheep’s wool and using it to create skin adhesives and bone grafts for burn victims. I contacted the company and asked if this same protein could be used to repair broken or weak nails. They determined the amino acid content in nails is comparable to that in bone, so it should definitely prove effective.

How has the reaction been from your customers?
Tremendous. Women have been very, very positive. We had one customer whose nails were weak from chemotherapy and she told us it had strengthened her nails back to recovery. That was fantastic.

There are so many beauty lines out there–especially aimed at FOF women. Why should someone try Dermelect?
Our products aren’t created from one perspective–they’re created with a whole Board of Advisors: The head of plastic surgery at St. Luke’s Roosevelt, dermatologists, estheticians, a bridal specialist (who knows more about stressed skin?), a top nail and hand model from New York City, and an allergist. We know we’re addressing every aspect of what a woman needs and wants. Also, the treatments are forumalted to be universal and multifunctional.

What are your top three most popular products?
Number one product is Smooth Upper Lip & Perioral Anti-Aging Treatment, which addresses vertical lip lines and shadowy discoloration.
Number two is the Confidence Injection Crease Concentrate, which firms up the neck and the jawline.
Number three is our Nail Recovery System.

There’s such a range in beauty product cost–from $5 drugstore to creams to $300 department store moisturizers. What is your price based on?
My price points are $16 to $79 per item. It’s a bit pricier than the drugstore brands, but you’re getting a quality product and you’re not paying for hype. We launched in 2006, when the trend was toward fancier packaging and higher prices. It escalated into $100 for one ounce of cream. That made expectations too high. People thought that if they paid enough they’d see faster results. But you just can’t reverse twenty years of sun damage in thirty days–I don’t care how much a cream costs. You have to be patient and use the product consistently. With my product, use it a couple of times a day and you’ll be amazed with the results.

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