Canadian-born skincare brand Indeed Labs has been making waves in the industry for over a decade, championing science-led products and responsibly-sourced ingredients. C&TH Beauty Director Nathalie Eleni sits down with Dimitra Davidson, CEO of Indeed Labs, to talk brand ethos, empowerment through beauty and skincare tricks and tips.
Indeed Lab’s Dimitra Davidson On Innovation, Empowerment & Skincare Secrets
Hi Dimitra, thanks for joining us today! Can you kick us off by telling us more about yourself and how you got into the industry you are now in?
Believe it or not, I began my career in finance and worked my way over to high-end retail. Fast forward a few years, I became a mom and this changed everything. Once I became a new mom, I started having issues with my skin that I had never experienced before. I have always been very conscious about what I consume and put on my body. I quickly became frustrated with the ingredients in the products that were being recommended to me. Nothing in the market was working and I knew that there must have been others experiencing these frustrations as well. I knew something needed to change.
Why is skincare such a passion of yours?
Even as a young consumer, I knew skincare was a necessity in my day-to-day life. It became a passion once I realised there were other people just like myself that had the same need. I quickly embodied skincare into my entire existence when I decided I wanted to make an effective change in the industry, but most importantly, when I realised that change was truly possible.
Tell us more about your reasoning behind not always bringing out new product developments (NPD)?
I will only bring out new products when I know they are going to fill a gap in the market. The skincare industry is already oversaturated, and the more I understand sustainability, consumer impacts and global environmental issues, the more I realise that many ‘solutions’ in the market don’t actually work. Yes, they have great intentions, however they fall short in comparison to the rate of consumer consumption. I can’t change the world but I can change our contribution to world issues as a brand. We look to be responsible with how and when we bring products to market, and predict future outcomes by listening to consumers.
How do you continue to innovate in a crowded skincare market?
To put it simply, change is essential. As people, we want to evolve; it’s in our human nature. Effective change has always come instinctively to me, so I make it a focal point at Indeed Labs and to push this forward. I believe in maintaining the status quo only when things are great – so I’m always going after opportunities for betterment.
How do you test your products and claims?
Our main goal while curating these formulas is to provide solutions that fit every individuals’ skincare needs. We work with premium-quality and clinically-proven ingredients. We complete consumer, and/or clinical trials on our new product development. We are always on the pulse of what’s happening in the industry and consistently listen to what our consumers are looking for. I test every formula and product on myself and our team before it ever hits the market. We are consumers ourselves!
Tell us about your laboratories in Canada and the work they do.
We are very proud to have our own lab in Toronto, Canada, where our award-winning products have come to life. Having our own lab allows us to be on the cutting edge of technology and innovation. We have two full time chemists on staff, one of whom has over 25 years of experience in the industry. Our chemists play a crucial role in the development of the Indeed Labs products, as they provide us with a deeper understanding of ingredients and formulations.
Tell us more about the importance of science-backed skincare?
To put it simply, science-backed skincare means that all the claims are backed by scientific evidence and clinical studies. This also means that products are formulated with a pure grade of active ingredients that the skin actually needs, and at the right percentage to maximise skin health while avoiding ingredients that may be irritating or sensitising. Science-backed skincare also empowers consumers to make well-informed purchasing decisions that meet their expectations of both safety and effectiveness.
What does empowerment (especially in the case of beauty) mean for you?
Defining empowerment in one sentence is nearly impossible in this industry as it goes far beyond external beauty. To me, empowerment is fulfilling our goals, being fearless, accepting things as they are, but acknowledging that sometimes things need to change. We empower each other through support in our communities, setting good examples, creating jobs and mentoring young professionals. As a brand owner, it is important for me to grasp how brands are a conduit for continuation of empowering forces, especially for women leaders.
How have you worked to redefine beauty?
As a brand, the moment we began redefining beauty began with our billboards for Nanoblur almost 13 years ago. We never used photoshopped models, or filters; just real, authentic beauty. Through my years of experience in the industry, I’ve realised skin care is not just skin deep.
I remember growing up, there was only one real ‘look’ of beauty. If I can say one thing about beauty, it’s this – beauty is an ownership, not a definition. It has not been through products, but rather opportunities and connections we’ve created that have allowed us to truly redefine beauty. We all know real beauty comes from within, it’s not external. The word ‘real’ is miles away from where it was when we started. Through empowering messages, we strive to make everyone feel beautiful without a definition.
Tell us about your reuse, reduce and repurpose philosophy for your personal life and for Indeed Labs.
Rather than saying ‘recycling’, I like to say ‘repurposing’. Every quarter, my family and I spend time at home to purge items that are no longer of use to us, but can be beneficial for other people. We look through items like books and clothes, and find communities to give back to. My daughters and I are also huge thrifters. I try to instil a sense of responsibility and consciousness in my household regarding how much we’re consuming. This way we can be more aware of our habits and give back to our communities in the best way we find possible.
What are your good skin habits?
A few skincare habits I swear by are washing your face morning and night, exfoliating as often as your skin requires, and using healthy-skin ingredients like peptides, retinols and hyaluronic acid. However, we all know that good skin comes from within. It’s so important for me to maintain a healthy, balanced diet, combined with consistent exercise and lots of sleep. Also, never forget your SPF!
What does your daily routine look like?
My routine is fairly simple considering how hectic everyday life can be. I am a huge advocate for starting my day off with a morning walk; it helps set my intentions for the day. After my walk, it’s time to wash up for the day. I use a gentle cleanser, followed by our Snoxin II and Vitamin C24. Next comes my favourite step; combining our In-Ceramide Moisture Cream with a drop of Nanobronze, and locking that all in with SPF.
Then, the work day begins! Each day is a bit different as I am involved in every aspect of the business. From product formulation to creative strategies, I am always checking in with my team.
At the end of a long day, I unwind by spending time with my family, making dinner, and starting my nighttime skincare routine. I always double cleanse with our Watermelon Melting Balm and Hydraluron Cream Cleanser, and finish it off with our Retinol Reface products.
What products do you rely on and can’t live without?
Personally, my lips are always dry and cracked. So, you’ll never see me without one of our Hydraluron Lip Treatments. There’s at least one in my car, and all of my bags. Snoxin II is really high up there for me as well. It’s a total game changer, and a product I recommend for everyone.
What are your skincare secrets?
Well, I guess my secrets wouldn’t be secrets if I told you, would they? But, everyone around me knows that I always love to share! For me, the biggest drivers for healthy skin are a balanced diet and a consistent sleep schedule. Oh, and stay out of the sun! I always use an SPF on my face to prevent further sun damage and premature aging on my skin.
indeedlabs.com | UK customers can browse the brand’s range of products on Boots and LookFantastic
Images courtesy of Indeed Labs