Inspiring People

How a Bout of Cystic Acne Ultimately Led Dara Levy to Her Calling

DERMAFLASH Founder Dara Levy

When entrepreneur Dara Levy owned a medspa in Chicago years ago, she wanted to start a skincare line and “be the next Estée Lauder®.” But Levy had a major hurdle: “I couldn't figure out what the hero ingredient was going to be for that line,” she recalls. One day, as she was taking a routine shower, her “a-ha!” moment came, changing her career trajectory. “I screamed at the top of my lungs, ‘Oh my God, it's DERMAFLASH®!’” she says. “I pivoted completely, because I realized that I had this idea that literally didn't exist [in the market].” 

Levy is the founder of DERMAFLASH, a handheld device using sonic technology that painlessly removes dead skin cells, built-up debris, and peachfuzz, which was introduced to the world in 2016. (Read one editor’s review of the tool here.) The results are similar to dermaplaning, which is typically conducted in a medical office or spa.

Levy has since sold her spa, but her passion for dermaplaning obviously remains. It’s also what initially inspired her to change careers in the first place, and what continues to propel her forward. In fact, Levy, 59, didn’t start in beauty — rather, she pursued fashion, followed by a stint at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange® — but her quest for perfect skin kept her going. 

Before the DERMAFLASH device even made its debut, Levy had trademarked her medspa’s dermaplaning treatment, “DERMAFLASH,” and the venue had become known for the signature service. (They did 6,000 treatments in the first five years alone!) “We layered it into all of our facial treatments, and people would come to us to get red carpet ready, be it visiting celebrities or local newscasters, or just anybody that wanted to look great,” she shares.

Levy didn’t stop at DERMAFLASH. The company’s DERMAPORE® device, a pore extractor and serum infuser, launched last fall on QVC®, selling 2,000 units in under eight minutes. (The brand has sold 20,000 units just on QVC.)

We chatted with the entrepreneur about her introduction to dermaplaning and career changes, as well as her skincare routine, the all-female staff she employs, and if her daughters will follow in her footsteps.