• 24-25 August 2024
  • ICC Sydney Darling Harbour

Beauty Expo Australia sat down with Reika Roberts and Simone Vescio: Visionary and Co-Founder, Derma Aesthetics

Tell us a bit about you and how you got into the beauty industry.

Simone: For as long as I can remember I have had a complete love and obsession with all things skin. So, when I turned 37, I took the leap and began studying for my diploma of beauty. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I found my true calling and realised that I had a knack for all things skin, from understanding the chemistry behind it to building skin-centric businesses.

The industry quickly became my home, a place where I felt like I was truly able to make a difference. Now, my goal is to leave a positive and long-lasting legacy that will continue to benefit people long after my retirement. 

Reika: After 20 years working in the corporate world across accounting, sales and marketing, in both Sydney and London, I gained clarity about the desire to start my own business. Sometimes things come down to serendipity; I’d always looked after my skin; LOVED having skin and other beauty treatments, so because of this and also through friends and other connections, I quite literally fell into the beauty industry. I started distributing skin care to skin treatment clinics in Australia and New Zealand, meeting many incredible people along the way; one of whom is my current business partner Simone. Together we’ve grown derma aesthetics into the market leader in the industry

Running a business always presents challenges, but through hard work, determination and managing to find an effective work/ life business, we have been able to continually grow the business and also support and educate our staff to be the experts that they are today. Many people comment that our ability to juggle work and life effectively is an inspiration to them which gives me great satisfaction.

What do you enjoy the most about working in the beauty industry?

Simone: I love the beauty industry’s ever-evolving nature and that there is always something new to learn. However, at risk of sounding corny, what I really love most is the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. From providing a safe and supportive work environment for our staff at derma aesthetics, to empowering clinic owners and their teams through education, marketing, and dedicated business development managers, we have the privilege of truly making a difference, beyond just changing skin.

Reika: I love what I do and who I get to do it with, whilst creating a sense of purpose, impact and being energised by doing the things I love. It’s this space that has allowed me to set values and live by them. I’m constantly reminded to live from the heart and be present in this industry that is so passionate about people and their well-being. Being able to provide valuable business building ideas to clinic owners and motivating and inspiring them to grow and that they CAN do it, is truly rewarding.

It’s also one of the fastest growing consumer markets and that’s exciting! The pace of change and what we can do to make a difference to people's lives is rewarding. Our sector is also a key employer of females offering endless opportunities which may not be apparent in other industries, and I feel inspired by the community of amazing people I get to do business with.

Some of the greatest rewards are the people I have met and the relationships I have established. And I adore the strength of the community. Never before have I witnessed a sector where people are so willing to help one another.

Tell us a bit about the story behind your brand. What was your inspiration and your brand mission?

We established derma aesthetics in 2010 after recognising significant gaps in conventional beauty applications and education standards across Australasia. 

Our mission is to change lives, not just skin by providing bespoke dermatological skincare solutions to practising corneotherapists, to treat every skin and its condition. As industry leaders in skin aesthetics, we continue to reshape the business of skin through science, innovative products, and advanced education. And as experts in education, we also continue to develop resources for the benefit of practising corneotherapists.

Reika: It’s all about the community of people around me, both in work and in my personal life. I felt a connection as soon as I came across the dermaviduals brand and was so inspired by everyone in the dermaviduals family that I knew the brand was at the start of something very special. I guess every distributor thinks they have the best products - but the science and independent clinical papers behind the efficacy of dermaviduals, as well as the true bespoke nature of the range is what inspired me to bring this range to Australia & New Zealand.

What do your customers love about your products?

Reika & Simone: Our products have been created with the understanding that each skin is unique, requiring its own customised prescription to target individual skincare needs. Our prescriptions are also designed to evolve with each person’s individual skincare journey.

Alongside our base products, our skin treatment therapists are trained to formulate bespoke products to further target skin concerns effectively to see real results for their clients.


What is your favourite product/ or range and why?

Simone: Well, that's an easy one - it's dermaviduals! Why? Because it works. Our products aren’t what I like to call ‘BS in a jar’, just marketing hype and empty promises. dermaviduals is an honest skin correction system that delivers results way beyond anything else I have worked with in my 20 years in the industry - and I have worked with many. Scientifically proven to be effective, skin compatible, and formulated for optimal skin health in aseptic laboratories, dermaviduals stands out as a unique skin correction system.

Reika: As distributors, we constantly reveal new and great ways of doing things and stay one step ahead with educational pathways. However, my current favourite product would have to be the dermaviduals Lotion N – a little spritz of Essential Fatty Acids and my skin is nourished and protected; ready to receive more beautiful pure and active dermaviduals ingredients that are ready to do their job.

What sets your brand apart from others in the industry?
Reika & Simone: As with fingerprints, everyone’s skin is unique, hence our individual approach to skincare. In 1994, Dr Hans Lautenschläger and his team of research experts created a bespoke skincare range designed to treat individual skin types and conditions, setting the products apart from the conventional blanket-approach skincare solutions of the day. Our products are bespoke featuring pure and active ingredients. We are dedicated to providing a great customer experience for our partners, our standards are never compromised and are paramount to every decision made across the company.

All our brands adhere to the principles of corneotherapy, a science-based system that works to ensure the epidermis is always kept intact and avoids harmful ingredients at all costs. The science behind corneotherapy is to tackle the underlying root cause, not to simply treat the symptoms. In addition to our product ranges, our focus on education and learning is integral to all we do. Not only for our team, but also for our clients and their customers. Our goal is to create an industry that shines through collaboration and education.

What path led you to Beauty Expo Australia and what is it about the show that makes it a great fit for you?

Reika & Simone: Attending Beauty Expo Australia is an exciting opportunity for us to showcase our brands, products, and educational initiatives to a wide audience. The show provides a platform for industry professionals to come together, share knowledge and developments in the industry which we are excited to be a part of.


Can you share one of your proudest moments in business so far?

Simone: ​​This is a really hard question as we've had so many proud moments on our journey to where we are today. But right now, I have to say I'm so proud to announce the launch of our own brand: SIMKA. Named by combining our names: Simone (SIM) and Reika (KA), SIMKA will fill gaps in the market and will be found in many bathrooms across the globe in years to come!

Reika: I am also particularly proud of our newly created product range. SIMKA is a revolutionary skincare line that prioritises internal wellness for external radiance. Founded on supporting the function of the skin from the outside-in and the inside-out, SIMKA will be launching at the Beauty Expo 2023, so watch this space! We can’t wait to showcase new products as they continue to be released.

What is the best piece of business advice you have been given?

Simone: Take a step back and sleep on major decisions! Remember, you don't have to have all the answers right away. Give yourself the time to reflect and make informed choices.

Reika: If it gets measured, it gets done. 90-day planning is digestible and KPI’s are a must have. Ask plenty of questions in business and don’t be shy! Never assume anything. One of my greatest delights as a leader is sharing my learnings from being in business, and creating a new generation of leaders.


Who are some of the other brands in the beauty industry that you love/admire?

Simone: For me it would be Charlotte Tilbury, not necessarily for their product range, but for how they have marketed themselves, their customer support team, their ordering system, their online tutorials, their concept stores globally and just last year hitting the Australian marketplace with a BANG.  Their attention to every detail is incredible. They are my inspiration for how I want to see SIMKA evolve in the coming years. 

Reika: When considering other brands, I don't focus so much on what they are, but rather on who is behind them; the cause they stand for, and whether they offer substance. It's not about the individual products themselves, but rather about the people, values, and purpose that drive a brand. Again, this is how I hope others see SIMKA evolving in the coming years, as we develop products with this in mind.



Where do you see the brand in 5 years’ time?

Simone: If we can talk about SIMKA, I want to say that in the next 5 years we will have made a global impact and have SIMKA distributors across many countries.  I’d also love for SIMKA to have the same cult following here in AUS and NZ as we do for dermaviduals.

Reika: I possess a steely determination to get things done. We will continue to expand our brand presence through culture and leadership, vision, and values, assisting clinics to heighten professional standards.

What is your next dream travel destination?

Simone: Florence is my happy place! With my husband being Italian, I've been lucky to visit many times, and it feels like home every time I go back. My dream is to have a permanent place in Florence, spending 4-6 months each year fully immersing myself in the region's beauty and Italian charm.

Reika: Well, I’ve long said my dream is to create a life that I don’t need a vacation from. However, COVID made me long for travel and time to be in nature. My next trip is a dream I’ve had since my early twenties - visiting the Inca site of Machu Picchu and then onto the Galapagos Islands. I’ve never been to South America before, so I am quite looking forward to it!

What are your top 3 go-to/favourite cosmetics products?

Simone: My number one is of course dermaviduals Cleansing Milk and Essential Cleansing Cloth duo - they go hand in hand!

Second place would have to be dermaviduals EGCG Skin Renewal Serum. A day will never go by without an application. It is a skin savour serum, and truly a standout in our range. 

The third is not a cosmetic product but an internal supplement that has a direct effect on my skin and general health and wellbeing: SIMKA Alpha Omega 3. Much like my EGCG serum, I never go a day without my daily intake of SIMKA Alpha Omega 3's. It's become an essential part of my routine, ensuring that I nourish my body from the inside out.

Reika: The bespoke nature of the range for me makes it harder to single out a top 3, as I am able to curate my favourite cleansers, serums, creams and even masks based on what my skin needs at the time. The pure and active nature of the ingredients gives me confidence I can attain my best skin.

I do have to say the Anti-wrinkle Serum is a game changer for me. It’s like botox in a bottle and I use it before events and where I’m dressing to impress! Our skin is like a window- I love being able to easily change up my skincare based on my environment, health, and what I am seeing reflected in my skin. Sometimes it’s not about what I love, but what I need.


If you could only use one beauty product for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Simone: Please, please don’t let that ever be the case but if I had to pick only one it would be DMS cleansing Milk as this cleanser supports, nourishes, and cleanses the skin all at the same time.  

Reika: Mine would have to be dermaviduals Süüsmoon Lotion N as it supports the repair and nourishment of the skin’s barrier to soften and smooth the whole body! It really is a product that I could not find anywhere else, so is truly unique.