Amos Lavian’s holistic, good-natured approach to life extends to his cosmetics business, Dermelect Cosmeceuticals. He recently introduced the Dermelect ‘ME’ 2016 Unearthed Collection, six vibrant shades of nail polish inspired by nature and made with peptide-infused, anti-aging colored treatment lacquers. But the opulent tones of red, orange, yellow and copper do more than strengthen nails. For every lacquer sold through April 2017, Dermelect has partnered with Trees for the Future, a non-profit that aids impoverished citizens in Africa, to plant one new tree and a minimum of 10,000 trees.
The hope is to help provide families with shade and vegetation that they can use to produce sustainable food sources, feed livestock, sell products, fuel wood and increase income by up to 500 percent.
“I loved the concept of what they were creating and putting out there,” Lavian said. “It’s kind of like that old proverb, ‘You can give a poor person a fish it will feed them for a day but if you teach them how to fish it will feed them for a lifetime.’ We’re not just planting trees, we’re trying to build communities.”
Lavian learned the importance of giving back while going to school in Queens, where volunteerism was a part of the curriculum.
“It was a way of life that we had. I think the things that stuck with me mostly were at school we would set aside a day every month to go to a senior center.”
Since he started Dermelect Cosmeceuticals 10 years ago, Lavian has donated proceeds to aid in breast cancer research and to help people undergoing chemotherapy receive makeovers, a part of his business plan that has helped him build a loyal following.
“Women nowadays want products to be more than just a pretty picture. They want it to be good for them, they want to know where it’s going and they want to know it’s benefiting not only them but the general good.”
The keep-it-real vibes have also been a key ingredient in Dermelect Cosmeceuticals’ product formulas since Lavian founded the company in 2006. He consults with a board of advisors, including a facial plastic surgeon and a dermatologist that specializes in fingernail disorders.
“[Women] are coming to us with a problem and we’re giving them a solution. We want to provide them with information so they can make a decision and appreciate when they can expect results and how they’re going to see the results.”
Lavian’s model has helped his company remain strong in a crowded beauty market. In addition to his own website, Dermelect Cosmeceutical products can be found at spas around the country an on Ulta.com. But perhaps his greatest joy is seeing his four children buy into the big picture as well.
“As a father, you try to develop their personalities so that they become good young people and make their own decisions… so it makes me feel proud when my 5-year-old says, ‘Hey can we take this money I got from losing my tooth and give it to someone who needs it?’”