Veridatta’s Rebecca Underdown Thinks “You Are Enough”
We’re declaring that “skin is in” this summer. Healthy, glowing skin that is properly protected from the sun that is! Luckily, we got to chat with Rebecca Underdown, the founder of organic skincare line Veridatta. Get to know Rebecca below and look out for her poolside at the MBH to snag a customized mini facial. Naturally, Veridatta products are available at The Shop so be sure to pick some up for all your summer skincare needs!
Can you give us a brief history of Veridatta? What was your background before this phase and what inspired you to start this line?
Eight years ago I was in San Diego stressed out in acupuncture school and part time modeling, and I was getting wrinkles due to all the sun exposure and I was breaking out at the same time. Whether it was stress, too much drinking, or all the sunscreen, who knows, but the combination of feeling like my skin was aging and I had acne infuriated me. The big brand names weren’t working and when I tried the organic products I was disappointed with the unsophisticated user experience.
With a background in chemistry and a bit of OCD, I began formulating something I could wear every night that was going to “anti-age.” In Chinese Medicine School I studied with a Japanese master of traditional facial rejuvenation techniques. When I opened my practice in San Diego, I marketed myself as a Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncturist.
This was right in the heat of Botox entering the market and everyone was googling botox and those that were too nervous to get botox, wound up in my office as I marketed ‘natural botox.’ Technically, a facial rejuvenation acupuncture session has nothing to do with botox, but people got the point. They were not scared to receive 30 needles in their face if it was going to make them look younger. All the while, I was developing the rest of the line and would use the products on clients and record results. The line was complete in 2014 when I launched the products online and slowly began stepping away from my practice. My goal was to create the most effective way to provide clients with the essence of a facial rejuvenation acupuncture treatment as a morning and evening ritual.
How do you go about picking and sourcing your ingredients and what is your approach to formulation?
Formulation is two parts science, one part art, and all parts magic. The first aspect to a formula is intention. The first intention is the same across the board for all the products: move, move, move. You want the skin to be constantly detoxifying or purifying. Chemicals slow this process down. The second intention depends on the particular product but if it is a cleanser, it is to open the passageway for the skin and balance the sebaceous glands. If it is the day repair, it is to supply the skin cells with anti-aging nourishment and balance the sebaceous glands. As for sourcing ingredients, I lived in New Zealand and I am privy to the oils that the Maoris use like Tamanu Oil and Kukui Nut Oil.
What do you say to people who think that natural ingredients are “not as effective” or who feel that paying higher prices for natural products isn’t warranted?
I usually never speak to those people. No, just kidding, but I don’t find many people like that anymore. My answer has always been, it costs less to make a chemical than to source an organic ingredient from the earth. Veridatta’s products are sophisticated so I never have to worry about apologizing for a crude experience.
The natural beauty space has evolved over the years and seen a particular surge in the past few years. How do you feel about the shift and how has it impacted Veridatta and your customers?
To speak to the previous question as well, I think it is great. The demand for natural is high because everyone has been doing their research and understands that chemicals can be harmful to the body whether you ingest them or put them on the skin. People are ready for Veridatta and are finding me rather than the other way around. Now I get to have fun with it.
This rising popularity has led to a lot of “green washing” from larger and more commercial brands and even new independent launches. What advice would you give to customers who are overwhelmed by the options out there on how to educate themselves and differentiate between these offerings and the “real thing”?
I love this question. I think it is important to pay attention to how you feel from start to finish when you are dealing with a brand. Do you feel good when you see their ad? Do you feel good when you see their products or use their products? We are a lot more intelligent than we think and while googling ingredients is great especially when it comes to decisions made for children and pregnant mothers, I think if one pays attention to how they feel they will intuitively know which brands are for real and which brands are pretending.
Sunscreen in particular is one of the worst offenders when it comes to potentially harmful ingredients and also one of the hardest products to formulate using only natural ingredients…how long did it take you to complete your SPF products and what makes them unique?
I started formulating the sunscreen in 2011. I would often find myself crying on the floor when a batch didn’t work out and I found out very quickly how complicated sunscreen is. We didn’t launch the sunscreen until fourth quarter of 2016. I am very happy the crying phase is over and we have the final product. Turns out it was actually a good thing it took so long because in that period of time a ton of research was done about the harmful effects of chemical sunscreens. So in essence, our job is now easier to sell the product as people are ready for it.
How did you land on the “you are enough” philosophy as the foundation for the brand and how has it affected everything you do?
The only thing that ever gets in the way of anything is one’s own thoughts and beliefs about themselves. The vibration of insecurity is detrimental when it comes to how we perceive ourselves, others, and whether or not we deserve to live our hopes and dreams. In essence, whether we believe we are “worthy.” One’s amount of relative worthiness is what determines one’s life experience.
Instead of selling a product to people and saying- “You are not beautiful, your skin is bad, and you need this” I knew I would only be furthering the sense of unworthiness. To the best of my ability, I try to share the message: “You are enough, you deserve everything you dream, you are magical, the planet is magical, you are love, add more love, laugh more, live to your fullest, be silly, feel sexy, and feel GOOD about your Veridatta products because they are GOOD for you.” That is the feeling I want people to feel when they see a post or an ad and I want a customer to feel this when they use the products during their morning and evening ritual. That is #theVLife
If you had to share only 3 skin care tips with our readers what would they be?
1. Exfoliate every single day. Somewhere in the 90’s we picked up the concept of exfoliating once a week. I see much better results when you use a gentle exfoliator once a day to get the physical dead skin off of the body.
2. Zinc Oxide Sunscreen on the face anytime you are in the sun. The sun is the #1 cause of premature aging skin. Our zinc is tinted to match your skin tone.
3. It takes two weeks to make something a habit. Make it a habit to take care of your skin because the more you do now, the better off you’ll be later. It is like investing.
We’re thrilled to be offering your products at The Shop at the MBH this summer and to have you offering mini facials to our guests poolside…what makes the MBH the perfect location for Veridatta and what can guests expect from your products and your facials?
The Montauk Beach House is the perfect location because I love The Montauk Beach House. Madge at The Shop termed our treatment “Skin Activations” as we picked the three most powerful aspects of the line to undo the partying of last night and prepare one for the next night of celebration. We sell this treatment at The Shop as well.
1. Living Enzyme Scrub which acts also as a mask. I place it on the skin and let it sit for about 5 minutes letting the French Green Clay purify. The exfoliation is gentle and prepares the skin for the other three products.
2. Skin Tight Toner is a tightening and stimulating toner using organic
witch hazel and raw coconut water.
3. Raw Coconut Day Repair face massage using this anti-aging regenerative day cream.
4. Vital Sun SPF tinted zinc oxide sunscreen specifically chosen for client’s skin tone.