Louise Lisztman is the founder of Dead Sea Dream, a brand that is dedicated to helping us all nourish our bodies, balance our lives and restore value in taking time.
Here at House of Coco, we're always encouraging our readers to slow down, take time for themselves and remember that self-care isn't selfish. With self care being at the core of everything Dead Sea Dream do, we couldn't wait to find out more.
We spent some time with Louise to find out more...
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching your brand, Dead Sea Dream…
I am half French/half Israeli and I have always been very close to the Dead Sea region. I loved to purchase products there and bring them back to my friends and family in Europe. However, I couldn’t find any engaging beauty brands in Europe which were formulated with Dead Sea minerals that were accessible and came at an affordable price.
I also used to work in a very fast paced environment, I was aware that taking more time and care for myself would be beneficial to me but I just didn’t make the time for it. The moment I started taking care of myself, doing more self care at home, eating healthy and exercising, I quickly realised that it made me become much more productive at work with a better outlook on life in general. I realised what’s important and what isn’t.
This is why I decided to create Dead Sea Dream. Our mission is to make Dead Sea minerals affordable, accessible and sustainable anywhere in the world, encouraging people to care for themselves, without feeling guilty about it. While getting more people to know about the Dead Sea and contribute to its long-term preservation.
You blend influences and cultural character from east to west. How does this come through in your products?
I have been working for over a year with a formulator to develop six unique gender-neutral formulas that can recreate a spa experience from home and pamper yourself from head to toe. I blended influences from east and west by inspiring myself with ancient rituals from the Middle East and adapting it to modern living.
People travel from all over the world for the soothing, healing and purifying properties of the Dead Sea. Even Pharaoh Cleopatra VII believed that the Dead Sea had mystical healing powers, she built the world’s first spa off the shore of the Dead Sea.
So I wanted to extract the purest ingredients such as the Dead Sea salt and mud and package them in functional beauty products that could be used by anyone, anywhere.
Going to the spa is such a magical experience, but it’s not always convenient, it can be expensive, far from home or simply always fully booked when you want to go. The purpose of Dead Sea Dream is to recreate a seamless spa experience from the comfort of your home. Whether it is putting body cream on every morning in 5 minutes or having a one-hour long bath.
Why was this important to you?
I have always been exposed to people from multi-cultural backgrounds and always loved discovering different cultures or products from all over the world. I find it really fascinating and enriching for my personal development.
Unfortunately, the Middle East is often talked about in Europe for its never-ending political conflicts. It was important for me to bring the light on something else. A unique site like the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth and the most concentrated sea in salt. I believe that focusing on the natural wonders one land has to offer is a great way to unite people from different cultural backgrounds.
What does self-care mean to you?
For me self-care means taking time of myself, taking a break from social or work obligations. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve beauty products, even though my beauty routine is one of the self-care moments I enjoy the most. It can be reading my favourite book, cooking a healthy meal, taking care of things around my flat. It allows me to recharge and refocus so that when I do work or see my friends/family, I able to give the best version of myself.
Some people think that self-care is the thing that comes after everything else, we believe you should always put yourself at the top of your to do list. What advice would you offer someone who thinks they don’t have time for self-care?
I also used to think like that. But honestly self-care is not selfish, quite the opposite. When you’re burnt out or all over the place, your useless in your work and useless with your friends, you’re not doing anyone a favour, especially not yourself. As I said before, prioritising myself, my mental and physical health has enabled me to do so much more than I used to. I wake up every morning with a lot of energy, ready to attack the day, achieve milestones for Dead Sea Dream, support my team and help my friends and family. I also take much more satisfaction in what I do, focus on what matters and I learnt to let go of minor frustrations.
How do you want people to feel when they use your products?
I want people to feel taken care of when they use Dead Sea Dream products, like they can truly unwind, relax and renew. Focusing on the moment and forgetting about their daily struggle for a bit. I designed this range to transport you on a pampering journey, where you feel good, relaxed and also notice a positive impact on your skin, hair and mind.
What’s the process behind creating a new product and who is involved in the process?
The process is long and has many steps. It all starts with the needs you want to fulfil and how the product formulation will answer those needs. It’s a lot of research and development into choosing the right ingredients, textures and fragrances. I find the formulation process fascinating, as I love learning about the benefits and background of the ingredients we use in our formula.
Then there’s the packaging selection, which is increasingly difficult with the sustainability challenges we’re faced with. I feel like the beauty industry is slowly starting to adapt to minimise the waste associated with single-use plastic or glass containers. There are not a lot of sustainable options out there. Which is why I chose to go with local suppliers, close to my manufacturer to avoid transporting empty packaging from across the world and reduce our footprint to a minimum. All of our packaging is recyclable and we encourage people to be more conscious about recycling our products at the back of the pack and through our marketing communications.
There are also mandatory tests, safety assessments and notifications to be done in order to be compliant with the UK and EU cosmetic regulations, which take about 3 to 4 months. These are done to make sure that the products and ingredients are safe to use, define the shelf life and expiry date of a product and make sure that the formula will be stable in the chosen packaging.
What advice would you offer anyone who wants to launch a skincare or beauty brand?
I would advise them to do a lot of research, surround themselves with the right people. If you’re not good at something or don’t like doing it, you should ask for expert help. But most importantly I would advise you to do what you love, focus on your passion and listen to your gut feeling. Everyone has something to say about everything, but ultimately it is your baby and your vision, don’t let anyone take that away from you. And remember that good things take time.
Looking back since you started, is there anything that you would do differently?
I think that when looking back there are so many things I would have done differently, but I tend not to dwell too much on my past mistakes, I recognised them, know them and will do better in the future. I enjoy staying positive, living in the moment and staying optimistic about what the future has to offer.
However, recently I started regretting spending so much time on designing and developing the “perfect” website. I think I could have made my life easier by not focusing so much on perfection when it comes to the website and tiny details that don’t really affect the big picture. I could have also focused my efforts on something that mattered more.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
I start every day with a coffee, exercise, my morning skincare routine and a healthy breakfast. I then say good morning on WhatsApp to my team. We all work remotely and meet one day per week to work together. We go through our to do list in the morning, and prioritise what has to be done first. I then get on with my emails and calls and plan some work times in between my calls to complete the tasks. Recently I’ve been focusing on expanding our distribution channels, pitching Dead Sea Dream to retailers, working on the marketing and ads strategy as well as the new products R&D. There’s always a lot going on so for me organisation is the key to my success.
Outside of the business, what is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
For me, there’s no better motivation than the satisfaction of getting stuff done (and helping other people getting stuff done too).
Our readers love to travel, what destination is on your must visit list?
You absolutely need to visit the Dead Sea, whether it is from Israel or Jordan, it is equally as beautiful and mesmerising. It is truly a unique experience, the high salt concentration makes your whole body float, making it impossible to swim, you just have to sit there and let yourself go. It will also give you the softest skin you’ve ever had in your life. For me this place is magical.
What’s your 5 year vision for the brand?
We want to introduce the brand and the products to as many people as possible, focusing first on the UK and Europe. We’re also working on the research and development of new products that will start coming out in 2023 and complement our initial range. I also what to get more involved with the efforts of the Dead Sea Revival Project, an NGO we’ve been supporting by donating a percentage of our revenue. But I’d like myself and my team to physically get involved, go there more often and support their activities to raise awareness and contribute to the Dead Sea’s long-term preservation.
Where can people find out more?
You can find out more information on our Instagram @deadsea_dream and shop our product range on our website deadseadream.com