We were thrilled to be offered an interview with DALÚ Natural Skincare founder Lucija Kračun. Lucija is one of those few women that has successfully managed to launch a brand within the very competitive beauty and skincare industry. We couldn’t wait to find out where the brand originated and where it’s at today.
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching your brand DALÚ Natural Skincare…
It all started 3 years ago on holiday in Croatia where we go every year with my family. We have friends there. One day my friend, who is a pharmacist came to me and inspired me about the Immortelle which is an amazing regenerative and anti-ageing plant native to the Mediterranean. Together we started mixing creams for self use but as our friends tried out the products they were enthusiastic about them. What started as mere experimentation rapidly consumed our holiday, and my life.
I never set out to establish a skincare brand. Originally we created for ourselves and then friends. In 2019 I developed my first collection of products that combined my medical, dermatological and aesthetic knowledge with natural, organic, cruelty free, and vegan ingredients. My goal was to create science-based proven effective natural skincare free of all chemicals. All our products are dermatologically tested and have clinically proven results. The studies were conducted in an internationally esteemed lab. Not only did I want to create scientifically proven skincare that gives results, but as a brand also make a commitment to a sustainable lifestyle. Every single step we take in making our products is taken with ethics and integrity in mind.
In short DALÚ Natural Skincare is a synergy of medical knowledge, scientific knowledge about skin, knowledge about medicinal plants and their effects on the skin, and of the love towards nature and our planet.
We have new products coming up really soon that will complete our skincare must haves.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome that?
The biggest challenge was to create natural skincare that will have scientifically proven results on skin and will feel and smell as good as any other luxury skincare which is not natural. That is the challenge that we have successfully overcome and I’m very proud of it. The formulations are a result of my medical knowledge and my friend’s pharmaceutical knowledge.
Tell us the process behind launching a new product?
First there is an idea of a product that I think is useful and will benefit skincare and personal wellbeing. Then I start creating formulation according to the demands of the product e.g. hydrating product for sensitive skin. I always study the ingredients that I will use into detail to achieve the final result. Once on paper the mixing starts. Usually many corrections follow to achieve the best possible texture and smell. Once I’m satisfied with the product and the product passes stability and microbiology challenge tests we invite volunteers to do the first testing. In this phase we are very alert to any comments our volunteers might have. If there are any comments or side effects we try to correct them.
In the next phase dermatological and clinical tests follow. The product is tested in J.S. Hamilton Lab. The testing on people is blind. So they do not know which product and which company is behind the product. That is how we get objective results. All these phases usually take few months. In the meantime we develop packaging design which is sustainable and meets the product requirements. It also ensures efficient and highly aesthetic recognisability of our products and carries a clear message. The final phase is filling the packaging and put it out on a market. The launch of the product, marketing activity, social media etc is very important for success.
Have you had your own personal skincare issues over the years and if so, how did you overcome them?
I have a very sensitive and dry skin so the first products I made were tailored to my skin. While practicing aesthetic medicine and skincare in my spa centre I had experienced many skin problems and solutions for the problems. I got to know many skincare brands very good, also bad, so in the past 15 years I have learnt a lot about skincare and what is missing although there are so many products on the market. I tried to tailor the skincare to the problems people have.
Talk us through your skincare routine…
My skincare routine starts in the morning when I wash my face with cold water to improve circulation. Then I use our Hyaluronic acid youth elixir serum which is a must have serum for any skin type or gender. It improves hydration and reduces fine lines. Good hydration is essential for slowing down the ageing of the skin. After that I use our Immortelle timeless cream which is rich in texture and appropriate for sensitive skin. In the summer I always use SPF 30 to protect my skin from the sun. I usually don’t use powder. In the evening I clean my skin with micellar cleansing water and apply the Immortelle cream again. Once a month I use retinol serum. My skin is dry so it does not allow me to use it more often. Once every 2 weeks I make myself a peeling and twice a week a hydration mask. I have to mention also vitamin C serum which I try to use regularly. At the moment I’m developing a perfect vitamin C that will also provide intensive hydration (2 in 1). I’m looking forward to launching this product by the end of the year.
How do you want people to feel when using your products?
I want their skin to feel pampered, soft and radiant. I want them to create their little personal wellness due to our intoxicating scents. Most of all I want them to radiate happiness and beauty because they are aware to be contributing to a nicer healthier world.
Our typical shopper : “She cares for clean beauty with visible proven results. She cares for sustainability and the future of our children. She appreciates products that are well made, fairly priced and of exceptional quality, produced with ethics and integrity in mind. She is naturally beautiful, intelligent and compassionate. She is a doer.”
If you to describe your personal style in three words, what would they be?
Elegance (timeless), comfortable, confident
What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur?
Work hard and dream a lot to bring your ideas into life and never give up. Nothing will happen by itself. There will be ups and downs which is normal. The crucial thing is to stay focused and not to be disturbed with little things. And of course a little luck is necessary!
Talk us through an average day in your life…
I get up at 7.00 and start my day at the doctor’s office. I still work in medicine and I will do so for as long as it will be possible. I like working with people and helping them solve their medical issues. 3-4 times a week I work in my aesthetic spa centre. Almost every day I work on my formulations usually late at night because all is silent and I can focus and concentrate. I have my family and friends standing next to me and helping me to deal with it all. After 16.00 it is family time. Sometimes I work long hours, sometimes I leave early, depends…
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
Social media are very important for building up brand awareness, we use them every day. In COVID times it was the only possible promotion. We launched our first products at the beginning of COVID. Very hard for a new skincare brand. You know we are still people and we need to smell, feel and touch. This can not be avoided.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?
I love to travel and I have seen many beautiful places but my absolute winner is Mauritius. Mark Twain once said, “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and then heaven was copied after Mauritius”. I just love it there.
What is your go to quote when lacking motivation?
“ Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts “
Winston S. Churchill
What’s next for you and the brand?
By the end of the year we will launch at least two new products and by the end of spring 2022 another three products. My next goal is spa skincare.
What does self care mean to you?
Self care is a balance between physical and mental health that you are able as an individual to create for yourself. It starts with respecting and taking care of your body and skin, your soul and your spirit, your finances, your career.
Where can people find out more?