Skincare and religion have similarities—both are experienced through rituals, foster personal connections, and yield commitment. It's that exact correlation that led to Dieux, a skincare brand committed to transparency, clinical testing, sustainability, and products that actually do what they claim, to develop their own set of products.
Working in beauty is the joy of my life, and that experience has allowed for a 360-view of the business. But, when you get close enough, you can begin to make out the beauty industry's dark underbelly—all of the things that dull the shine of everything I love. Like they always told me in school: To really engage with your faith, you have to question it.
In beauty, and especially skincare, a claim is one of the ways to sell a product. But not all claims are created equal—or tested for efficacy. Claims can be finessed, exaggerated, or used as marketing based on industry trends and consumer expectations. Dieux is breaking down this facade with radical transparency. From testing, to ingredients, to price ($69), it's all there for you to see on their website.
Get to Know Dieux
First came the brand's Forever Eye Mask, a silicone eye mask you can use (and reuse) with the products you already own. Then Dieux's hand sanitizer hit the market during the pandemic. Now, Dieux launches their first topical skincare product, Deliverance.
The serum has been shrouded in mystery for months. The mysterious lab sample in white stock packaging was teased all over Instagram—and the drawn-out lead time only stoked the flames of excitement around the product's launch. But today, Deliverance is descending from the heavens, into your hands, and onto your face.
The serum is worth the hype. Below, find the ingredient breakdown.
- Cannabinoid complex consists of three carefully curated cannabinoids—CBD, CBG, and CBN—at specific percentages. It works soothes your skin and reduce the signs of inflammation.
- Water lily complex further calms skin irritation.
- Peptides visibly firm your skin and target the appearance of fine lines.
- Niacinamide evens skin tone and texture.
It’s lightweight, feels great on the skin, and plays well under makeup. It's especially recommended to use under retinol to prevent irritation, if that's an ingredient you're currently using or would like to try.
My Questions, Answered
Obviously, there’s a lot to get excited about, but I had a lot of questions. I talked to co-founder and head of product, Joyce de Lemos (she used to formulate products for Skinceuticals), as well as co-Founder and CEO, Charlotte Palermino, about why Dieux moves the way it does, why they’re so serious about testing and transparency, and what the future of the brand looks like.
Tell me about the serum. What'd you set out to make?
Joyce de Lemos: It all started with an idea to create a serum that utilizes the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids. We saw so many topical CBD products out there that claimed to do everything—soothe muscle aches, calm skin, and even regrow hair. We had done some preliminary research, so we knew that there was information out there that supported our concept. We knew, however, we needed to learn more and facilitate a lot of the testing ourselves. We researched, tested different combinations and levels of cannabinoids, and conducted clinical tests until we were able to build something that worked. Once the main structure of the serum was done, we started to consider different skincare concerns like uneven skin tone, rough texture, and fine lines and wrinkles.
How do you know when you've gotten a formula right?
JdL: It’s a balance between intuition and feedback. Having made so many different types of products throughout the years, formula evaluation has become second nature to me. I can tell when a formula is too greasy or tacky, when the watery break of a gel cream is just perfect enough to cue hydration, or when a formula isn’t going to last through the night and separate into an unsightly mess by morning.
With that said, that’s only half of the battle. The other half is feedback. I’m very thankful for the feedback that I get from Charlotte and Marta. I consider them the main formula gatekeepers. If a formula gets a pass from them, we’ll test it out with friends and family that are interested.
After that, we’ll continue testing with clinical study panelists from an external lab. Lastly, once a formula has passed all of these tests and then some, and it’s just about baked, we’ll do a final test with our Dieux Congregation for final blessings.
Tell me a little about cannabinoids and how they benefit skin.
JdL: There is still a lot to learn and uncover about the benefits of topically applied cannabinoids. I can speak to the existing research around CBD, CBG, and CBN, which are all in the Dieux Cannabinoid Complex. These three cannabinoids have been known to have anti-inflammation, anti-irritation, and sebostatic effects on skin (reducing sebum produced by skin). During our clinical study, we determined that the Dieux Cannabinoid Complex was incredibly effective at soothing and calming inflamed skin.
What makes this serum different?
JdL: This is one of the first cannabinoid skincare products that has actually been clinically tested. A lot of thought and research went into the sourcing of the materials, the percentages used, the structure of the formulation, and honestly everything.
This serum addresses skincare concerns like uneven skin tone, rough skin texture, and fine lines and wrinkles without causing the irritation and inflammation that is often experienced with other products. I have sensitive skin and can’t tolerate a lot of the products out there that could help with these concerns. I have been testing this formula twice a day for the past one-and-a-half years, and I honestly can’t live without it.
What is the cannabinoid complex? Is it the same as CBD?
JdL: The cannabinoid complex consists of three carefully curated cannabinoids, CBD, CBG, and CBN, at specific percentages. The exact combination of these cannabinoids is what we’ve determined through our clinical study to dramatically help soothe and calm inflamed skin. We’ve conducted so much work around this that we want to make sure that we stand out especially in a market that has been confusing and vague for so long.
Charlotte, what made you decide to enter the skincare category?
Charlotte Palermino: The first reason is transparency. We want to show what it costs to make a product and what we then have to charge as a business to survive and give back. We saw a gap formula efficacy and stability. Cannabinoids are oxygen and light sensitive, so why were so many brands putting their products in transparent dropper bottles? How did they arrive at their dosing? We want to help customers make better beauty decisions whether it’s using or not using our products.
What are your thoughts about sustainability in skincare?
CP: Sustainability is a moving target, and just as important as packaging is ingredient sourcing, not overselling, and ensuring products are active when they get to your door. The reality is, glass, plastic, and aluminum all have upsides and downsides. To say one is "best" doesn’t help us get progress. The problem is not solved when you have a glass dropper bottle. For one thing, the moment you decorate the glass it’s usually not accepted at facilities and you just added to the carbon footprint of shipping it around.
For us, after evaluating all the options. The best we went with is materials that have already had a life (PCR plastics that are single material, so they’re easy to recycle). Ultimately, no one has it figured out.
Something we talk about a lot is the zero-accountability marketing we see so often. Yes, neutralize, minimize, and reduce your footprints but stop saying "zero" to comfort people. Everything has an impact. A tight, targeted product line is just as important as your packaging selections.
What's your vision for Dieux's growth?
CP: We’re really hoping to dive into more research and get funding to do the testing on new, novel ingredients in skincare, complexes of actives to do better, and really innovate in the space.
With the Forever Eye Mask, our first product launch, we wanted to change a ritual that we love; sheet masking. With Deliverance, we want to make a serum that gives you results while being kind to your skin. Moving forward, we want to keep rethinking how we approach beauty, and rethink rituals and practices and how we can deliver the results you want with less.
Tell me about price transparency.
CP: My naivety on pricing shaped my opinions, and I wanted to share what it takes to make a product (while still being able to pay your employees).
I used to think all products cost a few dollars to make but some of these more "sustainable" materials are a few dollars just for the bottle. While some brands do get their formulas for pennies, they tend to be single-ingredient products directly from suppliers. While fantastic skincare is available at accessible prices (the drugstore is one of my favorite places to shop), sometimes formulas cost more to make and are worth the price.
We wanted to keep pricing within a two to five times markup, with the industry standard being around eight to 12. This doesn’t box us in with development, as we can explore higher-priced raw materials, but we can be really reasonable with some of our products. We don’t have to stick to a category as we focus more on transparent pricing. For us, it’s about doing better in skincare.
If you could everyone one piece of skincare advice, what would it be?
CP: Simplicity is key. The more products you put on your face, the more likely you’re going to irritate or break down your barrier. Cocktailing multiple serums can do more harm than good.
It’s partly why we created Deliverance—we saw how people were looking for results but reaching for resurfacing actives, combining those with other ingredients, and then having these really intense results and reactions. For me, my holy grail is Tretinoin, Deliverance, moisturizer, and occasionally Aquaphor. You don’t need to use an ingredient or a step just because someone else is doing it; listen to your skin and know the sweet spot is three to five products max.
Deliverance, retailing at $69 (a price markup of 3.6x), is available for pre-order exclusively on Dieux Skin.