Who is Neada Deters?
I'm the founder of LESSE, a line of organic and uncompromising skin care essentials. I was born and raised in Sydney, and studied art and literature. I moved to New York a decade ago, with the intention of pursuing a career in art or publishing. I fell into adjacent industries, working in media and fashion. After several years, I decided to move to Los Angeles which is where I live now. I'm slowly migrating closer to home.
Where and from whom do you gather inspiration?
I find inspiration in the strangest places. Ask my friends, I'm always taking odd photos, probably extremely zoomed in, of shapes or textures or fleeting moments that catch my eye.
Beyond the oddities of everyday life, I turn to art, architecture, books and nature for inspiration. I know I will always find some there. I also turn to the women in my family, my friends, and those who see the world differently and find comfort in shaping a life away from the common curve.
How did you begin LESSE?
I was working in editorial and spearheading most of our beauty coverage, so I was testing every product on the market and interviewing every expert across the globe. I was also in pursuit of solutions for my own skin issues, and could never find products that were truly effective and organic. But I knew from my research and interviews as an editor that it was possible, so I decided to start developing my own.
I realised that navigating the industry and finding the right products to use was incredibly overwhelming for almost anyone. I wanted to simplify skin care, refining a product lineup to
just the essentials. Formulas that were truly considered, unquestionably effective, and made from high quality organic ingredients. I also recognised that we needed more sustainable solutions in the industry and, as someone who is half Filipina, true representation.
Your collection is shaped by a philosophy that less is more. How does this ethos manifest in the daily ritual of skincare?
We've been told for so long that our skin constantly needs more, when in truth extensive product application often leads to an erosion of the skin barrier. A depleted skin barrier increases skin sensitivity and makes skin more prone to breakouts and irritation.
Less is more is a philosophy, but it's also a guide on best practices for how to care for your skin: just a few, truly effective essentials that are made from safe, organic ingredients. It's also better for the planet.
LESSE occupies a space between uncompromising quality and consciousness. What moved you to tread this line?
As a former editor, I had heard so many people share that they wanted to convert to organic skin care but they just couldn't find products that were organic and worked. I'm not sure I understood how difficult this would be when I set out to create products that were uncompromising in ingredients, absorption and efficacy. It's an incredibly difficult formulation process, and each of our products has spent years in development prior to launch.
Part of this process entails us growing and extracting some of the botanicals we use, to ensure the highest quality and efficacy, as well as finding more conscious packaging solutions. We, as an industry and as a society, need to reshape the way we think about luxury skin care. Products can be elevated, effective, and inclusive; while also being environmentally and socially responsible. There has been so much compromise within the industry in the past, but now we have the opportunity to move forward in a more conscious and considered way.
Can you take us through your current daily rituals?
Time is, without a doubt, the ultimate luxury. I like to take things slow in the morning. I'll drink a coffee while I read for a while, then maybe I'll take our dog for a nice long walk. Then I'll practice my morning skin ritual—just a splash of cold water, then a generous amount of our Regeneration Mist, followed by our Ritual Serum massaged in with a gua sha stone, and then finally sunscreen. In the evening, the same skin care ritual but I start with the Refining Cleanser and I skip the sunscreen. Twice a week, I'll also apply our Bioactive Mask for 15 minutes.
I also love to write, I have always loved to write since I was very young. I am trying to get back into spending some more time each day physically writing into a notebook, not a screen. It's such a nice break and I just let things flow. I love long dinners with good friends, and now that the world is slowly opening up, this is becoming an almost daily ritual again.
What is the process of consideration when introducing newness into your space?
I always ask myself, is this something that is truly essential and that we could make to a higher standard than anything that currently exists? That's my baseline.
Neada Deters, founder of LESSE.