Social Impact Tech: Chantal Tremblay of denéva Skincare On How Their Technology Will Make An Important Positive Impact

Authority Magazine Editorial Staff
Authority Magazine
Published in
12 min readFeb 27, 2024

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People are more and more health conscious and better educated than in the past. Customers are demanding transparency and are looking for products that are healthy for themselves as well as the planet. This movement is happening in all areas of our culture, from our skincare, to food, to transportation, to everything we touch.

In recent years, Big Tech has gotten a bad rep. But of course many tech companies are doing important work making monumental positive changes to society, health, and the environment. To highlight these, we started a new interview series about “Technology Making An Important Positive Social Impact”. We are interviewing leaders of tech companies who are creating or have created a tech product that is helping to make a positive change in people’s lives or the environment. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chantal Tremblay, CEO & Founder.

As a teenager, Chantal understood the importance of skincare, crafting a simple routine for a radiant complexion. Despite her efforts, oily skin remained a challenge, leading her to create denéva skincare — a tribute to her family’s legacy. With a focus on absorption and hydration, denéva offers collections tailored to various skin types, prioritizing natural ingredients and sustainability. Join her journey to embrace naturally sophisticated skincare and newfound confidence.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory and how you grew up?

I grew up in a traditional, 70’s middle-class family in Quebec, Canada. Although we lived in Quebec, we were neighbors with Ottawa, so I learned to speak English almost as soon as I could speak French.

I had a stable, loving childhood with my parents, older brother and my dog, Cashew. My father was a good provider and ensured that my mother could stay home to raise my brother and I with the respect and integrity that were common at the time. It was a nurturing environment with strong family bonds, where we learned right from wrong early on.

For me, summertime was a cherished season, filled with endless hours of outdoor play under the sun. I always tanned to a golden brown, but I also had pesky white sunspots that appeared on my face. This sparked the first inklings of skincare consciousness in my young mind.

As adolescence dawned, the sunspots faded, but they were replaced with acne and oily skin. I diligently tended to my skin, mindful of the potential for lasting blemishes. Yet, even as the acne waned, I continued to have a perpetually oily T-zone and eyelids.

Even as a young adult, the frustration of smudged makeup and constant blotting sessions to mattify my skin, became a routine annoyance. Fueled by a desire to conquer my skincare woes once and for all, I embarked on a quest to develop my own skincare line.

Drawing upon my firsthand experiences and a deep-seated passion for skincare, I started on an entrepreneurial journey. Through meticulous research and experimentation, I crafted formulations designed to target the specific concerns that had plagued me for years.

As I continue to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of skincare, I remain anchored by the values instilled in me during those formative years — resilience, perseverance, and a commitment to excellence.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I have a couple interesting tidbits about my journey so far. When I started denéva, I had no idea I would be supplying free skincare products to all my family, friends, and relatives. LOL. But seriously, they are the best testers. They are critical and honest with all their reviews.

I would have to say, the most interesting and influential story that’s happened to me so far, is a conversation I had with an aboriginal elder who was incredibly knowledgeable about herbs, flowers, roots, and different types of plants. She inspired me to research and experiment with different formulas, which ultimately led me to the ingredients we use in our products today.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am a visual, creative person who sees the big picture. While I think outside the box and direct the company vision, I could never have started this business without my husband. He is the marketing and tech guru that makes all the pieces of the business work together. His patience and work ethic is just amazing.

He is the one who encouraged me to pursue my dream and he has been a part of it, every step of the way. From testing products, to designing packaging, we’ve done everything together. The company may be a woman owned business, but we are also a team that I feel so grateful to be part of.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite quote is: “No matter how bad things get, you have to keep fighting. A champion isn’t made when things are easy, champions are forged through fire.”

Everything that I have achieved in my life, has been accomplished by overcoming roadblocks and hurdles. I had a wonderful childhood, but nothing ever came easy for me. As an adult, I have always had to fight for everything that I wanted. Today, I feel strong and unafraid, because I know that I can move mountains if I have to.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

1. Perseverance: The beauty industry is very competitive, but when you build your business based on what you believe in and what drives you from the core of your being, it’s very powerful. It’s scary when you start a new company and things take much longer than you thought they would, they cost more than you had budgeted, and sometimes it feels like you’re banging your head against the wall. But perseverance, putting one foot in front of the other, over and over, eventually moves you forward. If you keep persevering, things will start happening.

My husband and I often work 14–16 hour days, because we know that’s what we need to do to achieve our goals. We often come up with a marketing idea in the morning and work on it until the wee hours of the next day. We persevere, but we have a lot of fun doing it too.

In the beginning, when I was experimenting with formulas and different ingredients, I had lots of product formulas that had to be reworked before I landed on a blend of ingredients that did what I wanted them to do. I persevered until I had reached my goal.

2. Integrity: Honesty and ethical actions are values that I abide by every day. My commitment to being transparent and offering the best skincare products possible, while ensuring that the planet is preserved and fair trade practices are followed, allows me to sleep at night.

I am sensitive to the skin health of all our clients, so I only use all natural, botanical and organic ingredients in my product lines. Everything is Health Canada approved and cruelty free…so I can sleep at night :)

3. Passion: I am also motivated by a cause, a mission and a vision that I am very passionate about. “Saving the bees”. denéva skincare’s Bee Protection Foundation joined forces with Pollinator Partnership Canada, to promote education about the importance of bees, fund research and development that benefits bee populations, and actively restore their habitat. Without bees and other pollinators, our food supply will be greatly diminished.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about the tech tools that you are helping to create that can make a positive social impact on our society. To begin, what problems are you aiming to solve?

At denéva, we aren’t actually creating technology, but we are using clean technology to realize our mission to promote healthy skincare by using natural, organic and botanical ingredients, while ensuring our manufacturing processes are clean, green, sustainable, and promote fair-trade agricultural practices with minimal environmental impact.

Our manufacturing processes use less water and produce less raw material waste than conventional skincare manufacturing.

Because we don’t use toxic ingredients in our products or manufacturing, we aren’t contributing to the pollution of the planet.

We are part of the sustainable beauty movement and ensure that our raw ingredient suppliers practice sustainable, fair trade agricultural practices to ensure natural resources continue to thrive and are not depleted.

Our packaging on many products is glass and the plastic packaging that we are using is recyclable. In the near future, we will also be introducing refillable packaging to further impact our commitment to our ecosystem and the planet.

How do you think your technology can address this?

In short, some of the issues that we are focusing on are:

1. Harmful ingredients in skincare products — We have eliminated all harmful ingredients in our products and use only natural, organic and botanical ingredients, which have been made available in a high efficacy state, thanks to the hydrodistillation process we use when processing the raw plant fiber.

2. Unsustainable agricultural practices with detrimental outcomes for the environment and the farmer — We only source our raw ingredients from suppliers who employ fair trade, eco-friendly, sustainable agricultural practices. They harvest the raw ingredients responsibly and sustainably, so there is a renewable resource that can be harvested again in the future. The farmers are compensated fairly and are able to continue harvesting the ingredients.

3. Water consumption — Our raw material processing uses less water than conventional processes, which allows us to leave a smaller environmental footprint.

4. Rising issues with waste plastic and microplastics — Many of our containers are glass, which eliminates the planetary plastic issue. The products that are packaged in plastic, use recyclable plastic and many will soon be refillable.

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

I worked closely with cancer patients and I have seen pain, distress and sadness. But I have also seen gratefulness, hope, faith and courage. I am very sensitive to good health and ensuring that all our products are pure and beneficial for the skin as well as our internal organs and systems.

Ingredients are absorbed through our skin and travel through our bloodstream and lymphatic system, so what you are putting on your face and body is affecting you internally as well. I am committed to only using healthy ingredients that are beneficial for us inside and out and I want our customers to feel comfortable about using our products, knowing that they are helping their holistic health.

How do you think this might change the world?

People are more and more health conscious and better educated than in the past. Customers are demanding transparency and are looking for products that are healthy for themselves as well as the planet. This movement is happening in all areas of our culture, from our skincare, to food, to transportation, to everything we touch.

As a company, denéva is proud to be part of the health conscious movement. And we are proud to see our customers are helping to raise the bar as well.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

Answering a question about unintended consequences is like trying to see into the future, but I’ll give it a try :) The manufacturing technology itself has shown positive results in a reduction of resources that are used in the production of our products, so we haven’t seen any unintended consequences there.

The intended consequences include a more healthy planet with sustainable, fair trade practices that benefit our entire ecosystem.

The difference between clean, natural skincare products and the other types of skincare is shelf-life. Since the ingredients in the products are all natural, shelf- life expectancy is diminished, as opposed to products full of chemical ingredients, whose shelf life sometimes seems infinite.

Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, can you please share “Five things you need to know to successfully create technology that can make a positive social impact”? (Please share a story or an example, for each.)

Referring back to your previous technology question, we are using technology and social impact to raise the bar in the skincare industry, but we haven’t developed the technology ourselves.

Two technologies that we haven’t touched on yet are Microencapsulation and Nanoemulsion technology.

Microencapsulation protects the stability and potency of the ingredients, allowing them to penetrate deeper into your skin.

Nanoemulsion increases the absorption of active ingredients using your skin’s natural warmth, pH and moisture to improve the efficiency of each formula.

These two technologies help our clients to see and feel the benefits of the skincare they are applying.

Additionally, when we think about technology, many times we are thinking about the equipment and ingredients that are involved in the process of manufacturing or product delivery, but we are also moving into the realms of holistic health. We are in the research and development phase of:

Neuro-Glow: the fusion of mental wellness and physical beauty in the pursuit of holistic well-being.

Consumers are placing a premium on wellness, seeking to enhance both their physical vitality and mental tranquility. denéva is poised to guide consumers into the next phase by integrating stress-relief techniques, healing modalities, targeted supplements, and revamped daily rituals, thus elevating the significance of beauty within a more holistic lifestyle.

Embracing the ‘NeuroGlow’ trend signifies a holistic approach to beauty, leveraging technology integration, collaborative partnerships, inclusivity, and personalized solutions to enhance external aesthetics and also nurture mental and emotional well-being, thus enriching lives comprehensively.

Beaut-AI: As AI becomes increasingly integrated into the beauty industry, it offers solutions that enhance both efficiency and effectiveness. Maintaining governance and transparency is imperative to ensure lasting advancements and sustainable growth and AI is helping to listen to customer’s concerns and requests.

AI is increasing product innovation and fostering inclusivity in the skincare industry at a rapid rate. Through data analysis, pattern recognition, and insightful generation, AI contributes to addressing ethical considerations and expediting the introduction of new products. The emergence of the ‘Beaut-AI’ trend underscores how beauty enterprises can harness data, including customer feedback gleaned from social platforms, to pinpoint market voids and devise groundbreaking solutions tailored to distinct requirements.

Refined Elegance: We are seeing a paradigm shift in the beauty realm, as consumers place greater emphasis on simplicity without sacrificing effectiveness or quality, signaling the dawn of a new era characterized by pure-performance simplicity.

The beauty industry is seeing a shift in consumer preferences towards products that prioritize efficacy and practicality over elaborate packaging and extravagant marketing endeavors. The rising trend of ‘Pure-Performance Simplicity’ underscores the significance of ingredient quality, product effectiveness, and the comfort of simplicity. Consumers are increasingly demanding value for premium pricing, grounded in tangible outcomes rather than superficial allure.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

Every small effort you make, whether it’s recycling, volunteering, advocating for change, or simply being mindful of your consumption habits, contributes to a brighter future for all. Making a positive impact isn’t just about helping others or protecting the planet; it’s also about creating a world that you want to live in — one that’s compassionate, sustainable, and inclusive.

By taking action now, you’re not only making a difference today, but you’re also paving the way for generations to come. So, seize the opportunity to be a force for good in the world. Your actions matter, and together, we can build a better, more equitable future for everyone.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

Definitely with Oprah Winfrey. Her courage and ambition know no bounds. With unwavering determination, she has fearlessly pursued her passions, overcoming obstacles with grace and resilience. Her journey is a testament to her strength and perseverance, inspiring others to chase their dreams with the same fervor.

But it’s not just her accomplishments that make her extraordinary. It’s the immense love in her heart, the kindness in her soul, and the empathy in her actions that truly set her apart. She possesses a rare gift — the ability to listen, understand, and uplift those around her. Her compassion knows no limits, and her willingness to lend a helping hand brings hope to those in need.

As she continues on her journey, know that her impact extends far beyond her own achievements. She is a beacon of light, illuminating paths for others to follow. Her courage, ambition, and love inspire us all to reach higher, dream bigger, and make the world a better place. Keep shining brightly, for the world is brighter with you in it!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Our main hub for all our work is denevaskincare.com. We showcase our products there, we have educational tools for people to learn more about the ingredients we use in our products, our wellness portal will be introduced there shortly and we have a free membership that people can join and keep updated about advancements in the industry and in our company…as well as getting lots of perks.

You can also follow us on instagram @denevaskincare

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success in your important work.

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