This article first appeared in the February 21, 2018 issue of The Independent Newspaper
Are you living “The V Life?” By V, I mean Veridatta—an honest skincare line created by East Hampton native, Rebecca Underdown. Upon meeting Underdown over the holidays, I immediately noticed her complexion. Aside from being a bicoastal resident, between here and California, she attributed the glowing skin to her own products.
How did you come up with a skincare line?
The development of the formulas started nine years ago while I was in acupuncture school in San Diego. I was getting wrinkles and acne at the same time. I felt the organic products weren’t working and the chemical-based skincare lines were giving my skin a grey hue. So, I decided to make my own organic night cream that would reduce the signs of aging and not cause a breakout.
I shared it with my family and then, my friends. It didn’t take long before they all started asking for a day cream and then a cleanser, and then a sunscreen. Each product would take about a year to formulate and test. In this time, I had opened my acupuncture practice in Encinitas focusing on facial rejuvenation. I was also the acupuncturist for the executives at SPY Optic, which allowed me the perfect focus group to record the results of the skincare products.
When I started to see people’s faces change within three days of the using the system, my desire to share the products turned into a passion, and that passion grew into obsession. It only continues to grow, because in all honesty, it’s fun.
Your most popular products right now?
Living Enzyme Scrub is our best seller, because men are drawn to it, so our customer base nearly doubles. The scrub is gentle enough for it to be used every single day, making it the most effective way to improve the skin’s clarity and glow. The second best seller is the Raw Coconut Day Repair, which is an anti-aging moisturizer (meaning it regenerates healthy cells) and does not cause break-outs.
Why does your product work on all skin types?
Because all skin needs the same thing: a clear passageway for dead cells and toxins to move out. All skin conditions are caused by one thing: stagnation. A wrinkle, a pimple, a sunspot, and blotchy skin are due to congestion of dead cells or the byproducts of cells, which limit the movement of energy or blood. Sometimes I see people with a grey skin tone due to years of chemical skincare products, and the buildup of dead cells and chemicals.
What’s your go-to workout to feel good?
I practice Kundalini yoga and ballet. Kundalini yoga is the quickest way for me to see my own blocks and release them. I used to work out pretty hard, but I didn’t have a meditation practice. So, I would often be eating in a thoughtless way. So, the effort of working out was negated by overeating or poor choices. I don’t believe there should ever be a routine that does not intend to connect the mind to the body.
Where did the motto “You are enough” come from?
It is from my own life experience. We are always going to want more, because it is the natural state of the universe. The conundrum in always wanting more is the feeling of not being enough in the present moment. I believe the most important practice one should have each day is to find the feeling of contentment inside. When one feels love and appreciation for themselves, the trajectory of their day is one on course with success and brilliance.
Veridatta reminds people to feel enough, or even better, beautiful and powerful during their morning and evening ritual of using the products.
What does “The V Life” mean to you?
We tag #theVLife on Instagram when there is a visual representation of someone that is owning their beauty. There is a huge difference between looking beautiful and feeling beautiful, and you can see it on camera. When we do a photoshoot, I always prep myself and the models to embody the feeling of “enough.” When someone is feeling this and we catch it on camera, I post it. I want people to see what it looks like.
The best advice you’ve ever received?
From my sister, upon starting high school at age 13. She told me, “Stay true to yourself.” It is a mantra, and in the most challenging times of pressure of other people’s expectations or my own negative thinking, I come back to it.
What made you take on a healthier lifestyle?
I think by most people’s standards I have always lived a kind of healthy lifestyle. I began yoga in eighth grade, was an Eastern Religion major at Boston University, began teaching yoga in NYC after graduation, and then I began Chinese Medicine School in San Diego shortly thereafter. The four-and-a-half years at this school is what built my understanding of the body’s chemistry. Living a “healthy lifestyle” seems like a bore to me. I like energy. I do the things and eat the things that give me more and more energy.
What is Sweat + Glow?
Sweat + Glow is Veridatta’s signature class that is traveling to cities to spread happiness. Happiness is the feeling of being enough, of being powerful, of being beautiful, of being clear, of being conscious, of being oneself. We incorporate yoga or dance with a meditation at the end, and we offer all of our participants sample products and V Tonics [fresh organic juices developed to tone or nourish the skin].
Why is sweating important to Veridatta? Chemical skincare products which are basically 95% of the marketplace sit on top of the skin and create a barrier stopping the skin from its natural detoxication process. For optimum health, the skin needs to be able to breathe. Sweat + Glow is an awareness movement connecting the dots for people about sweating, skin, and glowing. I want people to know that with a couple of daily practices they can have beautiful glowing skin. It is chemistry and it feels good!
What’s coming up for Spring?
Locally, the explosion of Vital Sun SPF in all of our retailers and the opening of The Squeezery, where The V Tonics are made and sold. Vital Sun is our tinted zinc oxide SPF that works as a daily moisturizer, a concealer, and a sunscreen.