We’re thrilled to share information about a new supplement line we discovered, DLMD, which was created by a mom of four who is also a medical doctor. DLMD.’s founder, Dr. Lamees Hamdan, understands that we all want to use products that really work (because what mom wants to waste time or money?!). We spoke to her about her new venture, her life as a working mom and entrepreneur, and more.
Can you please share a little about your background?
I am a medical doctor. I started with my specialization in dermatology. Two years into that I got pregnant and that was my lightbulb moment as far as what toxins we are ingesting, what is safe for the baby and us. This was the moment where I pivoted. For the past two decades, I’ve been studying natural healing modalities all around the world—Southeast Asia, India, and Western herbology. I am currently now doing a fellowship in Integrated Medicine.
Twenty years ago, I wanted an oil that would help prevent stretchmarks and there was nothing in the marketplace. I decided to create my own that was organic, non-toxic but very effective. That was the starting point for Shiffa. I didn’t get any stretch marks and I kept giving it to my pregnant friends—they loved it. They kept telling me to make more of it and sell it. So my first four product for Shiffa were body oils—one of them being a pregnancy body oil. I wanted to create a very high end, organic, natural line that also give results and would be anti-aging; a line that would be just as good as anything else in the market.
How did being a mom impact your career? And what lead to DLMD?
Definitely being my own boss or CEO of a business allowed me flexibility to stay at home or work from home, when for example my children were sick. For me that was very important. I am appreciative of this, because I know a lot of moms don’t get to do that.
Now that I am a mom of teenagers and college kids, they also help me with the products they need. The Shiffa Tri-Acid Radience Peel—it has 3 acids, two of which are salicylic + glycolic. These are great for people who have acne and large pores. I also made the Emerald Clarifying Face Oil<> specifically for oily and acne prone skins because my girls wanted facial oils but they kept breaking out.
From Shiffa, I became interested in clean supplements because my focused changed from skin to skin health. I realized that skin health is also connected to your body health. It got to the point that I, myself, was not feeling so well. I was fatigued all the time. I was eating well and living a healthy lifestyle, but no one knew what I had. The conventional doctors didn’t know what I had. The naturopathic doctors didn’t know what I had. It was not until I went to an integrated or functional medical doctor that I was diagnosed, and I started to feel so much better. So that was another light bulb moment where Integrated Medicine became something I really want to do. I already had this massive background in natural health. I am also a Naturopathic Practitioner and an integrative medical doctor.
I started to see that we were just taking so many supplements. Even in functional medicine, to heal me they were giving me 15 supplements. Yes, it did make me feel better, but I thought to myself there has to be a better way. Going to Whole Foods and Pharmacies and seeing what was “natural” and the health and wellness products out there, you don’t know who is behind these products. Is it a doctor? Is it someone with a scientific background? When I look at the dosages, knowing what I’ve been taught and what I’ve studied, then seeing some of the dosages there is no way a person of science or herbologist is behind them. Again, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a multivitamin that ticks all the boxes. Everything you need, nothing you don’t. Herbs are like drugs. You need the right amount—not too much, not too little.
Is your product safe for pregnant or nursing women?
DLMD is safe to use if you’re pregnant or nursing. Just tell your doctor you’re taking a multivitamin supplement. You might need additional iron or calcium, but your doctor can advise you if you need more than what our multivitamin gives you. The DLMD multivitamin is also very beneficial for people who want to get pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding because we have the methylfolate type of folic acid which is a more absorbable form of folic acid.
It’s very important for pregnant woman and women who are breastfeeding to have cleans supplements and clean body care. These are products without known endocrine disruptors because what you don’t want to do is mess around with your hormones. If you use things once or twice, not on a daily basis, your body can take care of it, but the problem is we are using known endocrine disruptors almost on a daily basis. This can become problematic for the body. Remember our body is wonderful. It’s a wonderful machine. It’s wonderful at taking care of you and getting rid of things that aren’t good for you, but if we are always bombarding our bodies with toxins it’s not going to have enough time to purify or detox or get rid of the bad stuff we ingest.
How do you define “clean”?
To me a clean supplement is one that does not harm you and does not contain unnecessary ingredients. The issue with some pills and some many multivitamin pills is that they contain fillers. These do not serve a purpose, other than to give the pill its shape. We try and avoid that. I don’t like giving, taking or ingesting things inside my body that don’t serve a purpose.
Another part of clean supplements is what is it housed in. Is it housed in plastic? What type of plastic? With DLMD it is housed in glass. It does not have chemical preservatives. There are many different aspects when it comes to clean supplement. It’s not just what is put in it, but what type of vitamins and minerals are being used. So the ingredients they do contain should also the best possible and purest. An example is for Vitamin B12 most supplements have cyanocobalamin, which is a cyanide salt of Vitamin B12. We have methylcobalamin, which is cleaner, better, chelated, and better for your body.
Is there a real concern with taking too many supplements?
Absolutely. I think people are overdoing it when it comes to supplements. They hear that a little a bit of Biotin is good for you, and then they overdose thinking that it’s going to be even better. There is—with any vitamin, supplement, drug or medicine—an area where the medicinal properties come into play. Less than that is not going to do very much for your body, but more than that also can be toxic for your body. Don’t get pulled in with the marketing, where you think you need this and that.
Start with a multivitamin, one that your body can absorb, and you will see a huge difference in your level of energy and your aches and pains won’t be there anymore. After 2 or 3 months of being on this multivitamin, then you can see what else do I need. Everyone is different. Do you need more calcium? Can you get it from food? Remember food first! Don’t think that by taking a multivitamin, even DLMD, is a substitute for healthy habits and good life style or good food. Supplements should be just that—to supplement.
Why is a liquid supplement a game changer?
DLMD is a game changer in two ways. The type of vitamins and minerals that we use is the type that is best absorbed and utilized by your body. Again, an example is folic acid. A lot of people use normal folic acid in their multivitamin or supplement but 30% of people have an enzymatic aberration that doesn’t allow them to actually process this folic acid they are taking. I decided to use methylfolate folic acid that everyone can absorb, so these individuals with this enzymatic aberration aren’t getting a buildup of folic acid. Scientists known this, but the problem is that methylfolate is more expensive. You really have to look at what is best for my health. It’s not about getting a vitamin for X amount of dollars. It’s about getting a vitamin that my body can utilized, that makes a difference in my health and my body can absorb.
Liquid vitamins are also a game changer because you can absorb almost 98% of that. You don’t need a meal to absorb it, which is very important. When you take a pill you have to make sure that you take it with a meal and you have enough fats in that meal for the fat soluble vitamins to absorb properly. You also have to make sure your digestive system is working properly and can actually digest and breakdown the pill. Then you have to make sure that the pill is formulated well, where it disintegrates once it’s in your stomach and small intestine because so many pills do not pass the test. They don’t disintegrate. You actually poop them out whole or semi-whole.
Make sure when you’re spending your money on your multivitamin and supplements, that it checks all these boxes: can be absorbed, used the best form of vitamins and minerals, and doesn’t have access ingredients or fillers that do nothing for you.
Can you tell us about your unique packaging?
Miron glass is amazing. It keeps things fresh for years. For me a liquid multivitamin needs to be properly preserved and needs to keep its contents fresh. Miron glass ticks all these boxes. Miron Violetglass allows 25%-45% penetration of light in the range of 380-420 nanometers (violet and UVA-frequency), and about 60% penetration in the range of 730-1050 nanometers (Infrared frequency). These parts of the light spectrum seem to energize the organic molecules of the products stored within. The small amount of visible violet light that is allowed in gives the glass it’s beautiful dark violet color. Violet glass can be traced back to ancient Egyptian culture. In those times, valuable essences (oils) and natural healing products were kept either in gold or in violet glass vessels. (For more info this is our manufacturer where we source our miron glass bottles: https://www.mironglass.com/discover-violetglass). It is also eco-friendly and can be reused. Don’t recycle it, reuse it! Put your vanilla essence in it or put flower waters in it. It really keeps things fresh.
I know giving back is at the core of your brand. Can you share a bit about that and why that’s important to you?
At this point in my life, I’m in my mid-40s, I really wanted to have a business for good where the profits help someone. I was shocked when I learned that in this day in age there are so many children suffering from malnutrition. We are still a small company, but I wanted to make a difference right from the beginning. So we’ve teamed up with the Helen Keller International to contribute to ensuring that children receive Vitamin A supplementation.
Vitamin A deficiency is, actually, the leading cause of childhood blindness in the world’s poorest countries. It is estimated to effect 250 million preschool-age children worldwide, not only causing blindness, but also contributing to disease and death from common infections. By giving a twice-yearly, oral, high-dose Vitamin A supplement to children between the ages of six months to five years is one of the most effective, affordable ways to decrease preventable blindness, disease, and death.
What strategies do you use or advice do you give as a working mom?
First strategy for working moms’ is don’t feel guilty. This is life. A lot of us moms work. My own mother worked, and she had six children. We never felt she wasn’t there. She was not traveling as much, but she was working every single day that I remember. Don’t think you can do everything, and don’t feel that you have to do everything. For me, the last twenty years my social life has taken a bit of a hit. I’m not able to see my friends as much as I’d like to because when I come back from work I have to give the time to my children. I work a lot from home as well.
Remember, if you’re not your best, then you’re not going to be the best mom. Take time out for yourself. I do weekly massages. It’s a luxury for the luxury of time and money. Some of my working mother friends, ask how do you make the time? Don’t you feel guilty? I used to, but not anymore. When I feel better, I can perform better as a mom and someone who works. Don’t ever think you are not worthy of that one hour to take care of yourself.
I also take weekly Epson salt baths. It really helps to reset. It’s something everyone can do at home. Get yourself some Epson salts, lavender or chamomile essential oil. You’ve turned your bath into a spa. Make sure the water is hot, just soak in it for 20 minutes.
As a working mom, you have to learn to say no to things that you cannot fit into your schedule. Don’t overextend yourself. That was very hard for me—learning to say no. I am type A personality and I like to do everything. I, also, love my friends but you have to learn to say no. Just because you are not seeing your friends as much as you want to. Doesn’t mean you’re not connected. I am always with my friends on social media, commenting on their posts, or sending them voice notes whenever I think of them. Stay connected. It’s really important. Once a month we always make a point of getting together and having a meal. A silver lining of quarantine has been that it has really brought us together!
This story is sponsored by DLMD.