Balmessence is an online platform that brings clean and ethical beauty products as well as niche perfumery to the region. Stocking a large range of international clean beauty brands such as Neal’s Yard Remedies, Shiffa and the Organic Pharmacy, Balmessence delivers orders within the UAE within 24-48 hours and will soon expand their delivery network across the Middle East. We caught up with Balmessence founder Angela Turovskaya to hear her thoughts on clean beauty.
Why did you decide to launch Balmessence?
After working in the beauty industry as a cosmetologist for more than 10 years, I reached the point where I became very educated on cosmetic products, ingredients and their impact on the human body, in particular on the female body. There are many ingredients, which impact on women’s hormonal systems, and due to the content of toxins they make the skin age faster. At that time, I had my twin girls, felt a bit tired and started looking for quality products for my skin. I was overwhelmed by all the amazing brands and products that existed in the market and paid careful attention to each product they produced, used amazing natural and organic ingredients of high quality. Most of these brands were quite popular in their respective regions in Europe, North America and Australia, but they were not available in the UAE yet. This is when I set up a distribution company Wellness United Inc in order to supply the local market with such amazing products. A year and a half later, I launched Balmessence.
How would you define the term clean beauty?
You can often see claims on cosmetic products packaging like “made with natural ingredients” and “organic ingredients.” However, you need to look at the whole list of ingredients and see the number of such natural ingredients compared to other ingredients. Many brands want to highlight for consumers that they are not just claiming using some natural and organic ingredients, but they are certified “natural” or “certified” organic, which means they don’t contain toxic ingredients. So, they pass through tests and certification process, and then obtain the right to place the logo of BDIH, ECOCERT, NATRURE or COSMOS, for example. These are the logos of international natural and organic certification bodies.
At Balmessence we understand, that for a brand it is not easy to obtain such certification, because of big costs involved, and there are so many brands with small production and limited capital, they prefer better to invest in good ingredients and packaging, rather than large production, so we evaluate such brands, look at their philosophy, how ethical they are, if they try to at least to minimize the use of toxic ingredients and preservatives, as it is always ongoing process. It is not easy to produce a 100% natural or 100% organic product. We evaluate the brands and the product, and even if they still have a healthy dose of chemical preservatives, but use about 70-80% of natural and organic ingredients, we take such brands on board. And of course you will find many brands certified “natural” or “organic” on our site.
Why do you think clean beauty is important?
It’s just as important as what you put into your body. If you’re conscious about healthy food, you should be conscious about the products you are using on your skin. The skin is our largest organ and it absorbs the products that you apply on it. The more educated people become about toxins, the more they care about them. From my side, I can only say that toxins mean aging. Our body cells age faster because of toxins. Therefore, so called anti-aging creams with a bunch of “revolutionary chemicals” will not make you younger, for sure. If you go for natural ingredients rich with essential vitamins and minerals, at least you will feed your skin with what it needs to regenerate and stay healthy.
Do you think the demand for clean beauty products is growing? If so, why?
Definitely! A few years ago, it was a challenge for clean brands to grow and enter new markets, the UAE was one of them. Consumers here were not educated on toxic ingredients in cosmetic products, or on the huge benefits of natural ingredients for skin.