In the beauty world, clean is a term open to interpretation. Can you trust all-natural labels? Are nontoxic products important?
Generally speaking, the phrase is synonymous with formulations that are free from harmful substances including potential carcinogens, parabens, sulfates and phthalates which are linked to hormone disruptions that may also negatively impact fertility. As such, the clean beauty movement – once a niche trend championed by the likes of Goop, has gone mainstream.
While customers have begun to prioritise wellness and detoxification by saying no to products with toxins in them, there aren’t enough brands in the market that can meet their needs with truly safe skincare. That’s where Secret Skin comes in.
A UAE-based beauty tech start-up founded by Anisha Oberoi, Secret Skin is all about sustainability and creating a holistic way for women to manage their health, wellness and beauty. Offering products for skin, hair, body and beard grooming, all brands maintain high standards of product integrity, use ethically sourced ingredients (often through fair trade), are cruelty-free and gender-neutral with sustainability practices across sourcing, packaging and shipping.
MOJEH spoke to Anisha on how Secret Skin is planning to shake up the Dubai beauty industry with her innovative new project:
How would you describe ‘clean beauty’?
In the absence of a universal definition for the word ‘clean’ and a lack of regulation in the beauty industry, the phrase ‘clean beauty’ is generally synonymous with non-toxic beauty formulations. These formulations are free from harmful substances including potential carcinogens, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, etc., which are linked to hormone disruptions that may negatively impact fertility.
What are the benefits of investing in clean beauty products?
Think of it as an investment in your own health and future self. Clean beauty products minimize the risk of skin issues and internal damage by having a high bar on the integrity of ingredients that go into the final product. Most brands have products that are certified clean (ie. carry certifications denoting their claims) across various aspects and allow for full transparency
You can have a top-to-toe offering with personal care and beauty products regardless of your gender and still keep your shelves green. You’re also a part of the ‘Ecosystem of Mindfulness’ as I like to call it: you support small businesses that passionately, purposefully put the planet and its people first.
Can you talk us through a few of your best-selling brands?
Purearth, Mauli, Amly, Grown Alchemist are the best-selling brands on the platform since we launched. Purearth from India and Mauli from UK are rooted in Ayurveda, their all-natural high performing formulations use ancient practices to blend ethically-sourced ingredients into concoctions that address different skin concerns. You can feel the difference in your skin and hair after a few uses.
Amly – another UK brand and Grown Alchemist from Australia prioritise potent botanics and minerals that focus on cellular renewal and nutrient metabolisation. These brands are recognised as being on the forefront of efficacious anti-aging technology.
How does Secret Skin strive to curb single-use plastic consumption?
Our brands have sustainability practices across the flywheel of shipping, sourcing, and packaging. All our products are packaged in either violetglass (recyclable, and increases the potency of the ingredients with its natural filter) or made of biodegradable plastic or sustainable materials. For example, Amly uses rock-paper labels that are 100% tree-free, with no bleaches in the production process.
Not only do we avoid having non-biodegradable plastic on the platform, we provide the consumer an opportunity through our recycling app interface to recycle their PET plastic bottles to earn eco-rewards to shop on the site. Our customer packaging is also made locally with 100% recyclable material & eco-friendly foil stamping, for the love of the planet.
You say Secret Skin ‘gives back to the community’ – how?
With one single click on the platform customers can support small sustainable businesses, and reduce their own carbon footprint on the planet. We pick our brands on the basis of many factors, and an important element is also how they give back to the communities involved in furthering their legacy. For example, the Pure Purpose Foundation run by Purearth builds toilets in the villages for the women who wild-harvest the ingredients for their products.
We further this cause by giving them a voice on our platform and educating our audience about the importance of picking these brands over conventional beauty alternatives. We were grateful to have had the opportunity to support Purearth’s efforts to provide food to corona-stricken regions in India.
What can you tell us about your collaborations with FemTech start ups?
Secret Skin is very proud to collaborate with Nabta Health, a hybrid healthcare startup for women, as a partner in the region. In early 2021, together with Nabta Health, we will be running a series of “Healthy Inside and Out” campaigns. Their efforts to dedicatedly enable the female audience to take control of their own health and wellness, and engage them towards a more holistic, immersive way of mindful living synergises with our own values, mission and philosophy.
- Words by Naomi Chadderton