What Does Clean Beauty Really Mean? Hoiisa’s Founder Gives Us The Lowdown

4 min read
Photographed by Arkan Zakharov | Styled by Julie Brooke Williams | MOJEH Issue 69

The clean beauty movement continues to gather some serious momentum, with a constant stream of sustainable brands emerging and planet-based ingredients to try. But with endless list of toxins to avoid, ethical practices to look out for, locally produced products to source and plastic-free packing to recycle, it can be difficult to keep up and understand what beauty you’re really investing in — never mind if it actually works. Which is why we’ve called in an expert to breakdown what you need to know about clean beauty. 

Sustainable beauty advocate, Mouna Azirar, recently founded UAE-based clean beauty e-commerce platform, Hoiisa, to help consumers understand why clean ingredients matter and where they can be sourced.  “I decided to create a unique platform, a one-stop destination of clean and sustainable beauty as I had difficulties finding these products in Dubai, where I have been living for several years,” says Mouna.

“I wanted to focus on a better beauty world in the Middle East by creating something pioneering that would educate the region on sustainable beauty and clean living.” Here, Mouna gives us the lowdown on all things clean beauty.

How do you define clean beauty? There are a few different perspectives over the idea of clean beauty. For Hoiisa, bearing in mind many of our products are organic and vegan, clean beauty is a combination of 100 per cent safe ingredients, which may or may not be all-natural. Our range of products are also considered to be high-performance solutions to beauty – meaning advanced skincare at its best – that also considers the environment, animals and the community.

Clean beauty should be environmentally conscious and have ethical business practices. It should be kind to all living beings. That means they need to not be tested on animals; they need to consider the local community’s welfare (if possible) and be aware of the health of the planet, and how its existence contributes to it. 

How can clean beauty help the planet and our skin? Sustainable clean beauty is about considering that not only should ingredients be clean, healthy and good for our bodies, but the products should be also made using sustainable methods and practices which benefit or protect the environment. It’s about being conscious about how products are made.  All of our products can be recycled, or they are biodegradable. We work with companies that thoughtfully consider their materials and the energy behind making their products. We offer a trusted platform highlighting carefully curated brands that have a similar way of thinking to us.

Sustainable and ethical brands should have ingredients that are cruelty-free, and perhaps organic, natural and vegan. But they also must have a business practice that works with ethical sourcing, such as focusing on ethical labour practices, robust waste and resource management, thoughtful packaging and be involved with charitable giving. But buying any product that ticks most of these sustainable beauty criteria is no doubt a positive step in the right direction.

Mouna’s top five clean beauty buys…

Grown Alchemist Intensive Hand Cream
My hands have become very dry during the past few months from washing hands and applying sanitizer so frequently. But since I started using Grown Alchemist hand cream the dryness has totally gone and my skin is incredibly soft and revived. It is incredibly hydrating without leaving a greasy feel.

Grown Alchemist Intensive Hand Cream at Hoiisa

Maisey Natural Soy Candle in Bartlett Pear
After a long day of work I try to light a Maisey candle to create a relaxing atmosphere. It’s non-toxic and lasts 25 – 50 % longer than paraffin candles, making them more economical. Soy wax is an excellent choice for those who wish to burn environmentally friendly candles.

Maisey Natural Soy Candle in Bartlett Pear at Hoiisa

Erbaviva Baby Sunscreen
I use the SPF 30 version on my two kids each time we are at the pool or beach. It is organically crafted with zinc oxide, aloe, sunflower, olive and jojoba oils and infused with organic essential oils of chamomile and lavender. It’s a light cream that doesn’t leave white residue, and doesn’t use unwanted chemicals.

Erbaviva Baby Sunscreen at Hoiisa

Rahua Leave-in Treatment
This protective and healing treatment leaves my hair shiny whenever I apply it; it acts as a heat protectant from the stress of blow-drying. I absolutely love all Rahua products, they are cruelty free and made with 100% natural, organic, pure plant derived ingredients and are 100% vegan.

Rahua Leave-in Treatment at Hoiisa

Salt & Stone Sunscreen Lotion, SPF30
I never leave home without applying Salt & Stone SPF, a great approach to anti-ageing. I love the natural scent and the fact that it is non-greasy and made with natural mineral ingredients.

Salt & Stone Sunscreen Lotion at Hoiisa

Read Next: Acne prone skin? Vegan skincare could be the answer