Clean beauty is a term that is open to interpretation. In the absence of a universal definition for the word ‘clean’ and a lack of regulation in the beauty industry, the phrase 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 also negatively impact fertility.
The beauty landscape is changing dramatically. Customers have begun to prioritize wellness and detoxification, both in terms of diet and products, fueling the demand for safe ingredients and brand transparency. Consumers, with the intention of being ‘mindful,’ are now paying more attention to labels, processing methods, sourcing, and other details associated with the creation and representation of personal care products before making a purchase. And on account of this, a number of beauty brands in the international scene have made the decision to stop using potentially harmful ingredients in their products and are now on a mission to educate and encourage consumers to make the switch. However, while there are a growing number of consumers in the UAE that are prioritizing personal and environmental health, and are 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.
Addressing this big gap is Secret Skin [www.thesecretskin.com], a UAE-based beauty tech start-up founded by Anisha Oberoi. Secret Skin is a unique triple-pronged framework committed to ‘People, Planet and Purpose’ with a focus on sustainability and creating a holistic way for women to manage their health, wellness and beauty. The digital platform promises to connect global, high-performance clean beauty brands with mindful consumers with an opportunity to give back to the community. Brands in the Secret Skin portfolio 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. Through its Eco-Rewards program, Secret Skin strives to curb single-use plastic consumption and offers an advantage to consumers to reduce their carbon footprint on the planet through recycling.
“I knew very little about the clean skincare industry when I was battling breast carcinoma in 2010. There were hardly any natural/organic toxin-free products available in the market that I could use. Given the toxicity of the medication I was being administered, I experienced drastic changes in my appearance. I was unable to use conventional beauty products that contained harmful ingredients as camouflage, causing me to experience severe self-esteem issues. It was this desperation that inspired me to do something value-driven and entrepreneurial around beauty and wellness so that I could make a difference to the lives of women who face the same issues, by building a brand they could trust.” says Anisha Oberoi, Founder & CEO of Secret Skin.
Leading the movement to a ‘World of Clean Beauty’, Secret Skin currently showcases a carefully curated assortment of products across all skincare categories from brands around the world including Amly Botanicals (UK), Mauli Rituals (UK), Purearth (India), The Art of Shaving (New York), Grown Alchemist (Australia), Ranavat (USA), KJ Serums (UAE) and Lola Lee (South Africa) with more additions in the pipeline.
Currently, Secret Skin fulfills locally and ships to consumers in UAE and India, with plans to expand operations to the rest of the GCC region by 2021.
Here are a few top picks from Secret Skin’s clean beauty portfolio: