The Camel Soap Factory
Stevi Lowmass started producing soap made with camel milk in the kitchen of her Lakes villa in 2010. Six years on, The Camel Soap Factory is producing 15,000 soap bars every month from her factory in Al Quoz. The soap recipe is simple and the products are natural. Each bar contains 25% of UAE-sourced camel milk.
The handcrafted soap is made in Dubai using a traditional method called “cold process soap making.” It uses very little water and electricity with minimal wastage, and all ingredients and packaging are sustainably sourced.
Bedouins traditionally used camel fat and milk to protect their skin from the sun. Containing valuable alpha hydroxy acids, which plump the skin and smooth fine lines, camel milk is also three times richer in vitamin C than cow’s milk—which is important for tissue repair. Camel milk also contains protective proteins with powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. If you are a fan of Oud, be sure to try the new Oud-fragranced camel milk soap.
Available online: www.thecamelsoapfactory.com
Shirley Conlon Organics
Cosmetologist Shirley Conlon had a unique upbringing. She was born into an Irish farming family where everything was homegrown and homemade. When she moved to Dubai, she met many people who were suffering from skin problems due to the severe changes in climate. This inspired her to create an organic skincare line free from parabens and any synthetic ingredients.
I visited her Al Quoz laboratory and watched as Conlon created batches of her luxury organic skincare line and candles. The ingredients are sourced from certified organic farms across Europe. The small production eliminates the need for strong preservatives and ensures freshness. All of the raw materials used are free from animal products (except organic beeswax) and there’s no animal testing involved.
Conlon also has a recycling scheme in place where she rewards her customers with a complimentary candle when six empty glass candle containers are returned.
One of my favorite organic products from Conlon’s line is “Fountain of Youth” —a moisturizer that is quickly absorbed by the skin and hydrates without leaving an oily texture. It smells good enough to eat.
Available online: www.shirleyconlonorganics.com
Nuts for Mylk
Nuts for Mylk is Dubai’s latest alternative to dairy milk, made from unpasteurized almonds, water, UAE dates, and a hint of Himalayan salt. Australian native Anna Konko started making almond milk for her family as a result of dairy allergies and the lack of pure almond milk products available in the market. She launched Nuts for Mylk in September 2015 and produces her almond milk in Dubai using a hand press system similar to cold press. The popular eatery Tom & Serge was the first to carry Nuts for Mylk. Now it’s stocked and used by baristas at Life ‘n’ One, The Change Initiative, The Sum of Us, and the Ripe Shop. You can taste a mild sweetness from the dates, and the texture is much thicker than boxed almond milk. I’ve been drinking it straight from the bottle and using it in my coffee. I love the glass bottle and the recycling program. When you return the bottle from where it was purchased, a 5 AED deposit fee is returned.
Ex TV director Vincent Bruno launched his range of natural, handmade essential oil products in August 2015. As someone who hasn’t used medicine for 10 years, Bruno swears by healing through essential oils and he’s developed Mr. Fox to raise awareness of the benefits of essential oils. His products are sold in glass bottles and he uses pure imported oils from France. His best sellers include Bye Bye Migraine, Siddhartha body and room spray (popular with yogis), and French Kiss—an organic tooth care product that combines seven essential oils including bacteria-fighting lemon essential oil and both spearmint and peppermint to freshen your breath. You can use this as a natural alternative to conventional toothpaste. I mixed a few drops into my toothpaste for natural teeth whitening. His products are reasonably priced, starting at AED/SAR 30 – AED/SAR 170.
Available online: www.littlemajlis.com