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This Fashion Designer-Turned-Entrepreneur’s Skin and Fragrance Brand is Based on Moroccan Beauty Secrets

Moroccan beauty secrets unfold into a luxurious skin and body collection, unveiled by fashion designer-turned-beauty entrepreneur Maysson Al Otaiba.

Photo: Emma Summerton

A global curator of all things beautiful and beguiling, Emirati-Moroccan entrepreneur Maysson Al Otaiba says it was the continued pull of her homeland’s own natural magnificence that propelled her to launch beauty brand Maysson. Al Otaiba, who shares her time between Abu Dhabi, London, and Morocco, says that she’s long been fascinated by customs that are authentically Arab. “Having always been intrigued by the beauty industry, including hair care, skin care, and fragrances, I have a deep appreciation for the natural and traditional rituals of the Arab world where I was raised,” she says. “I value authentic, organic products and the benefits of plants for healthy hair and skin.”

In particular, Al Otaiba found herself drawn to rediscover Morocco’s nature-driven beauty secrets. “Moroccan skincare is known for its natural herbs, oils, and extracts that are derived from the country’s rich agriculture and mountains, for amazing health and beauty properties,” she says. “I’m fascinated by the ingredients’ benefits and traditional methods, making it a more holistic approach that appeals to those seeking natural and effective solutions for their skin concerns.”

Maysson Al Otaiba

First known for her fashion label, Maysson, Al Otaiba is a graduate of the London College of Fashion. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and a master’s in strategic fashion marketing, followed by a PhD in social media and entrepreneurship. “My diverse educational background has provided me with valuable knowledge in different fields, from building and managing a business to successfully marketing it,” she says. For Maysson the beauty brand, Al Otaiba has decided to build on her own principles of being empowered in one’s own skin, while looking to Morocco’s renowned organics for its formulas. “Our raison d’être is to create authentic, organic products using natural ingredients inspired by the traditional beauty practices of our ancestors and rich culture.”

Putting this philosophy into practice, the Maysson skincare and fragrance collection celebrates deliberate ceremonies of bathing. A range of traditional and oral-infused products encourage the user to take some extra time with their head-to-toe self-care rituals. Maysson’s Rose and Cypraea Moroccan Black Soap froth into a rich and thick lather, which deeply cleanses and hydrates the body, a throwback to a queen’s hammam rituals centered around this traditional soap. The powdered Ghassoul Clay Mask is sourced directly om the Atlas Mountains – “a natural clay that has been used for generations in Morocco for its cleansing and detoxifying properties,” adds Maysson’s founder. Mixed with water or oil, the vivid powdered clay transforms into an allover mask powered by calcium, magnesium, and silica to gently clarify skin and detox pores from impurities. “Our range of products complements and enhances one another, from skincare to fragrances, providing an exceptional experience for our clientele,” says the founder. “We believe in taking care of oneself to feel confident and empowered.”


Rose & Cypraea Moroccan Black Soap

For the brand’s facial care collection, the focus steadily remains on infusing Moroccan ingredients into functional formulas that work for the modern woman. Celebrating Morocco’s natural flora, rose in particular is highlighted across the range, with the famously nourishing flower harnessed for its hydrating, restorative, and softening properties. “The Pure Rosewater Toner and Mist is made om the steam distillation of fresh roses, which is a time-honored technique used in the production of rosewater,” explains Al Otaiba. Spritzed on skin, it can signal the first step of a cleansing routine, or function as a midday hydration top-up for airconditioning assaulted complexions.

A globally-renowned linchpin of Arabian beauty, Maysson’s take on argan oil comes in the form of the Pure Liquid Gold Serum. Made from the pressed kernels of the argan tree, the resulting rich and golden oil can be used alone as a moisturizing facial serum to nurture the complexion, or as a base to mix with Maysson’s clay mask powders. Lavender-infused and Moroccan rose versions are also available. “These products best represent Maysson because they showcase the brand’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients that are inspired by rituals from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions,” Al Otaiba shares.

Hindi Jura Triple Super Oud Chips

Not just constrained to skin, Maysson’s natural ingredients will also work to nourish the scalp and hair strands, stimulating growth of tresses from root to tip. The founder’s keen eye for design continues to Maysson’s luxe packaging. The flacons and tubes that hold its concentrated scrubs, soaps, and scents have a satisfying weight to them, with the metallic dusty rose font standing out against a chic matte black.

A range of high-end ouds, musk oils, and bakhoor chips round out the brand’s offerings. Cambodi VIP 40 is a must-try, with the scent diffused om oud Kadeem, a 40-year-old oil that is still extracted from Cambodian forest trees via copper pot. For the home, Maysson’s thick and glossy resinous agarwood release their sweetly strong aroma, from kitchen to bathroom to majlis.

Originally published in the July/August 2023 issue of Vogue Arabia

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