When entrepreneur Najla Alfardan realized her skin issues were related to gut health, she set up a platform to change the narrative.
It took a deep dive into the relation between skin health and gut health to inspire Najla Alfardan to launch Qatar’s first conscious beauty platform, Qiyorro. While Alfardan has entrepreneurial blood in her veins – her family’s Alfardan Group is a regional business giant – the Qatari founder and CEO wanted to find a way to combine her natural passion for well-being with her business intuition. “I personally grappled with skin issues for so long, only to realize that they were linked to my gut health. I delved deep and studied nutrition, skincare, gut health, ancient wellness practices, eastern philosophies, and even human connections. By educating myself on nutrition and skincare, I healed myself,” she shares.
The certified nutritionist soon opened the Qatar arm of the cult gym concept Orangetheory. Her further studies into lifestyle and wellness as a skincare consultant culminated in 2020. “I launched Qiyorro to change the narrative around beauty. For too long, especially in the Middle East, we’ve only seen the superficial side of beauty, whether it’s the unachievable standards, or the quick fixes, or the lack of inclusivity. For me, there’s a lot more to beauty,” says Alfardan. Her philosophy borrows from the concept that overall wellness is reflected in one’s skin health. “It is about the choices you make, from the products you use, to your diet, from stress and sleep management to how much self-care you practice,” she says.
Curating a collection of international names to indie hidden gems, Alfardan says she handpicks each newcomer to the platform. Brands like IS Clinical, Dr Barbara Sturm, Ere Perez, Ilia, Iunik, and Benton are available for clients to browse. Alfardan emphasizes a comprehensive approach to skin. “We begin by addressing a person’s lifestyle, including the foods they consume, their stress levels, sleep, and mental health, instead of just mindlessly trying one skincare product after another,” she stresses. “We always start internally, and then we curate a customized skincare routine for them, which is like the cherry on top.” Doha-based Alfardan says that being an early adopter in the region has boosted her brand’s credentials. “We were the rst ones here to talk about the gut biome to skin connection, and our Qatari clients have especially been very receptive to our candor and honesty about beauty. To me, Qatari beauty – like all beauty – is about confidence.” As a young business owner, Alfardan recognizes Qatar’s leadership as providing a supportive environment for female entrepreneurs. “We have women leading the way in so many sectors. Her Highness Sheikha Moza, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa, and Her Excellency Sheikha Hind are such stellar role models for the women of Qatar,” she smiles. “I am fortunate to be from a country and a family that encourages entrepreneurship.”
Originally published in the November 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia