It’s no secret that the world of beauty is shifting towards a cleaner feature. Although this might not be happening as quickly as it needs to, there are some brands that are setting new standards and becoming industry leaders. Dubai based beauty label Ixora is one of them. Pioneered by Dr Nader Sheasha, a pharmacist specializing in herbal medicine he shares his story and why Ixora is set to go from strength to strength.
How did you get into the world of skincare?
Skincare was always there, starting from my study at The Faculty of Pharmacy. I remember one of the first things we learned in the lab was how to formulate a cream base for pharmaceutical and beauty purposes. After graduation in my work in herbal medicine and Api-therapy, I used to make topical preparations for hair and skin for healing purposes.
What made you launch Ixora?
I always believed in the power of natural elements. All the time I was struggling to find pure natural, effective, and safe skin and hair care products in most markets of many countries during my travels. This ended most of the time in me creating my own formulations for personal use and for my family to avoid a lot of harmful ingredients. This is till I met Mr. Tayfun and his team of world-class personal care technologists that share with me the same passion for developing certified organic skin care products, effective as treatments and safe as for babies and our whole family.
I started only with the small idea of launching a well-selected and carefully executed range of products but down the line, I met our main investor, Mr. Abdullah Bin Atif who valued my goal. He understood the huge gap in the market and gave Ixora all the support from day one, which allowed us to launch 52 certified organic hair and skin products.
What is the ethos behind Ixora?
The passion for doing something safe, unique, and being part of a change in the beauty industry. The change the consumers deserve!
Was this easy to stand by during the launch?
Oh no! That was not easy. Natural and organic especially resources, ingredients, and raw materials are not easy to secure. Then the formulation, texture, smell, stability, production, and packaging process all had its challenges for each Ixora product. One of the main reasons why pure natural or organic is not that common yet is because of its cost. It is far much more expensive throughout the whole process!
Talk to us about receiving the COSMOS organic certification?
The COSMOS-standard sets out challenging criteria for organic and natural cosmetics that consumers can trust. That was exactly our goal, earning trust in the power of nature and how effective it is. I didn’t want to be just another natural and organic beauty care brand, I wanted to lead by example. This way we crowned our many years of hard work and efforts.
It was a challenge from the very beginning. The COSMOS Organic Standard is the highest level of organic certification in the personal care industry. They have multiple criteria we needed to follow, for example, we are not allowed to use over 1500 different ingredients. When we are formulating any product it needs to contain no less than 95% from natural sources and each raw material should meet the COSMOS requirements. The factory should be certified by COSMOS Organic, the retail store and the warehouse should meet the criteria determined by COSMOS for storage temperature and humidity levels.
It was very challenging, but in the end very rewarding and what I feel consumers absolutely deserve!
Why is it important for consumers to look to clean and organic formulas?
Simply because there are a lot of harmful or controversial ingredients in our beauty products. We use them on a daily basis and by using them so frequently they penetrate into our bloodstream and accumulate into our bodies. Many studies have shown that they are the cause of different kinds of health problems.
Most consumers don’t know that there are no district rules to regulate the types and concentrations of many ingredients used in personal care products and we are unfortunately victims of marketing. Let’s not get fooled by a single leaf on a bottle or think whatever comes in a green bottle is better for us. We should educate ourselves about what it is we apply to our skin, hair, and scalp every day.
That being said are formulations that contain harmful chemicals really that bad for you?
In non-organic skin and hair products, you can find GMO “Genetically modified organisms “ petroleum derivatives, synthetic perfumes, synthetic preservatives like parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and other controversial chemicals.
A lot of studies and research has highlighted the effect of these kinds of ingredients on human health and even more serious results connected certain ingredient with different types of cancer. For example in May 2019, a study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), where researchers have verified that most non-organic sunscreens contained four types of chemicals (avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule). Traces of these chemicals were found in the blood at a significantly high level. In January 2020, another study was conducted to confirm this detection, and additional studies are needed to determine the systemic absorption of additional active ingredients and how quickly systemic exposure exceeds 0.5 ng/mL as recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
To put it into perspective, eating junk food does not kill you but we know it is bad for health in different ways and that we are able to understand now as consumers. What we are trying to do is to educate the beauty product consumers the same, but with their beauty regimens! It’s an uphill battle, but we are giving it everything we’ve got because we understand the importance of the end goal.
What formulation are you most proud of?
That is a hard question as every formulation was a victory giving all the requirements and restrictions throughout the process. However, there are two ranges I am very proud of as my goal was to make something as natural and organic as it is effective!
Skin Lab International just came back to us with the fantastic results of our Anti-Aging Face Oil improved skin Elasticity by 20.75% and The Ultimate Lift Range improved the appearance of fine and deep lines by 7% after only using it for a week! Now that is the pure power of nature.
Why is it so important as consumers that we protect our environment?
If there is no nature there is no us. This we will come to understand, hopefully before it’s too late…
Ixora is available at Ixoraworld.com