Already a buzzword in the fashion industry, now the beauty world is also hot on sustainability. Consumers have become more conscious of the products they use and not only the ingredients but also the packaging, especially regarding the wasteful nature of single-use items. With the introduction of ‘skinindie’ (independent) beauty brands and the sharp focus on products that are ethically and naturally sourced, there has never been a more exciting time to go eco-friendly with your beauty bag. One tech-based beauty platform hoping to change the way we shop skincare forever is Secret Skin.
Founded in February 2020 (and launching online today), by CEO Anisha Oberoi, Secret Skin was born out of a necessity to fill a void in the market. Having faced and beaten cancer in 2010, Oberoi identified that something was missing in skincare. “There were hardly any natural, organic, and toxin-free products available in the market,” she explains. It was from this that she developed Secret Skin, a discovery platform connecting conscious consumers to sustainable and ethical beauty brands. Secret Skin’s aim is to home a host of clean beauty brands, safe for people, and the planet. Vogue Arabia, talks exclusively to Oberoi to learn more.
How did Secret Skin develop?
I was struggling to find the right role after I moved to the UAE in 2019. I felt I had outgrown my corporate career, and I was also coming up to 10 years of being in remission from breast cancer. The only way to move forward was with something truly my own that would make a difference to the world. When I was battling with cancer I suffered low self-esteem at the changes in my appearance caused by toxic medication. I didn’t have access to chemical-free beauty products, which had left me quite frustrated. So I was determined to do something entrepreneurial for women like me, in the wellness space. Secret Skin is my platform to work towards making the world more aware of the importance of mindful living.
Which brands and products can we expect to see?
Our value proposition to our customers is a ‘clean world of beauty’. We have a marquee of high-performing international brands such as Amly Botanicals and Mauli Rituals from the UK, Ranavat from LA, Purearth from India – all of which are new to the UAE. Others include the popular Dubai homegrown brand KJ Serums, Grown Alchemist from Australia, and Lola Lee vegan nail color from South Africa. It’s a top-to-toe offering with everything from personal care to beauty to beard grooming. We launch our kids portfolio this month and will introduce a Clean Makeup category soon.
How is Secret Skin different from anything we have seen before?
We want to build Secret Skin differently than traditional beauty businesses. We have beautiful, global brands for customers in the UAE to discover, but more importantly, our purpose is to promote women’s health in a more engaging, immersive manner. We will create a unique ecosystem that empowers women to manage and be in charge of their health, wellness, and beauty in a more holistic manner. We also want to create a community of clean crusaders; our mission is to curb single-use plastic consumption and reduce our carbon footprint on the planet.
What is important to remember when incorporating sustainable beauty into our routines?
It’s imperative to understand the ingredients in your products – and how you react to them – and the underlying philosophy behind the brands. Conscious brands maintain high standards of product integrity, use organic or natural ethically-sourced ingredients, are cruelty-free with sustainability practices across the flywheel of sourcing, packaging, and shipping. So, you automatically become a part of the revolution when you start supporting these small businesses, enabling yourself by making small changes in your everyday routine.
What are your top tips for shopping sustainable beauty products?
Scan your shelf and make the easy switches first. Go for brands that prioritize botanics and minerals. Things to look for: sulphate-free shampoo and conditioners that don’t strip natural oil from the scalp; low-pH facial cleansers that keep the skin’s acid mantle in balance; body oils that are natural and cold-pressed instead of conventional creams; aluminum-free deodorants; glass or biodegradable plastic packaging that is recyclable.