The ethical retail market has been steadily growing in recent years and the beauty industry is no exception.
According to, the global market value for natural cosmetics and personal care is expected to increase from US$34.5 billion in 2018 to roughly $54.5 billion by 2027.
As with food and fashion, this shift in consumer attitudes and awareness of ingredients in clean beauty products has only accelerated during the pandemic.
Beauty Binge is a UAE-based online company founded by 30-year-old Minal Siyal that curates cruelty free, organic and vegan clean beauty and self-care products for men, women and children. It is a multi-brand repository of everything from reusable bamboo toothbrushes to zero waste lipsticks, all at affordable prices. A mini cleanser and serum kit is Dh100, for example.
“We are not here to simply launch a range of exclusive luxury products that are clean,” says Siyal. “Instead we have worked very hard to ensure we partner with like-minded entrepreneurs who are also giving back to the community and our environment. We want to make our relationship with our audience more meaningful.”
Siyal, who is Indian, says her own struggles with her health, hormones, skin and body “drove me to reassess my personal choices” and leave her secure corporate job in advertising during the pandemic to start her eco guide to clean cosmetics.
The world of entrepreneurship was unknown territory to her, but “when a situation personally impacts you, the drive and motivation to find the right solutions can eventually lead to you to incredible discoveries,” she says.
Siyal realizes that one of the biggest dilemmas shoppers face when trying to make conscience-driven decisions is understanding the world of sustainability, so she has made sure that Beauty Binge offers easy-to-understand, clean and simple everyday self-care solutions. Each customer receives a personalized message with their purchase, in an attempt to forge a genuine connection with the wider “clean” community.
Although customers are becoming more knowledgeable, Siyal believes the way we approach sustainability is still full of pitfalls. For a start, the language can be complex and can make the notion of living sustainably appear unattainable, requiring a full lifestyle overhaul.
“Terms like sustainability, veganism and toxic ingredients have all been used repeatedly and significantly in multiple conversations, thus putting this lifestyle on an unrealistic pedestal,” she says. “I believe it is important to normalize these choices, so people don’t feel the burden of having to significantly alter their lives.”
The change has to be gradual and involves constant education. The goal, says Siyal, is to drive home how important it is to support the environment and protect the ecosystem. It means tapping into our natural empathy and desire to do the right thing without piling on the guilt, she adds.
Making better choices doesn’t have to be overwhelming and a cleaner lifestyle can soon become routine. Websites like Beauty Binge – company slogan “Binge Responsibly” – are a good start. The site offers simple and reusable essentials which are not easy to find in the region, such as bamboos, and or and .
“With slow and organic inclusions, you can start swapping bigger elements but ensure the change is gradual and consistent. Most importantly, one must understand the benefits of this lifestyle for you to truly want to continue including this across all aspects of life,” says Siyal.
As well as building a platform of COV (clean, organic, vegan) products, Beauty Binge also offers lots of tips and tricks, myth-busters and how-to information. As the brand continues to grow, Siyal is set to partner with like-minded brands in the UAE to integrate their ethical ethos into the wider community.
“Our idea eventually is to reach as many people as we can across the Middle East and inspire a more conscious living approach with our retail.”
Georgie Bradley is a British/Greek editor and journalist based in Dubai after being bred in Bahrain. She's been published by The Guardian UK, The Telegraph UK, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post UK, Buro 24/7 and Harper's Bazaar Arabia. Most recently she was the deputy editor of Emirates Woman. You're most likely to find her in the aisle seat.