Have you ever thought about what’s in your beauty products? Or are you on the lookout for products that are safe not only for your skin but also the rest of your body? A new beauty platform called Secret Skin focuses on creating holistic solutions for men and women to manage their health, wellness and beauty but with a focus on sustainability, too.
“If a label states ‘not safe for pregnant women,’ why would you use it even if you are not pregnant?” says CEO Anisha Oberoi, a former Amazon executive and part of the founding team for Amazon Fashion in India.
Secret Skin is a project that is close to her heart for one very big reason: following a battle with breast cancer, she discovered that finding safe products was a challenge. Knowing little about clean skincare, Oberoi discovered there were hardly any natural or organic and toxin-free products available on the market.
“Given the toxicity of the medication I was on, I experienced drastic changes in my appearance,” she adds. “I was unable to use conventional beauty products as camouflage because they contained harmful ingredients, which resulted in me suffering from severe self-esteem issues.”
It was this desperation that inspired her to do something value-driven and entrepreneurial to do with beauty and wellness, she says. “I could make a difference to the lives of women who face the same issues by building a brand they could trust.”
The beauty landscape is changing dramatically, with consumers beginning to demand safer ingredients and brand transparency. They are now paying more attention to labels, processing methods, sourcing and other details before buying.
Secret Skin promises to connect mindful consumers in the UAE with global, high-performance clean beauty brands which contain no harmful substances such as parabens, sulfates, phthalates and potential carcinogens, all of which are linked to hormone disruptions that cause a variety of issues, and may affect fertility.
So if reducing your carbon footprint is also important to you, then you’ll be able to recycle the products you’ve consumed easily through their Eco-Rewards program. You’ll also earn rewards to spend on the site.
“The idea is to educate and make people aware that you need to think about these things in a deeper manner, as well as how it affects you and the ecosystem,” says Oberoi.
The brands on Secret Skin use ethically sourced ingredients that are cruelty-free, halal-friendly and gender-neutral, with sustainability practices in sourcing, packaging and shipping. You’ll find products sold exclusively in the UAE, such as Amly Botanicals from the UK, Purearth from India and Ranavat from the US.
In the Secret Skin universe, clean beauty is simply defined as using products that are made with non-toxic ingredients that may be harmful to human health. As well as being free from parabens, phthalates, PEGs, ethanolamines, synthetic fragrances, BHT, and BHA, the “clean” tag extends to products that are cruelty-free, luxurious, handcrafted – and work. The aim of such products is to avoid all harm at every step, from the natural landscapes where the ingredients are sourced to the supply chain and consumer.
Oberoi has personally selected and researched every brand on the site – the sustainability credentials of the company, what goes into their products and even who the founder is. So when you visit the site, you’ll know that Secret Skin has done all the groundwork and you can trust that what you are buying is both clean and sustainable. As an added step, everything is tested again before being posted on the site.
“The words clean and natural are unregulated,” she adds. “Natural should contain ingredients that are plant-derived, sourced ethically and responsibly and can be wild harvested.”
Currently, Secret Skin ships to consumers in thee UAE and India, with plans to expand operations to the rest of the GCC region by 2021. They will also be launching children’s products next year.
Asha Sherwood owns Abu Dhabi Review, an online and social platform that gives you the scoop on everything happening in the capital.