2020 marks a cancer-free decade in my life; a joyous ‘Cancerversary’ if you please. In true celebratory fashion, this year I left my coveted corporate career and founded Secret Skin in UAE, a tech-enabled Clean Beauty enterprise for conscious consumers.
Hang on, but what exactly is clean beauty?
Clean Beauty by definition comprises products that are made with non-toxic ingredients that may be harmful to human health. Products that are free from parabens, phthalates, PEGs, ethanolamines, synthetic fragrances, BHT, and BHA. At Secret Skin, we extend the idea of “clean” to products that are cruelty-free, luxurious, with high-efficacy and handcrafted mindfully from start to finish. The goal is simple: to empower rather than harm every step of the way – from natural landscapes where ingredients are sourced to the supply chain and consumer.
My journey into clean beauty
Back when I was fighting a year-long battle with Breast Carcinoma, I did not have the deep knowledge of clean skincare, nor access to natural, organic and toxin-free products. Given the toxicity of the medication I was consuming on a daily basis to combat the disease, I suffered low self-esteem at the drastic change of my appearance, unable to use synthetic products as camouflage. My desperation became my inspiration. I knew that one day I would do something entrepreneurial around beauty and wellness so that I could make a difference to someone such as myself.
Thus, was born Secret Skin: a triple-bottom line framework committed to ‘Purpose, People and Planet’. We connect global (and local) organic skincare and beauty brands that maintain high standards of product integrity, use ethically sourced ingredients (often through fair trade) and are cruelty-free, to mindful consumers who want to give back to the community. They strive to reduce the carbon footprint on the planet. This is the need of the hour.
So why should you make the switch?
Conscious impact-driven brands provide employment opportunities and microfinance to local farmers and indigenous tribes that wild-harvest the ingredients, thus prioritizing social impact. For example, one of our brands Purearth in India that employs village women to pick ingredients also runs the Pure Purpose Foundation which builds toilets in rural areas and has recently conducted donation drives to feed COVID-stricken villages. Many clean brands have environment-friendly practices in all aspects of the flywheel e.g. sourcing, packaging, shipping and use biotech (plant cell culture technology) to significantly reduce the consumption of water and arable soil without producing polluting residue. By choosing clean products and supporting small businesses, you become part of this endeavour to preserve the planet. It is this mission that inspires the foundation of Secret Skin.
Our Beauty Philosophy
All great things begin from the inside. Our ethos of inner beauty i.e. a connection to your true self aims to change your relationship with your skin whether through beauty rituals or uplifting content that builds confidence to show up in your bare form without filters – no matter what size, color or ethnicity. Its tenets are inclusivity, self-love, and protection of the world within, as well as of the world outside. I believe that men, women and non-binary friends especially millennials today endorse brands that stand for values instead of being beguiled by mass marketing appeal. They relate to what is authentic, and to what beckons to them emotionally. We are advocating a new way of being, not a vegan lifestyle. It is a revolution of mindfulness.
Welcome to our clean beauty journey!