Entrepreneur Reem Ahmed’s battle to achieving silky, smooth skin turned into a mission to help educate women on how to improve their beauty regimen with all-natural products for a healthy glow.
The 29-year-old, from Reef Island, had been struggling with various forms of eczema, atopic dermatitis and allergies that inflamed her skin for years and after unsuccessfully trying numerous commercial brands decided she had more than enough of looking for quick-fixes.
Reem, of Bahraini-Filipino descent, said: “I decided to do my own research and really got vigilant about what I fed my skin.”
During her research she discovered that some well-known brands were still conducting cruel animal testing practices while others included toxins in their treatments which she was convinced shouldn’t be allowed in cosmetics and skincare.
She also found that some products were stingy with the nutrient-rich ingredients that were often highlighted on the bottles.
Eventually, her search for alternatives proved fruitful as she came across a number of organic skin-enriching products that she believed were too good not to share.
She said: “I thought it was time to start going back to basics and only including pure, natural and organic ingredients in my skincare routine, supporting brands that source their ingredients ethically and that give something back to the community.
“I discovered a whole world of niche and sophisticated beauty brands that were purely organic and all natural and in their own way revolutionising the beauty industry. I wanted to bring that option to our island and to the region.”
In December, she launched a website offering men and women a safe way to shop for clean, green skincare brands that nurture, moisturise and create a natural glow.
She launched The Jamila, which means ‘beautiful’ in Arabic, currently supplying beauty-seekers with five brands including Très Pure, Kahina Giving Beauty, Egyptian Magic, Herbivore Botanicals and Prtty Peaushun.
Reem said: “The Jamila is a virtual store for all your organic beauty needs. These brands that I carry have already established a cult status for their effectiveness and each has a large celebrity following.
“The products are being well received on the island and I’ve already started shipping to the UAE and Qatar too. There seems to be a real need in the regional market for green beauty and my mission is to bring the finest in organic, all natural, ethical beauty to the people in search of it.”
Très Pure is a luxury skincare line founded by Shahnaz Hussain, a former investment manager, based in New York City, US. She handpicked each ingredient from around the world, making it 100 per cent free of harmful chemicals, in order to nourish and restore the skin with healthy and beautiful results. This brand has had a large following in the Middle East since its inception.
Kahina Giving Beauty is also a simple and effective skincare line with certified organic and fair trade Argan oil at its core. A percentage of profits from the sale of all Kahina products go to the indigenous Berber women of Morocco who extract the oil.
A true fan-favourite and loved by A-list celebrities such as Rosie Huntington Wheatly, Kate Hudson, Emily Blunt and Madonna is Egyptian Magic. This six-ingredient multi-purpose cream is great for conditioning hair and even healing scars. The wonder cream can also be found backstage at fashion shows across the globe since its US launch in 1991.
Another revolutionary brand, described by many as ‘Photoshop in a pouch’ is Prtty Peaushun created by celebrity makeup artist, Bethany Karlyn.
This beauty potion serves as a skin-tightening body lotion with subtle light-reflecting particles that create a flattering all-over gorgeous glow.
Reem said: “I am excited to bring Prtty Peaushun to the Middle East. The best part about this make is it encompasses everything people love. It is all natural, vegan, certified gluten-free, toxin-free, paraben-free, dimethicone-free, cruelty-free, PETA-approved and certified by Green America.
“There are so many celebrities using this brand including Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lea Michelle. It truly gives you that youthful, natural glow.”
The last brand on hand is Herbivore Botanicals, a niche product that Reem loves for its cool and minimal packaging and usefulness.
“At The Jamila, we like to include brands that are also still up and coming and Herbivore Botanicals brings to the table everything we love about a beauty brand,” she said. “I’m now expanding to include award-winning organic hair care brands, organic make-up and organic ‘mummy and baby’ brands too. There is so much coming up that I am very excited.”
Since the launch of the site, Reem has received orders from expectant mums, vegans, makeup artists, brides-to-be and the everyday girl looking to clean up on her beauty routine.
Mother-of-two Ruhi Menon, from Tubli, who is an executive consultant-savings and pensions at an investment management firm, has become obsessed with Kahina’s 100 per cent Organic Argan Oil, Egyptian Magic, as well as the Herbivore Botanical lip butter.
She said: “It is imperative that you treat your skin and body to only the finest ingredients on the planet. This all-natural-goodness line of products is nothing short of spectacular and it’s a great value for money!”
Personal trainer Rita Marquez, from Juffair, added that she cannot get enough of Prtty Peaushun Lotion. She said: “I was walking down the streets in California recently and women were bombarding me with questions about what make-up I was using to get my ‘gorgeous flawless skin’. I wasn’t wearing any makeup … just Prtty Peaushun!”