Startup of the Week: Filling the gap in natural skincare and beauty products

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Tue, 2021-02-23 00:26

JEDDAH: With an increase in awareness about the harmful effects of preservatives and chemicals used in items like food, beverages and skincare products, people are turning to organic products and natural remedies.

This trend has led many entrepreneurs to try their luck with products free of harmful chemicals. Nowadays a wide range of beauty and skincare products are available that claim to be free of chemicals, and offer natural remedies.

Fatima Abdullah Saeed Al-Maddah, a lawyer by training, is one of those entrepreneurs who understood the market’s needs and switched her career to become an entrepreneur and aromatherapist.

Al-Maddah told Arab News that there was demand for skincare products free of harmful ingredients, but the supply was not adequate.

“We were looking for clean, effective, and simple skincare but we couldn’t find such products here,” she said.

She used to try natural remedies instead of purchasing products that could harm her health.

Al-Maddah said people wanted products free of toxins without compromising on their effectiveness. She felt motivated to launch her own line of products to exploit the gap. The idea, however, materialized when Al-Maddah learned aromatherapy.

She said: “Then I started looking at formulas, talking to professionals, dermatologists, and manufacturers and came up with a range of products without using toxins such as sulfates.”

Al-Maddah said her idea was simple — one of the core values of her brand.

“Our products are intended for a modern woman, who is ambitious and has a lot of things to do, whether she is a career woman or not. We believe that all women are beautiful from the inside and have a natural charm to them that we wanted to enhance.”

The name of the company is a combination of two French words “laboratoire” meaning “laboratory” and “apothecaire” which means “apothecary.”

The skincare industry is extremely competitive, so a startup needs to innovate, Al Maddah said.

“Just to let the people know that your product exists is a challenge.”

She said the launch of her startup went smoothly as she took advice from French and American experts.

“I also had knowledge of aromatherapy, I was able to tell them what I wanted and did not want in a formula,” Al-Maddah said.

People have been used to commercial products for so long that it takes customers a while to get used to natural and clean products.

“What makes Labothecaire products unique is the scientific backing that they have,” she told Arab News.

Another thing that the entrepreneur emphasized on was the company’s focus on listening to the customers and the drive to improve its products.

Labothecaire also emphasises transparency. “Lots of cosmetic companies make sure that the ingredients are mentioned in small fonts, and not easily readable. However, we make sure that it is truly clear, on the products and on the website. We try and educate the customers on our social media on what goes into our products and what is beneficial to them.”

The company also tries to educate the people and raise awareness. Al-Maddah said that most of the products that people use end up in their bloodstreams. So, they also offer free consultations to their customers where professionals advise them according to their issues.

With every new product, Al-Maddah says her sense of achievement is boosted “I am very proud of each of our products.”

The brand plans to initially expand to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries before going international.

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