A brand is not a brand without authenticity, so there has to be a personal story. Like many others, I have had my fair share of skin complaints, including rosacea, vitiligo, photosensitivity, and now the effects of ageing, so the desire to correct these issues is largely egocentric. Beyond this though, having benefited from good skincare, there exists a more altruistic drive to share this knowledge with others.
I developed vitiligo in my early forties and had to step up my sun protection due to the breakdown of melanin in my skin. It was my dermatologist who led me to seek more natural (physical) alternatives to the solely chemical sunscreens I was using daily and she spurred my interest in ethical and natural products generally.
My skin health has always notably been affected by diet and in more recent years I have consciously leaned towards ‘clean’ eating and reaped the benefits of a changed lifestyle. Focussing on a more natural diet, I became a devotee of rooibos tea and found that its anti-inflammatory properties markedly improved my rosacea.
Around the same time, I started to indulge in Korean Beauty. I follow many beauty bloggers and vloggers, including Gothamista, owned by You Tuber Renee, who is based in New York. Renee inspired me when she said that rooibos was one of her favourite cosmetic ingredients.
My curiosity in rooibos grew and, as a result, I started to look at what was so special about this herb. I was intrigued that one herb could have so many benefits for skin and work at so many different levels, as antioxidant powerhouse, together with its unique ability to protect fat cells responsible for maintaining skin fullness, as well as its anti-mutagenic properties. Rooibos really is an all-rounder, multi-tasking cosmetic ingredient and potentially a powerful antidote in an anti-aging armoury
Whilst rooibos has been used in cosmetics, it’s the more popular red (fermented) rooibos that is found, rather than green rooibos, which comes from the unfermented leaves. I learnt that fermentation however destroys many of the flavonoids, responsible for the antioxidant properties.
It was apparent that not all claims were backed up by science and there was a gap in the market for a premium brand where high-grade Green Rooibos, used at efficacy levels could provide a line of high-performance skincare.
In connecting with the South African Rooibos Council and subsequently the researchers performing rooibos studies, we were able to set up a collaboration to further explore the potential of rooibos as a star ingredient for skincare formulations, and MAYSAMA was born!
If my body is a temple then my skin is the sanctuary. Moving away from processed foods, it would be hypocritical to put something on my skin that, whilst nourishing and protecting my skin, potentially could lead to the build-up of skin-sensitizing ingredients over time. Fragrance in skincare has been linked to Allergic Contact Dermatitis and is the number one ingredient that consumers avoid. Ironically, brands marketing themselves for ‘sensitive skins’ frequently contain essential oils and added fragrance.
Through MAYSAMA, my vision is to develop a range of ethical, natural and vegan skincare products that boast supremacy in performance and are nothing but kind to skin. Our products are consciously formulated for all skin types, even the most sensitive skin.
A chance conversation, together with the right investor and bags of personal passion set me on the right path to opportunity. I look forward to developing the MAYSAMA brand and refining skincare for future-proof formulations.