The Region’s First Clean Beauty Platform Wants You to Rethink Your Skincare Routine

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curated dubai
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Dedicated to pioneering change within the beauty industry in the GCC, Dubai-based friends and business partners, Hend Aziz and Alia Alkhafajy, founded Curated – a clean beauty distribution company – in 2018. Standing tall on the pillars of integrity and transparency, Curated offers niche premium clean beauty brands the chance to break into the Middle Eastern market. Aimed at building a mindful approach to skincare, Curated partners with responsible beauty brands that are free of harsh chemicals and toxins, which in turn promise a healthy future to both your skin and the planet. Thanks to the founding duo’s passion to discover unique clean beauty brands and a meticulous selection process – which includes trying out every product – Curated has earned the title of a trusted distributor both amongst the brands it represents and the retailers it works with.

Curious about the homegrown clean beauty platform? Scroll down to read the founders’ conversation with Savoir Flair, where they opened up about the motivation behind their mission, their (curated) selection process, and what sets the company apart from others.

Curated Send Aziz Alia Alkhafajy
Photo: Courtesy of Curated

What was the motivation behind Curated? Did you notice a gap in the clean beauty market in the GCC that you wished to fill?
When we founded Curated, there was certainly a gap in the market – there weren’t a lot of clean beauty brands that you could find here. We were always leaning towards skincare whereas, the GCC region (at the time) was more focused on makeup. Whenever we traveled, we were always intrigued by clean beauty brands. And so, Curated was started off the back of our sister company, Boxich, which is a subscription-based beauty box. So we started to test the market in order to get an idea of how people reacted to clean beauty. After that, we decided to move into the distribution of clean beauty, and that’s when we launched Curated. The clean beauty market in the region has grown considerably since we started Curated. There are now other companies and online retailers that are focusing on clean beauty as well.

What makes Curated unique in the clean beauty business?
We believe it is our selection process that makes us unique. We see ourselves as an extension of the brands that we bring on board, so it’s really more of a partnership. We don’t only target brands that have built a name in the industry but we tend to dive deeper. Whenever a brand – that we can potentially partner with – claims that they’re clean and that they use certain ingredients, we want to make sure that their claim is authentic. So, before we partner with a brand, we test the products ourselves. Both of us are involved in every aspect of the selection and distribution process. 

Do you both have specific roles to play at Curated? If so, what are they?
We don’t really have designated roles – we divide and conquer. We wear triple hats, quadruple hats. Both of us are involved in (almost) everything.

 

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As the name of the platform suggests, the brands that you work with are meticulously curated. What does your selection process look like? What criteria does a brand have to meet in order to partner with Curated?
Well, it starts with the ingredients that the brands use, their formulation process, and whether they are result-oriented products. It is the quality of the products that we take pride in when it comes to the brands that we partner with. At the same time, we also focus on the message that the brand wants to send out to the world. The end goal is to educate our audience on clean beauty while making it accessible to them. The kind of brands that we choose to partner with have a mission at the forefront, as opposed to just doing business. That is very important for us. 

How do you hunt down clean beauty brands?
We read a lot. That’s kind of our starting point – articles are in the press. There are a lot of beauty publications that draw a spotlight on clean beauty brands that we look at. And we obviously also look at what’s popular in the West. If we believe a brand is promising, we order their products and we try them before partnering with the brand.

What is the duration of your trial period for each product?
When it comes to the trial period, there’s a minimum of three weeks that goes for any product. Also, we extend the products to our team and our friends to analyze how it works on different skin types. But, to really notice the effect of a product, you need to give it at least three weeks. 

 

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A post shared by Curated ⭐️ (@curated.ae)

Do you work with any new-to-the region brands?
Yes, we do bring new brands to the region. In fact, we are the exclusive distributor in the GCC region for all the brands that we have within our portfolio. We work with brands that have not been introduced in the region before. 

What is your long-term goal for Curated? Where do you see the business going?
Eventually, we want to create awareness about clean beauty through Curated, where people make the conscious decision to move towards a clean skincare routine — not just as a fad or because it’s a trend – but as a lifestyle that is adopted long-term. So that would be the sort of short-term goal. And hopefully, one day, we would love to create our own brand. So that’s something that’s at the very end of the tunnel, but we’re not looking at it right now. 

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