DUBAI - UAE-based clean-beauty online retailer Powder.ae launched in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday (September 23), coinciding with Saudi National Day that marks the unification of the kingdom.
The e-commerce site will offer Saudi consumers curated cosmetics and beauty products that are made without toxic or harmful ingredients.
These include collagen-infused selfcare treats from American brand KNC Beauty, and sheet masks from ISNTREE, a Korean skincare brand known for its ethically-sourced natural ingredients and recyclable packaging.
“Launching in Saudi Arabia is a natural progression for our business. Saudi women have a sophisticated and demanding experience when it comes to beauty,” Ayat Toufeeq, co-founder of Powder.ae told Salaam Gateway.
“From an Islamic conservative perspective, our brand ethos is about enhancing one’s natural beauty rather than changing appearance. It’s more of a self-care conversation, so it makes sense for us to be catering for our Saudi audience, who have needs that can be met with our products.
“Also, our products are vegan, cruelty-free, and alcohol-free, so they are naturally halal,” added Toufeeq.
Founded in the UAE in 2018 by Iraqi/British Toufeeq and Somali/Norwegian Amina Grimen, Powder.ae has evolved into a community of like-minded beauty and skincare aficionados.
The e-commerce start-up, which recently closed a small Angel investment round, has seen a surge in demand for self-care and wellness products, with its order volume growing over the COVID-19 period. Today, the platform carries 25 brands and continues to add more every month.
While the Saudi market has a few e-commerce sites offering beauty products, such as Namshi and Amazon, there is still a gap for online retailers that specialize in clean beauty.
“For us, beauty is not about piling on lots of make-up and harmful chemicals. It’s about taking care of what you naturally have and enhancing your appearance with products that are free of toxins. It’s about clean beauty,” said Toufeeq.
“We know there are a lot of big beauty players that are catered more towards luxury brands and fragrances. We see that the beauty market globally is moving away from those mass market brands and towards niche, because the beauty experience is becoming more personalized and about fitting into your lifestyle. I don’t see many of the big players directly catering to that yet.”
Initially, Powder.ae will serve the Saudi market from the UAE through a logistics partner that has a hub in the kingdom. This will enable the online retailer to fulfil its local orders in three to four days across the country.
As online order volumes increase and operations grow, the company will look at obtaining a license and warehouse in Saudi Arabia.
Content will play a huge role in bringing Powder.ae closer to potential and existing customers.
The company’s strategy is to put out as much content as possible to help increase awareness of their clean beauty products, their benefits and how to use them. This includes a series of videos where the founders talk about each product and why they advocate for them.
“It’s really important for us to not just be pushing products, but to create a conversation on why this is relevant and how it fits with your lifestyle, regardless of your age group. We have a lot of educational and informative content and videos planned over the next year.”
In addition, all of Powder.ae’s content will be available in Arabic, which will help the platform reach an even larger audience, especially in Saudi Arabia.
“We know there’s a lot out there in the market. There are too many choices, and most women don’t know where to begin. We want to make it easier for women.”
(Reporting by Heba Hashem; Editing by Emmy Abdul Alim firstname.lastname@example.org)
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