Mouna Abbassy

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Laureate 2015 for the Middle East & North Africa

Mouna Abbassy

Izil Beauty, UAE
Cosmetics made of Argan oil and other rare natural ingredients imported from Morocco.
Originally from Morocco, Mouna Abbassy moved to Dubai 10 years ago to start a career as a marketing professional for multinational cosmetic brands. Rediscovering the age-old Moroccan beauty rituals, she decided in 2013 to launch her own brand Izil Beauty – meaning “pure” in Moroccan Berber.
Consumers feeling confused
Numerous brands and cosmetic products that claim to rejuvenate our skin or eliminate skin conditions are actually made of chemicals. Understanding the list of ingredients disclosed on a product label can often prove difficult. “People feel like they have to have a chemistry diploma to understand what they are putting on their skin”, says Mouna. A growing number of confused customers want to make sure they buy natural or organic cosmetics. “For the past 20 years, the market of natural beauty products has grown double digit with an average of 11% every year. Women are shifting from the sophisticated skin care products to a natural and more organic skin care market.”
A natural beauty brand
Izil Beauty is a beauty brand which develops cosmetics containing natural ingredients with no synthetic colours. The creation process was inspired by Moroccan beauty rituals such as the use of Argan oil and Ghassoul clay. Mouna chose to manufacture her cosmetics in Morocco in order to increase the employment prospects among the Berber community. In this country, 15 women are currently working for Izil Beauty. “I am Berber myself”, says Mouna. “These Berber women are the labour behind the extraction of Argan oil.” All ingredients are imported from Morocco and some are certified by Ecocert, a French certification body for organic agricultural products. Izil Beauty sells its products in 4 kiosks located in the United Arab Emirates and hopes to launch an e-commerce platform.
Making the beauty standards evolve
While creating Izil Beauty, Mouna studied cosmetics in London in order to improve the formulation of her products. She hopes to create a shift in mindsets by promoting a different image of beauty. “We want women and girls to feel confident about themselves, to look at beauty from a different perspective. Beauty is not necessarily the women we see in magazines. Beauty comes from within. We want to promote that kind of pure beauty which will help women get confidence and help them achieve their daily challenges.”
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“I grew up with women preparing their own beauty recipes at home using Moroccan natural ingredients such as Argan oil and Ghassoul clay.”
4.5%
For the past 20 years the global skin care market has grown at an average of 4.5% every year.