Emirati entrepreneur Salama Mohamed first launched her skincare brand after finding a gap in the market for high-quality products which catered to different skin sensitivities. The result was “Peacefull” a UAE homegrown beauty line using South Korean ingredients. Over the past two-and-half years, since her label first launched, the brand has gone from strength to strength. We sat down with Salama to learn more about Peacefull’s ongoing journey, what advice she would give to her younger self and her plans for 2024.
We last spoke to you in February 2022, following the successful launch of your beauty brand Peacefull. How has the brand progressed since then?
Peacefull is now available to a global audience as we now ship internationally via our own website. Our community has also grown significantly. We’ve cultivated a vibrant and engaged online community where our lovely Peacefull community share their experiences, skincare journeys, and self-care routines. This sense of belonging and support has become a hallmark of Peacefull. Our dedication to providing effective skincare and celebrating diversity has garnered recognition in the industry with Peacefull recently receiving an award. Peacefull was also recently chosen as one of the top 100 innovators and beauty game-changers in the region.
What are the big differences between your business model when you launched and now?
Peacefull is still pretty much considered a startup and our business model had to adapt to the changing needs of customers and the market trends. We’ve diversified our distribution channels to include retailers like Sephora and Tryani (in Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi) alongside our own website. Our branding and marketing strategy evolved, primarily thanks to gaining more insights into our audience. We were able to creatively experiment with social media and content marketing to actively engage with our community for long-term relationships. Plus, we actively seek and value our community’s feedback, which plays an important role in future product developments. Adapting the business model does take time but it has been instrumental in Peacefull’s continued success.
What is the most rewarding part of your work at Peacefull?
As a brand that champions inclusivity and self-love, one of the most rewarding experiences since launching Peacefull is seeing how our products and messaging of empowerment contributed to men and women feeling better about their skin. Peacefull has cultivated a sense of community where everyone can share their truth, and their stories of how our products boosted their confidence, it’s incredibly fulfilling, and we understand the positive link between taking of one’s skin and nurturing a healthy self-image.
What have been the main highlights at Peacefull in 2023?
Our main highlight in 2023 was our collaboration with RefuSHE, a remarkable organization that supports refugee women in their journey towards self-sufficiency, education, and safety. Peacefull launched its T-shirt towel collection, meticulously handcrafted with the vibrant tie-dye design by female artisans. Every purchase of these T-shirt towels will make a profound impact on the lives of women. By investing in their talents and skills, our purpose is to provide refugee women with opportunities to rebuild their lives, for themselves and their families.
Clean beauty is now one of the fastest-growing areas in the industry. Why do you think there has been such an increase in interest in the area?
Consumers are becoming more conscious about the ingredients found within their everyday skincare products and they are taking it upon themselves to research the formulations. The beauty industry is also facing stricter regulations on their formulas and their marketing claims. The heightened focus on health, transparency, and clean beauty is certainly gaining momentum and will continue to do so.
Out of your range, which product do you use the most yourself and why?
That’s such a difficult question! Each of Peacefull’s five products serves a specific purpose. If I’ve had a long day outdoors, I gravitate towards the cleanser to refresh my skin. If I didn’t have a great night’s sleep, our Peptide Eye Cream is a saviour to minimise fine lines and reduce puffiness around the eyes. When I feel like my skin needs that extra dose of hydration when I’m putting on makeup, I mix my foundation with our Oil Like Essence for that extra glow as well.
Which has been the most popular product at Peacefull, and why do you think that is the case?
All five of our products have shown their popularity among our community, however we do witness a few products getting more traction depending on our audience’s differing personal skincare journeys. Our cleanser is always one of our top-selling items because it is a great ‘introductory’ product so you can start your routine with a fresh face. Our toner and moisturiser have been popular among men because of their non-sticky texture and quick absorption. Our Peptide Eye Cream is a big seller because of the power it packs.
What does your evening skincare routine look like?
I choose not to complicate my evening skincare routine. The simple steps are cleansing, exfoliating (2-3 times a week and only when needed), toning, eye cream, moisturising, lip oil and a hydrating mist (occasionally when I feel like my skin is parched). My evening skincare routine is primarily based on how my overall day turns out.
Do you follow a strict day-to-day skincare routine?
I wouldn’t use the word ‘strict’ – I follow a caring and mindful day-to-day skincare routine. Consistency is key, and I make sure to adapt my routine to match my skin’s condition and specific concerns. I appreciate the power of practising a mindful approach towards skincare as it presents a great moment to reflect.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
The advice I’d give to my younger self when it comes to my skin is: You’re not alone and you will find (and create!) what works for your skin. A general piece of advice to my younger self would be to stay curious. Curiosity is what will lead you to your purpose.
What advice would you give to a woman or girl who feels unconfident with their skin?
In the age of social media, fake filters, and photo editing, don’t compare yourself to others. Skincare is a personal journey and everyone’s on a different path. And finally, understand that imperfections are part of being human.
You have built such a massive following online. Why do you think your content resonates with such a large audience?
Any content I put out there, I instil my authentic, true self in it – I’m a storyteller at heart and I know that sharing genuine stories and experiences, with positive, powerful messages, and at times, delivered in a humorous manner, speaks to an audience. I also know that creating content is a two-way street – I actively speak to my audience to create that sense of community and make everyone feel seen and heard.
What is the most memorable feedback you have received from a follower about your beauty brand?
The most memorable feedback I’ve received from a member of our Peacefull community was that they had come to the realisation that they used heavy makeup and over-exaggerated filters to mask the truth of how they were feeling about their skin. Through our initial launch campaign, she saw men and women who looked like her, with completely bare skin, showing their skin imperfections to the world. She talked about how Peacefull had given her the results she had longed for, without the need to buy excess products and overcomplicate her routine.
This feedback served as a reminder of the positive impact our brand could have on people’s lives, and it reinforced the importance of the mission we stood for – to empower individuals to feel confident and beautiful in their own skin. It was a testament to the power of effective skincare in enhancing not just external beauty but also inner confidence and self-worth.
What do you look for, when selecting ingredients to use in your range?
The main consideration when selecting ingredients is the effectiveness in addressing specific skin concerns and issues. This leads to vigorous testing of each ingredient to ensure that it delivers the results we’re looking for. Assessing the safety profile of each ingredient is essential as well. I also prefer using ingredients that are ethically sourced and produced and that meet all regulatory safety standards.
Where do you take inspiration from for your range?
I find inspiration all around me. I find inspiration from spending time with my large family and listening to my aunts mention a certain technique or a tried-and-true method to fix or alleviate an issue. I pay close attention to my audience’s feedback, I watch user-generated content to see what beauty enthusiasts are finding issues in, and are sharing tips in and what they’re anticipating from brands. And sometimes, it is me and my ADHD mind that find inspiration in random, everyday things.
Do you have any activations planned for December?
We do! My team and I are in the process are finalizing an activation that is close to the heart of Peacefull. It celebrates the creation of a Peacefull community of individuals who are committed to personal growth and well-being from a mindful perspective.
What are your plans for 2024?
2024 will see Peacefull launch its second range of products, featuring ingredients that pay homage to our wonderful region.