Psychodermatological skincare brand ESPÉRER was established by Dina El Adlani, a psychologist and former makeup artist and despite being a recent launch is already gaining a lot of attention in the beauty and skincare space.
As the world’s First Psychodermatological skincare® brand, ESPÉRER is the only brand built entirely on the premise of psychodermatology, which aims to offer products to benefit the mind, as well as the skin. As a woman of Arab heritage, Dina uses natural ingredients ethically sourced from countries including Morocco for the formulations. Here We find out more about what you can expect.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I came from a traditional Arab household, with traditional values, although many of my family members were from Spain and France, being of Moroccan descent I was very much more in touch with the Arab side and fascinated by the history and culture. I grew up in London which although was the biggest influence on my personality and way of life, it still did not overshadow my origins and my need to revert to my roots and seek out information about my background. I suppose I found myself balancing what my Arabic family expected of me with what the society that I was brought up in expected of me, and from that I decided to combine the two cultures and work on being a more unique individual who can be both Arab and western at the same time, focusing on what I expect of myself. This then highly influenced my brand ESPÉRER in that it is a combination of two differing cultures. My heritage has most definitely had the biggest influence on who I am today, and I feel it has definitely shaped me into someone who I feel is multifaceted.
How did you get involved in the beauty industry?
My interest in the beauty industry began at a young age but increased when I worked as a makeup artist whilst I was doing a Psychology BSc at university. After speaking to my clients about their skin concerns and self-esteem issues, I felt that it was necessary to introduce to the market a brand that would address these issues simultaneously. So, I began my research for the following years and after I was accepted into the University of London for my MSc I used my obtained research skills to study beauty and the skin from a Psychological perspective. I used any free time I had to speak to dermatologists and herbalists and understand the field a little deeper. I then finalised my decision to create a brand with a unique ethos using my academia, my creative background and my acquired skincare knowledge.
The Middle East is famed for its love of all things beauty. How did the Arab approach to beauty influence your skincare range?
When creating ESPÉRER I wanted to go back to my Arab heritage and use techniques that have been used since ancient times. I wanted a skincare brand that celebrated my Arab side and everything it had to offer. Therefore, I opted for natural, pure and rich ingredients in my formulations, I felt this was a definite representation of the Arab culture. What we use comes from the natural resources we have. I visited quite a few Arab countries including my own and just observed how the women in particular would take care of their skin and their beauty and this really inspired me to ensure that my skincare range included some of these traditional Arab beauty rituals that have been used by many Arab women and have been proven to work for centuries. I adopted their techniques for exfoliation and their clay mask routines, I also focused on the use of pure plant oils that were harvested and used for their many benefits.
I felt that the Arab approach was predominately a natural approach to skincare, the love for exotic, potent and rich ingredients was certainly appreciated more so than synthetic and chemical-based products.
Tell us a little about your skincare range- its USPs, how it helps the skin etc.
ESPÉRER is the first Psychodermatological skincare® brand to date, this essentially means that it is the only brand that is built entirely on the premise of psychodermatology and provides daily use products that target more than just stressed skin, but rather aims to benefit the skin as well as the mind. This is not only done through the ingredients that are used and their proven efficacy in repairing skin cells but also the proven benefits these ingredients have on mental health, not solely stress but also anxiety and depression.
The brand itself portrays and promotes a healthy self-image and only uses natural ingredients ethically sourced from France and Morocco. This helps the communities in these countries as well as ensures a high-quality product can then be made in the United Kingdom.
The skincare products each contain active ingredients, vitamins, and natural compounds such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Squalane, hyaluronic acid and so on that are all from natural sources and highly benefit the skin. The use of rich ingredients such as blue tansy, pure rose, argan, plum, and prickly pear all contribute to the health of the skin and the overall wellness of our customers. Each of our products has been created to target a skin concern, such as ageing, acne, hyperpigmentation and polluted skin. Our research shows a visible difference in skin conditions can be seen in just two weeks, this was seen in a study that we conducted in 2019, where 4 out of 5 participants felt their skin was brighter and they felt happier after just 2 weeks of use.
Tell us about the hero products.
Our most popular product is the CELL RENEWAL NIGHT REPAIR OIL, this face oil has a very distinct and beautiful smell and contains incredible benefits for the skin. It has cell regeneration properties that allow the high cell to turnover, revealing healthy and glowing skin. It contains natural Vitamin C and can be used alone or added to a moisturiser.
It is made with notorious French and Moroccan plant oils and extracts, perfectly blended plum, sandalwood, and rosehip creating an elixir rich in pro-vitamin A and E. This product was also a finalist at the freeform skincare awards 2021.
Our next hero product and certainly my favourite is the GHASSOUL CLAY MASK, this mask comes in powder form and is directly sourced from the Atlas Mountains. It draws impurities from the pores, making the pores appear smaller and the skin tighter. This product has relaxing and calming properties due to its earthy and natural scent. The multi nutrients in this clay contribute to a healthy complexion.
What is your personal skincare routine?
In the morning I wash my face with Savon Noir, a famous Moroccan black soap made from olives. I then use our day face serum which contains hyaluronic acid, natural peptides and antioxidants. I massage this oil all over my face using a few techniques that awaken the skin in the morning and tighten the face. I then apply a small amount of our undereye serum and let that sink in. As I prefer serums to moisturisers, I don’t add any moisturisers to my face as I feel the serums work for me and keep my skin hydrated and not oily. I then apply my makeup and set it with our rose hydrating spray just for extra hydration and to keep my makeup in place as I work long hours, it also calms me during my hectic days.
At night I use our oil-to-milk cleanser which is all-natural and melts the makeup away while being very gentle on my eyelashes and eyebrows. Our oil-to-milk cleanser contains Vitamins A and E, so it is super brightening and nourishing. I wash away the cleanser and use a warm towel to wipe away any excess.
If I feel I have had a particularly stressful day then I use our soothing face mist, which can also be used as a toner, but I tend to spray it on and let it dry on my face. My final step and my most loved step is using facial oils 30-60 mins before bed; I select one of the night oils from the Beauté de la Nuit collection and I apply a few drops around my face and commence a relaxing facial massage. I feel this really helps me unwind and sleep as I don’t get many hours of sleep, this really helps me at least get some deep sleep as well as helps repair my skin while I sleep.
Who do you view as your beauty idols?
I guess for me growing up I was completely in awe of the Arabic singer Elissa, I was so inspired by her elegance. As I got older, I started to recognise her strength as a woman in the Arab world, who did not subject herself to being seen as an object but rather respected for her talent and her incredible voice.
Another Arab idol of mine would have to be the world-famous Huda Kattan, beauty mogul and creator of Hudabeauty. I am completely obsessed with how humble she is and the message she spreads to young females. I have been following her journey for many years now and the content she puts out into the world more times than none would contain a beautiful message of self-love and self-care, I felt like that’s exactly what I and my brand aspire to portray. She has really given females a voice and motivated them to be more creative and to be more visible not just in the Arab world but the rest of the nations.
What’s next for your range?
Our next range actually includes some of the products I have been using in my personal skincare routine, and I am loving them at the moment, and I am very excited to share them with the world in the next few months.
The range will now be including the black Moroccan soap, oil to milk cleanser, face serum, and eye serum and I am currently working on a new moisturiser.
Words by Maria Stapleton.