Finding the right products for your skin and hair care routines may seem like a quest for a new discovery that will change your daily life. The search can be daunting and it may seem like you have entered a pit of never-ending YouTube product reviews, blogs and endorsed Instagram posts.
One woman saw this problem and found the solution for it. Lydia Schoonderbeek has founded Egypt’s first online beauty store Source Beauty, which “is a beauty company that is focused on Egyptian millennial price-friendly products that showcase natural and healthy skin.”
In its early phase, Source Beauty was a beauty blog with insightful information about all beauty, skincare and haircare products, from the ingredients to the best way to use them. Taking advantage of the huge interest in HowTo posts, Schoonderbeek gained the trust of her online audience before setting off to sell those products on Source Beauty, turning it into the e-commerce platform it is today.
“My mission is ultimately to decode the often-intimidating beauty world which leaves people in a state of confusion,” says Schoonderbeek, whose platform aims “to inspire the Egyptian female to nourish, enhance, and make the right beauty choices tailored for her. The platform is led by women for women, providing them with the choice to choose local alternatives to their self-care routines, and an opportunity to get their brands known to women, as they source all the region’s best products.”
According to OrbisResearch.com’s Global Cosmetics Products Market-Analysis of Growth, Trends and Forecasts (2018-2023) report, the global cosmetic products market was valued at $532.43 billion in 2017. The value is expected to reach $805.61 billion by 2023, and with the over-60 population segment expected to reach 2.09 billion, the market is set to be even bigger for skincare.
“The Egyptian market is brimming with export-grade skincare and haircare opportunities that are undiscovered locally. My aim is not only to provide an affordable solution for beauty products but also to empower women by educating them and giving them relevant information about what is available in Egypt,” explains Schoonderbeek, whose says her favorite local picks are Areej Aromatherapy, Saskia, Braes and Joviality.
“The beauty industry has turned around and it’s saying, ‘We’re interested in you, your story and your routines.’ We are seeing a shift in consumer demand for more local affordable products, where the customer doesn’t want to comprise on quality,” says the beauty guru who has worked in the luxury fashion industry since she was 16. “I worked at Harvey Nichols, Vivienne Westwood, Dunhill; and more recently, Harrods. The basic requirement that I learnt throughout my work experience in fashion is that personal presentation is non-negotiable. Having good skin, hair that is well-groomed, and being able to apply makeup correctly comes hand in hand with working in this industry.
Moreover, my knowledge has been developed from a general interest in the beauty industry with the psychology that is attached to it. That was taken a step further while I was studying for my MBA at Central Saint Martin’s (London College of Fashion) in London.”
Lydia Schoonderbeek Founder of Source Beauty
For Source Beauty boxes, Schoonderbeek and her team have selected products and created ready-to-go packages that are accessible to everyone. “The Source Beauty boxes are the ultimate wish list and could be a gift for yourself or to a friend. They are really the perfect kits for glowing, energizing, relaxing and all-around pampering . . . the beauty box is curated in such a way where it makes the perfect gift. We also do customized boxes that help you with certain beauty issues such as a cellulite kit which comes with certain essential oils and creams that help treat this, or a hair growth kit which has a number of essential oils that help stimulate hair growth when applied to the scalp,” she says.
Source Beauty have also created their very own products, such as their powder fragrance, which is introduced as ‘limited edition luxury powder scent . . . lingering clean essence captivating eternal freshness on your skin.’ They have also collaborated with Caroline Beauty and created a line of eight lip and cheek stains which contain Vitamin E, beeswax, jojoba oil, Sasol wax, coconut oil, Shea butter, essential oils, and natural pigments. “Our collaborations are with suppliers with whom we work very closely on branding, scent, colors and packaging. We come up with things we love and develop them further,” explains Schoonderbeek who reveals that Source Beauty is planning on “growth and expansion” in the future.
With Fall around the corner, the beauty expert tells us how to best prepare our skin for the transition. “Get a facial, wear SPF, and try to go a few days without makeup. And of course what you eat is key, your skin reacts wonderfully when you eat and sleep properly.” When it comes to which ingredients to work into your diet, Schoonderbeek preaches “Vitamin C, Vitamin C, Vitamin C and retinol during the colder months.”