Clean beauty

Get some exclusive insights from Rema Taseer and Myra Qureshi, the women behind Conatural
  • 26 Jun - 02 Jul, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Beauty

While the rest of us were chasing fleeting fashion trends and celebrity beauty brands, Rema Taseer and Myra Qureshi were filing patents for their organic beauty company, Conatural. Combining their innate passion for self care and their academic pursuit, they decided to begin their journey to prevent natural ingredients from oxidising. After witnessing the dirty side of the beauty industry, they realised they need to make amends. MAG recently connected with Rema and Myra to learn more about organic beauty, their own skincare routine, the launch of their company and so much more. Here’s what they had to say:

On the creation of their brand

Myra: “We launched Conatural to create a new standard in the Pakistani beauty industry after realising how unaware people in Pakistan were of the hazards of toxic chemicals in cosmetics. We aimed to inspire, empower, educate and provide beneficial beauty solutions. Realising the importance of healthy ingredients, we wanted to create beauty products as safe as they were effective. We made the decision to create only 100 per cent organic and natural hair and skin care products without using toxic chemicals such as Parabens, Triclosan, Artificial Musks, PPD, Silicones and Sulphates and to change the paradigm of the beauty industry in the country.”

Rema: “For us it was also the realisation that there was an obvious gap in the market when it came to the availability of good and effective products for the skin. Being a Pakistani, our first choice is always to buy local and promote local but the availability here was of either desi totkas, skin and hair products with limited effectiveness, ingredients that we didn’t want to use or no mention of the ingredients on the label at all!”

On traditional ingredients

Myra: “In the beginning of our journey we got a number of very popular commercial skincare products tested from International Accredited Labs and we were astounded to discover the dangerous levels of harmful chemicals in these products such as mercury and steroids. What was appalling was that brands who claimed to create herbal products had ingredients like mercury in them. Six months of extensive research led us to the conclusion that any product with such high levels of harmful chemicals should not be available on the shelf for consumers to purchase. While regulatory authorities in Pakistan have very good standards on producing safe skin and haircare products, it is unfortunate that these standards are not being followed. Our government does not have the resources to regulate each and every product. However, you will notice now that the government has become more stringent which was evident after PCSIR put out a notice last year regarding companies that were making Hand Sanitiser which was not up to international standards of efficacy, resulting in malpractices by a lot of brands being put to a halt. As customers, we wish we had known this before and had better alternative skincare options available!”

On their favourite products from the range

Rema: “I absolutely love the Essential Day Cream and have been using it for years. I have normal to dry skin and love to use it as a primer before my makeup as it moisturises my skin really well and helps my makeup to glide on super smoothly!”

Myra: “I only use Conatural products for my skin and haircare now. However, the Rose Face Wash and Organic Age Defying Cream are two of my go-to products and I use them every day.”

On switching to organic beauty and skincare

Always read the labels and make sure that you understand what the brand stands for! Make informed decisions about what you choose to apply to your skin.

On the top three things to look out for when purchasing beauty care products

Keep a look out for fake products, harmful chemicals as ingredients and ensure that you find out about the brand and the certifications that the brand holds for its products.

On the ingredients they prioritise in their beauty products

We prioritise to make sure that we stay true to all the claims that we make and use only the purest natural and organic ingredients to create our products. We also prioritise getting certified organic ingredients for our products and we use a lot of local kitchen based ingredients that we have tried to source extracts of, such as saffron, Neem, ashwagandha, apples and oranges. Basically, simple ingredients with great results.

On their beauty routine

Rema: “Between work and the kids, my self-care routine goes through phases. I love the fact that the Conatural products range is quick to use, so I regularly mask and do hair and body treatments at home. I’m definitely more aware and conscious of what I put on my skin now.”

On their new recycle campaign

Rema: “We are working towards and looking forward to introducing new innovative concepts in an attempt to make Pakistan more pro-recycling, reducing wastage and changing consumer behaviour to adopt sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Statistics show that an estimated 120 billion units of cosmetics packaging are produced globally and approximately nine per cent of it is recycled, while the rest is incinerated, landfilled, or dumped. Our goal is to work towards reducing single use plastic as part of our commitment to sustainability. Our pilot project is with Davaam Life, where we use the refill station to refill shampoo. You can take any bottle and refill Conatural’s Shampoo from the store. We want to constantly remind our customers and incentivise them to use these machines and be a part of the Conatural family that is climate conscious, which is why we started by offering our refills for free. We truly believe that we need to leave our planet in a better condition for our children that found it.”

On beauty and wellness

Myra: “Beauty is not just about using good skincare and haircare products. You are what you eat, so your diet is equally important for healthy and glowing skin along with regular exercise and wellness activities.” •