The more modern and tech savvy we seem to get, the more, it seemsthat we yearn to go back to our roots [and the soil]. Case in point is the impending trend of organic food and beauty products. Although the organic wave has yet to hit Pakistan, one can feel its zephyr heading this way as beauticians have already started advocating the use of herbal and organic products.
The pioneer that she is, Asmaa Mumtaz has already stepped into the organic bandwagon before it becomes trite. “As human beings, we’re inherently organic, therefore we are at our healthiest when eating organic, applying organic and just being organic,” states Mumtaz. “Our skin problems are a result of what we eat. When we pack our skin with wholesome organic goodness, we ultimately look and feel healthier.”
She certainly is one of the first ones offering deliciously fragrant skincare services with chocolate and orange peel pedicures and edible chocolate facials amongst a host of other yummy concoctions. “This is natural goodness,” exclaims Mumtaz. “We (Pakistanis) have serious pigmentation problems. But all the solutions are available in natural form. The benefits of organic skin treatments are long-term and with regular use, we can increase the life of our cells so they look younger and more vibrant.”
Walking through Mumtaz’s hidden industrial design salon, one can’t help but compare her to a mad scientist at work surrounded by various bottles and steel containers with hand-written labels. All this paraphernalia is presented to clients, who are allowed to smell and feel the texture of the produce before choosing a treatment. “We grow most of our skincare ingredients, so each treatment is prepared fresh for you to ensure optimum results,” promises Mumtaz.
While parking at the venue, one can notice Mumtaz’s factory on one side and a humble expanse of land growing produce for her products. “What I had going for me was my father’s pharmaceutical factory which used to produce cosmetics for international cosmetic brands like Elizabeth Arden and Helen Curtis. Hence, I worked with the lab technicians who educated me along the way on what works,” says Mumtaz.
It is quite an experience watching her maidens concoct a pedicure, for instance, with warm water and neem leaves, and orange peels thrown in with chocolate powder. One can easily mistake the pedicure treatment for a cake bake mix but Mumtaz prides herself on her fresh produce and is working towards launching her own line of organic body care products by October next year. “There’s a lot of research that needs to still be done. I’d love to come out with our face care line but that requires a lot of research and time, especially because we don’t test on animals — but it’ll be sure to follow shortly after.”
Given that Mumtaz’s signature at the salon is naturally scented products, her first line will retail from the salon itself and have six flavours of her body scrubs and balms: cheeni weenie, choco loco, caffeine fix, mint shint, Forever young and PMS Rescue.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2011.
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