Dr Lamees Hamdan is the founder of Shiffa, a Dubai-based organic skincare brand. In an exclusive interview with VERTIGO Luxury Magazine, she talks about her successful cosmetics business, her life as a mother of four and her activities for the Guggenheim Museum.

Dr Lamees, you’re the founder of Shiffa, a luxury skincare brand. Why did you name it Shiffa
Shiffa means healing in Arabic. I believe that certain things you do to your skin can heal it from the inside out. Shiffa aims at giving you an overall healthy skin. You can change the behaviour of your skin and make it healthier and thicker. I believe in getting the glow, but I don’t believe in foundations. As you can see, I’m not wearing any today. Getting a healthy skin takes time and a diligent effort, especially if you were not born with it.

How did you come up with the idea of launching your own cosmetics brand?
When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to avoid getting stretch marks like in my teens. But there was no product on the market. Therefore, I decided to create my own pregnancy oil. Having studied general medicine, I knew which ingredients it needed. I used it and didn’t get any stretch marks, even though I had large babies. I gave my oil to friends and relatives who were pregnant. They got the same great results and encouraged me to make it available to everyone. My pregnancy oil was the first Shiffa product.

What were the main difficulties when you launched your brand in 2002?
The formulas were the main problem, because it was very difficult to get organic or pressed ingredients. Today, there are so many more organic ingredients to choose from and more preserving elements that are not harmful for the skin.

Do organic beauty products contain chemicals?
There are unharmful chemicals that you absolutely need for your skin. Organic ingredients have to be used with caution. Best quality organic lemon grass, for example, is an essential oil for skincare products, but if you put it straight on your skin in its undiluted form, it’s very harmful.

What are your personal beauty goals?
I’m in my forties and I’m very happy with where I am, but I don’t want to look old. I want to look the best I can. The best compliment I receive is when people who haven’t seen me for decades say: “You haven’t changed.”

Shiffa is a Dubai-based company. Are your products made in the United Arab Emirates?
No, they are made in Europe and the United States. The reason is the organic certification. Their laboratories are more used to dealing with organic and natural products. In the Middle East, the laboratories and not yet that well equipped.

The second part of the INTERVIEW WITH DR LAMEES HAMDAN will be published next week.



Photos: Courtesy of Shiffa

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INTERVIEW WITH DR LAMEES HAMDAN by editor-in-chief Yolanda Di Mambro is part of a series of exclusive articles on business women in Dubai published by VERTIGO Luxury Magazine.


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