This week my guest is Randa Zaid, founder of Hayaty Natural Skincare. Hayaty is a natural, genderless skincare brand inspired by the wellness recipes of the ancient Egyptians. What really impressed me is that each bottle comes with a handmade piece of Egyptian papyrus to inspire us to love ourselves and the environment. Isn’t that cool? ! Without further ado, let us welcome Randa onto the blog… hello Randa!
Hello! My name is Randa Zaid, I am 29 years old and I am an experienced serial entrepreneur in the fields of hospitality, tourism and recently cosmetics as the current founder and CEO of Hayaty Natural, a clean, genderless, vegan, all natural, organic, cruelty-free skincare startup inspired by Ancient Egyptians’ self-care rituals. I hold a degree in cultural heritage from the Catholic University of Milan and I am currently based in the UK, although I was born in Egypt and raised in Italy.
I love remaining true to my roots when developing brands and concepts that can benefit and strengthen the community and I am an advocate for increasing awareness for diversity and inclusion in the work-space and I talk openly about body positivity after personally going through and healing from an eating disorder.
What was the inspiration behind the setting up of your natural genderless skincare brand, Hayat Natural?
When COVID-19 hit the world, I became mindful of the importance of safe and beneficial ingredients, pursuing a healthier lifestyle and ending years of my own personal struggle with eating disorders, and self-image.
Being very passionate about history and inspired by my ancestors, the pharaohs; and with the aim to go back to basics, and adopting a more natural, minimalistic approach to self-care; I started researching the approach Ancient Egyptians had to beauty, ingredients and the secret ancient formulas they used in their daily lives.
What really surprised me was that, for them, beauty was more than only an aesthetic aspect. It was about taking care of their souls and bodies.
Selfcare, back then, was genderless, as it was considered a sign of holiness more than just a beauty thing.
Men and women alike were known to adopt a holistic approach where the physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing were taken into consideration, so that their bodies could function as a whole.
They had strong beliefs on the body’s natural self-healing process, and how important it was to add natural ingredients to support this process, instead of being aggressive or looking for quick fixes to any concern.
Considering that they lived in a very challenging climate, where one of their biggest concerns was how to take care of and protect their biggest organ, the skin, they used some of the first recorded “cosmetics” made from rich formulas using medicinal botanicals such as Black Seed, Lupin oil, Fenugreek oil among others to protect and help the skin recover, and allow it to remain healthy.
After adopting and using these ingredients and seeing how much of a difference they made in my life and how much they helped me in my healing journey, I decided to bring them to life and share them with a larger audience, with the aim of creating a community that believes real beauty is more than just fitting into society’s standards; one that believes in adopting a holistic approach, that uses self-care not only to look good from the outside, but also to feel good from within.
I love finding out the origins of brand names – what does “Hayaty” mean and why did you choose that name? Were there any other contenders?
Hayaty means “My Life” in Arabic. I couldn’t find a better word to express my journey and how starting Hayaty allowed me to get my life back. So, it was the only name I considered since day one. I love to hear it from other people too. It is a name that represents each one of us as it helps us regain control of our lives. An affirmation of life and to empowering others.
You have currently launched your two key products: Egyptian Recovery Night Cream and the Egyptian Blessed Night Seed Oil. What benefits does each product give to us?
We call them THE PHARAONIC DUO. The Pharaonic Duo offers a synergistic, holistic approach to the skin’s natural circadian rhythm and works alongside the skin’s regeneration process while you sleep. Also known as your 24-hour sleep/wake cycle, your circadian rhythm can influence body temperature, cell regeneration, water loss, hormone release, and the skin’s natural healing process.
Egyptian Recovery Face Cream is a well-studied synergistic formula made of nature’s most potent medicinal botanicals backed up by science, including our hero ingredient Black Seed, combined with Plant Stem Cells, Frankincense, Mullein, Vitamin C, Algae extract and Probiotic for extra around-the-clock antioxidant protection and collagen stimulation.
Complemented by our signature antioxidant blend of Aloe vera, Lupin seed oil, Grapeseed oil, Shea butter, Sesame seed oil, Sunflower seed oil and Onion oil.
The aromatherapeutic herbs of Mandarin, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, and Geranium help de-stress and rebalance anxiety levels while easing the circadian rhythm of the skin.
The main benefits of the formula are that it is Restoring, Protecting and Illuminating
Meanwhile, Egyptian Blessed Night Seed Oil harnesses many unique bio-dynamic oils, including Black Seed and Lupin oils, active antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Thymoquinone, carotenoids, polyphenols and endemic desert botanical extracts to help stimulate skin cells, increase ceramide and lipid levels, support optimal skin barrier function.
The main benefits of this formula are that it is nourishing, soothing and balancing.
Why did you decide to launch your brand with night cream and oil?
Regeneration and healing have always been related to the night. Nighttime is truly the moment when we heal and get ready to wake up to a better, fresher version of ourselves each morning. Considering how overly stressed and exposed we are in our daily lives to blue light, digital devices and external aggressors such as free radicals, UV radiation and pollutants, I decided to focus on developing products for the nighttime in order to nurture the skin and strengthen it to fight back and remain resilient to what life may throw to us. Creating a routine that could repair the skin from aggressive beauty routines that compromise our skin’s natural barrier was also one of the core objectives when developing the formulas. The nighttime is the opportunity that our skin has to recover, so it is very important to use effective and rich formulas to support this process. Each night is a night of intense repair and renewal to the damage that happens to your skin barrier throughout the day. Our skin already does so much for us that it is time that we give back to it.
What other products are in the pipeline can we look forward to?
We are developing a cleanser, a face mask and an intake vitamin to boost the skin’s immunity system from the inside out.
I love the fact that each bottle is packaged in recyclable glass & card and comes with a hand made Egyptian papyrus! Also I love that the organic ingredients you use are sourced from local communities in Egypt and Italy. What ingredients are especially found in Egypt and Italy that you use?
We source our Black Seed from the Ancient Cities of Egypt, which is the hero ingredient in our formulas. Other main active ingredients we source from organic farming in Egypt are Lupin extract, onion extracts, frankincense extract, Aloe Vera and fenugreek extract;all of which have been cultivated in Egypt since the Pharaohs’ time.
Other main active ingredients sourced from Italy are plant stem cells derived from apple, sea buckthorn and oak bar, probiotic, Mullein flower extract and algae extract. In addition to those we have other 30 natural ingredients sourced as well from Egypt and Italy divided between both products, all well-studied to work in synergy and to deliver an effective product. We are huge believers in the fact that skincare should be minimalistic.
Personally, I believe that a rich, non-aggressive formulation can deliver more benefits, and can simplify a routine instead of using different products to get the same benefits.
For me this minimalistic approach remains very sustainable for us and our planet.
Are your products available to purchase & ship worldwide?
At the moment, we are available only in the UK and Italy as we have our warehouses in both countries. One of our strategies to reduce our footprint is to have a warehouse or partner with third parties in each country we sell in, in order to avoid shipping long distances to the final customer.
However, we are working very hard to be able to ship worldwide soon in a sustainable way.
Growing up, have you always wanted a career in the skincare business or did you have sights on a different career path?
It was always in the back of my mind, as growing up and visiting my grandma in Egypt during summer break, I remember she was always doing her own special mix of natural ingredients to look after her skin, hair and body . I used to be fascinated by how they were so effective and natural and thought that maybe one day I could bring these magical recipes and ingredients to Europe. However, my path took me to get a degree in cultural heritage, then to work in the hospitality field, until destiny helped me to bring my little girl dreams to life.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Working out is my thing. I like to read a lot and I enjoy listening to interviews or podcasts about inspirational stories as well.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Growing up in Milan and working for Armani for a while helped me understand that it is not what you wear that is important but how you feel wearing it. So, I really pick my outfits based on how I feel that day – of course, keeping my schedule in mind – so sometimes it is casual, corporate or if it is only home office day, can be a tracksuit.
I am a huge, huge fan of shoes. I used to love high heels but lately I am getting into cool trainers and flat boots.
Do you have any favorite shops or online sites?
Usually, I like to shop in Italy, so when I am visiting any city, I like to go around and discover those hidden local shops. They always have cool stuff and for me is a way to support the local economy as well.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
It is a gold dress from the 2020 collection of designer Zuhair Murad inspired by Egypt’s ancient queens. I am so in love with it, I love the details and the cut.
I have promised myself to get it next year to celebrate one year of Hayaty in 2023.
Boots or Shoes?
Shoes. They always go with everything and make a huge difference to an outfit.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about Hayat Natural
Thank you for chatting to us Randa – the gold dress for next year sounds like a plan! Gorgeous skincare, great philosophy, interesting ingredients!
All photographs have been published with the kind permission of Randa Zaid.