Skincare sisters: Palestinian duo seek to harness nature’s power 

Toulane Essentials’ products are made with natural oils.
Updated 12 August 2019

Skincare sisters: Palestinian duo seek to harness nature’s power 

  • Eman Al-Sherif founded Toulane Essentials with the help of her sister, social media influencer Dina Al-Sherif
  • Products were inspired by their grandparents’ use of natural oils

DUBAI: The healing and hydrating powers of nature are at the heart of Toulane Essentials. 

Inspired by her grandparents’ use of natural oils, Eman Al-Sherif, founder of the UAE-based skincare label, launched her brand with the help of her sister, the social media influencer Dina Al-Sherif, in 2018. 

Being Palestinian, Eman said she grew up learning to take care of her skin. “In our family, we always used to use the Nabulsi soap that is made of olive oil on our bodies and hair,” she added. 

Her sensitive skin was her motive to start making her own skincare mixes at home. Eman then wanted to share her recipes with the world. 

The entrepreneur wanted everyone to feel good about their own skin. “Everyone has natural flaws, that’s normal. But nowadays, with social media, everyone is affected (by) perfection in the beauty industry.”

According to Eman, Toulane Essentials aspires to teach everyone about self-acceptance along with the importance of using skincare products. “It is fine to have natural flaws. We all do. But we need to actually work on improving them,” she said. 

Eman also said the brand, with ingredients imported from countries such as the United States, Turkey and France, addresses both medical concerns and beauty issues. “Our products can be used before makeup in a cosmetic way, and at the same time our products can actually treat minor skin problems like scars, irritation and redness,” she explained. 

Eman started working on her first product, the Rose Elixir, in 2016. “This beauty balm can be used on any dry area. It is good (for) reducing under-eye dark circles.” It can also be used as a lip balm and to soften nail cuticles. 

With no fragrances, preservatives or artificial chemicals, the brand has formulated a fusion of natural oils to benefit all skin types. 

Toulane Essentials is also planning to launch a beard oil to encourage more men to use its products.


Startup of the Week: Saudi baker and chef winning hearts of food lovers

Photo supplied
Updated 20 August 2019

Startup of the Week: Saudi baker and chef winning hearts of food lovers

  • Working over 15 hours a day and being self-taught was just the start; Essam is the interior and graphic designer, the marketer, the CEO and the chef at White Mountain

A Saudi bakery and restaurant business specializing in pastries is finding its way into Saudi hearts with a delectable selection of fine Italian, French, and Swiss foods.
Ahmad Essam, 28, a self-taught baker and chef, left a productive family business to create what is now one of the most prestigious bakeries in Alkhobar.
Essam set up his bakery and restaurant while working as a production engineer, selling tarts and cakes to his friends.
He was overwhelmed by the encouragement he received, and little by little Essam, his dream of running his own company emerged.
Working over 15 hours a day and being self-taught was just the start; Essam is the interior and graphic designer, the marketer, the CEO and the chef at White Mountain.
Baking French pastries such as croissants, macarons, mille-feuille, eclairs and tarts require a true artisan. Essam described the glory he feels when he bakes, saying: “Dealing with precise tips to get the real essence of French pastries and reaching a level to bake without recipes is a matter of experience and good knowledge. Being a real baker requires a lot of learning as it’s not only about mixing water and flour; its trick lies behind the process of fermentation that sometimes lasts for days.’’
Every once in a while, the young man distributes membership books to loyal customers. “On Valentine’s Day, we distributed 3,000 roses,” he added.
Essam is very passionate, and dreams of opening a cooking academy in Saudi Arabia so he can inspire other amateur bakers; he told Arab News about his future 12,000-square-meters cooking village project that he is aiming to create in Riyadh, “including a library that collects all cookbooks, a seasonal spice shop, a great lake garden, a pizzeria, glossary shop and more, all of which falls under one theme: Cooking.”
For him, business is an obsession and profession. “Chefs have their egos. They are dealing with a tricky job and they know what they are doing exactly. They do not accept comments or advice from other chefs,” he explained.
You can follow him for more information on White Mountain on Instagram: @wm.bakery.