One woman's mission to bring beauty to the art of giving is now supplying women of the world with the highest quality pure, organic, nutrient-rich argan and prickly-pear oils.
Khadija Fairy, founder of KENZA International Beauty, helps support women's cooperatives in her native Morocco, with the gorgeous skincare products in her brand. We sat down with her to learn more.
OSM: We love how KENZA International Beauty aims to broaden the meaning of beauty to also include generosity and global impact. How do you achieve this?
KF: For us the meaning of beauty goes beyond just looking good. It’s using our purchasing power to create opportunities to give back, bring social change in our communities, connecting to and respecting our environment. Most of our ingredients sourced in Morocco have a direct social impact on women’s lives.
We achieve that by empowering people to have more self-confidence in their own beauty, and pride in giving back. We give a percentage of the profits to support social change for women at a global level by donating to charitable organizations and a women's cooperative in Morocco. And we are transparent about our ingredients, where we sourced them, their sustainability and social impact.
What sparked the birth of KENZA International Beauty?
My Moroccan pride and the desire to sharing the best with the world!
I was outraged when I started seeing products advertising in big, bold letters the name Argan oil or Moroccan oil while offering primarily synthetic ingredients infused with just a drop of real Argan oil. When you read the ingredient list and see Argan oil or Argania Spinosa kernel oil all the way at the bottom, it means the products contain a drop. To me that was wrong and disrespectful to our Moroccan Argan oil.
Argan oil is our national treasure, and it has been available to us for centuries. I have been using pure Argan oil for four decades and as Moroccan I felt that my mission was to show what real Moroccan Argan is, how it is produced and showcase the ancestral craft held by the Berber women who crack Argan nuts by hands using only a rock and how to use it to get the most benefits.
How did you turn your passion for pure Moroccan Argan oil into a business?
I started to research the most reliable supplier in Morocco, one who could guarantee the highest quality Argan oil. I had also tried a sample of organic Prickly Pear Seed oil and it removed my hyperpigmentation, so I decided I wanted to invest in this precious botanical oil, too.
In 2012, I launched five products with certified organic Argan oil and Prickly Pear Seed oil: Three facial oils, a hair treatment oil and a bar soap. I then started receiving requests from indie beauty businesses to offer my products wholesale. Now I offer over 40 products under our brand name KENZA be generously beautiful™ to retail, wholesale and private label worldwide.
“As a Moroccan, I felt that my mission was to show what real Moroccan Argan is, how it is produced, how to use it to get the most benefits. I also want to showcase the ancestral craft held by the Berber women who crack Argan nuts by hand using only a rock."
Was it difficult to source your oils?
In Morocco, Argan oil is expensive, and unfortunately, it is often diluted with cheaper oil. We source our ingredients from selected suppliers in Morocco and France. Our suppliers are small, family-owned businesses that are the best in their field. I travel to the sites to meet them and make sure that we share the same values in term of quality, sustainability and social responsibility. Our visits also include learning more about the ingredients and the production process, which we share via our blog and social media.
You mentioned that the Prickly Pear Seed Oil cleared your hyperpigmentation, can you tell us more?
Prickly Pear Seed Oil is the amazing beauty oil that all mature skin needs! When used in its pure, concentrated form, it has the abilities to super moisturize skin while brightening it and give it a natural healthy glow. A few drops leave the skin silky soft, plump and radiant.
Its production requires a labor-intensive and time consuming (up to four days) process manually handled by Moroccan women at cooperatives. The Prickly Pear seeds are separated from the pulp and are then dried before being cold-pressed. Because each seed contains only 5% of oil, up to 60 lbs. of seeds (and a half a ton of fruits) are required to yield about 34 oz. of oil.
Pure Prickly Pear Seed Oil has a high concentration of Tocopherol (Vitamin E – Antioxidants: phenols, flavonoids, essential fatty acids (Linoleic Acid or Omega 6) and carotenoids. This oil contains more Tocopherol than any other oil available in the beauty care market (almost 150% more Tocopherol than Argan oil).
KENZA International Beauty's Prickly Pear Seed Oil Rose Night Serum is available now on ShopBeauty.