Zen Skincare has the distinction of being Pakistan’s first natural skincare line for men. In a country like Pakistan where skincare is often viewed as the domain of women, there are only paltry offerings for men. And, even those rarely if ever extend beyond the usual international brands selling 3-in-1 style face, body and hair wash. But, Zen Skincare has stepped into this landscape to provide men with the opportunity to get natural, artisanal and non-toxic hygiene products for themselves. After all the skin is the largest organ of the body, and a proper skincare routine dedicated to its maintenance should be considered as a basic extension of personal hygiene and self care.
Zeeshan Suhail and his partner launched Zen Skincare, in September 2020, with the aim of creating and providing natural products that are good alternatives to skincare and hygiene products found on the shelves of local department stores. Zen Skincare creates non-toxic, handcrafted products that not only are good for the skin but help provide health benefits too. To understand how this brand was born and what sets its products apart we decided to ask the brand’s co-founder, Zeeshan Suhail, to let us take a peek into the inner workings of his company.
Zeeshan: When I moved to Pakistan from the U.S I started facing health problems, and everyone suggested different things like changing my diet or my daily routine etc, but nothing was really working so I decided to completely overhaul my life. I changed everything from my diet down to the basic hygiene products I was using, like shampoo etc and I started feeling a bit better. That’s when I realised that it’s not just what you put in your body but also on your body that affects your health and wellbeing.
Zeeshan: Back when I first, accidentally, stumbled into the world of natural skincare all I found were a few homeopathic products, like sulfur soap, at Shaheen Chemists in Lahore. I tried it on a whim, liked the results and dove into researching these products further. The skin is largest organ of the body, and it absorbs whatever you put on it. Hence, I realised that there was a serious dearth of local non-toxic products, for men, that also perform well.
Zeeshan: Our products are both functional and therapeutic in nature. They not only provide targeted skincare benefits like cleansing impurities but they also have an element of aromatherapy, which can be beneficial to the health. We also try to incorporate elements of Islamic medicine into our products. The Holy Prophet P.B.U.H stated the health benefits of natural substances like olive oil, which science is only now confirming to be true as well.
Zeeshan: Zen Skincare products are carefully handcrafted. All our products are made in Pakistan, for Pakistanis.
Zeeshan: At present, we have to import many of out ingredients even though our products are made locally. Unfortunately, the quality of many ingredients in the local market is inconsistent hence we are forced to import ingredients. But, we are planning on transitioning to high quality ingredients that are grown locally, soon.
Zeeshan: Women in Pakistan have access to amazing natural local brands like Co-natural, that are both good for their skin and their overall health. However, men had no such products available for them.
Zeeshan: Locals brands like Co-naturals etc have already introduced people to the concept of natural skincare, and they’ve done it successfully too. Many Pakistanis are now getting into skincare, especially since the lockdown forced people to look for local alternatives to imported skincare.
Zeeshan: Technically our products are unisex and can be used by anyone, but our main focus was on raising awareness amongst young men in their teens or their 20s to start doing better for themselves and their skin. But surprisingly, we’ve had men in their 40s and 50s who are very interested in our products.
Zeeshan: Eventually, Zen Skincare is to be a social enterprise that helps empower people to escape poverty. We want to employ local artisans and workers to make our products, and also help employ individuals from marginalised communities.