Science is at the heart of Boost Balm’s protective and detoxifying skincare products

“Everything I do, I do for myself,” says Shareezma Hanif, the founder of Boost Balm. Her journey in the skin care industry began as she sought to cure her endless skin problems such as acne, eczema and melasma which were caused by hormonal factors. She has been addicted to makeup and skincare since a young age and didn’t have acne problems until she was 20 years old.

Various products on the market, including laser and chemical peel treatments, failed to improve her condition. When none of her efforts were successful, Shareezma sought professional advice and discovered that an underlying health issue had led to the sudden breakouts.

“I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), a disease that affects hormones and reproductive organs. Side effects include skin rashes, extreme hairiness and weight gain and I’ve been through it all. But when you’re 20, you don’t really care.

She realized that PCOS affected her badly when she had difficulty conceiving. “I had two miscarriages. My acne problem hadn’t gone away either and the doctor wanted to put me on accutane, but I couldn’t because I wanted babies.

The mother-of-four, now 31, knew she had to do something for herself. She decided to change her lifestyle and tried an anti-inflammatory diet. Eventually, she was determined to create a product that could counter her hormonal acne problem. “Whether it’s food, makeup or toiletries, anything can affect your health. I noticed a gap in the market [and thought] why not offer a skin care product, without endocrine disrupting chemicals? »

A huge investment is required to start a skin care line, especially to carry out research and development. Shareezma took a chance and applied for government grants in 2015. Working with UK cosmetic chemists and a local manufacturer, they developed a skin barrier technology and formulation that protects the skin from the chemicals in cosmetics. makeup products. She won the Halal Hi-Tech Challenge, organized by SME Corporation Malaysia and was rewarded with RM500,000.

After three long years of experimentation with around 40 samples, Skin Barrier Cream was introduced in 2018. The product works as a shield to protect the skin against dirt and environmental impurities. “If you use sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays, why don’t you apply something to protect your skin from free radicals in the air and chemicals in makeup products? aging your skin and it’s scientifically proven.

Shareezma loves versatile products, so she makes sure her creations are filled with nourishing substances to solve different problems. Designed to be used as a primer in the morning and a treatment cream in the evening, Skin Barrier Cream contains 15 concentrated botanical extracts such as willow bark, sacha inchi, manuka oil, baobab and magnolia bark .

“It took so long because I had very specific requirements for the ingredients we used. People who apply the cream before putting on other makeup products notice that their skin stops breaking out. So that was definitely worth the wait.

Boost Balm’s second product, Rhassoul600, was inspired by the concept of tayammum (dry ablution) in Islam. “I was reading how it’s an alternative to wudhu in which we use purified sand or mud. Essentially it’s an act of cleansing.

Using this idea, Shareezma researched the best clay to help detoxify and cleanse the skin. She came across rhassoul, also called ghassoul or Moroccan red clay. Originally from Morocco, it has long been used to make cleaning agents like shampoo and soap.

“It has a high negative electromagnetic charge, which makes it great for detoxification. When you apply the mask, after a while you can see whiteheads coming out. It’s gross, but it does the job. Charcoal element also has antiseptic properties. Fun fact: most clay masks on the market contain between 40% and 50% clay in their formulation. Ours contain up to 80%, so you can benefit from all the benefits of natural clay.

Over time, Shareezma noticed that many of her clients were those who suffered from hormonal issues such as acne and irregular periods like her. Therefore, she collaborated with Dr. Soobitha Subenthiran to create a whole food supplement called Regen Nectar which is intended to reduce body inflammation, balance hormones and rejuvenate body cells.

“I personally tried the supplement for some time and it worked like magic to regulate my menstrual cycle. It is a breakthrough product. That is why I decided to introduce it to my platform, knowing that my clients would benefit from it.

While the founder loved formulating skincare ingredients, she wasn’t great at marketing, especially in the early days. However, she picked up the skills along the way and mastered the do’s and don’ts of improving Boost Balm’s brand image.

“I learned the hard way. I put up billboards for two years across the Klang Valley in 2017 and 2018. I spent so much money but it didn’t give me the result I wanted. I realized it was important for marketing to grow organically and cater to the kinds of content people are consuming these days. Now I do a lot of Facebook ads and I’m active on TikTok. You have to believe in your products and stand up for them.

A new product formulated to treat pigmentation is in the works and is expected to launch next month. Boost Balm was created to “boost the skin care routine” and Shareezma wants to continue to produce useful products that will bring positive results to its customers. Looks like she’s already on her way.

This article was first published on August 22, 2022 in The Edge Malaysia.