How Salama Mohamed’s vitiligo inspired her to start a skincare brand

The social media star wanted to create a range that was inclusive and able to withstand high Middle Eastern temperatures

Social media star Salama Mohamed launched skincare brand Peacefull in June.
Powered by automated translation

If you’re on social media, you’re probably familiar with Salama Mohamed.

One half of social media power couple alongside her husband Khalid Al Ameri, Mohamed has gained recognition for her bold and honest takes on everything from marriage to motherhood.

One of the topics she also candidly discusses is her experience with vitiligo, a skin condition that causes loss of skin colour in patches. Mohamed has always been open about her skin, calling it "a blessing", and has made myth-busting videos on the matter.

She recently added another notch to her belt with the launch of Peacefull. The skincare range, available in the UAE in Sephora and via, boasts a slew of benefits, including being developed specifically for the region's temperatures.

How vitiligo inspired Peacefull

“To understand how it all started, you need to rewind a few years ago,” Mohamed tells The National. “Due to my vitiligo, I have sensitive skin. It’s something I can’t escape. After I got married, I also developed adult acne.

"I tried everything from the highest of high-end products to store-bought versions, but that only added to the breakouts or the allergy. I wasn’t able to use antibiotics for my acne. So, I focused my energy on finding the best skincare technique there is.”

Her journey led her to Korean skincare, a regime she swears by. “I would use all the 10 steps. It changed not just my skin, but also my image of myself. I would wake up in the morning and see my skin start to clear out. This sparked my love for skincare.”

Mohamed wanted to bring the best parts of Korean skincare to the region. However, recognising the fact that most people don’t have time to perform an intricate 10-step routine on a daily basis, she decided to find a way to do it in less time.

Peacefull, which has been two years in the making, was launched after researching active ingredients. The products are formulated in Korea by a factory that specialises in skincare. While there are only three products in the current range, designed to restore and repair the skin barrier, many are multipurpose.

The Mugworth Clay Mask Cleanser works as a face mask and a cleanser, while the Endless Purifying Toner combines facial essence (a huge part of Korean skincare) with a toner. Mohamed swears by the moisturiser as it “doesn’t leave you feeling like a glazed doughnut”.

Developed to withstand the Middle East heat

The ability to work within the UAE climate is an aspect she is proud of. “The products sat on a heat chamber at 50 degrees for three months during our testing phase. We wanted to mimic the GCC sun and the Middle Eastern temperature. We wanted to make sure the aroma doesn’t change, the formula doesn’t change, the texture doesn’t change. We have created it from scratch to withstand the heat.”

Mohamed believes this aspect is particularly important as it’s something international brands often do not take into consideration. “Peacefull came out of desperation. Peacefull came out of necessity. Because we matter and we deserve to be taken care of. We are not going to sit and wait for products to be created for us; we are going to create those with the best standard.”

Being comfortable in the skin you're in

While her brand may have been developed to withstand a certain temperature, Mohamed was adamant that it would be suitable for all skin types. “I have vitiligo, my sister has psoriasis and her child has eczema. So, in my household, we all have skin concerns and issues. We wanted active ingredients that would work for us and would calm skin down.”

It’s the reason why the range at Peacefull has been designed to be all-inclusive. It’s unisex, dermatologically tested for sensitive skin, and can be used by those with vitiligo, psoriasis, eczema and rosacea. “We don’t want to leave anyone behind. I’ve always felt like I wasn’t included because of my sensitive skin and I wanted to change that. People deserve it – whether they have a skin issue or not.”

When it comes to future plans, Mohamed says “stay tuned”. While there are more products in the works, she insists it’s not about quantity but quality. “It’s not about how much I have under my belt, but how we are helping people. Future product drops will target specific skin concerns.”

While a lot of make-up and skincare brands are built around highlighting flaws in a person and playing on insecurities, Mohamed wants to go down another route. “There’s nothing wrong with issues such as acne. It doesn’t take away anything from your personality. But there is something wrong with trying and not finding the necessary skincare for it,” she says.

That ethos is what led to Peacefull, right down to its name. “It’s about feeling at peace with one’s skin, she says.

“Being at peace with yourself is the highest form of self-love. Waking up every morning and just accepting yourself, the skin that you’re in ... That’s the start of your journey.”

Updated: July 05, 2021, 4:26 AM