Be Your Kind of Beautiful
Be Your Kind of Beautiful
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Salama Mohamed on Skincare, Social Media, and More

In honour of the UAE’s National Day, of course.

Let’s get one thing straight: Salama Mohamed is not “suffering” with vitiligo – she’s blessed with it. But more on that in a minute. The Emirati influencer and entrepreneur came into our lives by way of the hilarious YouTube videos that star her and her husband, Khalid Al Ameri. Salama, however, is her own woman, venturing into the world of skincare with her brand Peacefull. Not only do the products cater to both men and women with sensitive skin, but they’re also designed with the region’s drastic swings of temperature in mind. Here, she gets candid with The Gaggler.

On what it means to be an Emirati woman in 2021:

“I’m feeling super lucky. I feel like we’re so lucky to be in the UAE, all of us – whether Emirati or not. What a great time to be alive and living in the UAE, it’s such a blessing. We have plans at Peacefull for National Day in place, a few tricks up our sleeves, so we’re excited.”

On the backstory of becoming a role model for so many:

“It was actually very challenging growing up in an environment where skin tone was a bit of a taboo to discuss. And skin-wise, I never had figures who I could look up to, so that was my mission in life – to become my own role model in that way, if it makes sense? I never had any growing up, so I wanted to be one for my kids and my community. It was very challenging, but doable.”

On how the representation of vitiligo has evolved in mainstream media:

“I’m against using the word ‘suffering’ – and I love Winnie Harlow for what she’s doing on a global scale. My son was once working around a mall with Khalid, and he saw a big poster of her in a campaign. He instantly said, ‘She looks like mama! She’s beautiful like mama.’ And I thought that was amazing. It just made my heart so warm when Khalid told me about the incident, so I’m thankful for her speaking up against being described as a ‘vitiligo sufferer’. And like her, I’m not suffering. Vitiligo has given me superpowers, so I’m absolutely not suffering whatsoever. I’m blessed with it.”

On bringing SoKo’s finest to the region:

“We’re bringing South Korean active ingredients through products that are tailor-made for this region. Peacefull products are tested in a heat chamber set to 50ºC for three months to make sure that the formula sits right during the summer – and the whole year for that matter. We have cica in the Endless Purifying Toner, which is a wound healer and therefore heals the skin after traumatic cystic acne. And then there’s mugwort in the Mugwort Clay Mask Cleanser, which is an amazing antioxidant ingredient that helps to preserve moisture within the skin. It’s gentle enough to be used by people with psoriasis, people with eczema, people with rosacea, and people with vitiligo. That’s what we’re doing with Peacefull – yes, we bring these innovative active ingredients in from Korea, but they’re inclusive and suited to everyone.”

On launching beauty products for people with sensitive skin:

“I love makeup, so maybe one day, but our concern at the moment and what we’re trying to build is a lifestyle. We’re trying to pass on skincare for the next generation. We’re trying our best to be part of everyone’s skincare routines because we want to take care of the actual foundation of the skin before we mask it with makeup. That’s the problem we want to fix first and then, maybe in the future, we’ll branch out into makeup.”

On the last time she felt truly at peace:

“I’d like to think I’m peaceful every single day because I’m a fairly chilled out person, but it goes up and down. Like anyone else, it depends on the day – it depends on whether you’ve had your cup of tea, whether it was made right that morning, whether you’ve gone to the gym and if you had a leg day – it depends how peaceful you are after that.”

On how frequently she needs a time-out from social media:

“Every single day, day in and day out. I consider myself a private person, but I’ve managed to find that sweet spot between being on social media and maintaining a private life. Everything that I do is scripted, so I only put out what I want to put out there – and keep the rest of my life private. So for example, if I post a video or a skit with Khalid or an image of myself with the boys today, I’ll spend an hour after that responding to people and engaging with them. And then I’ll take the rest of the day off. I’ll share that particular moment, but then have the rest of my day for myself and my family.”

On laughing uncontrollably with Khalid:

“We laugh every single day because we never take each other seriously – never, ever, ever. Unless, of course, there’s something that revolves around the kids or their schooling. But when it comes to us? We just never take each other seriously, and I’d say it’s a really lucky combination of two best friends cracking up at each other.”

On struggling with self-acceptance:

“I don’t remember the day and date, but I remember the year – it was between 2015 and 2016, but it’s been smooth sailing after that. It was rough around those couple of years because I had just moved back from the States, my son Abdullah was diagnosed with autism. It was challenging for the whole family and me as a mother, but I’m thankful for those years because they made me a lot tougher.”

On when she feels beautiful:

“Every single day!”

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