The Malaysian skincare scene is beginning to flourish, and taking first place is Kayman Beauty, a local skincare brand founded by Nabella Anuar.
While we love a good shopping spree at giant retailers that carry a plethora of global skincare goods, sometimes the answer to our skincare woes is closer to home.
The beauty of shopping local is being able to rely on the fact that (sometimes) the products are tailored to address specific needs, such as weather, humidity, and even skin types. Sure, a super-hydrating moisturizer is an item almost everyone needs in their skincare routine, but if the texture isn’t tuned to work in our specific weather conditions, it often leaves the skin a greasy mess.
Enter Kayman Beauty, a brand that had its humble beginnings in 2017 with the launch of its bar soap, which is now its hero product. Conventionally, many of us put our faith in bottled face wash, but thanks to the low-pH formulation, this unassuming black bar of soap took beauty enthusiasts in Malaysia by surprise.
Now five years in the game, Nabella is not slowing down. Most recently, the brand introduces its sunblock, thus completing its product offering. Some of its older releases have also gotten a reformulation, signaling the founder’s drive to deliver the best skin care products to her customers. In fact, if you follow this founder over on here Instagramyou would also realize that she does not stop learning.
Another thing that you would also notice is how she supports other local businesses, even ones in the same category — which is an incredibly refreshing sight.
But just because Kayman Beauty now has a full roster of skincare solutions, it doesn’t mean the brand is going to slow down. For Nabella, each success only opens up more opportunities for her to explore what the brand can become.
Read our conversation with Kayman Beauty’s founder Nabella Anuar to know what drives her to continue striving:
Share with us your origin story.
Kayman beauty started in 2017 with a bar soap, CoalFace Soap, which remains a cult favorite to this day. We believe the success of CoalFace Soap is attributed to its ability to reduce acne while maintaining a low-pH formulation that is preferable for the skin, which is a rare feat for a block of bar soap.
From there, we begin gaining recognition and slowly built trust with users because they realize we produce skincare that works. The journey is not easy but it’s undeniable that I have a lot of fun creating and giving the best I can to people with the products we make.
How do you decide on what to release?
We look at the needs of the market and our target audience. At present, we focus on producing products that can be used for all skin types. However, we also create products based on what skin issues we want to tackle.
From there, we discuss with our R&D team to select the most suitable and best ingredients, as well as appropriate formulation, that suits the needs of Malaysian skin. The duration of product development varies for each product. Some only take 6 months while others may take up to three years before they are released to the market. This is something we take very seriously as we want to ensure each product released is not only effective but also safe.
We conduct various tests prior to product launch to ensure our products are safe to be used.
What excites you about the local skincare scene?
It excites me to see how people view skincare brands these days. Many were skeptical about local skincare brands, but now that’s not necessarily the case. The local market now has a variety of products from local brands with excellent ingredients and formulations.
What’s more exciting is that local brands now produce skincare that suits the Malaysian lifestyle and climate. Formulations produced are suitable for Malaysian humidity and ensure the skin is well taken care of in erratic weather conditions.
With impressive formulations and the talent of chemists we have in Malaysia, we can see that the trend of Malaysians will eventually move towards choosing local skincare brands over those produced by non-Malaysian brands.
Do you have any plans for product expansion on the horizon?
Absolutely. We plan to have product expansions to include a range of body care as well as cosmetics. This is in line with our vision to be a preferred beauty solution provider to empower individual self-confidence in Malaysia. We want Malaysians to think of Kayman as synonymous with beauty.
What is your message to our readers?
We implore Malaysians to explore and support local brands. Many local brands now invest a lot in branding and R&D to increase legitimacy and public trust. We are transparent with our processes and take due diligence very seriously to ensure quality. For Kayman specifically, we do not just sell products — we provide an avenue for users to feel good about themselves towards achieving the lifestyle they envision.
With the support of our fellow Malaysians, we would be able to grow further and bring the name of Malaysia beyond our waters.
Made in Malaysia is a series by Prestige Malaysia that showcases homegrown talents across various sectors. Through interviews, we strive to highlight the work put in by these individuals while supporting their craft.
All images credit: Kayman Beauty