HAOMA, the organic, plant-based skincare brand to know about

As an agency, Push is big on cruelty-free, vegan beauty. It’s something that truly resonates and it’s something we look for in a new client.

HAOMA is a certified-organic skincare brand, handcrafted by Founder Enis Anteplioglu, that champions total transparency when it comes to the ingredients used within each product.

As consumers we have become increasingly conscious about what exactly we’re applying to our skin; we want clarity, reassurance and results. This is why we are so pleased to be representing the HAOMA brand. Read our interview with the Founder below where we discussed sustainable sourcing, the beauty industry and the benefits of all-natural for both your skin and the planet.

What inspired you to launch your own skincare brand?
I never thought of launching my own skincare brand. Instead, I wanted to become self-sustaining. It all started when I went to the doctor for a condition called hyperhydrosis and I was prescribed with very strong antiperspirants and deodorants which contained all kinds of chemicals. Upon realising that these deodorants completely stopped my sweating, I decided to investigate their ingredients. To my surprise they were full of ingredients, which I later found out, were very toxic for my body. This caused me to look into every single cosmetics product that I was using. Soon enough I took notice that I couldn’t even pronounce the quarter of the ingredients that I was putting on my body every day.

This made me upset for a few reasons. Once, I had no idea what the long-term effects of these ingredients to my body would be. Two, the manufacturing processes involved in obtaining those materials were unknown to me. Three, which is what bothered me the most, why did we have to depend on such complex materials for every day essentials? Soaps, deodorants, face creams … why can’t we be self-sustaining in making these really basic products?

I’m a bit of a DIY person. Doing all this research, I got to learn that there are thousand year-old recipes for all these products. But my formulations would have to be modern, scientifically formulated and completely holistic in terms of our relationship with nature. So, I began making all of my own products and I got myself a small notebook called ‘Enis, Handmade Organics’, and put down all my formulations. Over the years, this small notebook has been replace by carefully formulated products leading to HAOMA.

Talk us through the name HAOMA, is there a story behind the brand name?
The story comes from a slightly different Persian name which is a mythological bird of luck called ‘Homa’. My grandfather brought an ancient Persian drawing; a massive piece of art hung in their living room. It had a piece of writing at the bottom that read: “Fly Homa”. Whenever I went to visit them, I felt enchanted by this painting. I never asked what this word meant and never found out that it referred to an ancient bird that represented luck.

When I decided to create my own skincare brand, I wanted it to include something from my Persian heritage. I was looking for various alternative names that had their roots in Persian mythology. The drawing from my childhood suddenly popped into my head. That’s when I looked into it and found out that it not only referred to the mythological bird, but also an alternative writing of ‘Haoma’, which is an ancient mythological plant that bestows vitality, divinity and immortality. This plant is brought to earth from heaven by divine birds and grows in a paradisiacal mountain.

Researchers and historians are still trying to find out if the plant exists … if they end up finding it, I will be sure to include it in my products!

Why is organic and natural beauty so important to you, and what are the skincare benefits (immediate or long-term)?
Natural is very important because we ourselves are nature. So we shouldn’t seek to find solutions for our skin outside of it. Everything that a living being needs is already provided for by our planet. It’s our greed, marketing tactics, as well as our wrong use of technological developments that have caused a great shift towards cheap and synthetic products. They are much quicker to make, suitable for mass-production and make people dependent. These products, in turn, have consequences on our health and environment, as well as shifting the paradigm around what cosmetics should actually be.

Organic has always been my passion and there are so many reasons for that. However, my most important concern is the lack of knowledge in natural products. When you use natural products, you are most likely mainly using essential oils and plant extracts. For example, in order to make two pounds of lemon essential oil, you need three thousand lemons. Now, imagine using a non-organic products that uses the equivalent of the extracts of three thousand lemons. This product will also contain herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and petroleum wax used in growing and treating those lemons. Not only are you getting an intensified shot, but also putting an immense burden on the environment.

Once you use true organic skincare, you will see that your body doesn’t depend on conventional products and you’ll get longer term benefits to your skin that works with your body symbiotically.

What other sustainable commitments does HAOMA make?
I really love to research before I do anything! I never want HAOMA to follow trends for the sake of following them. I really look into every matter that concerns our eco-systems and do it justice by thoroughly researching them, then make business decisions to the best of my knowledge at that time.

For example, one of our policies is on processed and plant-derived ingredients. We refuse to use any ingredient that has been processed more than twice physically or once chemically. Let’s give an example; we use hemp oil in our soaps. This hemp oil is only obtained through physical cold-pressing of hemp seeds. This is just one physical processing. You will find a myriad of products on the market claiming to be obtained through plants. However, what they don’t talk about is how these are obtained. They treat plants countless of times through physical and chemical processes. This again puts a burden on the environment and in the end nothing of the original plant remains after all these processes. What remains is just the toxic remnants of these processes.

So, where do you source your ingredients from?
I try to be as local as possible, but with certain ingredients, for instance Myrrh and Ylang Ylang, I have to find the best variety and go directly to the source where the plant grows naturally. I try to reach out to farmers and growers directly to make sure I find the ones who use best practices and give importance to fair trade rules.

Are your products suitable for all skin types?
Whilst I agree that certain people have specific skin care needs, I think it’s important to understand that most skin care companies take advantage in creating unnecessary segments in order to increase the marketing of their products, thus making people spend more money.

My products are as pure and clean as possible and therefore suitable for all skin types. I remember a customer emailing me to say that they completely stopped using three products in their skincare regime and replaced them with just the HAOMA Radiance Oil. This shows how much brainwashing we are exposed to when it comes to what we need in our skincare.

What are some of your best sellers?
It’s a hard one. We have fans for almost every product. However, our deodorants, soaps and hand-sanitisers have won ‘best’ in category awards this year. Our No.1 perfume is also a great hit, along with our Radiance Oil.

How has it been running your own business during lockdown?
We always had a hand-sanitiser in our range since launching. One day when I woke up, I saw thousands of orders coming through our website and I was just shocked! Our hand-sanitiser had been featured in the Daily Mail along with other magazines and these sales were the results of those exposures. While it’s good to be appreciated for just one product, what made me happy was seeing people turning to more natural and healthier options for their skincare needs during these times of crisis. So it’s fair to say I have been quite busy, but it has been a great time of learning for HAOMA.

Where do you want the brand to be five years from now?
I would rather like to ask myself ‘where do I want the industry and society to be?’. I genuinely want people to change their perceptions and move away from greenwashing, conventional and mass-produced toxic products and really look for a more self-sustaining system where we fully reap the benefits of nature while preserving it.

If people really understand the beauty of natural and organic skincare, they will truly cherish it, because the aromatherapeutic and scientific benefits of natural care will be inevitably apparent.

My dream would be to see that people truly appreciate the work that goes into HAOMA, because every single product is handmade with the utmost care. I hope that people will enjoy using HAOMA products.

Sold? We are, but then we’ve already tried and tested the product range and can fully vouch for each on the basis that is really is of the utmost quality.

Jump across to the website to read more on the brand, its commitments and discover the full range of products.

Push Team x

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