Home Spotlights & Interviews #BeautifyBoss Meet Yasmin Zachary, Founder of African-Inspired Skincare Brand, Uzari

Meet Yasmin Zachary, Founder of African-Inspired Skincare Brand, Uzari

"At Uzari, we believe every business should give back. Our black soap is responsibly sourced from Ghana, and we actively reinvest in the education of young women from the region."

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Photo: Uzari

We rise by lifting others.”

At Beautify.tips, we love to shine the spotlight on entrepreneurs who weren’t afraid to build their own brand, blaze their own trail, and be their own boss. Here are their journeys…

Tell me about Uzari! How do you describe your brand?

Uzari is African-inspired skincare designed for the global woman. We harmonize traditional African skincare with modern clean beauty, prioritizing clean ingredients and sustainability in both environmental and community aspects. Our core values underscore the importance of traditional recipes, the role of skincare in overall well-being, the necessity of clean and sustainable practices, and the transformative power of beauty in building personal confidence.

My personal journey and West African heritage deeply influence Uzari’s philosophy. Committed to helping women worldwide achieve skin confidence, we provide easy, accessible, and effective daily skincare solutions. Uzari advocates for the concept of self-love, understanding its impact on self-esteem, confidence, health, and relationships.

How did you pick the name for your brand?

 ‘Uzari’ comes from the word “Uzuri” which means “beauty” in Swahili origins. This character is very self confident, creative, ambitious, versatile, independent and original. A leader who appreciates change and travel. When deciding on this name, we wanted something traditional, with depth and making a remix to form Uzari was perfect! 

When and why did you start it?

As a global woman who grew up in Africa, I experienced my own skincare challenges while navigating my international travels and was puzzled by the fact that modern skincare seems to rely on harmful ingredients and marketing but has forgotten our roots and the simple clean recipes that have been around for 1000’s of years, especially in Africa.  That’s why at Uzari we are on a mission to bring traditional recipes to modern skincare.  

My purpose is to make everyone confident in their skin, but the reality is that most people don’t take good care of their skin. Sure, there are a lot of solutions for face, but Uzari is a skincare routine that makes daily caring of skin easy, accessible and effective. When you’re confident in your skin… in yourself, you’re better equipped to succeed in this world.

Does Uzari have a mission?

At Uzari, we believe every business should give back.  Our black soap is responsibly sourced from Ghana, and we actively reinvest in the education of young women from the region. Through our charitable arm, BIIKA, we finance their college education, sustaining this commitment by donating a percentage of every purchase.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced getting your company off the ground and how did you overcome them?

As a small business I’ve had quite a bunch of challenges already. 

Identifying a suitable collaborative partner for the development of innovative projects can prove to be a formidable task, particularly when seeking partners capable of manufacturing in smaller quantities tailored to the needs of small businesses.

During the initial phase of product launch, when the first batch was prepared, I arranged for the courier to collect the shipment from my supplier. Unfortunately, the package was lost in transit, resulting in a significant setback that delayed my launch by nearly two months. In a subsequent shipment, over 75% of my bottles were received in damaged condition, attributable to mishandling by the courier service.

 I could continue listing examples, however, once you have a vision and witness it materialize, nothing surpasses the sense of fulfillment that accompanies the achievement. 

Tell me about one of your hero products. What is it, why do you love it, how do you use it?

 Our flagship product is a daily skincare routine that combines gentle exfoliation with the deep cleaning and moisturizing of African black soap which is sold as a ritual box set.

African black soap is a traditional plant-based cleanser handmade in West Africa. It’s made from the ashes of palm leaves & cocoa pods, unrefined oils from shea butter, palm kernel and coconut. It’s packed with phytochemicals in plants and bacteria- fighting oils to deeply clean and nourish skin. Our blend boosts a neutral PH that is safe for all skin types. Our U- scrub exfoliator is a unique and innovative design of the African net sponge that provides gentle daily exfoliation to support cell turnover all year round.

Science shows us that exfoliating has numerous benefits such as supporting blood circulation, unclogging pores, improving skin texture, enhancing product absorption and benefits all year round. I am particularly fond of this combination as it is supported by both scientific evidence and time-honored tradition. What could possibly surpass such a harmonious blend?

Anything new and exciting coming up you can share?

With Africa’s wealth of natural resources and the history of African beauty as a prime example of clean beauty rituals that stand the test of time, we are excitedly looking forward to expanding our product portfolio in the coming year. 

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Janene Mascarella