Sometimes a pastime can go beyond just experimenting for fun. Sometimes it can develop into an amazing career or business. And that is just what happened to Adrienn Major, whose budding soapmaking hobby was to become the start of a successful cosmetics brand, thanks to the School of Natural Skincare.

Living in Chile, Adrienn was a passionate vegan, living and cooking by her vegan standards and striving for a colorful, plant-based lifestyle. She regularly bought soaps from her friend, and loved how natural and organic they were. It was that friend who taught Adrienn how to make the soaps herself.

After her first guidance on learning the basics of soapmaking, Adrienn rushed home, opened her kitchen cupboards, and looked for ingredients to color her soaps. This was the beginning of a new passion; “Even though I could only make a few things at that time, I thought that this is going to be my future and I’m going to set up my own business, and I wanted to change my life.”

But it would prove to be a lot more difficult than she first imagined.

The Need for a Credible Natural and Organic Ingredient School

When Adrienn moved to Mexico in the Caribbean, where the climate was very different, “everything turned upside down”. The humidity of her new home was off the charts. No longer could Adrienn make soaps with the same ingredients and amounts as before; “I had to reformulate my formulas, so it was really challenging.”

After some online searching, Adrienn found some not-so helpful DIY sites that offered limited help. “I knew that there’s so much information out there and it’s really difficult to filter what is right, what is not.”

A course was needed that Adrienn could get her teeth into. A course that would help her adapt her formulations to suit the new climate. One that would help her create natural, scientifically truthful and safe products, and that would lead to the business she had dreamed of – “I felt that I needed structured information and something that I can trust”.

Shortly, Adrienn found the School of Natural Skincare and enrolled on some free courses on offer; “I started to dive into this whole new world, and it was really fascinating.”

After the free courses she enrolled onto the hugely popular Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation, and “really liked how it’s structured”. Adrienn discovered that the course was “really practical and the information [was] really clear, understandable.”

The Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation changed the way Adrienn created her products. With expert lessons, guidance, and assessments from qualified cosmetic formulators, a more confident side to Adrienn was starting to emerge.

Soon, Adrienn began to use her new knowledge and qualification to start her own natural skincare brand. The need for professionalism was paramount:

“If it was only a hobby, it would be a different thing. But this is my main only source of income, so this is really my business and I know that I have to be focused and structured.”

And it was this focus and attention to detail that came about after her School of Natural Skincare studies:

“I [used to] get this ingredient and I want to make this, and I just jump into it and I do it. But now I try to always sit down and say, okay, get the product development brief, and try to think first, okay, why am I doing that?”

As the teaching continued, Adrienn “gained a lot of confidence during the course” and helped her to “polish” her formulas. The jargon of “ingredients with funny names” was no longer like a foreign language to Adrienn, and she learned more about the business side of formulating, too.

“I was struggling a little bit with the business vision. So, it was really, really helpful how the course shows you how to set up a business and to bear in mind that, okay, you can play formulating for yourself, but if you want to do it for sales, you should always [remember] the steps, why am I doing it? Who am I doing it for? It was really, really helpful.”

From basic products born of a passion for natural ingredients, to a scientific understanding and grasp of business essentials and cosmetic regulations, the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation covered everything Adrienn needed to know to have a successful brand, and more.

Values that Underlie the Business

But at the heart of what Adrienn creates is her values, many of which are shared with the School of Natural Skincare.

When she first started, veganism was definitely high on Adrienn’s list of values to incorporate into her brand, as was cruelty-free, natural ingredients and avoiding synthetic elements. An additional value that is becoming more and more conventional in natural cosmetic brands, is zero waste.

“When I had this idea to have my own brand, I was only making soaps and shampoo bars, so it was a perfect start for zero-based products. And also living here in the Caribbean, I’m quite obsessed with recycling and the rubbish.”

Adrienn has witnessed the impact non-recyclable packaging can have on the environment, so decided to use as little packaging as possible, and what she did use had to be recyclable.

This important issue of reducing your environmental impact, and upcycling ingredients is explored in our Diploma in Zero Waste Skincare and Haircare Formulation, where you can create an entire skincare and haircare range in solid bars or powder concentrates.

“I live 10 minutes from the ocean, it’s a village beach, so it’s always clean, but you go a little bit further and you have all the trash that comes with the ocean.”

Aside from the serious issues of health and the environment, Adrienn hasn’t forgotten the pure enjoyment that comes from creating and formulating.

“It’s creative! It’s really beautiful when I start and then different things come out. I found it fascinating to make different creams and according to oils and extracts and stuff that I mix in, then it comes out one black, one orange, one pink. It’s really beautiful.”

Adrienn Major: From Soapmaking Hobbyist in Chile to Natural Cosmetics Business Owner in Mexico Student success stories

What are These Beautiful Products?

“My brand is called Sayab which means, in Maya, the source of life. My vision was to make a fusion of cosmetics and herbs. So what I do is I include herbs in some forms in each of the products, whether it’s in powder, in the soaps, in the shampoo bars, or an infusion in oils.”

There is one product, Divine Connection, a serum facial oil, that uses ingredients such as energy-cleansing copal (a resin) from the ceiba tree that, according to Mayan mythology, is sacred. Another is Sayab’s Mayan Magic face serum, which harnesses ingredients from the tepezcohuite tree.

“One of the very important characteristics of my brand is that I try to make a fusion of cosmetics and herbalism. So, I use herbs in each of my products. And since I live in Mayan lands, I try to use local herbs.”

Targeted toward “people who care about plants” and the conscious consumer, for whom it’s “important for them not to buy something that comes in plastic”, the Sayab brand is sold on the brand’s website, in vegan stores in four cities, various seasonal markets and even in five-star hotels. The sky really is the limit for Adrienn.

The Future for Sayab Cosmetics

So, what does the future have in store for Adrienn and her business? Ingredients-wise, “I really would like to work with local communities to source the local herbs. Or even maybe to make the production when it’s too big for me to do it alone, to get involved with local people”. 

Regarding the brand’s profile, “…online publicity like Instagram, how to get more followers and all these things are what I need to work on. So, my next step will be to work on the website and online selling.”

And, what advice would Adrienn give to all the formulators out there that have an idea, a dream, a values-driven passion for natural ingredients, but who are doubting their decision to make their hobby a business?

“I think that if you have the call to do this, you should try. I know that sometimes there are difficulties or sometimes there are some obstacles, but if you really feel that you should do this, you should try.”

“It’s really not expensive to make a small production and go to a local market. You can start it very small and try it out to see how it works, and maybe you can go to the next step!”

At the start of Adrienn’s journey she “learned the very, very basic” recipes for making cosmetics, just starting with soapmaking. Now, she has a successful natural, vegan-inspired cosmetic range and a thriving business. What an inspiration!

“I feel quite proud of myself that if I look at where I started it from, the whole design was really basic and the packaging was really basic. And where I got now, it’s like there’s a huge difference. There’s a huge evolution.”


How to kickstart your dream to launch your own natural beauty business?


What we love about Adrienn’s story is how fuelled with passion and desire it is. Adrienn has taken it upon herself to make it happen and she has now turned it into her sole and main source of income.

Whether you believe it to be possible or not, our students are living proof that it can be done and we’re immensely proud of Adrienn’s achievements and we’re extremely grateful to have been part of our journey.

Learning to formulate your own natural skincare products is an art and science and it takes practice too! That’s why we teach all of those facets – the art, science and practice of natural skincare formulation – inside our Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation. 

This is an accredited online diploma course that teaches you everything you need to formulate your own complete range of natural & organic skincare products. We teach professional processes and methods using the very highest of industry standards which means that you come out with products that are a cut above the rest – DiY of course but made to professional standards ready to sell and be part of a successful brand.

What’s more, the way we teach students to formulate their own products is as if they were doing so for their brand, or future brand. The process you go through to formulate products is very similar to the process you’d go through to design and create your brand. So why not do both at the same time?

If you’re more interested in creating haircare products, you can check out our Diploma in Natural Haircare Formulation. For soap making, we have our Diploma in Soap Making and for makeup and color cosmetics we have our Diploma in Formulating Natural Makeup and Advanced Color Cosmetics. And finally, for those more interested in zero waste cosmetics, you’ll want to enroll onto our Diploma in Zero Waste Skincare and Haircare Formulation.

Please do get in touch with us with any questions you may have. We’re available to help you and all you need to do is email us on 



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Adrienn Major: From Soapmaking Hobbyist in Chile to Natural Cosmetics Business Owner in Mexico Student success stories

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