Ene Adasen is both a mother and a successful natural beauty entrepreneur living in Lagos, Nigeria.
For many years Ene had found her sensitive skin didn’t respond very well to chemical-based products, and when she started having children she saw that they too were suffering from the same problems.
She realised that sensitive skin and allergies seemed to run deep in her family, and she and her children were constantly breaking out.
That’s when she made a decision to do something about it.
With her instinct as a mother pushing her to find a solution for herself and her kids, she decided it was time to fully embrace natural living. This was the beginning of a journey into natural skincare, driven by a hunger for the knowledge and skills to make her own products.
It was a journey that would change the direction of her life.
Choosing natural living for herself and her family was a decision strongly rooted in her own childhood.
Ene was raised on a farm in rural Nigeria by her grandparents, who were herbal doctors, and so in matters of personal healthcare, she would always turn to this rich and deep pool of traditional knowledge first before trying pharmaceutical products.
But the challenge was to transfer this knowledge of herbs into effective skincare; something Ene says she found fascinating. Through her own research and perseverance, she started to learn how to make skincare products that worked for her and her kids’ sensitive skin.
Over time, she was able to make creams and soaps for the family and was happy this way until her friends started noticing the effect on her skin and that of her kids, and wanted her help with their own skin problems.
For the next couple of years, she shared the products she made for free.
She used her friends and family members’ experiences to form a basis for her research and documentation, which helped to hone her skills and improve the products she was making.
But she was struggling with more complex aspects of formulation and became frustrated that her finished work was not as professional as she wanted it to be.
She found she would sometimes miscalculate the correct percentage of ingredients to use in formulations and that this was causing the processes to go wrong.
Her desire to make natural skincare products of the highest standards brought her to The School of Natural Skincare. With her deep knowledge of herbal remedies, and years of trial and error making natural skincare products on her own, Ene chose a course aimed at experienced formulators — the Advanced Certificate in High-Performance Serum Formulation.
This was the breakthrough she needed.
It gave her the ability to formulate highly effective and complex products — including gel-creams, bi-phase serums and emulsions using high performance ingredients — and to do it at a professional standard.
With this professional certification under her belt, she had the confidence to launch her own brand — Ene Naturals
Her company is registered with full trademark and NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) approval, and is growing from strength to strength.
She makes the majority of her products by hand, keeping all the production processes truly natural and is determined not to compromise on quality or processes.
Everything she makes is free from synthetic ingredients.
She now wants to expand her market reach and develop the range of products in her brand, and is focused on doing more exploration, learning and research to accomplish this.
Ene is quick to point out that she didn’t start her business in natural skincare with the objective of making money, because she feels this would have led her to compromise on standard and quality.
Her business is built on her passion for making good, clean products because as a natural skincare formulator she is in essence trying to contribute to preserving all that nature has provided us.
Ene believes that when you’re passionate about what you do, success comes easy because you don’t worry about the challenges.
And, she says, it is still this passion for creating good products that keeps her going today.
We asked Ene a few questions about her journey into natural skincare, and what matters most to her now.
Q: Why did you choose to start creating your own products?
I chose to start creating my own products because my kids and I had struggled to adapt to chemical-based skincare products. As a result, I switched my family to a natural lifestyle that included embracing food, drinks and skincare products that were organically made.
Q: What has been your best experience about formulating your own products?
I believe that the joy, sheer pride and the passion that comes with formulating my own products have been my best experience so far. I also enjoy seeing satisfied customers who have used my products — it gives me so much joy to know that I am helping to give the gift of nature to others.
Q: Have you got any tips for aspiring natural cosmetic formulators about starting to formulate products themselves?
My first tip is this: before you begin, ask yourself if you are passionate about formulating natural products, because it is your passion that will see you through the tough times (which are inevitable).
My second tip is, get the right training and invest time in research to understand your clients and the environment in which you operate.
Q: Why did you decide to study with us?
I chose to study with the School of Natural Skincare because I felt a connection with Gail and Gareth because they “humanize” the institution — it may sound cheesy but that’s the fact. And, I love the courses and the framework.
Q: What’s important for you in terms of the products you make and use?
My commitment and sincerity to maintaining the standard that is expected of a natural skincare product is very important to me, it is something I live by.
My sincerity is so important to me that, as a business, it is part of our brand communication.
Q: What has studying with us helped you to do?
I am now very confident about my formulations and finished products. Studying at School of Natural Skincare International broadened my knowledge and improved my skills to a professional level.
Q: What have you learned about that you never even thought about before?
Prior to enrolling for my program, I was unable to infuse botanical extracts in other plant-based ingredients to create a truly natural serum,without compromising.
Q: Where do you hope your skills and passions will take you in the future?
I hope to someday own a brand of international repute and one that can inspire African women to build their own natural skincare brand.
Q: Tell us about your favourite product you’ve created from the course?
I love creating gel emulsion serums because it allows my creativity to come to light.
Q: What are you trying to create — natural or organic, or something more, eg natural organic and vegan, etc?
I am looking to create natural skincare products that are plant-based.
Q: Why was it important to launch your own brand? Why not just make products for yourself?
I found that there were many other people just like me who wanted to do away with chemical-based skincare products and wanted safe and healthy natural products that would not harm their skin.
So I realised there were a lot of people who could benefit from this, and that I could provide that for them.
Q: What’s the driver behind your brand and what do you love about it?
Our commitment to using all natural ingredients and our passion for harnessing nature’s gifts is what drives the brand. I love using natural ingredients to meet people’s skincare needs so I love the processes involved in making a product that would benefit people as well as the joy I get when people tell me how their skin is so much better from using my products.
I am proud of the work we have done so far and I am even more hopeful about the future.
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