My first skincare review of this year is dedicated to a UK skincare brand called Merumaya. It was only launched in October of last year but it seems to be already gaining a following, as well as press coverage both online and in print. Last weekend I walked past one of the offices near Marylebone High Street and saw a great window displays of Merumaya products ( and the products were also on prominent display at John Lewis on Oxford street this weekend ) – a promising fast start, I would say.
Merumaya was started by Maleka Dattu, who was born in London to parents hailing from Zanzibar and Dar-es-Salam and family roots closely intertwined with India. From a young age Maleka has been interested in beauty and her professional career took her from Europe to America, where she worked for cosmetic powerhouses Clinique, Origins & Lancome.
After almost 30 years in the corporate beauty industry Maleka decided to branch out on her own and launched Merumaya, integrative effective skincare, in October 2012. The name Merumaya is an amalgam of the first two letters of the names of Maleka’s father, mother, sister, baby daughter, as well as her own. In actual fact, it would have been the name that Maleka’s father would have used for his own business, if he choose to start it, instead of lovingly supporting his family and putting their financial security ahead of his own ambitions.
If you want to get a proper idea why Maleka created Merumaya, then you should watch a video of her press presentation on her website. The premise of Merumaya is that it aims to be both anti-ageing and preventative, helping the skin to perform at its best and be protected from harmful elements. Maleka worked closely with Professor of bio-chemistry Karl Liebner, who was one of the pioneers of introducing peptides into cosmetic formulations.
It was also important for Melaka to combine ingredients that wouldn’t ‘contradict’ each other and use them at their ‘maximum potent concentration’ allowed by the tests. As she herself said ‘this skincare brand stands in the middle, between a medical grade skincare and natural one and it is also accessibly priced’.
The range includes the following 12 products:
Iconic Youth Serum 30 mls, £34.50 ( while personally I think it is a little tongue and cheek to call a newly launched product iconic, I definitely think it is one of the stars of the range. It does have a strong flowery smell and an interesting consistency, which feels slightly powdery on the skin on initial application. It sinks in almost instantly, leaving your skin feeling soft and nourished even before you apply the moisturiser. Of all the serums I have tried in the past this one has the most unusual consistency and I mean it as an absolute compliment. The serum itself has hyaluronic acid, plant stem cell extract from Globe Daisy ( truth be told, it’s the first time I came across this ingredient, but it helps to repair the skin from outside aggressors like polution ), peptides and antioxidants. For the full list of ingredients press here ).
Youth Preservation Moisturiser SPF 15, 30 mls, £29.50 ( this lovely creamy moisturiser has a more subtle smell than the serum and it also gets absorbed by the skin very quickly. I used both the moisturiser and serum in the evening and saw a difference in my skin tone and brightness within a week or so. It contains Echium oil and helps your skin not only to fight aggressors like sun damage and pollution, but it also assists the skin in repairing its protective barrier. My skin felt softer to the touch and I liked the light texture of this product, which also moisturises your skin quite well ).
Intensely Youthful Eye Cream, 15mls, £24.50 ( this cream aims to reduce wrinkles and dark shadows, as well as age-proof the delicate skin around the eye area. Ingredients like mangosteen protects the skin around the eyes, while ginseng helps to reduce puffiness and dark circles. My problem with this product is two fold. The first issue is the pump that doesn’t ‘dose’ the product well. It pumps too much product each time, however ‘lightly’ I tried to press it. Another problem for me is that this cream smells a bit like fish oil. I tried using it for a week and hoped I would get over the cream’s scent but just couldn’t ).
Tease me, Please Me Taster Set £24.50 ( I bought this set in order to get acquainted with this range and it contains a full-sized eye cream, as well as trial-sized melting cleansing balm, skin brightening exfoliating peel, iconic youth serum and youth preservation moisturiser SPF 15. It is also handy to take on a holiday or on a business trip. In the case of the set that I bought, even though I used exact amounts, I ran out of the moisturiser much quicker than I did out of the serum…. ).
Melting Cleansing Balm 100 mls, £14.50 ( you apply a small amount to your face and start massaging it in, while the balm starts emulsifying during its contact with your skin. You then need to add a little bit of water to it and it will turn into a slightly milky consistency. It is a nice cleanser which I personally preferred using in the morning, rather than in the evening. It doesn’t leave the skin dry, which is always a bonus, particularly during the cold winter months and has a very comforting consistency ).
Luxury Facial wash 100 mls, £14.50
Skin brightening exfoliating peel, 50mls, £19.50 ( this fairly gentle peel works on brightening and retexturizing your skin. It combines glycolic acid with pomegranate enzymes, which in conjunction help to clear the dead skin away and make the skin appear more vibrant. I felt a slight tingling sensation to start with, but there was no redness or discomfort later. Personally I prefer to leave it on for five minutes, while Merumaya recommends anything from three to ten minutes, so you will need to find the amount of time to suit your skin’s needs ).
Pure radiance mask 50 mls, £19.50
Concentrated Spot treatment, 10 mls, £14.50
Daily cleansing cloths, £12.50
Manual cleansing brush, £12.50 ( while I haven’t tried this brush, to me it seems wonderfully old-fashioned, like the one my grandfather used in the morning before he started shaving. It massages and wakes up the skin and allows the ingredients to penetrate deeper. And let’s be honest, it is nice to have a choice within a skincare range between the brush and the cloth, so you can choose the one that suits your skin’s requirements and type best ).
Confidensual hand wash, 200 mls, £12.50
In my view Merumaya is an all encompassing range, which has been well-thought out. It has its own branding identity including the packaging, as well as ingredients that were thoroughly tried and tested by a very experienced team. Product instructions are clear and helpful and the range has a very good price point.
When you place orders online, via Merumaya website, you get free shipping on the orders over £40
Otherwise you can find Merumaya at John Lewis stores nationwide