How Verità Skin Was Created, In a Nutshell

Verità means truth in Italian. In any language, we’re a luxury, all-organic skin care company that blends aromatic flower, herb, and fruit essences such as lavender, geranium, and lemongrass, with ultra-hydrating Mediterranean oils for the body and face. Made for moisturizing modern women of all senses and sensibilities, Verità Organic Argan Oil Skin Care blazes its own path away from commercialized skin care paradigms. We utilize only the purest ingredients, and we source them from fair trade women’s cooperatives across Morocco, Nigeria, Ghana, Indonesia, and always looking for more partners. If it isn’t harvested sustainably, we won’t use it.

All Verità skin therapies begin with 100% organic Argan, one of the rarest oils on the planet; it’s a multipurpose moisturizer that nourishes your skin, body, hands, nails, cuticles, feet, scalp, and hair, without recourse to synthetics, chemicals, or other harmful additives. Argan itself begins in the desert in central Morocco from the UNESCO-protected Argan trees. Traveling to the Atlas Mountains outside Marrakech in 2009, I was there introduced to the women who harvest and press the oil directly from the Argan nut using traditional methods. As I learned about this amazingly beneficial “skin food,” I also discovered how it financially empowers the all-women co-ops that produce the oil.

By this time, I was already immersed within the Arab-Muslim culture – living and working in Egypt. The true story of my four years in the capital city of Cairo is certainly the topic of a book in itself. Here are just a few of the things I experienced, the good and the bad:

  • I escaped out of a police station in Aswan, Upper Egypt along the Nile
  • I was generously offered food and water by a poor woman on street because she said I looked tired
  • My landlord took a swing at my face to extort money before I moved out
  • I watched a butcher carefully and thoughtfully slice the throat of a bull in the roof of an apartment building to drain the blood in the traditional Halal manner to break the fast for the holy month of Ramadan
  • I read that 95% of Egyptian women are still circumcised to the third degree cutting off the clitoris and labia
  • I broke my leg and 10 of closest friends took care of me for a month and all of my coworkers visited me in the hospital, some of whom I did not know
  • I witnessed a senior female coworker get passed over for a promotion because she had to leave in the evening to cook her husband dinner
  • I saw the sunrise on the Egyptian north shore along the Mediterranean coast with a friend who graciously invited 30 people to stay at his home

There were many more stories before I moved back to Washington, D.C., to work for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in international trade. However, women’s issues continued to be dear to my heart and I volunteered for Women in International Trade and the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy on the Middle East. I hosted events such as Women in Diplomacy with three female ambassadors and raised awareness for women in business in North Africa by hosting the U.S. State Department’s Ambassador for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer.

Not long after I returned to the U.S. did the Arab Spring break out and forever change the face of political affairs across the Middle East and North Africa. Battles for political control play out along religious, ethnic, and financial lines that continue to divide the region. The state of women's rights have waxed and waned in each country, most notably in Egypt where we saw the military forcing virginity tests, men in the street molesting and brutally ripping off women clothing near the iconic Tahrir Square, the symbol for freedom and equality in the first revolution.

My passion for supporting women across the region rose dramatically during this time and I wrote several articles to help bring attention to the plight of women in Forbes.com What Role for Women After the Arab Spring (Jan 9, 2012), What Egyptian Women Need to do to Protect their Rights (Jun 25, 2012); FreeEnterprise.com Egyptian Women’s Delegation Meets with Washingtonian Women (Feb 27, 2012), Why Supporting Businesswomen in the Middle East and North Africa is Good for Business (Jun 4, 2012): Women in International Trade Quarterly Women to Drive Business Growth in the Middle East (Spring 2012); and The Diplomatic Courier To Veil or Not to Veil (Oct 20, 2012).

While writing in major online papers and hosting events with top political figures to raise awareness helped gain traction, the day to day lives of women in the Middle East and North Africa did not drastically change. Learning to speak the local Arabic language, I gained an up-close understanding of the challenges faced by native women workers. Having started in the United Nations office in Egypt, I witnessed the slow pace of humanitarian aid. It further convinced me that women's rights will only be advanced by economic empowerment.

And so I decided to take a risk. Fusing my passion for international business with a desire to provide eco-friendly, socially-conscious alternatives to the watered-down, unhealthy options on store shelves, I chose to enter a crowded, competitive skin care market by honing the goal of Doing Good and Supplying Good. I initiated and remain dedicated to partnerships with women throughout North Africa and the Mediterranean, creating jobs through sourcing Shea butter, Argan, geraniums, Dead Sea minerals, and more. I would supports women workers with fair wages, educational opportunity, and the right to economic self-determination by working with women's cooperatives and farms.

Back home in Washington, DC, is where the magic is made. Verità products are handmade in small batches, using ten ingredients or fewer, with 99 to 100 percent organic ingredients. Verità Organic Argan Oil Skin Care encompasses everything from body creams to lip balms. We have an anti-aging day regimen, facial toners, a night serum that revitalizes dry skin as you sleep, plus an acne fighter, sweet botanical perfumes, sugar scrub, a Moroccan red clay mask, and much more. Verità skin treatments let you turn your private atelier into a spa. We take care to labels each product thoroughly, so you know exactly what’s going into your body and on your skin. Worker empowerment, consumer empowerment – it’s all part of the Verità ethos. No chemicals, no parabens or propylene glycol, no phthalates. If you can’t pronounce it, you won’t find it in Verità. The truth is in the label, we’re proud to say.

So that's us in a nutshell.

Yours Truly,

Amanda Riggs


2 Comments

Michelle Lee
Michelle Lee

August 28, 2014

Hi

I am from Malaysia and through FB I come acoss your products and I would like to try it. How could I go about order from overseas?

Thank you and have a nice day.

Regards
Michelle

margie
margie

August 20, 2014

I Absolutely love the story you told on this page, it was interesting about everything you have gone through to get where you are today…you should be very proud..i know i would be if i were in your shoes! Good Luck with everything you’ve achieved!

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