I have always seen Amina Mango, our kids once attended the same school. Tall, beautiful and eccentrically dressed, it is hard to miss her. In my mind she has always been the Marni girl, with her chunky colorful jewelry and artistic flair. There is another thing about Amina than makes her attractive to me, she is unaffected, she had no idea what i was talking about when I mentioned Marni… With all the social pressures imposed on well-to-do women today, her disinterest in a particular lifestyle impresses me…because to me, that is particularly cool!
If there is one thing that reflects a person best, it is what they put out into the world. It is much easier said than done to make something and then offer it to the world to critique, you are putting yourself out there… When I came across her line of products, Amina’s Natural Skin Care , my interest in Amina was piqued. The precision involved in creating this line of creams, soaps and serums, was something reserved for neurosurgeons. Her product line, all made in Jordan was of international standards. Her bevy of impressive accolades only reinforcing my impression of excellence.
If I were to tell you that Amina doesn’t wear a drop of makeup, her nails are cut short and clean like a school girl. Her naturally blonde, waist-length hair is invariably tied and then braided like a woman in a Nordic novel. She lives on a property in the beautiful hills of Jerash with her husband and two children (which she breast fed for longer than ripped jeans have been in fashion). They make their own bread, have a vegetable garden and oh yeah I forgot to mention, she is an artist. I am guessing at this point you are assuming that Amina is a bit of a hippie, living in her la-la-‘land’… and I wouldn’t blame you. The truth is so much more interesting though, because she isn’t, in fact she is, quite the opposite. Amina has the pragmatism of a true capitalist, yet she is able to live an uncomplicated life, that is the true magic of Amina Mango.
I first met Amina at her Amman offices, a clean modern space, intelligently furnished, in my particularly creative mind a reflection of her maternal Scandinavian roots. Actually it’s simpler than that, Ikea on Airport road. Do you get what I mean…because Amina is so original, we are always searching for hidden meanings in her lifestyle, when in actual fact all it is, is practical.
I laughed to myself when I asked her where they buy their poultry and meat, imagining a green field of clucking chickens. She buys her goods from Meatmaster… And yes she was a vegetarian till her son’s dietary requirements forced them to reintroduce animal protein to their diet.
As she talks me through the story behind her product line, I am pensively silent, disheartened by her family’s struggle and shocked by the lengths she took to fix it. What didn’t break Amina and her family, truly made them stronger.
Although Amina started toiling with natural ointments when her daughter Mariam developed a mild eczema, it was when her beautiful son Jibreel was born that she was put to the challenge. With acute allergies that made his life particularly uncomfortable, and a number of doctor consultations that did not provide her with all the answers, Amina decided to sort it out herself. With no scientific background to speak of, Amina and her husband Ghazi embarked on an ambitious project that changed their lives, they were going to heal their son with nature.
Like many things in life, solutions come from learning what is bad for you, attempting to eliminate them and then finding what remains… After a copy of the book ‘Cleaning Yourself to Death’ was given to Amina by her father she shared that she could no longer un-see the every day harm that we inflict on ourselves.
Turning their home into a quarantine, Amina and Ghazi turned to the ingredients that they could use, and in the process unleashed powerful formulas from nature that miraculously healed their son’s condition. The British doctor consulting them, so overwhelmed by Jibreel’s progress that he, till this day, orders the ointments for his clinic from Amina.
Amina’s Skincare line is born with the slogan, ‘inspired by and created for my children’. The name she chose for the line, Amina, is not only her own name but also a reflection of her philosophy. The meaning of Amina in Arabic is faithful. In her own words, “Amina has been chosen as a name for it’s meaning: in Arabic, it means faithful. It is both my name and desire to keep my commitment on a personal level. To be faithful in providing skin care products that are made from completely natural ingredients free from synthetic chemicals, petrochemicals, perfumes and preservatives.”
Amina has been chosen as a name for it’s meaning: in Arabic, it means faithful. It is both my name and desire to keep my commitment on a personal level. To be faithful in providing skin care products that are made from completely natural ingredients free from synthetic chemicals, petrochemicals, perfumes and preservatives.
If you think that all these natural products are made, ‘naturally’ then you are mistaken. A walk through her impressive facility in Jerash was something out of a sci-fi movie, thankfully we didn’t need to wear the astronaut suits that day, because there was no production… Unfortunately, I am no scientist so won’t be able to describe to you the saponification method used. What I can tell you though is that walking into the facility felt like walking into a field of chamomile. The powerful scent of this delicate yellow flower overpowering. The industrial-sized metal drums containing pure oils from nature, not harmful chemicals. The entire plant a testament to how nature and science can work hand in hand. At Amina Skincare the power of nature is harnessed by scientific methods to produce clean, conscientious products that are respectful to humans and the environment.
The way Amina has chosen to lead her life is not easy, fully involved in the complete process from production to marketing, in addition to caring for her family so deeply (when you bump into Amina let her tell you the orange-stabbing course she imposed on all ICS teachers!) there must be a place where Amina seeks respite from her responsibilities. As we walk into her home, we are greeted by deeply personal pieces of art that could only be painted by the matriarch of this home. Amina at heart is an artist, channeling her emotions through her talent. As she allows us into her studio, we see a more vulnerable woman that comes back to this space to recharge and reflect.
Although Amina and Ghazi kindly opened their home to the CIIN team to help us better understand the production process of Amina Skincare, we learned so much more. Although I would love to take credit for nailing our feelings that day, the truth is that Manal Sehaimat is the woman that put 2+2 together. On our car drive back through the picturesque hills of Jerash she said, “there is balance in that home”, and that is the truth. When you are true to yourself and your beliefs you are able to unapologetically take from this world what is good and beneficial to you and your loved ones. Perhaps the quote that says it best is : “People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.’
People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.