São Paulo – The Brazilian company Adélia Mendonça Cosmetics has achieved Brazil’s first halal certification in the cosmetics sector. The 16-year-old company now focus on expanding its business into the Arab countries. The certification applies for all lines produced by the company, whose portfolio features 150 items manufactured in its own factory. The company plans on exporting up to 15 products from different segments to three Arab countries.
Adélia Mendonça Cosmetics specializes in skin products and is family-run. Its work covers cosmetics research and creation as well as their manufacture and trade. The products are divided in professional lines, which are sold to clinics and spas, and items for the final consumer.
The plan to invest in the Arabs and the halal certification came up four years ago, during the travels of the company’s founder, the matriarch of the Mendonça family. “I’ve been to some Arab countries, such as the UAE and Oman, where I did internships in beauty clinics. I love that region. During these travels to the Arab and Muslim countries, I learned about halal certification. And I sought to find out if there was one for cosmetics,” said Adelia, who has been a beautician and cosmetologist for 40 years.
To achieve the certification, the company commissioned the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC), which it is a member of, to develop a market study and followed the procedures to be certified by Cdial Halal. The entire process occurred during the pandemic, and the sending of documents and inspection were online. “Following the ABCC’s advice, we are starting with few items. They have to be captivated by our products, and we must try and persuade them, we must develop strategies to make them love our products,” she explained.
In addition to Adélia, the company features her two daughters leading the research and business operation departments. “We are proud to have our own factory. We are involved in every process and, when necessary, we adopt a hands-on attitude,” Adélia Mendonça Cosmetics COO Jacqueline Mendonça said.
Jacqueline believes that innovation is in the DNA of the company, which works with 400 raw materials and has developed 150 products. Out of them, the company is selecting 15 items for breaking into three Arab countries. “We’re fascinated with the Arab people. We see similarities between them and the Brazilian people, and we’d love to research that,” the COO said.
The executive says that, as in other sectors of the economy, the pandemic has impacted the daily life of the company, but it is trying to see it from another angle. “If it wasn’t for the pandemic, we’d be at a more advanced stage, but I’m down to earth and very optimistic. Everyone must reinvent themselves. I accept this with all my heart. We must be prepared for the fall and be able to get up again. This year the certification has made us super happy already. We are going on and resuming contacts,” the COO finished.
More than four decades in beauty
Adélia Mendonça Cosmetics started from a personal quest of its founder. Born in Dores do Indaiá, where the company’s factory is based, Adélia has worked with beauty for 46 years, and her interest started early. “When I was a teenager, I had acne. I moved to Goiânia to study and was eager to get rid of the acne. I’ve done several treatments. Until I found two beauticians that came from São Paulo and was treated by them. They told me they would start a beauty school in the city, so I went there and met the owner, who lived between France and Brazil. I did the course and was the only one to work in the industry,” Adélia said.
When working with a dermatologist, she realized that the Brazilian products didn’t have the quality she looked for and that she needed to research products and knowledge abroad. After studying in Argentina, Adélia came back to Brazil and used her savings to go to France, where she discovered the product that would change her career. “I went to take a course in France, and a professor said he had a product line that featured 28 botanical extracts in just one product. And I thought, ‘That’s it! I need that,’” she said about the novelty of having several actives in just one product. Adélia believed this was also the chance to treat more than one problem at once.
The Brazilian spent 16 years traveling to France for periods of three to six months, where she developed researches and products in the school lab. She intended to manufacture cosmetics that met the needs of the skins in her home country. “I learned about cosmiatry, where you have a single formula with a pool of actives in high concentrations to meet the needs of the Brazilian skin, which can be eight to 10 times thicker than the European, due to its genetics. Brazil has mixed-race skins. I went to study our background and saw that a single skin showed spots, acne, open pores, and dehydration. That made me super intrigued. I realized I could have one product that treated every disfunction of the Brazilian skin. That was a turning point for me,” she said.
After developing 37 products abroad, the Brazilian realized it was time to create her own factory based on her hometown. The company still has its model clinic there, where Adélia continues to give private sessions. “I intend to continue with all that. The goal is growing always, expanding the company into other countries. On the website, the ecommerce, people learn about us, but my goal is having a great market. While I’m alive, I’ll keep fighting,” the 66-year-old businesswoman said.
Translated by Guilherme Miranda