Lahore-based hair and skincare brand Aura Crafts began in 2011 by Fatima Khan’s parents, as a hobby.“Within just a year, we had an overwhelming response from our family and friends that we launched a Facebook Page and started selling online. Now, eight years down, we’re selling our products nationwide and hopefully very soon internationally too,” Fatima Khan says, while talking exclusively to Daily Times. Khan says her family is a bit obsessed with healthy lifestyles.“I remember when growing up, my friends hated coming over because we had no junk food or soft drinks to offer, so making natural skincare products seemed like a healthy hobby to take up. Also, with my mother’s ambition and my father’s perfectionist approach, Aura was bound to come to life. I think what pushed us the most was when I contracted dengue fever in 2011. The doctors told me I had to apply mosquito repellents on my skin for the rest of my life if I was going to be in Lahore during dengue season and we all thought toxins on my skin for the rest of my life? No way. And so, my father being the incredibly gifted and handy person that he was, decided to develop a 100 percent natural mosquito repellent for me, made with 100 percent natural ingredients. That’s how our product Repello came to life,” Khan tells me. Aura’s hair and skincare products are made in Pakistan purely. Both the company and the ingredients they use are certified. All the ingredients are mentioned on each product along with a batch number and expiry.“Most importantly, we do not sell whitening/fairness products because we believe in celebrating all shades of beauty. Our Head over Heels Healing Foot Scrub, Lift Me up Face Mask, Activated Charcoal Bar, Organic Rose Water are some of my personal favourites. Our Restore Face Oil, Activated Charcoal Bar and Eye Therapy Balm are the ones I swear by,” Khan adds. The young entrepreneur says the customer is always right, so she tries to cooperate to the best of her ability with all of them and vice versa.“If you can provide good customer service, you’re bound to get fewer unhappy clients,” she says. I ask her if she would consider delving into cosmetics and makeup production with Aura.“It’s definitely something I’m interested in. Perhaps in the near future! It would be fantastic to have local, cruelty-free and toxin-free cosmetics in Pakistan,” Khan says. Khan says her family is a bit obsessed with healthy lifestyles. ‘I remember when growing up, my friends hated coming over because we had no junk food or soft drinks to offer, so making natural skincare products seemed like a healthy hobby to take up’Considering Lahore experiences scorching summer for a good eight months at least, I wonder how much are these products by Aura season friendly.“As long as our products are stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, they’re good to go. Best tip for our soap bars: use a soap dish with holes so it doesn’t collect water, which can melt the soap bar,” she clarifies.Aura is a luxury skin care brand with high quality products, so the pricing is as affordable as possible for natural products. Natural ingredients are far more expensive than commercial unnatural ingredients and since Pakistan’s skincare industry is still lacking, a lot of the brand’s certified ingredients are imported.“With duties, customs, taxes and what not, everything ends up becoming a bit pricey. We try to keep our prices competitive though,” Khan tells me.Khan says out of international brands, Little Barn Apothecary and from local products Yellow Berry soaps are the ones she likes using.“Actress Ushna Shah’s skin is downright perfect. There’s a reason I chose her as the face of Aura,” she concludes.On a personal note, we cannot wait to get our hands on Aura’s soaps, body washes, lip balms, face scrubs and hair oils.Published in Daily Times, March 3rd 2019.