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Deborah Iwakun Edileola is the CEO Debbiebarbie skincare line. In this interview with ROTIMI IGE, she talks about the industry and how she aims to change perceptions as regards skincare.

How did you get into the beauty business?

I started a few years back when I had issues with my skin. I had tried many things and they weren’t working, so I had to start reading and researching myself. I made some products for myself and it worked like magic. People would come up to compliment my skin and ask what I used. That was when I realised that I liked giving people skin advice. I have been in business for about four years now.

What would you say your success rate has been like?

It has been great. When I started, I was making products at home and selling online. Later, we were able to expand and get a better space. We have built a good customer base both in Nigeria and all around the world.

COVID-19 pandemic affected a lot of businesses. Did it affect your sales too, since people were not going out much?

The fun part is that during the lockdown, I made more sales than ever because I made people see reasons to care for their skin. People had less stress to contend with and I advised them to try out our products. It was the perfect time for the skincare business. Many wanted to look good when they resume work after the lockdown is over. So truly, for my own business, the lockdown was favourable. Now that the economy is opening up though, people are a little more prudent with their spending.

A lot of people are quite sceptical about products in Nigeria, how do you reassure people?

Our products are safe. We sent them to certified laboratories for analysis and all we are expecting now is the NAFDAC number and the process is already on, including NAFDAC inspections. The truth is that if our products are not safe, I won’t want to register it. I know it’s safe, hence my confidence. If a client is scared to buy online, they can simply walk into our store.

Some people don’t use the right products and they conclude that the products aren’t working when they are the ones that aren’t using the right thing for their skin type. The fact that a product worked on one person does not mean it will work on another person. I counsel and ask questions to understand each client’s

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