Bringing Sanity to your Vanit

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Vegan Skincare


We use clinically tested and proven active ingredients in our formulae. In each of our treatment products we use the same concentration as was used in the clinical trials so that you are assured the results you want. We also use 2-3 different ingredients that provide similar results albeit in different ways, within the same formula so that you see improvements in your skin that will surpass your expectations. All our products have been through vigorous scrutiny and tests so that you can be confident about their safety. And, we are transparent providing information on these ingredients here and on each product page, as well as the full INCI (ingredient list); no marketing-hyped, fear-mongering statements like, ‘free-from’, ‘harsh’, ‘clean’.

They are cutting-edge scientifically proven ingredients (evidence-based), delivered to your skin in sensorial textures with our Signature Essence Blend, to boost your confidence. Every product is created in collaboration with globally awarded Cosmetic Scientists & Professors, to target inflammation in the skin; prevention repair of skin ageing, acne and sensitivity. They provide immediate and sustained long-term results and at a deeper cellular level.

Meet Maleka

Born in London, I could probably hear Bow bells. But my parents came from Zanzibar. They showed great courage, moving to London 56 years ago when neither email, credit cards nor iPhones existed; when there was only one flight every two weeks and no money to buy a ticket. They made their way, doing their best for us, contributing to their community and country and encouraging me to follow my dreams. I feel blessed and inspired by my rich heritage and the influence of strong women in my life, including my two grandmothers whose wisdom belied their lack of a formal education.

I feel blessed and inspired by my rich heritage and the influence of strong women in my life, including my two grandmothers whose wisdom belied their lack of a formal education.

I left school without completing my A Levels and went off to study hairdressing and beauty therapy. Anyone who knows Asian families can imagine the ceiling-scraping horror of my father, who had meant for his girl to go to university and be a doctor, dentist or pharmacist.

My tiger father and mother instilled in us that nothing is too difficult (not even maths). That we had to apply ourselves with discipline and never settle for being mediocre. That we should compete by working harder and being more productive than others. We had a toilet roll holder that said;

‘Tis better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all’

It was one of the influences in starting my own business. So when after three years of beauty therapy college I decided I did not want to work in a salon after all and instead asked for (and got!) a job in the showroom of skincare brand Sothys, my father’s disappointed response was ‘now you are just a sales girl’. He was upset that while so many girls around the world cannot have an education, I would ‘waste’ an opportunity we take for granted in developed countries. I understood how he felt, but I was going to be the best sales girl, and rise in my chosen industry. would prove that I could live up to his expectations my own way.

I grafted my way up through field sales, training, marketing, communications, new product development and all the way to executive management. I was part of the team that made Clinique the number one beauty brand in the UK. I established and developed Origins and became its general manager for the UK and ROI before becoming senior vice president and general manager at Estee Lauder Companies in the US. I helped revitalise the Lancôme brand and was widely credited for their most successful UK skincare launch ever: Génifique.

Yes – I made my dad proud after all.

But after 27 years in corporate life, I found I could no longer conform to decisions that did not make sense to me or, in some cases, did not align with my values. Something had shifted. The time had come to pursue my dream.

It took two and a half years of research and creation before I launched MERUMAYA® on 15th October 2012. Over those years, I also did consultancy projects for retailers, brands and educational institutes, moved house, met and married Mike, and was blessed with a baby girl named Yasmin (a natural pregnancy at the age of 48 that followed five miscarriages – another story!).

So to all of you pursuing your happily ever after, don’t give up; keep believing and constantly visualising. Work your socks off but create a positive environment to facilitate your dream – your miracle.

My driving force for the brand is for women find their (beauty) confidence, learn to value themselves and strive for equality. #beautyhasnoage and #kisstoself are our hashtags: as women, we need to lead by example if we are going to raise our daughters to take their place as equals and feel confident, beautiful, capable, and courageous. And of course, we must raise our sons to love and admire their female equals.

I believe that supporting women (and men) in achieving their entrepreneurial dreams is crucial, so I endeavour to do just that by mentoring and speaking at industry conferences, universities and other events.

MERUMAYA® is a name made up from the first two letters of the names of my father, mother, myself and my sister (now daughter too). I really don’t mind how you pronounce it; just say it to as many people as possible, because our message needs to be heard and our products will change the way you feel about skincare. MERUMAYA® is what my father would have called his own business if he’d had the courage to pursue it. He chose instead to protect our future by remaining in his secure job at the control tower at Heathrow Airport, but launching MERUMAYA® allowed me to realise my vision as well as his. It’s an achievement that fills me with pride and gratitude.

Our Face Values

Born of a need to make skincare that is potent, honest, transparent, accessible, (truly) inclusive, vegan, and brimming with evidence-based ingredients in clinically tested concentrations, that truly serve your skin while saving your precious time. Combined with a desire to change the narrative from ‘flawless perfection’, to each of us having self-confidence in our perfectly imperfect beauty; it was ahead of the curve on all counts.

… a brand made for savvy, switched-on skintellectuals, created almost a decade before the term was coined. It’s made for those who, understand skincare know how to peer past hype, packaging, and toe-curling prices that somehow whisper ‘this stuff will change your life’. They much prefer the thrill of spotting a formula that slays, at a price people can afford. You’ll wonder what took you so long to discover this plucky British brand, made by a woman, for women and that serves all genders, races, religions and ages.

A brand that over-delivers

MERUMAYA® is the brainchild of Maleka Dattu, who in a former life was a top-flight executive at some of the world’s largest cosmetics brands. On intimate terms with the mechanics of the skincare trade, she knew she wanted to do things entirely differently when it came to her own brand. She wanted her customer unequivocally central to every decision, not just on a corporate vision statement. She wanted to over-deliver, not over-promise. Instead of hope in expensive jars, she wanted to sell results in simple tubes. She spent her development money not on packaging and marketing, but on the best scientists and formulators, on ingredients at active concentrations and delivery systems backed up with clinical proof.Wanting to help save British jobs in the process, she had MERUMAYA® manufactured in the UK. Despite all that, she produced highly effective products at such reasonable price points, it confounded the beauty press when the brand was first launched.

A brand that has nothing to hide

This brand was transparent from its inception because it has nothing to hide. You will spot superior, sophisticated formulas, alongside claims that speak truth, not magic.

Inclusivity & diversity is not a marketing concept for MERUMAYA®, but part of the DNA: its creator is of Zanzibari descent (a distinction shared with Freddie Mercury!), & passionate about making real women feel confident about their real selves.

Signature Essence Blend

Rooted in the concept of integrative medicine and belief in the power of the mind to build (women’s) confidence, this scent, present in selected products, is shown to uplift and empower.


The MERUMAYA® tagline is #beautyhasnoage, because that’s the truth. Youthful Ageing is made possible and easy. You won’t see prescriptive imagery here; there is no fit/glossy/ superwoman/woke-up-like-this ‘tribe’ to belong to, or live up to. There’s no attempt to dupe you with anything that deflects attention from what’s in your products, and how they will genuinely benefit your skin.

A girl in her teens should never feel pressure to conform to narrow beauty standards in order to be ‘popular’. Nor suffer clinical depression because acne makes her feel ‘ugly’. A woman in her 30’s should not be made to feel her beauty has a sell-by date. A woman in her 50’s does not have to succumb to anyone else’s idea of age-appropriate beauty. A woman in her 70’s+ should still feel beautiful, relevant, heard – in fact, revered.Why does a woman look in the mirror and see her spots, lines, large pores or muffin top, while a man sees George Clooney staring back at him? The difference is confidence. It starts with that conversation in the mirror every morning: no more hating or slating self! Instead blow a #kisstoself then pay it forward, looking for beauty in every person.

‘I want us as women to positively take back control for how we feel about ourselves. Don’t leave your ‘happy’ in the hands of a partner, magazine, blogger, model, or corporation. Instead, revel in the liberation of confidently making our own informed choices, recognising our beauty at every age and always pursuing our dreams’.

‘Together, by example, we can teach upcoming generations of women to feel secure, confident, capable, supportive as well as supported, liberated, beautiful and, I hope, happier – all much earlier in life than perhaps we did. Can you even imagine how good that would feel and how much more women would achieve from that starting point’?


We don’t use animal or animal derived ingredients. We know this is important to Vegans and those with religious requirements. Therefore, it was important to us that we prove vegan status by attaining independent certification from The Vegan Society.