The constant achievements by mankind are incredible; we have put people on the moon, developed life-saving vaccines and managed to climb Mount Everest, just to name a few.
So it’s beyond me that here we are, in 2023, still talking about the lack of equality for women around the world. Gender bias continues to cause huge barriers for women; whether it be gender-based violence, educational equity or equal economic opportunities. In some countries, women are not even allowed to walk out of their houses on their own.
So what is the one thing I hope for on International Women’s Day?
True equality for women around the world; a world without violence, and a world where women truly have the same opportunities as men.
I’m lucky to live in Australia, a country where women are encouraged to achieve and equality, although still not perfect, is talked about by our leaders and worked towards. I am one of the fortunate ones; I was able to start my own business and produce skin care products I know will help women feel more confident and better about themselves. I want women to take better care of their skin and their health. I know it is a small thing in the overall scheme of things, but it is the one thing I can do to help.
So this is my story and why I want to, in my own way, help women feel comfortable in their own skin.
When I was a teenager, I suffered from problematic skin, which was so debilitating I often refused to leave the house. I visited many experts, and my skin did not improve. Without realising it, I was ruining my skin barrier by over-washing my skin which led to a long battle with constantly irritated and sensitive skin.
At one stage, it was so bad even water that wasn’t completely pure would cause me to break out into hives. Then I came up with my light bulb moment – I needed to strengthen my skin barrier to protect it from environmental damage.
So I went back to the books and studied to become a cosmetic scientist, and with the help of leading dermatologists, I created the Skin Virtue range, products designed for sensitive skin but suitable for all skin types. And I can confidently say: they work.
This was no easy journey; it took more than ten years of study and research. It took that long – and much testing and retesting – to come up with our unique formula. We kept changing things up and making our products better. There were many obstacles on the way, and I know there are many on the road ahead.
We have created 19 products which all contain antioxidants, with specific products targeted to different skin types, conditions and ages by helping the skin repair and reinforce its own natural protections, so moisture within is preserved while harmful bacteria is kept away.
I want to create more products to help people with specific skin types; and I want to sell the Skin Virtue range overseas to help as many people as I can.
The biggest obstacle I had? It was a personal one, my battle with aggressive and invasive breast cancer, which put my work on hold as I went through surgery and treatment with the tremendous support of my husband Gary.
Now I want to give part of the profits from Skin Virtue to the Breast Cancer Foundation to raise awareness about this disease – I was one of the lucky ones as I caught the disease early. Any later, it would have been a different story. I want women to be aware of what changes to their breast tissue and health can mean.
I want to empower women everywhere to properly protect – and be comfortable in – the skin they are born with, no matter how problematic it might be.
Nina Gajic is the CEO and founder of Skin Virtue, an Australian range of skincare products designed for people with sensitive skin, but suitable for all skin types. Find out more at skinvirtue.com.au