helwé is a range of natural cosmetics products, founded by Josiane Riachi. The range bears the name of a Lebanese village by the Mediterranean Sea.
Josiane Riachi is a Doctor of Pharmacy and graduate of the University of Paris V René Descartes. In the early 1990s, she defended a dissertation on the topic of retinoic acid and its effects on skin aging. But a few years later, she settled back in her home country, Lebanon. She changed her career path and founded her own company, Volver, a travel agency dedicated to culture, art and the discovery of the world.
Even though she worked in a different industry for years, Josiane remained interested in cosmetics and advancements in the field of dermatology to better take care of her own skin. During the Lebanese Revolution in October and November of 2019, Josiane, seized by patriotic fervor, thought that she could create her own range of cosmetics products and thus support national production. She thus started taking multiple training courses in natural cosmetics.
When the lockdown started in March 2020, Josiane decided to settle in her house in helwé. For three months, Josiane lived in symbiosis with nature, contemplating the vastness of the sea and the beauty of the coastline and the surrounding hills. Pacing up and down this Mediterranean landscape, Josiane noticed the countless plants and flowers that are a source of macerates and hydrosols used in cosmetics products. She decided to purchase some from local producers and even plant some in her own garden. In short order, she turned a room facing the sea in her house into a laboratory and started producing.
“helwé” means “beautiful” or “sweet” in the Arabic language, which refers to the cool freshwater sources originating from Mount Lebanon that flow into helwé’s shore. Josiane aspires to make the skins of her clients as beautiful and sweet as helwé’s waters.