Presenter Maya Jama might now be known for glowing skin, but it hasn’t always been this way.
“When I was a teenager I had a full forehead [of spots],” the 26-year-old says with a groan. “So I used to get a fringe, and then it was a vicious cycle – it was just horrible underneath, because I kept getting oil into it, and it would repeat.
“My skin’s behaved a bit more as I’ve got older,” she says – and she’s applying her beauty know-how to her own skincare line, MIJ Masks.
“I’m obsessed with skincare and I’ve always been a face mask girl,” Jama explains. Fans of the effervescent presenter will know this – she constantly posts about masks on her Instagram Stories, trying different types and never afraid to walk down the street wearing under-eye patches. She says: “I ended up promoting loads of other people’s brands for free – but I am the consumer, why would I not make my own when I know what’s good?”
MIJ Masks was born in 2020 and is now onto its highly-anticipated second drop of eye masks. “I used to be really into the expensive [masks], because I thought if they’re really expensive, they’re best,” Jama admits. “So I paid attention to the ingredients and found out through digging my nose in, that the actual ingredients aren’t that expensive to make – you’re just getting charged loads because of the branding and everything else.”
Jama has her fingers in many pies – she’s a presenter, DJ, model and more – but it makes sense for her first foray into business to be beauty. “My mum was super into skincare,” she says. “We would do little pamper days when I was 10, and face masks always on Sundays when I was growing up. It’s ingrained in me – but I think the less sleep I got as I got older, the more into it I got.”
One of the best tips she learned from her mother is definitely to wash your face, she says. “I used to think, ‘Oh, it’s a bit of make-up, we wear it all day – it’s not going to make that much difference'” – but Jama notices she has “thicker skin the next day if I sleep with my make-up on”. When washing her face, she uses “warm water to start with, then cold water at the end of your cleansing. Warm opens up the pores, then you cleanse, and cold water at the end to close your pores back up”.
Jama hasn’t always listened to her mother’s sage beauty advice, and has made her fair share of mistakes along the way. Like most teenagers in the Noughties, she admits she was “victim” to the trendy but harsh apricot scrubs, and she also once applied hair removal cream to her whole face. Jama says, visibly cringing: “I saw some hairs on my cheek, which is very normal. I found my mum’s hair removal cream, did my moustache (which I do), but I thought, ‘Why don’t I just do my whole head?’ So, I did my whole head. I had a rash for about a week – this is in secondary school time. Now I get extra hairy cheeks because I did that.”
Now her days of over-zealously applying hair removal cream are behind her, Jama uses her skincare routine as self-care. “100% it’s a ritual,” she says. “I’m not that healthy in my lifestyle – I drink, I party, I don’t sleep that much, I eat s***t. So, my skincare is my balance, where I feel like I make up for my sins. OK, I’ve had three McDonald’s and I went to bed at four, but I’ve had a mask and a cleanse, and I’ve got my eye masks on, so I’m making up for it.”
The MIJ Masks Silver Hydrogel Eye Patches launch on MIJMasks.com from June 25.