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Skin care is new the self care. Perfection is passe. The narrative within the industry and the product line up is changing. It’s not just about the functional aspect of a product but also its sensory experience. How is it able to align your skin to your mind? Here’s looking at 5 Indian women who are taking beauty a notch higher and reinstating that skincare is a self-care…

Shubhika Jain, Co-founder, Ras Luxury Oils

After having completed her graduation from the prestigious Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University, Shubhika Jain had the option of starting her career from any cosmopolitan city in the world. But she chose to go back to her roots – to Raipur – and diversified the family business. RAS Luxury Oils is one of the first Indian beauty brands with a fully-functional farm-to-face structure. “We have 200+ acres of farmlands, on which we raise most of the aromatic crops utilised for our oils. Every bottle of RAS Luxury Oils is handcrafted with love, and made in small batches, which ensures exclusivity. We take utmost care and effort to make sure our patrons receive nothing but pure, natural, organic love.” The range is limited to exotic, fabulous smelling pure oils and salt polishes, as the brand focus is on being 100 per cent naturally driven. Jain ensures that her business supports sustainable farming practices and empowers the local women at grassroots.Growing up, Jain observed her mother create her own beauty concoctions with hand-picked flowers, herbs, and other natural ingredients from the garden. Jain is driven by the thought that this legacy can be passed on to others, and she is on a mission to integrate wellness with beauty. “My vision for RAS is to be the leading wellness and skincare brand in the world, while also being 100% pure, organic and sustainable.”

Rubeina Karachiwala, founder Ruby’s Organics

Rubeina Karachiwala, founder Ruby’s Organics

Rubeina Karachiwala is credited for starting India’s first organic and natural makeup brand – Ruby’s Organics. Beyond being natural, her limited line of lip colours, eyeshadows, lip balms, highlighters, bronzers and cheek tints are user-friendly and suit Indian skin tones. Her entrepreneurial adventure started when in her 20’s she would end up receiving some harsh skin outbreaks, due to the cosmetics she used. “Looking for natural makeup was tricky, purely because colour cosmetics have a water base and can be only preserved using artificial ingredients,” she explains. Her vision was simply to create a line of “healthy makeup”. After researching and interacting with international manufacturers, Karachiwala found simple and clean alternatives to synthetic ingredients that were much safer substitutes. All the ingredients comprise natural oils like jojoba and almond, natural waxes and butters, and kaolin clay at Ruby’s. The brand has been awarded ‘The Best in Natural Makeup’ by Harper’s Bazaar. “Ruby’s Organics makeup looks and feels as good as your regular makeup and also lasts just as long,” she is quick to point out. Karachiwala feels her range is about ‘value added skincare’. “We want to educate the customer to be conscious of what they put on their skin just as they are conscious of what they eat.”

Deepshikha Deshmukh, founder Love Organically

Deepshikha Deshmukh, founder Love Organically

India’s first organic and natural beauty brand – Love Organically, for mothers and toddlers, is the brainchild of film producer and a social activist, Deepshikha Deshmukh. She found herself going back to the wisdom imparted by her family elders when once she became a mom. It was her son’s delicate skin that put her on search for a gentle and natural skin care brand that was fit even for a toddler’s use. To her surprise she came across some great western brands but not a single homegrown brand of a similar stature. She observed that traditional Ayurvedic brands with their medicated smells were not palatable to a child’s taste. “The more I researched, the more I was convinced to start a homegrown brand that was natural at every stage, from production to packaging, and was a pleasure to all the senses.” With her knowledge of aromatherapy, Deshmukh aimed to elevate the age-old dadima’s nuskas into sensorial rituals? She realized that we, as consumers, desire natural skin care alternatives but at the same time don’t want them to compromise on efficacy or glamour. From zero contamination through the bottling process to the use of purified water, every detail is carefully planned to ensure that the purest skincare solutions reach you. Her commitment to sustainability is strong – the brand embraces earth-friendly practices that protect the environment, natural systems and farm families. She tries to source most of her ingredients from the farmers of Latur rendering fair share pricing to them. LoveOrganically communicates via seed paper thus encouraging masses to plant more. The labels on the bottle are FSC paper that looks into the fact that every tree that goes into its making, a new one is planted.

Prasanthy Gurugubelli, founder Daughter Earth

Prasanthy Gurugubelli, founder Daughter Earth

Daughter Earth is one of the latest modern, clean beauty brands creating a buzz amongst conscious beauty customers. This vegan, natural product line stands out for zealously combining biochemistry with ancient wellness heritage of Ayurveda. The founder, Prasanthy Gurugubelli, believes in vibrations and sources ingredients from pure habitats that are harvested by fair trade practices. “We believe in good intentions, but we also believe in scientific research and development,” states Hyderabad-based Gurugubelli. She questions why should women compromise between what’s natural, effective and ethical? “Daughter Earth harnesses biomimetic botanicals using modern extraction techniques without harming a single honey bee or a little bunny.” Each of the products that consist of meticulously chosen highest grade botanicals from the remotest parts of the world goes through intensive R&D trials. Despite being 100 per cent natural, the products are dermatologist-tested.

Though Ayurvedic-driven, the products are not austere or lacking that feel-good factor. We believe in holistic skin care solutions. “Our skincare is aimed at supporting the skin’s natural ability to rejuvenate while also letting the scents of the plant essences calm the mind.”

Jhelum Biswas Bose, founder Jhelum Loves

It seemed like a natural progression when Jhelum Biswas Bose started her own beauty brand after working with Sephora India and heading the beauty section of Harper’s Bazaar India. Being a daughter of an aesthetician, she has always been inclined to experiment with ingredients and make her own beauty products and fragrances. However, the reasons for her foray into beauty were more personal than professional. She was introduced to Bach Flower Remedies while she was suffering from chronic breathing problems. She learnt that every ailment has an emotional root attached to it and applied the same theory to skin problems. Bose started concocting potions and lotions for herself blending flowers and herbs, healing vibrations of crystals and essential oils. And that’s how the niche beauty brand, Jhelum Loves, based on Bach flower and aroma remedies and handcrafted with deep prayers, was born. “We are staying in exciting times when we can combine the best of nature with science. The alternate therapies which were considered mumbo jumbo at one time are part of the mainstream wellness construct,” states Bose.

Aparrna Gupta

Gupta is a beauty enthusiast, always ready to unravel the journey behind the bottle. Drawing from her decade-long experience as a beauty editor at The Times of India and Verve magazine, this literature post graduate from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University, continues her tryst with beauty as she consults with brands on content and product development. Her blog immerses her readers into the luxurious universe of fragrances, wellness and skincare. Her articles have been featured in Vogue India, Harper’s Bazaar India, Femina and L’Officiel India.