Culture

Beauty with kindness

ByDebarati Palit Singh

There is a growing demand for organic, cruelty-free products across the world. Pune-based Kaveeta Pol, founder, Orrganic Elemennt Spa and Salon, has formulated and created a skincare range that is organic, vegan, cruelty free, ethical and sustainable. The first product introduced as a part of this range is a face serum called Eternal Glow Face Oil, which was launched in first week of August. 

Pol, an animal lover, says that looking at the demand for organic and vegan products, she decided to launch this range. “We have already formulated 15 products. These products have no chemical fertilisers or synthetic ingredients, nothing is derived from any animals and there aren’t any by-products. We have replaced honey and milk, which are common ingredients in most of the moisturisers available in the market these days, with plant-based alternatives,” she says. 

In conversation with us at her spa and salon, she explains, “If palm oil is directly taken from the forests, orangutans are killed. Palm oil is also a common ingredient used in making moisturisers and shampoos.” Talking about her products, she says that all the ingredients have been imported from Europe. “But I decided to do the manufacturing here because there is heavy import duty on products manufactured abroad. We have our own research and development team and laboratories in Mumbai. It took us one year, five months to work on the products because we had to do a lot of trials with different combinations,” says Pol adding that the entire project is self funded and they still do not have any investors on board. “But we are definitely looking for investors for the next products which are lined up,” she adds. 

Products and ingredients 
Pol says that most products available in the market come in 30 ml bottles which finish in about 15 days. “But we decided to come with 50 ml bottles because we want our products to last up to a month,” she adds. 
 
The key ingredients used in the Eternal Glow Face Oil includes acai berries, murumuru butter and pomegranate. “There are eight more extracts, such as geranium, baobab, turmeric and so on. This product will help in brightening, anti-ageing and glowing of the skin. Usually, the penetration of the face serum is till the last layer of the skin, which means that you can even skip using a moisturiser,” she says, adding that the serum is non-sticky and non-oily. “We definitely do not recommend it for oily skin. We initially asked our customers to try the products and give us feedback, and we have made the required changes accordingly,” she says.
 
Pol says that they are working on a range of other products which will be launched later this year. “We plan to launch a professional range, which we will give to other salons and spas. Due to the concentration of the formula, it is best used by professionals for clients. The next range of products that is yet to be launched can be used by anyone at home,” she says  

Organic products are priced higher than the regular off-the-shelf ones. “Currently, organic and vegan brands are slightly expensive because there are only a few brands in the market. But it is slowly picking up. We are working hard on that,” she adds. 

Customer demand
She says that demand from her clients encouraged her to come up with these products. “It made sense for us because we could have our own combinations and permutations. When we launched the spa in 2016, the first two years went into creating awareness about veganism. I feel happy to see our clients now coming and checking with us about certain ingredients or inquiring whether the product is organic or not and stuff like that. We are happy to be part of spreading that awareness. Today, a lot of people do not want to use any kind of product for which animals have been harmed or killed,” says Pol, who has been in the beauty industry for a decade.  

Though it is difficult to find such products in the market right now, there are good times ahead. “The vegan and organic industry have to come together to give customers more options. It is possible to work on such products, but one needs to keep looking for the right resources, factories and brands. You need a little bit of time and patience. The beauty industry is a money-making business — cheaper products, more profit,” she says. 

But big brands are now a few changes. Many of them offer cruelty-free products. She says, “Not many know that there is a difference between organic and natural products. “In the same way, something can be cruelty-free but some ingredients might have been used on animals or extracted from animals like keratin is derived from fur of animals. These animals are tortured throughout their lives,” she says.

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