It is always advised to invest in oneself, because “The best investment you can make is in yourself”, as rightly quoted Warren Buffet.
With the growing market in the field of skin care products, it is quite challenging to choose the best one which is worth the price. While we see plenty of products which demand to be natural and completely organic, how often do we question the ingredients they portray to us? Have we ever wondered about how a natural/organic skincare product manages to have a shelf life of above a year when the only ingredients are ‘natural?’- excellent intro
The Lifestyle Portal caught up with Megha and Pritesh Asher, a husband-wife duo, who have embarked on a journey to transform the current chemical bound skin care range into completely natural and free from chemicals. Offering a transparent and effective approach, this duo from Coimbatore has a lot to tell us about the difference between ordinary skin products and Juicy Chemistry, their venture.
Megha holds a Bachelors of Arts in Criminology & Criminal Justice System along with Masters of Arts in Journalism & Mass Communication and Pritesh her husband was a student of Business Management from Australia and focused on his family business after coming back to India.
Sharing with you our conversation with Megha, the co-founder of Juicy Chemistry about creating a sustainable and an all-natural skincare range!
How did it all begin?
Megha recalls, “Pritesh and me co-founded Juicy Chemistry in 2014. It was a sheer happenstance that started with a routine Sunday visit to the mall. After suffering for over a decade with hyper-sensitive and acne-prone skin, and consulting with numerous dermatologists, I found that the products simply lacked efficacy. Disappointed I wanted to try the organic route.”
She further adds that while at the mall, Pritesh was approached by a salesperson with a brand new product launched into the market, claiming that it was all natural. It was on their way back, the couple discussed this and was genuinely surprised that a product was claiming all natural also was loaded with chemicals. They discussed some more and it got them thinking that there has to be an alternative, a genuine personal care brand that cared!
This put them on a quest to seek pure and natural products but it was all in vain. Megha shares, “As we shared our thoughts with family and friends, it became quite clear that there was either very little awareness about the chemicals present in skincare products and their adverse effects on us or there was no alternative available for consumers to switch to a skin care brand that was truly natural. There was an obvious gap in the market, either way.” It was this gap that led the couple to form Juicy Chemistry with a goal to provide effective skin care products made with the purest and the most nutrient-rich ingredients nature has to offer.
Initial Investments and Branding
“As a startup, we did not have deep pockets yet we focused entirely on research and development of our product line. Initially, we raised capital from internal sources to fund all our raw material purchases and equipment. Gradually, we then started to build our product line once our products got recognition from clients and we started growing organically. We soon realized that Juicy Chemistry needed a website to give more credibility to the brand. There was now a need to pump in more capital at this time as other e-commerce players had us on board”, explains Megha.
This meant more raw materials, more equipment, bigger manufacturing facility and more human resources for Juicy Chemistry. They now needed to look externally for funding and decided to approach banks to raise more capital. The duo raised INR 50 lacs in 2016 through a financial institution and also launched their flagship store in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Gradually their manufacturing facility increased by an additional 4000 sq. ft. and they now plan to start more stores in Chennai and Mumbai this financial year.
Megha explains, “We found that most personal care products marketing under the Natural/Ayurvedic /Organic segment, including baby care products, shockingly contained harsh and harmful ingredients such as glycols, petrolatum, fragrances and preservatives that were masked under the garb of “Key” or “main” ingredients section.
Commercial products use fragrances, cheaper fat alternatives and artificial humectants, fillers and stabilisers to increase the shelf life of the product. However, at Juicy Chemistry, our formulation uses nutrient-rich oils and skin loving ingredients like calendula oil and Aloe Vera to soothe and nourish the soft and delicate skin of babies.
She further adds, “Our Body Moisturizers are a combination of nut butter and nutrient-rich oil and nothing else! Commercial brands are focusing their formulations on sensory perceptions of feel, smell, look and maximizing the shelf life of the product above the safety of customers unlike our products whose formulations are a blend of whipped oils and butter that have a high nutrient-rich value on the application and repair the damaged and dry skin cells at the cellular level. We offer a shelf life of 6 months, in contrast to the shelf life of the products mentioned above which is two years.”
What makes Juicy Chemistry unique?
Juicy Chemistry believes that everything we need for healthy and beautiful skin is available from nature. The products offer maximum therapeutic benefits upon application. Juicy Chemistry is not only committed to using only all natural ingredients, but they also do not sacrifice the effectiveness of the product. This commitment and ethos is what sets them apart from other commercial skin care brands. Juicy Chemistry follows a strict transparent product listing policy and mentions each and every ingredient they use and not just “key ingredients” or the “main” ones.
“We believe our customer deserves nothing less and has the right to know what goes on their skin. This in turn, helps them make informed decisions when purchasing a product. To ensure our clients get the freshest batch for maximum efficacy, all our products are made in small batches at regular intervals.
In addition, getting all our products certified organic by Ecocert Greenlife, France according to the COSMOS Standard has been a big feather in our cap. This now works as a validation to our customers that we don’t just claim our products to be organic, but have a certification to verify our claim,” says Megha.
We travel the length and breadth of our country and the globe to source our ingredients. Right from Kashmir to Nilgiris, to the mineral-rich Dead Sea and the majestic Alps. We then infuse these exotic ingredients into our products using unique manufacturing techniques that retain the delicate balance of powerful active ingredients with unique functionality.
Megha takes pride that all products created by Juicy Chemistry, unlike commercial products, have no water in them, which means they are highly concentrated and a little will go a long way. These products are also preservative free and need to be kept away from moisture contamination and away from direct sunlight or heat to avoid oxidation of oils. Since these products have a shorter shelf life, it is recommended to use the product well before the expiry date to maximise the efficacy of the product.
“Our customers are our inspiration and we find the answers from nature. We have customers who have always come to us stating skin care concerns that they have been facing for a long time. They look to us to provide a solution; one such concern was that by a mother whose child suffered from horrible mosquito bites that led to severe rashes. The answer was our lemongrass and citronella body butter which was specially made on demand for her. We created a product with a blend of essential oils in nourishing Shea butter and cocoa butter and the result was a pleased mother,” smiles Megha.
Best and Recommended products by Juicy Chemistry
Megha suggests, “The complete soap range at Juicy Chemistry is very unique. Our Cold Pressed Certified Organic Soaps are made with fresh fruit and vegetable juices and our entire series has a soap bar for all skin concerns.
Our clients have achieved wonderful results with Helichrysum & Rosehip (Cell Construction) and Night Repair Serum being one of our best sellers. Anyone suffering from hyperpigmentation, dark spots, acne marks, and early signs of ageing can achieve beautiful results with regular use of this product.
Tea Tree & Charcoal Mask, another fast seller, is made with some brilliant organic ingredients like tea tree, rose, lavender, juniper berry and fortified with Charcoal this mask helps fight acne and blackheads along with calming inflamed and irritated skin too. Anyone suffering from acne and blackheads should certainly try this mask.”
Response so far
“We have had an incredible response considering we’re a new brand in a very competitive skin care market which is always an uphill task. We have gained the trust of our customers by implementing management systems and policies that are transparent and honest. We are also constantly educating the customers about greenwashing and to question brands about the ingredients, to check the ingredients and research any ingredient that they are wary about. As a result, Juicy Chemistry now has customers across India and in over 30 countries. Recently, Karishma Kapoor and Malaika Arora Khan were kind enough to send us their love for our products,” beams Megha with pride.
“Given the nature of our products, forward integration will form an integral part of our growth plan and we plan to start our exclusive stores in Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai by the next financial year. A large percentage of our clients prefer to shop online and this is an area we will look to strengthen. To retail our products and widen our online customer base, we are also working with multiple online platforms who share a similar synergy”, plans Megha.
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