THE launch of vegan skincare brand First Water is what fiction is made of – three women discover secret beauty recipes in an old journal belonging to their grandmother, and turn them into a successful family business.
Speaking with LIFESTYLE, cofounder Noor Arora recalls, “We found this journal that used to belong to my great-grandmother, which had a number of homeopathic remedies and topical beauty recipes.”
However, the true test didn’t come until a few years later, when Arora’s nani underwent radiation treatment, which led to patchiness and pigmentation issues due to chemotherapy. “There was a bad atmosphere around in general, and to cheer her up we decided to experiment with some of the recipes in the book,” she states, adding, “The first thing we made from the book was the Pure 21 face serum, and luckily for us and her, it worked to a huge degree. It fixed a lot of pigmentation and we too, were very surprised.”
Soon word spread to friends and family, and demand for the serum began to increase. After testing with clinical labs and dermatologists, Noor, her mother Geeti, and her aunt Mani Khurana began developing more products like face oil, masks, gels and mists – and turned it into a family business.
The products are infused with the essence and infusions of up to 21 ingredients, such as jasmine, rose, lily, lotus, calendula, hibiscus, chamomile, ginger, cilantro, ginseng, cinnamon, cucumber, honeydew and sweet almond oil, to name a few.
Says Khurana, “These are all original recipes that we developed further – a lot of things my grandmother wrote about aren’t available anymore. For example, she used mulethi or licorice in everything, but new research suggests that it is good for you in small doses. So we have restricted certain ingredients.” They have also added new ones like aloe vera, Vitamin e, carbon in the hair mask, and mulberry for melanin control and to even out skin tone.
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Additionally, the brand is committed to being gluten-free and is strictly vegan. They also work as per global fair trade laws, with suppliers from Uttarakhand and Kerala.
Regarding starting a new venture, Arora and Khurana advise, “Understand your market and who your customers are going to be; you need to learn a lot about them. People are a lot more aware of what is out there and are putting on their body, which makes it all the more exciting to sell quality products to them.”
First Water skincare products are priced between Rs 400 and Rs 1,100, and are currently retailed at Amazon.in and Flipkart.com.