Harper's Bazaar June 2018 - Page 106



OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS , I ’ ve looked into skincare as a casual consumer , at best . To understand the essentials , what my skin needs as I cross the age when it glows no matter how many workouts I skip or glasses of wine I drink . Here ’ s the recommended list : Exfoliator . Under-eye gel . Facial oil . Acids — hyaluronic , glycolic , mandelic , lactic . Masks , sheet and clay . Retinol . Night cream . Vitamin C , even better with vitamin E , iron , and botanicals like olive leaf extract . Did I mention there ’ s a particular sequence for application ? Whew .
First Water Solutions , then , is a relief . Rooted in Indian recipes and ingredients , it demystifies skincare through potent formulations that target any potential concerns . The range features a clarifying facial wash and scrub , face mists in six versions , like jasmine and white rose , a charcoal hair mask , and the Pure 21 line of moisturisers , which includes a cream , gel , serum , and oil . “ It takes care of every issue , so what you use depends only on your skin type , whether it ’ s dry or oily or combination ,” says Mani Khurana , who co-founded the brand with her sister Geeti Arora and niece Noor Arora . “ Life is simple , that ’ s the best thing . The more you complicate it , the worse it becomes .” Her own regime ? Cleanse , tone , moisturise .
Though it launched only last August , First Water has been in development for perhaps over a hundred years . It all started with a stack of notebooks they found when Noor ’ s greatgrandmother passed away — among her poems and essays on life and philosophy were homeopathic and topical treatment formulas . “ It was eye-opening and very interesting , but you forget about it after a point . A few years later , my nani was diagnosed with breast cancer , and her radiation treatments led to pigmentation and hair loss . So we pulled out her mother ’ s old diaries to cheer her up , and began to make the



Love the skin you ’ re in , with homegrown brand First Water Solutions ’ s natural , fuss-free approach to beauty By Esha Mahajan
( From top ) First Water Solutions Pure 21 Face Oil , `1,499 ; Earthen Ash hair mask , `600 ; Volcanic Clay Face Mask , `699 . recipes and apply them on her . It made her happy because it was a connection to her mom ,” says Noor . More importantly , they appeared to work . Perhaps there was something more to the DIYs , they thought , and consulted with a biochemist to adapt the recipes and create new , modern products .
Some , like the Pure 21 serum — which contains , among others , shea butter , almond oil , and essences of mulberry , calendula , and bergamot — are almost entirely from the notebooks ; others , they modified , based on new research and advice by dermatologists . Yet , the core of their brand remains DIY . Apart from a few fair-trade suppliers in Kerala and Uttarakhand , they source many ingredients , like mulberry and cucumber , from their own farms . They use food-grade preservatives , and are happy to demonstrate that most of their products are edible . ( But by no means tasty .) “ People should have access to good skincare , natural skincare ,” says Mani .
This is the philosophy behind their newer initiatives as well . First on their agenda , as a family with “ very curly hair ”, is a silicon-free serum : “ She [ her great-grandmother ] had one formula for a smoothener that is completely silicon-free , and I really want to experiment with that because silicon , in the long run , is what makes your hair dry ,” says Noor , who studied at Parsons School of Design and handles product development . They ’ re also expanding their range to include everyday makeup , without talc and heavy metals : “ It won ’ t be as pigmented without artificial ingredients but we want to move away from that . It will be a more neutral palette , with lighter formulations .” Like their other products , these too will be vegan and cruelty-free , free from parabens , alcohol , formaldehyde , and petrochemicals , and mostly organic ( they have applied for certification ). “ You shouldn ’ t just take our word for it .” Judging by the results , we don ’ t have to . n Available on amazon . in and flipkart . com
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