Sublime Life: The Clean Beauty Curator

Sublime Life is India’s pioneer Clean and Sustainable Beauty curator. Their brand portfolio has a mix of skincare brands exclusively from various parts of the world as well as homegrown brands. These brands are taken on board after a thorough screening of their ingredient list, to ensure there are no nasties’ in any of the products. They also ensure that the brands resonate with their philosophy of sustainability and mindfulness.

Sublime Life has been founded by the Ador Group, a diversified business group in India with operations since 112 years. The founder, Deep Lalvani, is a partner and director at Ador Group with over 15 years of experience in manufacturing, strategy and the start up space.

What was the inspiration behind curating a platform for clean beauty?

Never before has there been a more pressing need to address issues on climate change, plastic waste and harmful ingredients.

As the world evolves towards a more conscious way of living, the skincare industry needs and is seeing radical shifts as well. Clean Beauty is here to stay and the consumer today is more aware of toxic ingredients, wasteful packaging and more. Our inspiration are those consumers who are looking for solutions in the Clean Beauty space but don’t know where to begin their journey towards shifting to a sustainable beauty regime.

How aware do you think Indian consumers are in regards to conscious skincare brands?

The Indian consumer is spending a lot of time on the Internet, reading and watching videos about beauty and skincare. This evolution is leading to better informed consumers who are demanding more conscious skincare options. This is a growing segment that will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years.

Packaging has to be just as eco-friendly as the ingredients. Tell us about a few packaging solutions that you think are really making a difference.

Packaging solutions need a complete overhaul today. While there are a number of non-plastic alternatives being developed, not too many options have reached large scale levels of production.

Some efforts and alternatives include the usage of paper instead of plastic, sugarcane-based plastics, cork and wood abc glass as bottling alternatives, and tin and aluminium alternatives.

At Sublime Life we commit to plastic-free shipping and recycling old bottles and tubes using an initiative called #SublimeRecycles. We are also constantly researching and working on new sustainable packaging solutions for our own partner brands.

How often do people take an interest in what goes into making the product?

Nowadays, more and more people are becoming conscious of not just what they eat but also what they put on their skin. We get questions focused on ingredients, and the benefits of each from our customers. We have noticed this to be a fast-growing trend today.

Certain categories generate more interest than others. People are curious to know what goes into making products, especially in high involvement categories such as hair care and skin care.

A lot of brands are promoting face oils, tell us more about it.

It's a lesser known fact that face oils are the ultimate game changers in a skin routine. Other than providing the skin with a blend of fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that help hydrate and repair it, they reinforce the skin's barrier which helps it become more receptive to other ingredients and products. A common misconception is that they work only for those with dry and dehydrated skin, however the right combination of ingredients can do wonders on all kinds of skin types. They can be used everyday, and added as the last step in your skincare routine. They’re also super versatile, and can be used to prep the skin by adding a few drops to your foundation, to cleanse as a makeup remover, as an oil-based mask, and of course, to boost your moisturiser.

One of our hero face oils is the Sukin Certified Organic Rosehip Oil which is a miracle oil that is light and non-greasy, and helps delay signs of ageing, reduces acne scars, redness and boosts collagen production.

If you were to change one thing about conventional beauty brands, what would you change?

False claims and twisted marketing jargon. Words like ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ are used loosely in the industry and not everything you read or see is authentic. Misleading consumers with claims that don’t necessarily exist are commonly being used. Thus, the industry needs to come together to build suitable guidelines about consumer transparency and what goes into making a particular product.

Are there ancient Indian skin care routines that need to come back?

Indians have always been rooted in culture and tradition, especially when it comes to tricks and tips passed on from generation to generation. Our grandmothers secrets are well kept and preserved even today. Indians have always used local ingredients which are raw and natural in their beauty regimes. For example, turmeric which is known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which gives a natural glow, reduces scars and heals the skin. Rose is another wonder ingredient which has astringent qualities which we use to remove impurities and calm the skin. This is a popular ingredient used today in toners and mists. Moreover, saffron or ‘kesar’ which has always been treated as a luxury, has the ability to brighten, nourish the skin and fight hair loss. All these ingredients are now coming back, slowly but steadily into our products. Ayurveda, which has been an Indian USP for years, is coming back too, through various clean brands.

Tell us about the kind of damage non-green beauty products can do to you, both in the short and long run.

The beauty industry uses numerous chemicals that can upset the pH balance of the skin, and strip off its natural oils and sebum. Moreover, carcinogenic ingredients such as Phthalates, Formaldehyde, Parabens, etc can cause short term issues in the form of acne, breakouts or skin irritation. They also pose several health effects such as damaging the immune system, allergic reactions, hormonal disruption or even cancer sometimes. In terms of the environment, these products also cause environmental problems when they’re washed into the rivers, lakes, etc and harm marine life and the ecosystem.

Mothers are very careful about what they choose for their children. Tell us about a few baby care brands that you work with and what sets them apart.

The baby and kids category are definitely the front runners in Clean Beauty.

The Moms Co, a young Indian brand is doing great work in the baby and mom category. They work with experts from Australia, Switzerland and India, and have a wide portfolio addressing various needs for mothers and their children.

Cocomo is another brand we love that has been created by a group of moms and an expert cosmetologist. The products address the much ignored 4+ kids’ category. They have a wide range of non-toxic body washes, moisturisers, hair oils and shampoos in different variants. Mixing a fun brand story with traditionally inspired ingredients, the founder is building a category from scratch very successfully.