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Our Clean Beauty Philosophy

May 03, 2021

AAVRANI

What is “Clean Beauty” really?

If you google “what is clean beauty?”, you’ll get a lot of links to brands, articles and descriptions using words such as: green, organic, sustainable, cruelty-free, natural. But in reality, the FDA hasn’t defined what Clean Beauty is and it’s not regulated. Essentially, any brand that says it’s “Clean Beauty” can be, according to standards they’ve set up for themselves.

In effect, there isn’t one definition for Clean Beauty skin care brands but, scientifically, it’s a spectrum. At one end there might be a product made from 100% natural, raw ingredients that must be used immediately (like a DIY Avocado face mask). That’s as clean as it gets. At the other end could be a product that is still made with natural extracts, but needs to include some form of a preservative so that the product can have a shelf-life (like the Sodium Benzoate in this serum). This spectrum gets confusing because most “clean” brands fall somewhere in the middle, offering products that exclude some arbitrary selection of ingredients which the brands themselves deem harmful or potentially toxic. Take this well-respected brand, for example, which doesn’t contain synthetic fragrances but does rely on parabens – a known hormone-disrupting preservative – throughout its lineup.

We find ourselves defining “Clean Beauty” by what it is not, instead of by what it is

Such a wide-ranging spectrum has fostered ambiguity among consumers, while placing the responsibility on individual brands to determine its own definition of Clean Beauty and adhere to it. Coupled with increasing competition in the Clean Beauty space (aka, “the Clean Beauty revolution”) – among retailers and brands alike – the industry has shifted focus away from discovering quality ingredients and over to identifying “at risk” ingredients instead. This phenomenon has brought us here today in the US, where we often find ourselves defining “Clean Beauty” by what it is not, instead of by what it is.

Doesn’t Clean Beauty have traditional origins?

Yes! Before the Clean Beauty revolution started, brands were focused exclusively on efficacy, and for customers, it was binary – does the product work, or not? As the revolution became more mainstream, a growing number of beauty companies have emerged and are proudly focused on the removal of ingredients instead of the individual ingredients themselves. Credo Beauty, one of the market’s leading Clean Beauty retailers, published in its most recent “Dirty List” as its opening sentence: “Clean Beauty begins with ingredients *not* found in our products.”

The original form of Clean Beauty skin care started centuries ago in India (i.e. Turmeric, Coconut Oil, Neem) and Africa (i.e. Plantain Skins, Argan Oil, Shea Butter), and it followed a simple, bottoms-up approach: each individual ingredient added for a specific purpose, with intention. Many Black and Brown communities continue to practice these Clean Beauty rituals to this day because they work. For them, the focus is never on what to exclude, because those ingredients were never a part of the equation! As those traditions have migrated, the industry has lost sight of that intentionality.

Clean Intentions rely on centuries’ old beauty traditions (aka, Ayurveda), generational knowledge, and modern science

At AAVRANI, we believe that Clean Beauty begins with Clean Intentions, which focuses on what it is first. Clean Intentions rely on the highest standard for individual ingredients because they’re brought to us by centuries’ old beauty traditions (aka, Ayurveda), generational knowledge, and modern science.

What’s AAVRANI’s Clean Beauty Philosophy?

To preserve the original intention of Clean Beauty. Our process begins with an ingredient-by-ingredient approach to making something that solves a real and often recurring skin concern, such as redness, dullness, and premature aging. Our unique products, which together make up the best Indian skin care routine, were inspired by the highly-potent ingredients founder Rooshy Roy would see her grandmother combine in the kitchen, and use in her rituals (Rose Water, Turmeric, Sweet Almond Oil, etc.). Then, to bring those traditionally handcrafted and otherwise perishable formulas to you, we work with R&D chemists to give them a minimal shelf-life. (Once opened, your average skin care product will expire after 2 years; our products will expire after 6 months because of our authentic, bottoms-up approach). The key ingredients we use are always listed on the front of every product, because that’s where our thought process starts. This method of focusing on the key ingredients first has helped us create highly effective skin care that many people can benefit from.

Take for example, the best-selling Glow Activating Exfoliator. This clay-based face mask was inspired by the most widely-used ingredient in India for skin care, Turmeric. Nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatory, Turmeric helps to clear skin and unlock that lit-from-within glow. As we looked to maximize the product benefits, we chose to elevate the formula with Raw Honey to alleviate dryness, and organic Neem Oil to reduce redness and prevent new blemishes. Starting with these Clean Intentions, we spent an entire year refining the formula with our R&D team – iterating on the texture, efficacy, and general user experience – until we landed on the final product, which preserves the authenticity of the original homemade ritual.

Our priority: build upon the fresh ingredients and the known rituals that combine them to solve skin concerns with clean formulas that are scientifically proven to work

Trusting us with your skin is a big deal, so we take even the smallest semblance of a risk seriously. That’s why our team of R&D chemists are constantly bringing us up to date on all the published “at risk” ingredient lists, and we take them into consideration for every formula we pursue and create. However, our intention remains our priority as a brand: to build upon the fresh ingredients and the known rituals that combine them, which have been passed down across generations of our Indian ancestors; to solve skin concerns with clean formulas that are scientifically proven to work.

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