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I’m one of those who swing wildly between two extremes – sticking to a brand for a decade straight, all out of laziness, or buying a different brand every trip to the supermarket, out of carelessness. Thankfully, I have a dear friend – a ‘cream maker’ herself – who makes it a point to gift me the latest on the organic market, and of late I’ve been receiving such heavenly-smelling goodies that I’ve got my list of favourites ready.

Packaging does matter, no matter how anti-brand we all try to be. As I explored the many niche handmade skincare brands, I realised nearly all of them have been created by millennials (many of whom quit fulltime jobs to do it), all independently, and all of them start-ups that swear by cruelty-free, all-natural ingredients. Most of all, they’ve got taste. Their products are funky, cute, and come in recyclable packaging that in itself is worth half the cost. Here are a few to indulge in.

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Mo Made

This was my introduction to the world of shea butter. Bangalore-based Moumita Dhar’s all-natural Shea Body Butter comes in a re-usable glass bottle and has a subtle, soothing smell that feels healthy and reassuring. Even better are Mo Made’s Body Butter Bars that come in travel-friendly, tiny tin cans.

Saattvikaa

Saattvikaa is the brainchild of Mumbai-based Charu Shah. It’s entirely chemical-free – not even using fragrance oils, beeswax, palm oil, milk and other non-vegan ingredients – and clear about its emphasis on environment-friendly products. The Activated Charcoal Soap has aloe vera gel and is a gorgeous black I rather like.

Alanna – Naturally Beautiful

Coming from a hardcore business background, Mumbai-based Rasshi Bahel made a complete switch when she turned her hobby of making natural skin remedies at home into the au natural skincare brand Alanna. Now it has carved a name for itself, and you have to try the Rose Himalayan Rock Salt Scrub to know why.

The Nature’s Co.

Founded by Natasha Shah, The Nature’s Co.’s Coffee Scrub is something to begin with. They stress on eco-friendly products and delivery, besides of course some fab creams such as White Tea Night Cream and Marshmellow Day Cream (which are as good as they sound). They also have specific men’s products such as Water Mint After Shave Balm.

Kyra

Kyra is the creation of Preethi Sukumaran (a zoologist and an MBA from IIM) and Srinivas Krishnaswamy (an IITian and an MBA, also from IIM), their USP being ‘sustainable goodies’. These two vegans hope to set up Kyra’s own organic farm so the products are even more true to their promise. We love their Classic Green Tea & Chamomile Face Wash.

Soaps By SanGi

Started five years ago by Bangalore-based Sangita Vasuraj – homemaker and self-proclaimed soapreneur – on a small scale with her friends and relatives as the first buyers, Soaps By SanGi offers cold-processed soaps created from scratch using essential oils and fragrance oils. Her Milk Honey Soap with Melon Berry is positively trippy.

Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar

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