Gunam Beauty Combines Homegrown Functional Botanicals with A French Formulation

Gunam Beauty Combines Homegrown Functional Botanicals with A French Formulation

Instead of loading up on a million unknown ingredients or steps, French skincare brands have always had a reputation for creating effective products with limited ingredients of the best quality. The products from Gunam Beauty — a new entrant to the Indian skincare landscape, are made from functional ingredients of Indian origin, formulated and produced in France. Gunam Beauty was created by Elizabeth Issac, whose vision was to create a skincare brand that was slow, effective, and had the best markers of quality to its name. Created mindfully and adhering to the core values of being conscious and transparent, the brand launched in December 2022 with 4 basic products, which all come together to create a simple, yet effective skincare routine. 

The Long Road To Better Skin 

For Elizabeth, the founder of the brand, skin concerns were a constant in life. Having always struggled with her acne-prone skin and trying out different products for it - prescription and otherwise - she started learning more about what went into making skincare products. Her general curiosity about the constituents of a product, paired with the constant search for an effective skincare product made her look at every product label closely. Having lived in multiple countries around the world, she kept a close eye on the ingredients and regulations for skincare products. 

From India to US, Germany and France - no matter where she lived, her skincare troubles didn't go away. In consulting with many dermatologists over the years, and having dealt with the risks of intensive skincare treatments, she noticed a glaring problem in the Indian skincare industry. The same medication whose prescription required signed release forms abroad, was easily available over the counter in India, with very few discussions and regulations in place regarding their negative effects. The same was the case even with topical treatments.

Her continued persistence and curiosity did finally help her to start healing her skin. According to Elizabeth, ‘It was a combination of my experiences that helped me figure out what works and what doesn’t work. At the end of the day, it was the combination of the right oral supplementation, working out, managing my diet, and of course topicals. I realized that certain things that I would have never imagined using like oils, which I thought would never work on my oily skin, actually ended up working well for me. Using the right actives, exfoliants, and emollients all helped improve my skin health.’ 

Building The Gunam Beauty Brand

Having grown up in Kerala, she was surrounded by botanicals with a lot of ‘gunam’ - which means goodness or benefit in Malayalam. Hailing from a family that is the largest exporter of natural extracts and essential oils in the nation, Elizabeth realized that many of the ingredients in her favorite products were those she had easy access to. The company was already working with the best quality sources for these functional ingredients to provide them to leading flavor and fragrance houses. She was working with a cosmetic ingredients supplier in Paris when she started wondering if she could make use of her complicated journey to healing her skin, and the access she had to the best quality functional ingredients to create effective skincare products.

In returning to India, right before the 2020 lockdown, she started seriously considering taking the idea forward. Even with the initial pitch that she created for the brand, she knew that she wanted to products that would culminate in a simple routine - from a non-harsh cleanser to an active oil that could help address basic skin concerns. 

For the next three years, she worked with a team at her family’s company to choose the right ingredients, as well as with a French formulator to create the perfect set of products for the brand. One of the reasons for choosing to produce the products in France was because Elizabeth knew she wanted to take the brand to a global level. Having spent a considerable time in the US, she knew that the market was quite large and there is a space for a brand like this, owing to the diasporic community as well as the general appeal of Indian wellness brands. The production was deliberately done in France, so as to make it easier to acquire the required regulations and certifications for international sales. 

When it comes to their marketing, Gunam Beauty is letting the products speak for themselves. Instead of a brand launch event and marketing campaigns, Gunam Beauty products were simply made available for purchase. It was also featured at a pop-up show in Bombay and a concept store in Kochi. Elizabeth went on to say, ‘I wanted the purchase of the products to be more referral based as opposed to aggressive marketing. Even with social media, we’re taking a quality-driven approach. The verdict is still out on whether this is a great idea, but for now, that is what we’re going with. We’re giving people a chance to try out the products and hopefully, their effectiveness would fuel our sales, rather than digital marketing.’

While there are plans to add more products to the Gunam Beauty line, creating effective skincare products that adhere to international regulations is a long process. Even in the broader scheme of things, Elizabeth hopes to continue sticking to her philosophy of less is more, and not releasing a lot of different products. With the current range of products, Gunam Beauty has released products that help to improve and maintain the general well-being of one’s skin. But going ahead, she hopes to move further towards creating clean and efficient products that provide targeted solutions to specific skincare concerns.

If you would like to learn more you can follow them on their Instagram

Check out the brand’s range of products on the Gunam Beauty website

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