Cosmetics Interviews

Poéthique: sharing beauty wisdom from across the world

Six months ago Gayatri Pradhan combined her love of nature and an appreciation of the local ingredients from across cultures to create skincare brand Poéthique.

We caught up with her to talk clean ingredients, sustainable sourcing, and being mindful of the impact we have on the earth.

Tell us a bit about Poéthique?

Poéthique is an eco-luxe line of 100% plant-based skincare products. We source unique ingredients from all around the world for our products, to give you radiant and balanced skin.

Whereabouts are you based?

We’re based out of a lovely town in Massachusetts in the US called Wellesley. It’s home to a famous all-girls college with many amazing alumni, called Wellesley College, and is a stone’s throw from M.I.T. where I attended business school.

When did you launch?

We launched late last year – Nov 2016. But this baby has been in the making for a LONG time! I’ve wanted to bring together this idea of skincare inspired by cultural wisdom for well over a decade. But it was only about three years ago that I decided to do something with the idea. Sort of like a now or never! And it did take that long – more than two years to get from an idea to finding the right suppliers for the ingredients, to finding the perfect way to blend them all together for a luxurious feeling. We tested dozens of prototypes and I am grateful for my friends who were such willing guinea pigs!

What are the inspirations behind Poéthique?

An appreciation for nature and an appreciation for the vast stores of knowledge on local ingredients that exist in cultures all over the world. To explain a little more, my heritage is Indian and I have memories of my mother or grandmother telling me how to deal with skincare issues. Turmeric and sandalwood for acne, honey for hydration, there was a skin benefit to almost every herb or spice! In traveling across the world, I’ve realized that every culture has its own knowledge of their local ingredients – a knowledge that I like to call beauty wisdom. Whether it’s traditional herbal medicine in China, or the use of spa waters in Europe, every culture has something. And it is this something that we’re trying to capture in our products. Beauty wisdom from across the world.

What motivates you to do what you do?

I am passionate about skincare and about doing it right, meaning clean ingredients, sustainable sourcing, and being mindful of the impact we have on the earth. I come from a large corporate background and I’ve seen firsthand how hard it is for larger companies to turn around and do the right thing. It’s not that they don’t want to, but at that scale, it’s just harder! So I thought, well, if we’re going to do something, we’re going to do it right. And put into place guardrails so that we’re never overstepping into a place where we start to have an adverse impact on our environment. No amount of profit is worth messing up our planet more – we just have the one.

How would you describe your brand style in one sentence?

We wanted to show that we celebrate the rich diversity of our planet, so I’d say we’re chic but in a very fun way. Our branding isn’t black or minimalist white – we celebrate the rich colors of our world!

What’s your all time favourite item from Poéthique?

Gosh. That’s a tough question because I love them all! We’ve spent so much time on making them the best they can be! We launched our Radiance Boosting Serum first though, because it was a great way to share the brand with people. It’s a treatment serum that gently accelerates skin renewal to reveal brighter and radiant skin. And who doesn’t want brighter, radiant skin?! The best part is that it layers well with other products and so it was an easy way to introduce a powerful boost to an existing skincare regimen. We weren’t asking anyone to switch from what they loved; just to add this to their existing routine and see the difference it made!

How did you get into natural beauty?

I’d always had a foot in, given the upbringing I’ve had, where if there was a natural way to cure something, that’s what you did. I might have swung away from that somewhat in my 20s, driven by desire for iconic brands. But sometime around my late 20s, and definitely after my first child, I knew I wanted to get back into being as natural as possible with all my beauty items. I mean, when my girls kiss me, I don’t want them consuming chemicals because I have synthetic products on my skin!

What’s your advice for anyone who wants to create their own natural beauty brand?

It’s a great time to be doing this! We’re moving as a society toward greater appreciation of how going natural is better for us and for the environment. So it’s definitely a great time from that perspective. There are a lot of wonderful brands doing great work and putting out lovely products, so definitely think about why and how yours is different. But most importantly, have fun with it! If you’re passionate, it will shine through 🙂

Why do you think video is important for selling?

Ooh! Video is absolutely the key to selling. Beauty is such a visual medium – we have to see what something looks like on us, or how a product makes our skin look. Video enables that because you can see someone go from a cleansed face to a full ‘look’. It’s more authentic than staged photos which can be edited so many ways before seeing the light of day.

 

What are your top three style tips?

  1. Invest in the classics – always. And then accessorize with a trend-based item.
  2. Find a routine that enables your skin to glow! That underlying canvas being radiant makes it so much easier to do make-up. You can go light with dabs of concealer, mascara and some lip gloss and still look amazing!
  3. Smile and believe in yourself. It’s incredible what a beauty booster, a kind spirit and inner confidence can be.

What’s on your Spotify playlist right now?

Can I say I Pandora? Just like with the various beauty rituals, I also have really diverse playlists – from bossa nova to Pink Floyd to The Weeknd. But right now? Right this second…it’s my guilty pleasure and not-such-a-secret anymore: boy bands! ‘Larger than Life’ might be on right this second…

Download YEAY in the iTunes Store or in Google Play to start your new plant-based skincare routine with Poéthique

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