Love, Indus Skincare: An Interview with Founder Surbhee Grover

We met with Surbhee Grover the founder of Love, Indus a new luxury skincare brand inspired by India’s regional riches, customs, botanicals, minerals and practices fused with New York City’s technology.

Love, Indus is derived from potent ingredients and minerals found across the regions of India, including tea from Darjeeling and golden Muga silk from Assam. Love, Indus consists of three collections including the Amrutini Collection its premier collection targeting skin strength and resilience.

-What does Love, Indus refer to?
Our story is one of ancient practices enhanced with cutting edge technology and processes. Think of our story as a letter penned by us to you that explores our two homes – India and New York – to bring you the best of both. The Indus is one of the world’s most storied rivers. As the Nile was to ancient Egypt, the Indus was to the 5,000-year-old Indus Valley Civilization. The river also gave name to the land (the Indian sub-continent), country (India), people (Indians) and religion (Hinduism). Our brand name refers to the sign-off of a letter from the Indian sub-continent.

Relatedly, the color in which we write “Indus” – (Ink) Indigo, got its name from the Greek term meaning “from India” and shows how representative the shade was of the region. This deep, dark shade of blue is the oldest natural dye known to man, and for much of human history, this luxurious color has been elusive and hard to replicate. The color also invokes the written word, taking you back to the brand’s sign-off. It is a celebration of ink-stained fingertips, and the personal discoveries and rediscoveries that underscore our journey.

-How is this luxury Indian skincare similar and different from other Indian Skincare lines that are based in Ayurvedic tradition?

Ayurveda is an ancient alternative medicine system focused on holistic wellbeing. There is some intersection between the ingredients and principles incorporated in our products and those supported by Ayurveda, but we are not focused on Ayurveda. Our collections are inspired by rich regional rituals, ingredients and minerals from the Indian sub-continent that have been made more potent using the power and precision of technology. Unlike Ayurveda, where the elements and focus are on natural ingredients, we use precious botanicals as well as lab-designed clean synthetics – and incorporate the best of both to create highly efficacious and result-oriented, safe offerings.

How did you get interested in founding this new Indian skincare line?

Love, Indus was inspired by my personal journey. I grew up in various parts of India and have had intimate, first-hand experience of the richness of local and regional customs, minerals and ways of life. I started my career in personal care working on new product launches for India’s largest haircare brand (a coconut oil treatment). I subsequently joined L’Oréal as a brand manager and was part of the core team that launched the brand/ business in India.

The next stage of my life brought me to New York (which is now home) and after a Masters from NYU Stern, I joined Booz & Co, a global consulting firm where I led strategy and innovation initiatives for clients in the consumer space. Over the years, I worked with some of the leading luxury goods brands in Europe and North America.

With my base in New York – a city that heralds many trends – I was able to observe how consumer consciousness led to the now-ubiquitous clean beauty category, and how several Indian concepts, such as yoga, or Indian kitchen staples such as turmeric and coconut oil started finding their way into daily life and lattes in the West. There was no “aha!” moment that led to the birth of Love, Indus. It was more a gradual realization that the skincare and wellness concepts from the Indian subcontinent that had achieved some recognition globally, barely scratched the surface of all the regional riches that I had grown up experiencing. In addition, my strategy consulting work and global career taught me that technology and innovation, used effectively, can significantly enhance and compliment natural elements.

The key, then was to bring it all together – these rare riches from various parts of the Indian subcontinent, lab-designed clean chemistry and the latest in skincare technology and innovations — into powerful, sensorial offerings. And once that seed of an idea was planted, I was compelled to see it through!

What are the best, most efficacious ingredients in the collection?
There are several incredible ingredients and technologies involved in our products. A couple I would highlight:

BioTransformed Makaibari Silver Tips Imperial Tea: Makaibari, in Darjeeling, is the oldest, continuously operating tea estate in India. Their premium tea – Silver Tips Imperial – is only picked on certain full moon nights in order to ensure the highest taste, a process that also results in a tea that is especially rich in antioxidants (more so than most). We have used a proprietary extraction technology called BioTransformation to process the tea. BioTransformation uses plant-derived enzymes to simplify complex botanical actives so they are more easily assimilated by the skin – making it easier to absorb their goodness.

Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng): is an adaptogen used widely in Ayurveda. This multi-use herb is known to help with stress and insomnia, reduce blood sugar and cholesterol, provide relief from arthritis, treat hypothyroidism and provide numerous other benefits. When it comes to the skin, it soothes and helps reduce swelling and inflammation while increasing overall skin strength. The herb gets its name from Ashwa (horse) since it is believed to provide strength, like its namesake.

Ghee and Copper: An ancient Ayurveda recipe for 100 times washed ghee inspired us to incorporate both (vegan) ghee and copper into the Amrutini Collection. The traditional process of washing ghee in a copper vessel catalyzes it to increase free fatty acids and reduce the size of particles thereby improving assimilation of this rich, healing ingredient by the skin.

In addition, the collection also includes clean versions of recently developed, premium lab-designed synthetics that have proven capabilities in fighting wrinkles and aiding skin repair – such as an enhanced version of Matrixyl 3000 – a synthetic peptide that has the ability to stimulate collagen production and aid restructuring the fragile areas of the dermis as well as a powerful squalane that is sustainably derived from sugarcane and helps increase skin firmness.

Taken all together, each carefully chosen ingredient (botanical and lab-designed), as well as innovative technologies, have helped create clean and conscious products that provide opulent care, superior performance, and an immersive experience that our customers will be able to discern.

-Can this skincare line be used by all skin types?

All our products have gone through extensive dermatologist supervised testing on human volunteers and came through with flying colors. There are no artificial colors or fragrances, parabens, phthalates, sulfates or formaldehyde i.e., we have formulated to the highest clean beauty standards. So, our products can be used by all skin types (including those with sensitive skin), however, we have formulated each product to target specific concerns. We would still advise folks to read labels with diligence – for e.g. some people may have specific allergies to trace metals (such as copper) and should make their picks accordingly. But, in general, these products are extremely safe, and potent.

-In what order should one use the products?

Our products are designed to complement each other. We believe hydration and a potent dose of the right actives is critically important for building skin strength. We’d suggest the Amrutini® True Brew Transforming Serum, followed by the Amrutini® Precious Potion Vital Cream as non-negotiables (essentials) – day and night. For days when you need some extra hydration and pampering, you should apply a few drops of the Amrutini® Overnight Oasis Luminosity Dewdrops. This versatile product can be used as an overnight, leave-on mask or you can glide a few drops on your cheeks for a daytime, dewy look or use it as a base to blend in your highlighter for a striking finish. You will be able to discern how your skin feels increasingly supple, with every use. No matter what, one should always “listen” to what their skin/ body is saying and adapt their routines accordingly.

-In a few words, why is this line the best?

Because we listened to consumers and created clean, safe and high-performance products that combine the best of ancient wisdom, rich minerals and regional botanicals that have rarely been accessed outside their regional bastions, with the latest technology and lab-designed synthetics to address key concerns that are not fully addressed by existing solutions.

We tried the following two products

Love, Indus Amrutini Precious Potion Vital Cream fuses rare, regional ingredients from the Indian sub-continent, such as golden Muga silk and Makaibari Silver Tips Imperial Tea, along with powerful scientific processes – to strengthen, nourish and revitalise your skin. With a green color, the lotion penetrates easily into the skin and instantly transforms it making it feel less dry, invigorated and firmer. Experience better skin at https://loveindus.com/collections/shop/products/amrutini-precious-potion-vital-cream

Love Indus Amrutini Overnight Oasis Luminosity Drew Drops is an elixir that works while you sleep. It contains botanicals from the Indian sub-continent like golden Muga silk, hyaluronic acid, and transformative technology to allow better absorption. Copper-crusted silk cocoons provide gentle, effective exfoliation. Your skin will immediately radiate with a boost of youthful buoyancy. In the morning, it will look stronger and more balanced. Muga Silk has regenerative and healing properties, that even lend themselves for use in surgical procedures. The silk has been liquefied and incorporated into this line. Biotransformed Makaibari Tea leaves enhance the concentration and efficacy of the botanical. Ashwagandha and copper are also powerful ingredients. See it at https://loveindus.com/collections/shop/products/amrutini%C2%AE-overnight-oasis

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