Beauty With Brains: Brillare Is Paving The Path For Knowledge-Based Beauty Practices | Verve Magazine
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January 21, 2021

Beauty With Brains: Brillare Is Paving The Path For Knowledge-Based Beauty Practices

Text by Avani Thakkar

From being ideated in a 10-by-6-foot research lab to appearing on your cosmetics shelf, a deep-dive into the birth of an upcoming Indian personal care brand

“While watching television advertisements, we often see beauty products presented in a dream-selling avatar that promises transformative results but hardly delivers,” says Jigar Patel, CEO of Indian beauty brand Brillare by day and zealous formulation scientist by night. Search “skin-care routine” on YouTube, and one is greeted with an onslaught of videos that weave a similar narrative: a magical moisturiser for unparalleled glow, an underrated serum for guaranteed blemish-free skin or the miraculous under-eye cream that will make up for all the sleep you missed out on.

With Brillare, which arose as a resourceful response to this problematic approach, Patel combines his extensive experience as a pharmacist with his passion for truly natural beauty products. As the pandemic rages on and cities are on regular lockdown with people stuck at home, the desire for a versatile personal care range that could replace chemical-rooted salon treatments has been further accelerated.

We speak with the Ahmedabad-based company’s founder, Jigar Patel, for some insights into the brand’s guiding philosophy and how its take on beauty as a subjective notion plays into Brillare’s ethos, and he also busts some common myths through a quick science lesson.

From a pharmacist to the founder of an Indian beauty brand – how did this progression come about, and what has the journey been like so far?
I kicked off my career as a research and development scientist in a pharmaceutical business where I achieved more than 22 patents on a novel drug delivery system over three years. The transition to leading a beauty brand felt natural since I’ve always held an innate interest in personal care products and would spend hours studying the ingredient lists or labels of upcoming formulations. Little did I know that all that practice was preparing me for my future calling!

Traditionally, the Indian cosmetics industry is driven by marketers who sell chemical-based products that promise an instant transformation, which ultimately does more harm than good. I founded Brillare with a contrasting approach in order to address consumer beauty concerns, I focused on sustainable healing over a quick-fix approach with the help of truthful science and real nature.

Tell us about #RealBeautyScience, a tag often used by Brillare.
This is a special initiative wherein I write short features that decrypt the biological science behind beauty-related misconceptions. For instance, oil is often showcased by various personal care brands as the long-lasting vehicle for moisturising. Technically speaking, oil cannot lend this value since it is devoid of water components; it operates by creating a barrier on the epidermis that locks in and retains skin moisture. Through #RealBeautyScience, Brillare plans to shatter other similar myths and inculcate accurate awareness in consumers regarding personal care products and their constituents.

The concept of beauty is subjective and often said to be in the “eye of the beholder”. Being in the business of personal care, how does Brillare strike a balance between advocating for self-love and promoting products that are meant to actively “improve” some aspect of the individual’s hair/skin?
At Brillare, we believe in #OriginalBeauty, which suggests that every individual is beautiful in their own way. Through our messaging and social media handles, we actively advocate that irrespective of physical features such as complexion, skin texture, face shape and other superficial parameters, everyone possesses a unique DNA that should be embraced.

Cosmetics cannot overpower genetics and environmental factors. Keeping this in mind, our products are specifically created to heal or restore aspects of one’s original beauty instead of promoting unrealistic skin-whitening and fairness-enhancing assurances.

Apart from incorporating natural ingredients in its products, how else does Brillare deliver on the sustainability front?
We strive to reduce plastic usage in packaging by using eco-friendly fillers instead. Our newest range of Oil Shots is available in glass vials, and we are constantly on the lookout for other sustainable alternatives to further lessen our carbon footprint.

Can you take us through the ideation and research process behind the development of Brillare cosmetics?
New cosmetics research and its subsequent development is one of Brillare’s core strengths. Our products are conceptualised to target noted concerns in different application areas – consider hair strands and the scalp as an application area that often suffer from dandruff induced hair fall or lack of nourishment. Once we zero in on this, an analysis is conducted to identify inconsistencies between what consumers need to treat this particular concern versus what is available in the market. This usually reveals stark gaps which in turn provides Brillare the opportunity to deliver efficacious and up to-the-mark products.

The process of filling this gap begins at Brillare’s lab, where scientists create a mixture of natural ingredients backed up by proven effectiveness, validated research and quality active components. Post multiple trials, an ideal formulation is established, which is then subjected to dermatology testing in a cruelty-free manner to ensure that it holds up to customers’ expectations.

For many, decoding the detailed formulations and ingredients in personal care products is a laborious task. According to you, how can consumers best eliminate this confusion and choose the right cosmetics to target their specific concerns?
Nowadays, most beauty enthusiasts consciously steer clear of ingredients such as parabens, SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) and mineral oils. However, a deeper level of understanding and research is imperative in order to select the right product to attain maximum results. To aid consumers with this, Brillare plans on building a convenient and credible ingredient library that hosts prompt explanations to whether it is a chemical that should be avoided or a beneficial ingredient that will do wonders if included in your skin/hair-care routine.

With the overflowing varieties of hair oils available in the Indian market, what inspired the creation of Brillare’s Oil Shots, and which factors set it apart?
In recent times, hair oils in the market have been depleted of their rich nutrition owing to the dilution practices that are carried out with the purpose of making them non-greasy. The addition of mineral and silicone oils does the job; however, the initial nourishing properties are lost in this process. We decided to challenge the status quo by introducing a 100 per cent active and vegan hair oil formulation, tagging it as Oil Shots, with the perfect blend of key actives such as celery seed, basil hairy root culture extracts and tea tree oil, among others. It is 10 times more powerful than conventional oils and alleviates the dreaded seasonal hair fall, flaky scalp and frizzy tresses.

How has Brillare adapted its operations in the light of the ongoing pandemic?
Just like other companies, Brillare’s business also suffered a setback due to the ongoing pandemic. Once we restored our operations in accordance with the new government guidelines, appropriate measures were taken by the staff during production that adhered to all safety precautions. Good hygiene is the need of the hour, and we worked on expanding our range to include organic sanitisers that were gentle on the skin. It was included as a complimentary add-on with every order, and we still haven’t commercialised it as a product – a gesture that many of our customers appreciated!

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