This dentist-turned-entrepreneur launched a clean beauty brand that is safe for all life forms and the planet

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As a young mother, when dr Merin Liza Jacob Noting that her toddler had extremely dry skin, she tried several bottled remedies and even asked overseas relatives and friends to buy recommended skincare brands, but to no avail.

The Bengaluru-based dentist then combined her knowledge of science and chemistry and various home remedies to research and develop special products for her son that worked better and had a long-lasting effect. His skin problems eased, and it was then that Merin realized that she had paved the way to entrepreneurship—and green and beige originated.

She explains the pain point: “I wanted skincare products that lived up to the label and did what they were supposed to do, especially as I’ve always had the habit of reading the labels before picking up a product. Being a planet lover, I didn’t like some of the ingredients used in most of the products. I was also upset that some of the brands I loved for their sensory qualities didn’t include the full ingredient list.”

She also realized that most products didn’t work, while some worked temporarily. She started formulating products and testing them in her home kitchen.

“We have also developed handmade soaps that cleanse the skin without stripping it of its natural moisture. Once we were happy with the formulas and the results, we took our products to flea markets downtown, where they were well received. Our customers valued the quality, and given the impact of our products, our pricing wasn’t an obstacle for them,” she says.

Talking to other family members led her to understand that there were others with similar skin care issues but with no solution. This led to the launch of Green and Beige last year when the initial impact of the pandemic had passed and it became apparent that the new normal was likely to last for a while.

On the way to a sustainable life

From the Green And Beige range

At no point in the business were Merin and her family members sure to trade their philosophy of transparency and product effectiveness for quick success. So they decided to establish Green and Beige’s own R&D unit in Bengaluru to ensure they have complete control over every formulation and ingredient.

Merin emphasizes that Bengaluru has a sizable population that has embraced a sustainable lifestyle, and many small businesses in the city are focused on offering a variety of products to do so.

“South India has traditionally been more interested in natural and clean products that are safe for both us and the environment. While we retail nationwide today, Bengaluru and the rest of South India contribute more to our sales. However, we are also seeing renewed interest from customers across the country – from the Northeast to Uttarakhand and Rajasthan,” she says.

Green and Beige offers a bouquet of products in the areas of body care, hair care and face care. Its focus on being a clean beauty brand; with clean beauty a philosophy that needs to be implemented in skin care not only in India but also worldwide.

Merin elaborates: “The Clean Beauty philosophy empowers people to live more sustainably through the product and brand choices they make. It’s about using fewer resources – resources that will be replenished, not harming human skin but also our planet. It’s a way of life that respects all creatures on the planet and, more importantly, cares holistically for the earth.”

Safe for the planet

Green and beige beauty products are made with ingredients that are safe for people, all life forms and the planet and are free of toxic ingredients. Every ingredient is sustainably sourced, which means the supply chain is closely scrutinized to ensure it is in line with the brand philosophy. Every ingredient used is biodegradable and has no known impact on the environment during manufacture or our formulation.

In its body care range, Green and Beige offers an armpit mask, a rich body butter, a soothing body lotion and a coffee scrub. His facial care range is one of the first to offer blue light protection, which Merin says is a must given that we spend long hours in front of digital screens. The hair care range was developed according to the philosophy that a healthy scalp is essential for healthy hair.

Made up of Merin’s family members, Green and Beige includes Jacob, Merin’s husband, who has extensive sales and marketing experience with brands such as Bausch and Lomb, Reliance and others. Her brother Abraham comes from an advertising and creative background and oversees packaging and creative nuance. Merin is involved in product formulations.

According to her, the brand’s target audience is “the conscious consumer who wants to do something for the environment while taking care of themselves – someone who believes healthy skin comes from holistic care, and most importantly people who believe that we have borrowed this planet from our children and it is our duty to take care of it.”

Green and Beige is an online brand available on their D2C website www.greenandbeige.com and also on marketplaces like Amazon, Nykaa, Myntra, Vanity Wagon, Sublime Life, Clean Beauty, Zoobop and You Care.

While Merin believes that clean beauty is still a young concept in India, the natural, organic and Ayurvedic beauty segments are well known and significantly larger.

“However, the clean beauty philosophy is catching on quickly and newer D2C brands are entering the market. Globally, too, it’s a new concept that’s just beginning to gain a foothold. Brands like Tata Harper and Paula’s Choice lead the philosophy and their products are pretty good,” she points out.

As a bootstrap startup, the brand is attempting to launch a seed round to contribute to rapid growth.

Mein’s future plans include the introduction of many new variants in the current Green and Beige range, as well as the introduction of new categories such as baby care, sun care, foot care and hand care.

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