Just Herbs challenges the status quo in the beauty industry

Luxury skincare meets ancient Ayurveda! Crowd-sourcing and launching bespoke natural products is turning Just Herbs into one of the nation’s fastest-growing internet-driven beauty brands. A report

The global cosmetics market is estimated to reach $429.8 billion by 2022, according to research published by Allied Market Research. With the natural and organic beauty market slated to grow exponentially, reaching $22 billion in sales by 2024 according to a report by Persistence Market Research, a beauty brand that enters the market should be prepared to cater to a growing consumer preference for demand for natural cosmetics.

Arush Chopra, CEO, Just Herbs, tapped into this gap. Just Herbs is India’s first crowd-sourced beauty brand with a customised approach to bespoke product creation. Arush, 34, a second generation entrepreneur joined his family business, the Chandigarh-based APCOS Naturals, in 2013 and spearheaded the shift in the company’s focus from contract manufacturing for natural cosmetics companies to launch their own label. Under his leadership, Just Herbs has become one of India’s fastest growing internet-driven organic beauty brands.

The brand is now working towards changing the status quo in the beauty business. Instead of being trend driven, Just Herbs is customer-centric and takes into account customer feedback in all stages of product creation from ideas stage to formulation and even packaging. The brand is bespoke at multiple levels. Innovation on existing potions is also taken up to create what consumers want.

When working in Singapore a few years ago Arush noticed a trend towards ‘conscious-consumption’, with customers scrutinising product labels across all categories be it F&B or personal care. At the time, there was also a huge gap in the beauty segment in terms of customers’ needs and the products available. The so-called natural beauty products were turning out to be ineffective thus forcing consumers to rely on chemical-based alternatives. Arush realised that the products being developed by his mother defied industry norms by being safe as well as being highly result-driven. Thus, he returned to India to launch ‘Just Herbs’.

The products target specific concerns using certified organic and Ayurvedic herbs with proven benefits. Blanket terms such as ‘chemical-free’ or ‘preservative-free’ are not seen in the product description, instead, there is a full ingredient disclosure. Efficient utilisation of the digital platform and positive reviews from customers helped Just Herbs grow and gain popularity for being a ‘clean’ beauty brand. A bootstrapped venture, the family has invested six to seven crores of its personal wealth in the company till date.

A major achievement for the brand was launching the Herb-Enriched Skin Tint through crowd-sourcing. The company created Skin Tint from scratch through feedback from its customer base. The brand launched four new shades of this product earlier in 2018, through the same process.

All Just Herbs products are safe (98.2 to 100 per cent natural), free from harsh surfactants, parabens, GMOs, bleaching agents and carcinogenic or potentially harmful chemicals. In every Just Herbs product, there are basically three types of ingredients — Certified Organic, Wild Crafted, and Safe Synthetics.

In a typical Just Herbs ‘6-step beauty’ regime, the third step is a moisturiser which is available in two different formats — gel and cream; the customer can choose based on their skin type. Most of the products can be altered using food, so as to change their energetics. An ubtan can be mixed with honey, to work as a moisturiser, or mixed with yoghurt or some drops of lemon to suit an oily skin tone.

Certified Organic: The company has long term supply agreements to source herbs and plants from farms that have organic certification.

Wild Crafted: Exotic herbs are not grown commercially, so no certification is possible. Instead, these are directly sourced from tribesmen and herb collectors.

Safe Synthetics: Just Herbs has replaced harmful sulphates with coconut derived surfactants, and parabens with a proprietary blend of herbs and essential oils.

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