Born into a family of doctors, you might think that traditional medicine and conventional skincare would be the go-to option for Aparna Telang Tuli.
However, Aparna’s family also instilled in her the importance of nature and to appreciate all that it has to offer.
A childhood passion for nature
Growing up in the South of India, Aparna’s childhood holidays were spent exploring the luscious land surrounding her family’s traditional coconut mill. There was, Aparna says, always a lot to learn.
She watched the ins and outs of the business and absorbed how everything from nature could be consumed without contaminating the surroundings.
Her father explained the processes for extracting coconut oil. What Aparna saw was extraordinary; “The simple coconut tree had zero wastage!”
Oil, food, medicine, charcoal, lead for pencils, ropes, creams; every part of the tree was used. The leaves were used to make hut roofs and baskets, the sticks were used to make brooms. The coconut tree deserved its moniker of ‘the tree of life’.
Natural ingredients vs modern medicine
Despite Aparna’s parents being doctors, it didn’t stop them from using natural remedies. Everything from coughs and colds to cuts and insect bites, her family were ready with a natural ingredient solution.
They themselves had grown up in families that used natural remedies “for practically everything”. The decision to continue this with their own family felt as natural as the ingredients they were using.
“My family came from humble beginnings and so organic farm-based cooking and healthcare came naturally to them.”
As a child Aparna suffered from the discomfort of sensitive skin but there was “always a simple, natural solution for all my skincare problems”.
Her parents made sure they used home remedies and they worked brilliantly!
“Unknowingly, I grew up learning how giving nature is and about its healing properties.”
As home remedies were encouraged in her childhood, they soon became the norm. Something Aparna took with her through to adulthood, and to the UK.
Like mommy like daughter
When Aparna became a new mother in London it wasn’t long before she realized her daughter had sensitive skin, too. The thought of her daughter going through the same discomfort as she did was enough to make Aparna consider her skincare choices.
Each cream, lotion and balm was questioned. Each label seemed daunting to Aparna – they were full of hard to pronounce words and scientific names. The ingredients seemed a mystery she was unable to solve.
“I struggled to trust products I was buying.”
In the daily hustle and bustle of life and work, Aparna sometimes took shortcuts when looking after her skin, but she refused to do the same for her daughter.
Continuing the respect for natural ingredients through the generations
When Aparna’s daughter was 18 months’ old she enjoyed watching her mommy apply makeup, often mimicking her. She particularly loved lipsticks and often asked Aparna to apply lipstick to her.
Aparna pretended to apply the lipstick, not wanting to use adult products on her daughter’s delicate skin, but her daughter soon questioned why her lips didn’t shine like her mom’s.
It was the same for her other skincare products too;
“I was just not comfortable with the idea of letting her use any of my products. I knew how horrible it could get should she develop a reaction to any of the ingredients in them.”
Aparna’s daughter became more and more persistent about wanting to share her mommy’s skincare and makeup products. Aparna felt there was only one solution; she promised her daughter she would make products especially for her. And she would show her how to make them.
Becoming a self-taught natural skincare formulator with the School of Natural Skincare
It became incredibly important to Aparna to know what was going to go into the products for her daughter. She needed scientific knowledge on formulating natural and organic ingredients to support the values she had held since childhood. She found the School of Natural Skincare.
“I wanted to formally study the science behind creating cosmetics and a trusted supplier of natural ingredients (Aadra International) highly recommended the School of Natural Skincare”.
Aparna discovered our Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation – a professional, accredited course that explores skin science, cosmetic preservation and stability, formulating, brand awareness and so much more. It was perfect for Aparna.
“Natural and organic ingredients, and essential oils resonated with me because of my childhood and having seen the benefits of them myself.”
Aparna created lip and hand balms for her daughter that were made of 100% natural ingredients, with no preservatives or artificial coloring.
Soon she was creating natural skincare products for her daughter’s friends to try, as well as their parents. She was so gratified when “my child, her friends and their parents loved the balms!”
A natural skincare business was born
With positive feedback about her products and the branding and business knowledge she had gained from our Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation, it wasn’t long before Aparna launched her own brand; Zizu Organics.
Focussing on natural and effective skincare for children (“and their grown-ups!”), the Zizu Organics range focuses on lip balms, including lavender lip balm, rose lip scrub, gift sets and more.
Aparna was also “tired of the amount of plastic” that was used for skincare products on the market, most of which couldn’t be reused, so her range of lip balms come in recyclable aluminum tubs, in compostable secondary packaging.
Does Aparna have any advice for any budding natural skincare formulators out there, who would like to create a range of natural skincare products?
“Don’t be scared to try or learn! I failed miserably a few times, but I kept at it.”
From a childhood aid, to a successful natural skincare business, natural ingredients have helped Aparna throughout her life. She can continue to look forward whilst recalling the past for advice and inspiration.
“I am glad to be going back to my roots, while learning to create more sustainable products for children.”
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