Editor's Pick, Lifestyle
Glowing prospect: Nagaland girl in pursuit of happy healthy skin
KOHIMA — Who doesn’t want glowing skin? The bewildering range of cosmetic products available on the market indicates the growing desire of this generation for a healthy skin as well as the magnitude and prospect of the beauty industry.
Tsivi Phesao, a cosmetic formulator and product developer from Nagaland, has taken a plunge into this ever-growing yet unexplored industry in the state. And her business is beginning to glow, so is the skin of her customers.
Phesao, a resident of Kohima, has done a masters degree in Biochemistry, a two-year programme in education, from Rayalaseema University in Andhra Pradesh and got trained in Advanced Cosmetic Science at the Institute of Personal Care Science in Coolum Beach, Australia.
“My journey as a cosmetic chemist begins in pursuit of a happy healthy skin,” she told Eastern Mirror.
She shared that her skin is very sensitive and allergic to harsh compounds and dust particles, making her to try different kinds of products available on the market, including expensive ones in the hope of meeting the desired results. “But unfortunately it worsens my skin and from there I totally give up on the market product,” she added.
Then came the motivation from her close friend to foray into cosmetic business, after which she began formulating skincare products for her family and friends.
“With positive results on their skin, they started ordering the products continuously, so from there I began to formulate the product in bulk,” she shared, adding that it took her nearly four years of research, studying each ingredient used by the cosmetic industry in detail- its benefits and usages, before formulating her own.
Her beauty aids
The cosmetic chemist has developed more than 30 products including niacinamide serum, vitamin c serum, toner, sunscreen, sunscreen stick, moisturizing cream, cleanser, face bar, essential oil etc. The top list products are sunscreen spf 50+ and sunscreen stick spf 30+, she said.
Sharing about her products, she said the easy-to-use sunscreen stick offers a lightweight and convenient option for sun protection, especially around the eyes. She added that it is one of the most creative products she has created as users can carry anywhere, even in their pockets.
She said mineral sunscreen cream spf 50+ is less likely to irritate sensitive skin, and also ideal for children, and people with melasma, while niacinamide serum treats acne marks, regulates excess oil, reduces wrinkles and fine lines, minimizes enlarged pores and hydrates the skin.
Another popular product of hers is kojic serum, which she said balances and brightens the skin; treats hyperpigmentation dark spots in the skin, acne scars and sun damage. She added that the vitamin c serum she has formulated is safe for most skin types, provides hydration, can brighten the skin, and can reduce redness, hyperpigmentation, appearance of under-eye circles. It also promotes collagen production, helps prevent sagging, protects sun damage, soothe sunburns and helps wound healing, she continued.
She went on to say that she is able to enhance from one compound to another, using her expertise and knowledge.
Raw material sourcing
One unique aspect about her beauty products is use of only organic compounds. She said the ingredients she uses for preparing her products are also skin-friendly and environmentally safe.
She orders raw materials from a specific company that supplies organic products. Some of the ingredients she uses in her products are shea butter, olive oil, zinc, titanium dioxide and soap nut.
Speaking about the challenges she faces as an entrepreneur, the cosmetic chemist said: “It was not an easy task. I faced failures and hardships during preparation and trial, and at some point, wanting to give up. Then I dig deep into the area where I was failing and try to find a solution for it. Finally, after four long years of experimenting, I found something that suits sensitive skin.”
Her family does help but she does most of the work.
When asked if she has plans to expand her business, she replied: “Yes, definitely I will come out with new products. As of now, I’m working on formulating retinoid cream for reducing wrinkle, pigmentation, acne etc.”
Phesao shared that she gets positive feedback and lot of encouragement from her customers.
The best part of the job, she says, is getting reviews from the users about ‘their skin is like never before’, ‘pigmentations have lightened’, ‘no more dandruff’, and ‘hair growth’ among others.
‘These responses energise and boost me to keep on moving forward. Also, constructive criticisms help me to improve in what I do. Sometimes, I am in disbelief that people are actually using something that I have developed,’ she said.
Skincare tips for Nagas
The cosmetic chemist observes that Nagas have a very sensitive skin, which means the skin is more prone to reactions such as redness and itching.
On tips for a healthy and glowing skin during the day time, she suggests double cleansing, toner, apply moisturizer and wear sunscreen.
For the night time too, she suggests the same steps excluding spf. However, never wear makeup to bed and sleep well, she said.
Where to buy her products
Besides Nagaland, she has customers from across the country, including cities like Mumbai and Pune, and neighbouring states of Assam and Manipur, among others. She informed that about 50% of her customers are via Instagram and about 10% from physical stores, while 30% are regular customers.
Customers order products by messaging (DM) her on Instagram Page @selfcare.tsivi_kohima and her website, while others buy from physical stores like Rhozu Collection located opposite to Ozone.
The prices of her beauty products range from INR 200 to INR 1200.
Well, for Phesao, it’s not just about business. Through her product, she wants to reach out to all those who are feeling low because of their skin and give them the confidence to face the world.
Anyone can achieve anything if they are confident and one should take care of skin as it is worn every day, she concluded.