It took us over two years to get the idea and technology of extracting the liquid out of our shampoo for our shampoo bars while maintaining an optimal pH-balanced level for scalp. Ours are not the conventional bars you find in drugstores that traditionally leave scalp feeling greasy and hair like straw: they lather beautifully and have a high percentage of skincare ingredients to protect your scalp and hair.
Our team is specialized in natural products and are known for creating great skin and haircare, but what many don’t know is that Switzerland has a cutting-edge science in the natural cosmetic space. I wanted to find out if my personal care could be more sustainable with less, and the team obsessed over every detail to make ours exceptional in performance and luxurious in texture.
Sustainability even informed our scents. Scent is an obsession for our line, and for the shampoo bars we worked with a perfumer to find an unusual application for plant waste. For instance, for our citrus scent we distilled leftover fruits and peels from organic farms that grow produce to make juice. The result has been amazing while allowing us to lower our ingredient footprint, and this is a technique we will be exploring more in the future.
So for those who really want to reduce plastic use, we’re giving you a sustainable alternative to conventional haircare that really works. We’ve managed to bring out solid shampoo that performs as well as our liquid shampoos, albeit by using fewer resources.
Photo credit: Art direction by @tsitaliya.in.heels, clothing by @byadushka and photography by @sweissfine.
At a time when men rode horses over the vastness of an Arabian desert, and women sat in palanquins behind them…when kings and queens governed the most fertile and precious continent on Earth…when women were said to be so beautiful and alluring in appearance in manner that love itself hinted at the genesis of formidable paradises carved from white marble that people from all over the world would pay homage to it in their artwork and textbooks, and travel hundreds of miles to visit and marvel at…
A woman would rise very early in the morning, before the rest of her family. A queen would rise before her court, to prepare herself for the day ahead. She would take her bath before seeing to the day’s important business or reviewing her schedule; the cool water would be laced with flower petals, made creamy with a gallon of goat’s milk, and enriched with minerals and salts to invigorate her skin and hair.
Then, carefully, she would apply her entire toilette; the various creams and perfumes needed to make herself presentable and give her the most advantageous start to her endeavours. Wild rose oil would be mixed into each of her cosmetics and serums, then blended with musk to create a perfume, known as “attar”, that would be totally unique to her tastes and her age. And another blend of oils, containing coconut, amla, castor, black seed, and only the finest strains of jasmine flowers, would be massaged into her scalp and combed through her long, thick mane to retain its lustre and thickness even under scorching temperatures and through long, frigid nights.
This is how, over many generations, the women of the Mughal kingdoms cared for their appearance. Although products and modern conveniences like astringent toners, sunblocks, and wrinkle-creams did not exist, families kept and passed down natural secrets and rituals that would enhance and enrich their beauty in such a way as to make them easily recognized and formidable, though lovely, in appearance.
At the time of this empire, beauty was essential, and entirely necessary for women to succeed in acquiring their place outside the home. Whether she danced and entertained kings and nobility in public as a courtesan or watched over the interests of her diplomacy and her people as an empress, she needed to command total awe and intrigue in order to keep her best interests intact.
Interestingly, women today, though the assortment of roles has greatly widened, part-take in similar rituals with similar purposes in mind. Today, a woman gets up to her alarm and hurries into the washroom to cleanse, tone, moisturize, brush, and either buff herself to presentability or perfection (depending on the day and the quality of her rest). She understands the importance of her image to her professionalism; she does not underestimate the significance of first impressions. However, in a market full of chemical potions and sweet-smelling products, although there endless prescriptions and entire lines of skin and haircare dedicated to every ailment imaginable, still she finds herself hopping from counter to counter, researching the latest trends and ‘breakthroughs’ that will nourish her beauty with the same vigor, purpose, and intensity with which she first came into the world. Instinctively, she knows her morning and evening rituals are a vital source for the drive she has inside to carve her place in the world, and create her own vision of a beautiful life.
Although she may not have armies of men and horses, ladies-in-waiting, or vast arenas of exotic gardens to her name, the basic remedial oils and elixirs used by women of the Mughal era are not beyond her reach. ABHATI Suisse has paid homage to the luxurious and sensuous cosmetic rituals of Ancient India with our CHAMBAL Sacred Hair Oil formulation, delicately enriched with Himalayan wild cherry, rose, jasmine, and coriander seed, to infuse the daily rituals with the silky, perfumed lustre that once marked the most opulent civilization on Earth; use it as a treatment on your scalp in the morning, and carefully comb it through the length of your hair; or as an intensive masque for shine and thickness one a week overnight, and rinse it out with a detoxifying cleanser like YAMUNA Nourishing Shampoo in a bath with milk and mineral salts for complete nourishment.
Oils have been used in India for centuries, perhaps since the beginning of civilization, because of their effortless but powerfully invigorating effect on the skin, hair, and body. They are natural esters that carry fatty acids, glycerol, and a number of nutrients combined in a texture that not unlike to the natural lubrication and moisture our body produces, and therefore absorbs exceptionally better than most chemical creams and lotions on the market.
With Love from ABHATI Suisse.
Amla, or Indian gooseberry, is a century old secret to healthy hair due to its nutrient-rich fruits. It has been a common ingredient in the ancient practice of Ayurveda.
The word “amla” is derived from the Sanskrit word “amlaki”, which means “the sustainer” or prosperity. Amla is considered as one of the most popular herbs for improving our health and well-being. It is a major part of the ayurvedic healing remedies.
This humble fruit is one of the most important foods in Ayurvedic medicine and is a storehouse of good health. It has almost twice the antioxidant power of acai berry and about 17 times that of the pomegranate. It is also known to be a rich source of vitamin C. So much so, that one small amla has as much vitamin C as two medium oranges. Packed with compounds like polyphenols, minerals like iron and zinc, and vitamins like carotenes and vitamin B complex, amla is known to keep a number of diseases at bay.
Our tests at our lab here at Abhati have shown amla as virtually a superfruit. It is full of antioxidants that are effective in reducing cell damage. It reduces the effects of free radicals (which are responsible for damaging protein, DNA, and cell membranes) and thus effectively combats the aging process. We also found an abundance of tannins and vitamin C, which makes it a highly antioxidant-rich fruit, and it contains kaempferol, flavonoids, and gallic acid that help enhance the hair texture.
Amla for haircare:
Amla is used in many hair tonics in India because it enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. It strengthens the roots of hair, maintains color, improves luster, and saturates hair and scalp in vitamin C. The vitamins in Amla strengthens the roots of the hair, which in turn helps promote healthy growth. Its nutrients penetrate the follicles, making the hair softer, shinier and voluminous, and it also conditions the hair, making it less prone to breakage.
You can find amla in our YAMUNA Nourishing Shampoo and MAHAKALI Nourishing Conditioner
Amla for skincare:
Because it’s packed with vitamin C, amla gives your skin a smooth and vibrant complexion. It also contains natural exfoliants that gently buff away flaky skin. It isa natural astringent and brightens skin tone, and the high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants make it very beneficial for skin health by restoring firmness through stimulating collagen production.
Experience the benefits of amla in our SHANTA Rich Facial Cleanser.
“There is only one cure for grey hair. It was invented by Frenchmen. It is called the guillotine.”
—[the ever gracious] P.G. Wodehouse
Despite the historic frequency of such claims, the beauty industry thrives in the anti-aging market. Women, and more recently men too, are borderline frantic in their search to find the “one”; cream, or serum, or sheet-mask that will finally, finally take them back a few years. Beauty Editors from magazines like Vogue and Allure, as well as cosmetologists around the world advocate the necessity of sunscreen on a daily basis, and the regular use of eye creams before the age of 25 as a preventative. Tins of La Mer line the shelves in every prominent department store, and nearly every skincare brand has developed an iconic night cream to match its soaps and lotions.
Unfortunately, skin is not the only element of our of body that stops regenerating itself after a certain age; a pattern of hair loss begins, for most, around the age of 35, but can start greying as young as 18, for some.
We have all seen an infomercial or two for a particular pill or treatment that claims to (pseudo-)scientifically grow and renew hair to its original thickness and color at hair-raising (ahem) speeds… but the truth is, one primary cause of premature graying and fallout is a lack of wisdom concerning the choice of products we use.
Our body produces a particular hormone called DHT—dihydrotestosterone, also known as a derivative of the male hormone in our blood. It is created when testosterone comes into contact with the enzyme in the oil glands of our hair follicles, which it then attaches to, making it difficult for our amino acids to oxidize and produce melanin, and causing loss and discoloration.
Sulfate-based surfactants like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate further irritate the scalp by over-drying the remainder of oil and nutrition being produced. These days, many beauty connoisseurs as well as health-conscious individuals are aware of this risk, and will opt, therefore, for sulfate-free varieties. Sulfates, as used in soaps in general, provide the lather and ‘bubbly’ texture which is needed to cleanse the hair and skin of dirt and excess oil and bacteria. They are a commonly chosen surfactant, but by no means alone in their function.
To avoid over-drying, stripping, inflammation, and a worsening in condition of the hair and scalp, be sure to choose a shampoo that contains naturally-sourced surfactants as well as oils to impart moisture while cleansing gently. Our Yamuna Nourishing Shampoo contains naturally-sourced lauryl glucoside, commonly found in willowbark, as well as Himalayan wild cherry oil, (high in omega-3, the vitamin commonly contained in hair-growth pills and responsible for skin and nail health as well), hibiscus extract, and many other organic ingredients and oils to achieve truly clean and lustrous yet nourished hair.
Moringa is one of our favourite ingredients to work with a member of the holy trinity that runs throughout out line: our signature blend of edelweiss, moringa and Himalayan wild cherry oil.
It’s been used in Indian beauty for centuries, but western brands are only know waking up to its benefits for hair and skin.
Hint: it’s the secret to our Lalitya Whipped Moisturising Cream!
Moringa is a powerhouse ingredient for hair because it has a large variety of rich minerals including zinc, which is essential for healthy hair production, and antioxidants—all of which help to boost hair-strengthening keratin production.
And did you know it’s a potent antioxidant? Moringa is known to be even greater than turmeric in regards to its ability to neutralize free radicals that are harmful to the cellular structure of skin and scalp.
Moringa is also packed with moisture magnet vitamin E, we well as vitamins A and C. All three promote collagen renewal, and is definitely one of the secrets to the luscious hair and glowy skin of Indian beauty.
To experience the power of moringa, try it in our Yamuna Nourishing Shampoo. Yamuna is loaded with moringa goodness and helps restore strength, promote hair growth and repair damage.
And our Kanva Body Lotion is—you guessed it!—powered by omega-rich morginga oil to keep your skin supple, soft and deeply hydrated.
We use the term “wildcrafted” frequently when it comes to describing the ingredients in our skincare and haircare. Wildcrafted is often used alongside “organic” or “natural”, however the properties of wildcrafted botanicals are rare and these special plant extracts can ramp up the antioxidant profile of your skin and haircare regime in a very unique way.
What are wildcrafted ingredients?
Wildcrafted means that a plant has been grown in nature without any human intervention and in their natural habitat. No commercial farming methods have been used in the cultivation of wildcrafted botanicals. Furthermore, they are harvested in an environmentally friendly manner that doesn’t affect their source or environment in which they naturally grow. Only the leaves, stems or flowers are extracted with the living plant left intact. This method of harvesting means that often wildcrafted ingredients cannot be classified as organic despite being in essence the most organically grown ingredients one can find. And why ours are not certified.
Wildcrafted ingredients differ to organic ingredients that are derived from plants that are grown with the assistance of humans, where the environment is carefully treated with conditions for optimum growth, but without harming the plant or any other aspect of the growing process. It is also a little known fact that certified organic growers are permitted to use certain chemicals up until three months before harvest, at which time they must cease their use. By that time, any substance used on the plants has been absorbed by the whole plant and at minimum, chemical traces may be found. Even so organic growers are not required to claim use of any chemicals. Only wildcrafted plants are grown in pristine environments are truly chemical-free
Our plants come from the Indian Himalayas and the Swiss Alps.
Why do we love wildcrafted ingredients?
There are several advantages to using wildcrafted ingredients in skincare.
Supercharged Antioxidants. One of the key benefits of wildcrafted ingredients is that they are found growing in some of the most remote and untouched parts of the world. our skincare range concentrates on plants found in the Himalaya region and Swiss Alps. This means they have a very rare antioxidant profile. Their exposure to near-constant and extremely harsh conditions forces them to develop a highly efficient self defense mechanism in order to survive. This defense mechanism is created in the form of an abundant and diverse range of antioxidants that protect the plant but provide us with a powerhouse of unique nutrients which nourish the skin. This means we are provided with incredibly powerful anti-ageing ingredients that protect our skin and hair from external and internal damage whilst also repairing and rejuvenating our skin.
Therapeutic Efficacy. Wildcrafted botanicals are also considered to be superior to commercially grown organic herbs because when nature produces them in their ideal environment and under ideal natural conditions the plants are able to develop their full medicinal potential. Growth in their natural habitat is also thought to enhance the energetic qualities of wildcrafted plants, activating their therapeutic potential.
Highest Purity. Lastly, they are truly toxin free. Since they grow in their natural protected environment they are grown organically without the use of pesticides, chemicals or fertilizers.
Supporting Indigenous Communities. We feel strongly about ensuring that our wildcrafted botanicals are sourced from our farmers with positive environmental practices, undertaking initiatives to support the development of new primary industry markets & the empowerment of growers & indigenous communities. We are lucky to have access to Indian tribal farmers who supply our botanics through our work with Neo Institute now renamed WeForest.org
Where can you find wildcrafted ingredients in Abhati.
Abhati Complex®: blends wildcrafted plants with time-honored cold pressed oils to naturally replace the lipids found in hair and skin. Our proprietary blend guides key nutrients and powerful natural ingredients to the hair shaft, creating an optimal protection barrier for healthy strong hair.
Wildcrafted ingredients can be found in all Abhati Suisse skincare and haircare products. Our favourite wildcrafted ingredients include rosehip, neem, Indian goosebery, sea buckthorn, and wild turmeric.