Into The #SkinPantry with Colette Austin

skin pantry summer

 Mumbai based  indie  brand,The Skin Pantry has ben started by media professional Colette Austin who runs her own advertising and design agency. A carefully created range of butters, dews, drenches,clays and masks, The Skin Pantry’s delicious sounding menu  has its fair share of loyalists already . I swear by her  vanilla face drench  especially on flights  (even though my job does not let me stay loyal for long ). Here is Colette sharing her own story .

 I became a Paleo Girl

“In 2014, I moved to a completely organic diet, turned  Paleo and once I had managed sourcing organic fruits, vegetables, spices and grains, I went about looking around for organic skincare. I started cleaning out all my creams, perfumes and such to replace them with more organic and natural goodies. I now believe that you shouldn’t put on your skin what you wouldn’t put in your mouth. (The skin being the body’s largest organ soaks up everything we pile onto it whether pollutants, chemicals, preservatives, parabens -it all gets into our system as endocrine disrupters) . Sadly, there was not much to choose from. Either the ‘organic’ labeling appeared dodgy and misleading or the sensorials weren’t in place. In despair, I went about making my own stuff -moisturizers and creams to begin with. And then the challenge of sourcing truly organic ingredients from suppliers, to come up with my own concoction for skin products.”

The source is the story 

“I have finally managed to source from a bunch of reputed organic suppliers, all UDSA certified, and I am now whipping up a storm at home with Grade A Organic Raw Unrefined Shea butter from Ghana, Organic Cocoa butter, Mango butter and Organic Lavender, Orange & Lemon butters, Organic Vanilla bourbon from Tahiti & Madagascar, Organic cold pressed Coconut, Almond, Apricot, Pomegranate and Jojoba oils. And it shows on my skin.

My creams are pure and natural with organic ingredients. I don’t use any chemical preservatives or emulsifiers. I use preservatives and emulsifiers that are Ecocert and organic, 100% plant and vegetable based, which is why they don’t have a long shelf life,( 2-3 months max, then you need to pop it into the refrigerator)

Commercial skin care products are loaded with parabens, chemical preservatives, fillers, and chemical emulsifiers. And any claimed actives or plant/fruit extracts are added at less than 1%. And how active can they be, when pickled and preserved with chemicals? I often ask my customers if they’d eat a one-year-old apple!

All these chemicals, when absorbed by the skin, are stored in our lymph glands and imitate our hormones, therefore disrupting our endocrine system.”


“I believe the Ayurveda/Spa space is an already crowded one. There are brands that range from mass to premium offering Ayurvedic, Herbal and Natural skin care solutions.

Besides, if one went by the book on authentic Ayurvedic recipes, sourcing traditional herbs, roots, and taillams organically would amount to a huge challenge, considering the innumerable ingredients in a single traditional Ayurvedic recipe. In addition, traditional Ayurveda is not fragrant. The aromas are strong, earthy and medicinal, and would need to be balanced by even stronger fragrances. And i personally am not thrilled with the metal content in traditional Ayurvedic Recipes”

Power consumers

It’s been two years of The Skin Pantry and the response still astonishes me. There appears to be an increased awareness and healthy demand for natural skin care options. So many new artisanal, small batch brands have launched. It appears the market is moving from power brands to power consumers, where consumers are forcing even big brands to come up with natural alternatives. The organic personal care market in the west is booming and is expected to be worth USD 15.98 billion by 2020. It’s a good time to be in naturals/organics!

Pantry of the Future

“The Skin Pantry has a sizeable range; Face moisturisers for normal, dry, oily and sensitive skin, non soap face washes called Skin Smoothies, Clay Masks for all skin types, face and body scrubs, body moisturisers, skin milk’s, and body butters. I also have a 3-product range of moisturizers for men.

My plans for the future have evolved based on feedback from loyal customers (many of my customers have very sensitive skin, or are acne prone, have eczema or psoriasis. Many are from the medical profession) so there is ongoing R & D.

Looking ahead, the sensitive, mature skin and men’s skin care markets will be a focus, as I believe they are largely untapped segments.”


Peek into the Skin Pantry’s offerings at

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