Chaani Srivastava is a skin enthusiast, & an Intellectual Property Rights and Technology Attorney
Instagram handle : @chaani22
Till the time I hit adulthood, I lived a cocooned life going to the same school from kindergarten to high school, growing up with the same set of friends and experiencing every season and stage of life, but in that exact same bubble of mine. As chuffed and comfortable as I was in my cocoon, it was time to fly the nest and I chose to dive into the deep end, into the savage world of a typical law school. My manifestation of the immense stress came predominantly in the form of a bout of severe and excruciatingly painful cystic acne. All those who resonate with this, would also resonate with what that (seemingly never ending) condition brings along, in addition to the physical pain. Massive loss of self confidence, confusion, dwindling self esteem, hesitation in taking pictures/looking in the mirror and most unfortunately, more stress.
I battled physically and mentally with cystic acne for years on end and it only subsided when I was graduating from law school after five years and two heavy rounds of Isotretinoin in my system spanning over two years. It is only after that, that I realized the importance of going back to where I came from and not let stress take over in a way that it plays havoc with one’s anatomy, inside out.
I grew up in a household that revolved around making our own ubtans, hair masks, scrubs and body polishes. Having known the importance of natural ingredients, I grew even more attuned to what my body needed in my 20s and how it reacted to different ingredients in different seasons and even at different times of the month. I was lucky to have inculcated the discipline of using SPF all my life but I had to be very mindful of experimenting with various enticing products that hit the market. That got me started on reading labels and that’s when my journey with skincare became a treasured one as I fast became disillusioned with most of the products that looked enticing on the outside and could often be labelled as abrasive by anyone who read the label.
What ultimately worked to calm my skin was a regular yoga and meditation routine, a sustainable habit of choosing food that is good for my body, a mix of products with natural ingredients and just an attitude of not taking myself or any situation in life very seriously.Covid-19 humbled us all as a human race and one of the take away for me was the understanding that beauty really is skin deep, literally and figuratively – that it works from the inside out. One of the main ways to keep myself grounded during the total lockdown months was my hand to earth connection, where I grew most of the ingredients that I used to make my own beauty products with. The entire process of growing the herbs, mixing them in various proportions and then indulging in self care, was more important for my inner peace than it was for my outer beauty. I realized that the fact that I took that time out for myself and invested in myself, was the ultimate reward. And just like that, even as we fought the pandemic globally with a lockdown, my skin glowed.
As my journey advanced, I realized that my home concoctions were falling short of some vital ingredients that need processing in a lab, before they can be applied on the skin, for desired results. I am brown and (very!) proud, so I was never into whitening agents, but one of my constant criteria is clear and even skin tone, to smoothen acne scarring and pigmentation. Now in my 30s, I also need hydration for my combination skin and like to feel supple and light. I used luxury Ayurveda products for years that didn’t cause acne but with time they also didn’t add anything to my skin rejuvenation either. I turned to K-beauty products but most of the good ones were either inaccessible (therefore not available for sustainable use) or coming at the cost of a kidney (or two) plus taxes! I knew that I had to incorporate AHAs, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide (Vit B3) in my routine with the ingredients that work best for me – hibiscus, almond oil, tea tree oil and rosehip oil. AND I knew I didn’t want to break the bank or sell my organs to get well researched, cutting edge skincare products that aim at simplifying my regime rather than complicating it. This is in line with my aim for 2021 is to minimize the amount of makeup that I have to use progressively, with the use of minimal products with good natural actives.
I chanced upon T-Box Skincare, which has come into my life with solutions that have far exceeded my expectations by combining my requirements with new ingredients like – Avocado oil that not only gives ace hydration but also reduces damage from free radicals, Gotu Kala Oil that encourages collagen production and in my opinion, are the top ingredient in reducing scarring and keeping the skin taut (total bang for my buck, the Restorative Night Essence!) and Alfa Arbutin that lightens dark spots and evens out pigmentation. All that and much more at prices that are sure to disrupt the skincare market with their aim at sustainable beauty, simple regimens with sophisticated slightly fragranced products (something I’m extremely finicky about as I am allergic to pungent fragrances, that lead to massive bouts of sneezing for me!). I’m looking forward to continuing my treasured journey with many more thoroughly researched products with brand new solutions to all my ever-evolving skincare concerns!