Most of us with terrible skin problems would like to believe that we had ancient fallout with the skin-gods and now are just cursed with a never-to-heal scarred skin. Meet Rahul Kinikar, an entrepreneur and founder of “SkinLuv Cosmeceuticals”. Rahul Kinikar is bringing us efficient products for all our common skincare problems. With a philosophy of “Skincare First”, Rahul Kinikar and his company strives to nurture the skin to its natural and beautiful state without any lasting repercussions. So, welcoming the long-desired ‘hello’ to a clearer skin is easier than ever!
Apart from solving the skincare battles, Rahul Kinikar is also a photographer by interest who finds beauty in the ordinary and has discovered peace of mind in unchartered terrains and travels. We at Storiyaan got to know more about the vision and idea behind “SkinLuv” and more in this interesting interview with Rahul Kinikar.
Rahul Kinikar: Pampering the Skin
Questions and answers
What according to you lays the core of the rampant uninhibited use of steroids in skincare products in India?
Topical Corticosteroids are commonly used by dermatologists for treatment like Melsama, hyper-pigmentation etc.
The core reason behind the inappropriate use of such steroids in skincare products is its easy availability and lack of proper awareness about its harmful side effects among members. They are easily sold as fairness cream by the non-registered practitioner or by users on the advice of a pharmacist at a chemist shop and also by word-of-mouth publicity.
Why do you believe several brands have been able to get away with this overuse of steroids in the skincare and beauty industry and most people remain ignorant of its presence and consequences?
Usually, these products are from Pharma or Dermaceuticals companies which are meant to be supplied on prescription only, but sadly, due to lack of Government control and oversight, selling of these products over the counter has become widely accepted. People do not know or understand the long-term side effects of these harsh ingredients as these are not common knowledge and information about them are not widely available.
“SkinLuv” has two divisions: the Science-based Cosmo-derma and the 100% natural organic range. How do the two branches complement and supplement each other, while also maintaining their aims?
We first started with Cosmo-derma products created using highly effective science-based chemical ingredients and yet these are cruelty-free, completely safe, and free from Parabens and “steroids”. We realized that there is strong need and growth for Organic and Natural Skincare product, so we introduced “SWARNA”, a range of products which is completely made of natural ingredients for a more relevant emphasis on efficacy, sensorial experience and pleasure of usage. The two branches complement each other as they both are efficient skincare range and provide a wider choice for the customers.
How do your products differ from the harmful ones that contain steroids, toxins and Parabens and does that have any impact on the effectiveness of the product at solving targeted skin problems?
All our products are free from Steroids, Parabens & Toxins but there is no impact on effectiveness due to a well-formulated combination. It may take more time to give results as compared to steroids, but steady and slow results are always better in the long run more than short-term results with long-term impacts.
What were the challenges that you had to overcome when you were initially starting your brand and what is the story behind its nomination?
The major challenge we faced like everyone in the world is the Pandemic, we launched in January 2020 and this pandemic hit us in the next few months. But eventually, we succeeded in establishing ourselves and also started scaling up after a few months in operation. We strongly believe in and promote “self-love”, so we came with the idea of “Love Your Skin, Love Yourself” and then came with the brand name of “SkinLuv”. This is the story behind our initiative to bring effective alternatives to harmful skincare products.
What was your research and experimental strategy before launching new products into the market and how does clientele feedback affect you?
We teamed up with a group of Dermatologists. Their medical expertise, knowledge and experience help us in deciding the formulations, ingredients and their efficacy with keeping in mind our philosophy of “skincare first”. We do take customer feedback very seriously; it helps us to keep on improving our products. We have a dedicated customer support team that is consistently looking after customer reviews and concerns.
There are multiple skincare brands these days that offer natural and toxin-free products. What makes “SkinLuv” stand out among these and what has turned out to be your USP?
Our company, “SkinLuv” Cosmeceuticals belongs to the main group, PK Pharmaceuticals which has been in the health and Pharma business since 1981. We use our many years of experience and studies, to offer high-quality skincare products at affordable prices. And also, we have been in online marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart etc for six years, so that helped us in establishing ourselves in the market and create Goodwill for our products.
Travelling seems to play a significant role in your life. How big a role has it played in shaping your perspective and conception of the world around us?
Being a travel and landscape photographer, I do enjoy wandering to unknown places. Travel teaches you how to grow from adversity, you learn how to appreciate your present and it cultivates a growth mindset. “If you want to grow, go to the cutting edge of your competence, which means a temporary loss of security. So, whenever you don’t quite know what you are doing, know that you are growing.” – I do find these words very wise.
We know that travelling is not always a bed of roses, especially on adventure expeditions like hiking and trekking. What has been the most challenging trip for you to date and what were some rookie mistakes that you made?
I was solo travelling to San Francisco to capture a foggy Golden Gate Bridge at dawn time. Luckily I got my dream shot that day but I soon realised my phone was dead as it was already running low on charge. When you are on such trips, you must always charge your phone.
I found myself stuck in the parking place all alone for a good four hours and then, fortunately, found an Indian couple who was kind enough to help me book an Uber and I was able to return to my hotel. This was a learning experience that happened through a very challenging trip.
With the advent of the Black fungus, which has been declared an epidemic in several states, what are some challenges that the pharmaceutical industry might have to face, provided there is already news of a shortage of anti-fungal remedies?
Yes, the shortage is obvious, because the extreme sudden growth of Mucormycosis cases has disrupted the supply chains of remedial drugs like Amphotericin B which were in rare use before the Black fungus outbreak. It is also a complex molecule and the lead time of manufacturing is 25 days. But the production has ramped up and the shortage should ease out slowly.
1. Your favourite product from “SkinLuv” – SkinLuv Pure Skin Lightning AHA Facewash
2. One quality you look for in your employees before hiring them – Commitment
3. One work ethic you stick to despite all problems – Discipline
4. Favourite travel destination – Landour, Uttrakhand
5. Your favourite camera that you have used to date – Fujifilm XT10