Growing up with age-old wisdom has its benefits. The Founder of Taïla Skincare, Shadoh Punnapuzha, is proving that when you combine the power of Ayurveda and science, you get divine results. I set my eyes on Shadoh’s line of products at New York’s Indie Beauty Expo. Taïla’s harmonious booth beautifully displayed products in a comfortable setting, offering visitors tea, a place to take a breather and a display of botanical touches. It is where the brand launched and showed, what can only be described as pure beauty, to buyers, editors and the public. This skincare line consists of a cleanser, mist, facial oil, mask and an eye cream. All of these heavenly botanical creations are made in the USA. Imagine if your favorite luxury skincare line used zero shortcuts to get you the healing power of skincare you deserve. That’s Taïla.
Shadoh and I discuss the brand’s beginnings, philosophy and the beauty industry.
What was it that nudged you to change career paths and launch a skincare brand?
I grew up in a household where the botanical science of Ayurveda was ingrained in me. My parents both being from Kerala, India and my father having a background in Botany, always taught us the value of nature. Not valuing the importance of Ayurveda in my everyday life, I was more drawn to products with the fancy packaging that I saw in Glamour and InStyle magazine. Later on, while I was in the midst of my career in private equity finance when I suddenly experienced in my early 30’s an onset of cystic acne, eczema on my eyelids and hives (something I never experienced before). When I went to my dermatologist, he was able to pinpoint that it was a reaction to the sulfates and synthetic preservatives in my skincare. Not versed in reading ingredient labels, I was scared to try anything else. So I called my father and he suggested some remedies which is what led to the creation of our Prana Face Oil. This is what healed me. I was amazed by the therapeutic powers of ayurvedic ingredients and I set out to India to learn more so I can share this ancient wisdom with others. It was a scary move leaving something I worked and set up myself for over 15 years and stepping into unchartered territories.
What was the extent of your research on ingredients? Have you studied with an herbalist in order to source your ingredients or was your father and Ayurvedic medicine your teacher?
It’s a combination of things. I certainly leveraged the knowledge of my father along with a team of Ayurvedic doctors in India to be able to find ingredients that are the most effective and have had tried and true results.
Where do you source your materials and what were some of the challenges you faced?
Our ingredients are sourced from all throughout the world. We source only organic and wildcrafted ingredients from sustainable sources. The pricing proves to be the biggest challenge, as we choose high quality and rare ingredients. This is something that directly affects our cost, but for me it’s never worth it to scrounge on ingredients because good quality ingredients have potent healing energies resulting in effective results.
How has your life changed since you launched your business?
It is nonstop. You live breathe and sleep for your business. However, I love it. I love every moment of it. I get energized from it. There is a never a day for me where I am not excited to go into work.
What would you like your consumer to know about your brand?
Taïla unites the time-honored wisdom of Ayurveda with modern technology to create a collection that delivers maximum performance. These complex formulas allow for the innovation of multi-tasking products to simplify your routine. Most of us may not have time or the interest in a routine that is intensive in time. Everything is well considered, every ingredient chosen, every product designed, every word used, every color selected, has a purpose.
What makes your brand different from other skincare brands?
Ayurveda is an ancient form of herbal medicine that has lasted over thousands of years and is still used today throughout the world because of its efficacy. We wanted to take that knowledge that has been tried and true and incorporate it into our collection to share its incredible benefits.
What are some aspects of the beauty industry that need improving and which parts do you enjoy the most?
Considering my personal experience suffering from synthetic chemicals, it is really frustrating to see so many products containing synthetic ingredients that are known irritants, carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. It is important to continue to build awareness in this space.
I really find myself enjoying being a part of this wellness movement that has provided a platform to share and educate consumers on just how effective natural skincare can be.
What do you foresee happening in the beauty and wellness industry in the next ten years?
There is a revolution taking place in the natural realm. People are more aware of what they put in and, on their bodies, and the consequences of synthetic chemicals. As a result, the demand for natural products will increase. This message is becoming more widespread and will result in growth in the beauty and wellness industry which I find very exciting since it is a shift in the positive direction for our society.