ROSE CARDAMOM SOAP
BEAUTY PROJECT (Case Study)
A sustainable fashion brand approached Q3 Healthcare with an idea to launch a range of green skin care products. As per their brands concept, they wanted their products to be natural, vegan, chemical free, environment friendly without any preservatives, artificial colours, synthetic fragrance.
Q3 HEALTHCARES ROLE:
|Project Planning w.r.t. timing & costing
|Making a Prototype- Trial & Error
|Use of essential Oils
|R & D Product Development
|Interaction with Testing Laboratories
|Labelling- Label content
|Documentation/ Data Management
This is how it all started…
Ideation & Concept
Given our senior consultant vast knowledge on formulations & our client’s requirement, we came up with the concept of Handcrafted, chemical free soaps made only with natural ingredients like plants oils, butters, Therapeutic grade essential oil, Lye & natural colourants. Our main goal was achieve a Clean & Green Beauty approach. Clean beauty emphasises more on products which being a non-irritant is actually very moisturizing for the skin. Whereas, Green beauty emphasises on environment friendly, non-toxic & non-polluting products.
As we were approached around Diwali, we picked on the Maharashtrian tradition of Abhyang Snan/ Pahili Anghol on Naraka chaturdashi. As per tradition, at dawn before taking a bath they slather natural perfumed oils on body, followed by application of ‘utna’ or ‘ubtan’ which is a natural scrub made of sandalwood powder and other ayurvedic herbs to scrub, exfoliate and condition the skin. Then, an age old traditional body conditioner made with sandalwood paste, milk/cream, rose water and besan/gram flour before all of it washed by a hot bath. This whole traditional ‘spa’ experience is simply heavenly and luxurious on cold autumn/ winter morning of Diwali. We came up a curation of soaps to replicate that traditional ‘spa’ experience with Rose & Cardamom soap, Ubtan soap & Shampoo Bar. The Handmade Rose soap was infused with cardamom to give it a perfect mixture of luxury & richness for the auspicious day.
Besides coming up with the concept we did detailed research on the type of ingredients and process for soap making. We decided to use traditional cold press method for making soaps, because it helps us retain the nutritive value of all the ingredients used. We used oils to generate lather & for its great moisturizing & nourishing ability. Butters are extremely skin loving and were used them to add a luxurious feel to our soap. Without oils & butter the process of saponification is incomplete.
To gain the therapeutic value and to make our soaps naturally scented we used Essential oils instead of extract. We wanted our soaps to be without artificial colours or fragrances. The use or essential oils was with a purpose to not just better the body but also the mind.
* Cold press method: Cold process soap is made by combining oils and sodium hydroxide lye, which causes a chemical reaction called saponification. In the process, you get to choose the oils, scents, colorants, and any other ingredients.
Based on the project plan a road map was built for Rose Cardamom Soap. Through various meetings, we agreed on the road map, timelines & overall approach to build the business. Each area was discussed & we were made in charge of certain key areas like product development, vendor sourcing, contract manufacturing, Labelling etc.
Processes were set so that each batch manufactured will meet highest quality standards. We also assisted the client with forecasting the production cycle based on their expected sales cycles. We advised the client briefly on financial decisions to ensure that the project fits in their budget.
After finalizing the project plan we worked on sourcing best quality ingredients required for soap making right from the source. We sourced most oils and butters directly from manufacturers that had a tested product. For eg: Coconut oil was procured from Goa, Butters we procured from Ghana etc. We contacted different vendors for other ingredients, tried their samples, procured COA to ensure that we have best quality of ingredients as per required standards.
We also identified packing material vendors for the client to meet their requirements & budgets. We sourced carton manufacturers, shipper manufacturers, etc. as per client requirements.
Making a prototype – Trial & Error
After we acquired all the ingredients, we started making small soap batches (trial batches) with local manufacturer. Initially we made soap without any colourant, but the original soap colour started fading in few days, hence we used natural herbs and extracted the colour from them to give our soaps a colour that would last for a longer period of time.
Every soap made was cured in a natural way. We never used artificial heat to fasten up the soap making process. Our soaps are naturally cured for 3 to 4 weeks.
*Curing: Curing is the process of allowing saponification to complete and for the soap to fully dry and takes about a month.
Once we had our trial batch ready, we gave our soap samples to women of different ages. Since our soap contains all the natural ingredients without any chemicals, it was safe to use the soap samples. We asked them to fill our review form, based on their experience we revised our formulation.
After too many trial and errors we had our formulation ready for a perfect Rose Cardamom soap.
Use of Essential Oils
Essential Oils is extracted from herbs, flowers, and plants, most often through steam distillation. It involves heating the components until a gas is released, then condensing the gas back into a liquid.
In case of Rose & Cardamom Soap, the floral scent of rose essential oil can be uplifting and mood balancing. Rose essential oil is a crucial ingredient in a well-rounded skincare regimen. Rose helps protect the skin by being a strong antibacterial as the oils extracted from the petals of the rose have been found to help control skin texture and balance keratinocyte differentiation. Rose oil is also a potent antioxidant to be a lethal weapon in the fight against bacteria that causes acne. The aroma of cardamom essential oil is uplifting, refreshing, stimulating, and invigorating. It brings feelings of mental clarity and focus, Calms nerves and balances energy, Promotes self-assurance and confidence. Inhaled to combat mental fatigue and exhaustion.
We assisted the client by identifying potential contract manufacturing vendors & personally vetting them to decide on the right vendor. Once we were satisfied with the quality of plant & initial terms were met, we finalized the manufacturing site for production & started trials of different batches; trained their staff with adequate knowledge & proficiency to achieve a high quality Product.
Once all the ingredients were received by the manufacturing plant, we provided them the standard SOP to be followed for each batch. All the safety measure, right from sanitization of work station to equipment, wearing rubber gloves & goggles for personal safety were considered. In process quality checks were done at each and every step of the process. We provided the manufacturing team with the Batch Records Documents wherein all the details from Batch Manufacturing to Batch Packaging were entered, checked, signed by the concerned person and approved by our senior consultant. All the batches of soap were manufactured under the guidance of our team. We assisted the client company in coming up with the content for the packing material that met with standard FDA guidelines.
Testing Laboratories Interaction
For any commercial launch, testing reports of the products are critical. We worked with testing laboratories to identify the reports that we needed to meet certain regulatory requirements. Two soap from each batches were sent for testing. The test parameters and results were as per the compliance of Bureau of Indian Standard.
Data Management/ Documentation
After finalization of recipe we prepared a Master file for Batch manufacturing process,
Preparation of BOM, Protocol before R&D Trial, Compilation of lab test data, Personal Hygiene Presentation, Master Batch Records/ Packing Records. We also maintained a through record of all the documents around ingredients sourced, testing reports, etc right from our first trial batch.
Finally with all our efforts, our first batch of Rose Cardamom Soap was ready for commercial batch after a span of 6 months.
Just Like our Terra tots project, we were able to achieve our key factor: Quality.
Raw materials quality, equipment efficiency, sanitation & hygiene, not to mention the staff knowledge & Proficiency all have a part to play in achieving quality.
We took an initiative & formulated a product, supporting it from scratch to soft launch to commercial launch.