Chemnist: Body Butter for Every Skin Type
Chemnist is a local Canadian body care brand that specializes in Body Butter Melts products. We sat down with Nisprih, Founder of Chemnist, to learn more about the multi-cultural dimension of the brand.
Midori: Please tell us about yourself!
Nisprih: I’m Nisprih (pronounced Nis-pree), Founder of Chemnist. Born and raised in Canada, I grew up surrounded by a mix of cultures. With Guyanese parents and Indian roots, my cultural identity is a tie-dye masterpiece. I grew up in a household that respects different religions and encourages me to learn all that I can about the history, science, and philosophy behind cultural traditions. I’m at home in any South Asian venue, no matter the religious association.
Bridging the worlds of culture, science, and wellness, I’ve always been a skincare enthusiast. I love digging into the story brands want to tell with their products and testing those that are backed by proven formulas and generational learnings.
Midori: What was wrong with the skincare you were using before?
Nisprih: The inspiration for Chemnist came from two places. Firstly, being enamoured with the scents of my Indian home. Imagine the scent of kheer being cooked on the stove, bukhoor and incense wafting through the corridors, jasmine filling the evening air outside, and not being able to share that once I left my home. It was a matter of accessibility and exposure in North America and I knew I wanted to be someone to close that gap.
Secondly, sustainable and cruelty-free products were a must for me, but I was having a harder and harder time finding products that fulfilled all my requirements. I wanted a product that I could safely use on eczema prone, dry, and hyperpigmented skin. Those were my own requirements, but I quickly learned that there were others out there - mothers, caregivers, elders - who had the same set of needs. Clean, cruelty-free body care.
We’re seeing more commercial brands make the switch to more natural ingredients, which I applaud and look forward to. However, in a lot of cases, it’s misleading marketing or a half-hearted attempt to jump on the “clean beauty” bandwagon. Natural ingredients and sustainable packaging can be expensive and for a lot of these brands, their bottom line is their driving force. What that means is they can use a paintbrush approach and try to serve the majority of the market, without a focus on specific skin concerns or cultural significance.
Midori: What are the benefits for using organic/natural skin care products from brands such as Chemnist?
Nisprih: We went through formula after formula to get things just perfect for launch. At the outset, I knew for certain that I did not want a water-based product. Water based products require preservatives and I wanted our signature product, Body Butter Melts, to remove the superfluous and only keep what was necessary. That’s why cocoa butter, shea butter, almond oil, and coconut oil are the base ingredients. They’re tried and true, all natural, and rarely cause allergic reactions (aside from those with nut allergies). We also source our ingredients from reputable wholesalers in Canada to ensure quality control is conducted prior to our own processes and supply chain operations run smoothly. Body Butter Melts are pure in their make and mission. Raw ingredients are tested using state-of-the-art gas chromatography to verify the purity and potency. They’re ultra refined and of course cruelty-free. From a packaging standpoint, we didn’t cut any corners either. Chemnist ensures everything is recyclable, reusable or compostable.
We hope that as more small businesses push transparency and sustainability, larger brands follow suit. Being mindful of what products you use is important, but understanding the marketing behind certain aspects is key. The consumer is no longer only laser-focused on how a product makes their skin feel or look. People are considering the ingredients, reading labels, and thinking about how particular products impact their overall health and environment. More strict regulation around mis-leading advertising needs to happen, but we’re seeing trends in that direction. I envision a day where “green beauty” isn’t just a tag commercial brands use, but rather a set of guiding principles they don’t stray from when creating something new or revamping a product for consumers.
Beyond regulation, I challenge consumers to do their research and hold true to their values for natural products. In the long run, it’s a worthwhile investment to shop from a small business that can guarantee quality products rather than visiting a drugstore and picking up a less expensive, mass-produced product that could be shielding some harmful ingredients from you.
Midori: What's the main advice you would give to someone who struggles with sensitive skin issues?
Nisprih: As dramatic as it sounds, someone who has sensitive skin can feel like they’re in their own personal prison. It’s a type of frustration that other people probably won’t see, but the discomfort and in some cases physical appearance can drastically affect your self-confidence.
I speak from personal experience. I tried what felt like every product on the market to address my eczema, to no avail. What ended helping was stripping things back to single ingredient concoctions and treating things herbally. Ayurvedic recipes became a passion of mine and eventually the foundation for Chemnist’s formulations. All purpose favourites like coconut oil, turmeric, and peppermint became staples on my beauty shelf.
For anyone dealing with the same skin sensitivities and conditions, I’d want to first reassure you that treatment is out there and it’s not complicated at all. Less is more. Reduce your skin care routine to only a handful of products, with only a handful of ingredients. Find yourself products with ingredients you can recognize and pronounce. We published an article on the Chemnist blog, Lab Notes, that goes into much more detail regarding reading ingredient labels - what are good signs and what you should stay away from.
This is also where a service like Midori’s can be life-changing. Browsing and comparing products is a key part of online shopping. We all have an idea of the criteria a product should fulfill before we purchase, including the types of ingredients. But what happens when creatively-worded marketing clouds reality? Midori allows users to see at a glance the most suitable product for them based on a science-backed rating scale. It can help you save time and money on trial-and-error research. Find the products that meet your needs quickly, omit the ones that have harmful ingredients and watch your skin and wellness flourish.
Please go follow Chemnist on Instagram or get in touch with Nisprih here!