Ashwagandha, the adaptogen, has been a buzzword in the global wellness industry for years. Small wonder then it has found its way into Deepika Padukone’s “self-care”, not skincare, brand 82°E (pronounced 82 East), promoting the goodness of traditional ingredients.
With Priyanka Chopra Jonas' haircare label and Katrina Kaif's makeup offering, it’s interesting to see how Padukone is trying to set herself apart. The idea behind the product curation is to eventually launch products that might become part of your daily self-care rituals (may be hair oils or serums are next). The products are sold exclusively on the brand's website, and the first in line are the Ashwagandha Bounce moisturiser ( ₹2,700 for 50ml) and Patchouli Glow sunscreen drops ( ₹1,800 for 30ml).
The packaging for both products does not mention the ingredients. You get all the details with a description of each ingredient when you visit the mobile version (not on desktop) of their site. Both products are marketed as clean formulations minus parabens, phthalates and sulphates, and are also made in India, making a good case for Indian-made beauty products.
The sunscreen is also reef-safe (sunscreens that do not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, two chemicals known to cause coral bleaching), something an expensive product must offer. You will, however, find synthetic preservatives in the moisturiser; and polyester-7 in the drops, a common microplastic found in sunscreens.
The rest of the ingredients are relatively safer, including niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, squalane and ceramides. I used the moisturiser twice a day as recommended, and followed it up with the drops in the morning—for a week. The promotions for the moisturiser promise instant hydration and a difference in skin texture within seven days of use, something I couldn't wait to test on my dry winter skin (otherwise combination) type. My skin is also acne-prone, so I kept my fingers crossed.
The moisturiser feels light to the touch but it isn’t a formulation that will be instantly absorbed by the skin. It doesn’t make any visible difference to the skin in the first three days, and the least we expect from an expensive moisturiser is to hydrate the skin well enough to reduce the appearance of pores. You will also have to reapply sooner, as my skin started feeling a bit dry within a few hours. However, I did see a bit of a difference after a week. The skin was a bit plumper to touch, and the pores looked mildly better immediately after application, but not for long. No acne yet, so that's a good sign.
The sunscreen drops left a greasy cast on the skin each time I used it, instead of the dewy, nourished shine a good face oil generally gives you. It doesn’t smell that good and feels like a formula that will make your skin greasier during more humid and hot months. I tried it under makeup to create a glowy base, where it fared okay.
For the price and the name behind the brand, I expected a lot more from both products. Hopefully, the actor is taking notes and the next product launches will match the high buzz around the brand.