HZ Women Of The Month: Meet Kanika Talwar Who Is Improving Skincare With Science

HZ Women Of The Month: Meet Kanika Talwar Who Is Improving Skincare With Science
Style, Beauty
Feb 2023

Skincare has become a part of our everyday routines. More and more people, irrespective of their gender, are getting into it to ensure their skin is healthy and radiates a natural glow, but we often find ourselves confused about which product to pick.

We have seen our screens bombarded with brands claiming that their products are 100% natural and chemical-free. While certain harsh chemicals are bad for our skin, there are some which are actually good and can benefit the dermal layer immensely.

On February 16, Kanika Talwar, Founder and CEO at CosIQ joined us for our ongoing series, HZ Women of the Month, where we discussed the concept of scientifically-backed skincare products.

Talwar claimed her brand does not advertise products as chemical-free, instead, they list every ingredient at the back of the label to ensure transparency. She said that while brands may say that their products are free from chemicals, their labels would tell you that it's not true.

The entrepreneur mentioned that if a product has a soothing fragrance, it cannot be possible without adding chemicals. While sulphates, parabens and mineral oils are bad, chemicals like salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and niacinamide among others are essential for the skin if used in moderation.


For example, brands claiming 80% or 90% vitamin C are luring customers to buy their products to get maximum benefits. However, Talwar told us that this concentration of the chemical would ultimately cause a burning-sensation on the skin and lead to redness and inflammation.

Affordable, Scientifically-Proven and Result-Oriented Products

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Talwar started CosIQ in June 2021 when she saw a boom in organic and natural products but an "absence of a molecular skincare brand." She wants to create a brand that would offer its clientele affordable, scientifically-proven and result-oriented products.

"There were many skincare products available in the market, but none of them was meeting the exact needs of consumers and giving them respite from skin issues," she added.

Talwar had worked with a few skincare manufacturing units that made her realise the need for "clinically and chemically formulated skincare products." She also felt that transparency was also missing on the labels. Hence, CosIQ was born.

'Natural & Organic Are Just Buzzwords'

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These days, we see many skincare brands selling 'organic' skincare products containing natural elements like aloe vera, turmeric, and ashwagandha. Talwar referred to 'natural and organic' as mere buzzwords.

She added that whatever exists in nature is a chemical component. "Water is H2O and salt is NaCl." Similarly, each natural element has a chemical formula. However, these natural products alone cannot add benefits to our skin, therefore, we need chemicals that can provide us with better results.

For example, Talwar said when we use something like a walnut scrub, the tiny particles can scratch our skin and cause redness or inflammation. However, with a chemical peel, one has to apply it for 10 minutes and rinse it off. It would work to help you get rid of blackheads and dead skin cells without having you rub your face rigorously.

Sunscreens & Their Usages

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Talwar suggested picking sunscreen according to one's exposure to sunlight. For example, an SPF 50 would work for someone who spends their day out in the sun. SPF 30 would work for someone who works in the office, and SPF 15 or 20 for people who mostly stay at home.

When picking skincare products, it usually depends on one's personal choice and skin type. Talwar emphasised that a person must not get into skincare without knowing their skin type, or else, the products can do more harm than good. For example, if one uses products for dry skin on oily skin, it could lead to breakouts and other issues.

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Skincare Routine

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Talwar said that a skincare routine is a personal choice. However, she advised us to pick a good face cleanser instead of a face wash. She told us the more foamy a face wash is, the more amount of sulphate it would contain.

After cleansing, you need a toner free from alcohol. After that, you should apply a moisturiser, then serum depending on your skin requirements. For example, vitamin A or retinol serum is good for fine lines, wrinkles, acne and breakouts. Vitamin C is essential for the glow. It also works well with pigmentation and dark spots much like niacinamide. Top it up with sunscreen.

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The entrepreneur also suggested doing a patch test for every product before applying it all over the face. It can help one understand if they should add it to their skincare routine.

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