Ghlee Beauty Blends Ancient Traditions with Modern Skincare

Sibling founders Varun and Arati Sharma are turning ghee into gold. With ghee as their guiding star, Ghlee Beauty sets out to create an innovative and effective line of lip care products. S/ caught up with Varun and Arati, as they unveil their fascinating expedition of blending time-honored remedies with modern formulations, showcasing the remarkable benefits of ghee. As they pave the way for the global embrace of South Asian beauty traditions, Ghlee Beauty stands proudly as a testament to the enduring allure of ancestral wisdom in today’s ever-evolving beauty landscape.

Your brand brings a modern and innovative approach to South Asian skincare. How do you strike a balance between traditional remedies and incorporating modern elements to your products?

Varun Sharma: “We initially created Ghlee for ourselves–young South Asians in the diaspora that wanted to use the power of ghee, in a convenient and effective way. Growing up with extremely chapped lips, our mother would always tell us to use ghee. It wasn’t until we were older and tried it that we found it to be the most soothing and hydrating treatment we’d encountered. 

At Ghlee we’re bringing ancient traditions into the modern world, and we don’t ignore the innovation that’s happened in the skincare and beauty industry. With our first line of lip care products, it took us a while to find a lab and a chemist that were willing to experiment with ghee. Through that process we found the right ingredients that pair with ghee to be effective ointments for lip ailments, like overly chapped, sun-damaged, and the list goes on. Olive squalane, Kahai Oil, Vitamin E, and other ingredients supercharge our ghee, and we don’t shy away from using the right pairings for efficacy.”

What sets ghee apart from other ingredients commonly used in lip care products? And what are the health benefits of ghee?

Varun: “Ghee has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, from being prescribed as a cooling food that lowers the body’s temperature and digestive aid, to topical remedies for burns and a moisturizer for skin and hair. Because ghee is rich in healthy fatty acids like Omega-3, 6, and 9, and contains Vitamin A, D, E, and K, ghee nourishes skin, locks in hydration,  and leaves in supple to the touch. What makes ghee unique is that it has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it perfect for Ghlee’s  lip care products.”

South Asian skincare practices are gaining popularity globally. How do you see your brand contributing to the representation and appreciation of South Asian beauty traditions on a broader scale?

Arati Sharma: “‘Rising tides raise all boats’, and we’re thrilled to see so many South Asian beauty and skincare practices (and brands) growing in popularity. Similar to yoga, meditation and mindfulness, and foods like turmeric, eastern practices have always gained popularity in the west. But it’s important for us that the people and culture that have been using these practices for centuries are represented as well. 

As the first brand to use ghee in skincare, and as South Asian founders, we wanted to ensure Ghlee is a platform for South Asian faces and experts. There’s no reason South Asians shouldn’t be behind businesses that leverage our traditions and remedies.”

What are your future plans and aspirations for Ghlee Beauty? Are there any upcoming products or innovations in the works?

Arati: “We are an incredibly intentional team that wants to put out the best and most effective ointment products, where ghee will be the best remedy for your targeted needs. Ghee is an ointment that can be most universally used on dry, chapped lips, and that’s why we launched our lip care line first. In the skincare and beauty industry, it seems like there is a new brand being launched everyday, usually using white labeled products. Because we develop our formulations from scratch and are the first to leverage ghee, our R&D process is intentional and we take the time it needs to develop the right solution for every skincare aliment.”

Varun“As for the future, we’ve been in product innovation for two years now on other topical uses for ghee, and will be launching more products in the fall for other areas of the body and hair where ghee is best.”

Photography by Outset LA and Sophie Sahara courtesy of Ghlee Beauty.