Meet Our Makers Series: Bindita
Meet Our Makers Series: Bindita, Director of R&D and Chief Brain
Bindita is our Director of Research and Development — the one who formulates our products, sources our ingredients, and ensures everything we make is effective, safe, and up to our standards and values. Super smart and quiet, Bindita infuses everything we make with innovation and beauty. I sat down with Bindita to talk about what brought her to EO Products and what motivates her. This is our chat.
Brad: How are ya?
Bindita: Good, how are you?
Brad: I’m good. Thank you, you know, you’ve been highly requested. People really want to know your story. Let’s start with when you realized you wanted to be a chemist?
Bindita: It kind of fell into place as an opportunity to try something new. I was working as an environmental scientist for a few years and when I moved to the US, I was looking for a job in the same field. There were not a lot of opportunities and I was open to try a new field. I came across an opportunity as a cosmetic scientist, so I decided to give that a try. I applied for the job, got it, and I loved it. It was within the first few days that I knew this is what I really wanted to do.
Brad: What did you study in school?
Bindita: I studied chemistry for graduation and post-graduation. And then I went over to environmental chemistry for my doctorate.
Brad: Can you talk about some of the things that really resonate with you about this work?
Bindita: I love all the ingredients and how they go together. There is no limit to what you can create. I love the endless possibilities.
Brad: From which standpoint? Ingredients? Processing? Functionality?
Bindita: Ingredients and function, different combinations. It’s all very interesting. As the raw material ingredient market grows more in the natural field, there are more and more options from sources that we never imagined an ingredient can come from.
Brad: How difficult is it to work with natural, organic ingredients?
Bindita: It is a lot more difficult. But, the alternative is unacceptable. So, it’s just part of the challenge we face.
Brad: Can you talk a little bit about how it’s more difficult?
Bindita: Well, a very simple example is using carbomer when making a lotion. Carbomer is like a soft plastic that works like the backbone of a lotion. Then you add minimal ingredients to fluff it up.
So, if you don’t have that backbone in place, you have a lot of structural building to do. We don’t use those shortcut ingredients, so, a lot more goes into our products in terms of ingredients, cost, and processing. Everything becomes more difficult.
Brad: Why would someone choose the carbomer?
Bindita: You only need a very small amount of it, so it’s easier to work with and much cheaper.
Brad: Because it’s designed to do a specific job that’s not found in nature, right?
Bindita: That is true.
Brad: How hard is it to find ingredients non-GMO or certified organic ingredients that perform the way you want?
Bindita: It is difficult, but it’s getting easier as time goes by. The demand is getting bigger and the market is responding.
Brad: What are the opportunities for providing ingredients to a company like ours
Bindita: I think the biggest opportunity might be in providing authentic plant extracts that actually have enough active material to be representative of the plant and are not watered down.
Brad: Why isn’t that happening now?
Bindita: Cost. If people can sell you water, they’ll sell you water.
Brad: The dollar really drives a lot, doesn’t it?
Bindita: It does. The same is true for synthetic fragrance. They’re very strong, so you use less of them, making them very cheap. On the down side, there is a higher chance of having an allergic reaction to synthetic fragrance. Also, most of them contain phthalate components, which are hormone disruptors. Those phthalates are what makes a fragrance last for a long time.
Brad: What’s one of your favorite essential oils?
Bindita: It’s very mood dependent, but I tend to like the more camphorous and woodsy scents. I love cedarwood. I love frankincense and marjoram, too.
Brad: Was there a scent that you grew up with that reminds you of home or childhood
Bindita: Jasmine reminds me of summers. Tea tree reminds me of my grandmother’s house, I’m not sure why.
Brad: What about your favorite product?
Bindita: Ageless Moisturizer.
Brad: Yeah, that is a beautiful product.
Bindita: That was the one product I was always looking for but could never find. It was so satisfying to be able to make a dream product.
Brad: You helped make hair products for me when I started growing my hair long.
Bindita: I remember that, that was a long time ago!
Brad: I think the gel was the first thing you made me.
Bindita: Yes, that’s how the Everyone Style gel was born, then the [Tame] cream came after that.
Brad: The cream was kind of a product hack when I combined the gel with conditioner. Have the recipes changed from those days?
Bindita: No, they’re the same products.
Brad: How many years has it been for you?
Bindita: Nine and a half.
Brad: We’ve all changed a lot.
Bindita: We have. I think the authenticity is something that’s very unique to us, and that hasn’t changed. We have transparency, we don’t have label lies, we know exactly what’s going into our products and we have control over that. That’s something that not many people in our industry can say.
Brad: And we struggle too.
Bindita: And we struggle too, and that’s okay.
Brad: Beautiful, thank you. It’s been a wonderful nine and a half years.
Bindita: It has been. It’s been great to be here and just watch the evolution. And to be a part of the evolution, so thank you.
First job: Managing the front desk at a clinic when I was 18. My aunt suggested that job for me because I was very quiet and she thought that job would get me to open up. It’s kind of worked. I couldn’t believe it, but I actually loved it.
Favorite beverage: Herbal Tea. I love chamomile, rooibos, and hibiscus.
Childhood: We moved around a lot. I was born in Ohio, I lived there for a few years. Then, I spent some time in Saudi Arabia and a lot of time in India.
Music: Also very mood-dependent, but mostly I listen to R&B and Bollywood.
Days off: I love the outdoors. I like to hike and explore new places. I do some cooking. I have a little container garden, so I fuss over that.