When you think about it, sticking to a skincare regimen is often a leap of faith. It typically takes at least a month to see any results, so who knows if your go-to eye cream is really helping to turn back the clock. But that isn’t the case with Ambari, a just-launched unisex skincare line that actually delivers results in a single night, with the third-party clinical studies to prove it. “I really wanted to make a product for everybody that was wanting to see overnight results,” says Nisha Grewal, founder and CEO of Ambari.
Ambari came about from Grewal’s own skincare journey. “Good things come out of need,” she says. “Like other people who get onto a 10-step skincare routine that promises you results in 30 days, by the time I’d hit 30 days I’d fallen off the wagon and wouldn’t see results because I wasn’t keeping up with regiment. I liked to go to medi spas to get a peel or HydraFacial because I liked seeing instant results. You can see usually see something being done, even with redness after a peel, and then you have a glow and luminosity.” Living in Canada, where products with more than 10% AHA levels can’t be sold, Grewal didn’t have access to the at-home peels and more aggressive skincare products sold in the US. Since she lives in Vancouver just over the border, she set up a mailbox in Washington state, so she could have them sent there and make the 45-minute drive to pick them up.
After seeing the magic of potent exfoliators, Grewal wanted to bring that into people’s homes so that a visit to the derm or spa wasn’t required for that same instant gratification. She also aimed to whittle a skincare routine down to one bottle. “When you are resurfacing skin, you are allowing new skin to come through,” she says. “That was important, especially for people who don’t have a lot of time and don’t want to apply 20 steps on their skin. This is a one stop shop.”
Sticking to their less is more philosophy, Ambari launched with just two products: The Gold Profection22 Mask and The PM Active12 Serum. Essentially a facial in a bottle, the wash-off mask is designed to be used once a week due to its high levels of AHAs, which deliver the same effect as a peel to leave skin glowing and polished. A true triple threat, the serum works to resurface, renew and clarify skin. The serum is so hydrating that it can also replace a moisturizer, making it quite the multitasker. It took a little over two years to develop them, with lots and back and forth with R&D to ensure they can deliver anti-aging, smoothing, resurfacing and plumping overnight.
Grewal’s love for skincare has a deeper history than crossing the border to pick up her illicit merch. Her Indian heritage played an important role in learning about the power and traditions of natural beauty. “In Indian culture we use a lot of adaptogens in cooking as well as for skin ailments and our hair,” she explains. “My mom would make turmeric paste and rub it all over our skin, as well as amla oil hair masks. Growing up, it important for us to take care of our hair and skin, and to do it naturally.” That’s where her inspiration for using adaptogens in Ambari came from.
Ambari is all about juxtaposing ancient ingredients with modern technology. “Mixing the old with the new is very intentional for me,” Grewal says. “If you’re able to make a formula that can have amazing natural ingredients as well as your acids, you’re going to see results that next morning.” Both products feature the brand’s proprietary The Modern Blend, a potent combination of acids, adaptogens and CBD. The resurfacing ingredients include glycolic, malic, tartaric and lactic acids, as well as hyaluronic acid for hydration. Those are balanced with organically-grown broad spectrum CBD, which soothes redness, itching and inflammation, while adaptogens fight free radical damage. A key to the duo’s efficacy is that they’re formulated with a low pH, allowing the high concentration of acids to work better, since a higher pH would neutralize the acids.
Since many people don’t want to give up their retinol, the PM Active12 Serum can be used on alternating nights, but never together. Grewal recommends starting off with the night serum just once or twice a week and applying it to cleansed, dry skin. After waiting a couple of minutes for it to absorb, you can apply a non-active face cream or oil if you need extra moisture, but the serum is so hydrating that it often isn’t needed. “It’s so easy to remember one step and put on one product compared to five,” she says. Be sure to apply an SPF the next morning, as the actives make skin more sensitive to the sun. For the Gold Profection22 Mask, start out by applying it for just five minutes before rinsing it off and then applying moisturizer, and you can work your way up to 15 minutes. Make sure never to use the mask and serum on the same night. For beginners, Grewal suggests sticking to a schedule of the serum on Monday and Wednesday nights and the mask on Saturday nights. “Easing into these products is super important,” she says.
Formulating as cleanly as possible was paramount to Grewal. “The most important thing for us is we want to be as clean as we can without sacrificing results,” she says. “We have actives so we have to have some preservatives, but at a clean percentage level. I wanted to make sure you knew what was going on your skin and that when you flip to the back of box, you know every ingredient.” The elegant packaging was also mindfully and sustainably designed, focusing on recyclable glass that preserves and stabilizes the formulas.
Available exclusively at ambaribeauty.com and Neiman Marcus, they will soon add Bergdorf Goodman as a retail partner. This fall, the collection will expand with new products. In the meantime, get your beauty sleep with the Ambari OGs.