Global Icon Deepika Padukone Reveals The Inner-workings of Skincare and Self-Care


On the outside, it seems like an ideal world for actor and entrepreneur Deepika Padukone. What is it that the Pathan actor doesn’t have on her long list of achievements–a global icon, star par excellence, face of a global luxury brand, and an entrepreneur–at 37, Padukone has ticked all the boxes we may think of in our fantasy world. However, once you listen to her talk, you may be proved otherwise! She’s not done yet and her plans include surprising her audience, pleasantly though.

It was my second time meeting with Padukone after the launch of her self-care brand 82°E, this time to celebrate its glorious one year in the industry. While I was prepared with a long list of questions, Padukone was at ease, with a sense of pride at the enormous growth the brand has made in the last year. “The brand is rooted in India, but it’s for the world. I think all of that comes from being Indian and owning who I am,” she says as we start talking about the journey that 82°E’s first year was.

ELLE: Congratulations, Deepika 82°E completes one year…


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Deepika Padukone (DP): I think this journey turned out to be way more than what I’d anticipated. We launched in November last year, but we worked on it for almost two years before the launch. That was a learning journey for me because I’ve endorsed brands and had companies that approached me to start a brand with their support but we decided to do this ground up ourselves. One may have an idea and a vision, but the quantum of work is a lot more once it gets into execution. That’s where the journey begins–from product formulation and ingredients to clinical testing and packaging.

Often, I am asked this question, ‘there are many celebrity brands, so how is 82°E different?’ The difference lies in my involvement; the fact that I am the first one to try every product and give my feedback even before it goes for clinical testing while simultaneously working with the marketing team on how to market each product. I am involved in the day-to-day creative that goes out. While we market each product, we continuously continue to talk about self-care, because that is our overarching narrative. There is a lot of work and I’m someone who has always been extremely involved.

To see our community embrace our self-care narrative and to see that more than 50% of our consumers are repeat customers. So all of that is extremely gratifying and it gives us the energy to wake up every morning and do what we do.

ELLE: While you try to do everything to perfection, is there any one aspect that you enjoy the most?

DP: Many elements go into the making of a brand. Yes, there are aspects of it that I’m more familiar with–anything that is slightly more creative and on the marketing side comes naturally to me. Having said that, learning about warehousing, raw materials, supply chain, and transportation is fascinating too. Let me explain this, if I like a bottle, it’s not just that it looks good. Once I approve it, it goes into a leak test for final approval. To answer your question, I don’t think there’s one aspect of it that I enjoy more than the other but everything needs to work optimally for us to be able to put out the kind of products that we do.

ELLE: How difficult is it to be a beauty entrepreneur in current times?


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DP: I don’t think it’s difficult as long as you are honest and authentic about what you have to say in this already crowded space. You have to keep your eyes and ears open for what is happening around you, not just domestically, but also internationally. What helps is observing what other brands have done right and what some of them have done wrong, and implementing that in your journey.

My profession has taken me places and has given me the exposure that I can use for the brand and every single product we formulate. I was always confused about whether I should invest in a brand based on Ayurveda or one that is backed by science. Therefore, with 82°E, we found a way to marry these two and put it in a single bottle without compromising on the efficacy and performance of a product.

ELLE: Does it bother you that the buyers of 82°E can (maybe) just be your loyal fans?

DP: We’ve been defying that at two levels–one is the repeat consumer rate and the second is our net product score. On average, our repeat consumers are at 50% which is much higher according to the industry standards. And then, a CSAT score, which is just product-specific, that averages around 4.3-4.-4 out of 5 which means that our products are loved and efficacious. Skincare is a sensitive subject and if people are buying the products only because of their love for me, they would probably come back one more time. Skincare is unforgiving and no one’s going to compromise on their skin because they love you. The fact that we’re here a year later having this conversation is a testament to the quality and the performance of our products.

ELLE: Do product reviews, like your films, bother you or do they push you to see what’s wrong?

DP: Over time you realise what feedback one should ignore or take. We take genuine feedback and concerns seriously. That explains why we launched mini sizes because people found it difficult to travel with full-size products. It took us a year to develop it without compromising on the high performance and the efficacy. It also makes it accessible. We did it because we listen to our consumers. However, we now also understand that even within the negative feedback, which ones to take up. Of course, there is enough riffraff that we’re mature enough to understand where to draw the line.

ELLE: You’re constantly in front of the camera and frequently travelling. Do you switch your skincare routine?

DP: I fall in the normal to dry skin category. In winter, I still want the protection but I also that extra level of hydration. Now, from using Turmeric Shield, I will switch to Patchouli Glow. At night, I switch from using Ashwagandha Bounce to Bakuchiol Slip, which I also carry with me when I travel. You have a base skin type, but then it evolves and changes depending on the environment, seasons, pollution, hydration, nutrition, sleep, and exercise. Let’s not fool ourselves and think that one cream is going to do all the magic. That’s why we are a self-care brand and talk about the benefits of a holistic lifestyle that complements high-performing skincare products.


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ELLE: When it comes to unwinding and relaxing after a long day, what is your idea like?

DP: My skincare routine is one of my most important self-care rituals; no matter how exhausted I am, that’s the one thing I do. But other than that, I think just sitting at the table, having dinner with my husband, listening to music, meditation and watching something–allows me to switch off from the day and be transported for a couple of hours into a different world.

ELLE: What next for 82°E?


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DP: A lot more is coming! We’re looking at offline presence and also at global presence. Of course, we’ll be doing more of what we’re already doing, and looking at expanding into other categories.

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