Lines inspired by different cultures always intrigue me.
But many times, these lines are created by those who may not have a direct connection to the culture.
While that doesn’t lessen the beauty of a line or the thoughtfulness of the founder, I’m more deeply drawn to authenticity in creation. That’s why Shrankhla Holecek and her Ayurvedic line, Uma, catch my attention in this crowded market.
Raised in India, Shrankhla was immersed the cultural traditions of Ayurveda and holistic medicine. You don’t get more authentic than that.
When she moved to the States for business school, she found herself surrounded by misappropriations of Ayurvedic traditions. To counter this, she launched her own line of products that embody her family’s heritage and the time-honored traditions of Ayurveda.
Today, Shrankhla shares both her must-have Ayurvedic ingredients as well as her favorite packaged green beauty products.
She’s a true example of someone who knows how to balance everything this wonderful explosion of green beauty offers while remaining true to the simple staples that work.
At peril of being labeled a FOB (fresh-off-the-boat) Indian, I need to start with three key Ayurvedic ingredients in my beauty arsenal that I simply cannot live without
I absolutely love honey — both in homemade face masks, as well as a super-powerful yet gentle cleanser. It’s highly antibacterial and great for unclogging pores without the side effects (such as drying) that most chemical face washes can have. It is also a great scar-fading agent.
Turmeric is up next for its healing, anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial properties. Much loved in Ayurveda for its external (and internal) “repair” properties, I think turmeric doesn’t get used here nearly enough!
Finally, aloe vera is an excellent addition to your skincare regimen, and can be eaten or applied topically as a skin-calming paste. These ingredients can be found relatively easily at your local (organic!) grocer, and I recommend you try them immediately.
When it comes to store-bought product indulgences, here are a few of my faves:
I love the buildable coverage and how easy it is to apply! I’m usually on the go, and it only takes a few moments to swipe on and blend for a natural finish. The aloe vera in the formula also leaves my skin more hydrated each time I use it.
This oil is my night time skin saver – it’s a rich but lightweight Ayurvedic formula, and loaded with essential oils of frankincense and sandalwood for faster cell turnover. It leaves my skin looking and feeling renewed each morning, and is especially helpful for fading pesky scarring and hyperpigmentation for an even skin tone.
This multipurpose lip and cheek tint leaves a subtle tinge of color — perfect for every day, when I want a natural glow without looking too made up. I dab a bit on the apples of my cheeks for a subtle, dewy look.
It’s not just a sunscreen. This moisturizing primer nourishes my skin and gives it an even texture without greasy residue. Not to mention, it keeps my makeup in place all day long!
This lightweight shampoo is perfect for summer — it infuses my hair with the right amount of moisture and nutrition without weighing it down. My hair feels bouncier every time I use it, and an added bonus is that it’s perfect for color-treated hair.
The strawberry enzymes in this cleanser leave my skin brighter with every use. I love to leave it on for an extra five minutes a few times a week for even deeper effects. The natural strawberry scent is divine, so be warned: once you apply, you may never want to rinse off.
I don’t always get enough sleep, so when I’m ready to turn in, I want the most restful night I can get. Pure Rest is packed with potent herbs in an Ayurvedic formulation that rivals traditional sleeping aids for a deep and uninterrupted sleep that helps me restore myself physically and mentally every night.
This rapidly absorbing hair oil is perfect for dry or damaged hair. It moisturizes deeply without leaving hair greasy. With ingredients like lychee, sandalwood, and bergamot, I can’t get enough of the scent!
My skin is at its silkiest after I exfoliate, and these resurfacing grains strike the perfect balance between gentle and effective. My skin feels clean and smooth after each use, and it gets rid of every last trace of dead skin and leftover makeup.
This Ayurvedic toner (and astringent!) is alcohol-free and non-drying, so it’s perfect for restoring your skin’s balance after cleansing. My favorite brand is an Indian brand called Gulabari, but find an ethically sourced local one and you’ll be impressed with what this can do! Thayer’s Aloe Vera Toner in Rose Petal is another alternative.