Tag Archives: #skincare

The Holi Edit for Skin & Hair

Holi is a popular ancient Indian festival celebrating the onset of spring, the celebration of positivity, and the triumph of goodness. Over time this festival has garnered a lot of popularity and is now celebrated in many places across the globe.

Many of us look forward to Holi, the festival of colors, with both pomp and gaiety. With these quick and easy ancient home remedies, you’ll be confident in your pre and post-Holi skincare regime.

Do it Right

“Pre-Holi we advise prepping your skin. Face oils or sheet masks offer your skin ample moisturization and hydration. Sandalwood oil, Rosehip seed oil, and Coconut oil are excellent to improve skin elasticity, while sheet masks work great for oily skin. This can also be done post Holi. Additionally, dab a damp cotton ball in freshly squeezed lemon juice and apply all over your face and wash off once dry. A sunscreen with a good SPF is always a must,” say Tanushree Ishaani D and Pooja Karegoudar, Founders, BodyCafé.

Do It Yourself

The biggest challenge post-Holi is removing the color stains and dryness. Splash your face with a lot of cold water and apply cleansing milk to remove excess colors. Follow it up with a gentle facial massage with some coconut oil, allowing it to sit on your face for a little while and wash off with a mild foaming face wash. Those with acne-prone or oily skin can substitute oil with aloe vera gel.

“We do not advise exfoliating or using scrubs on the face as it can aggravate any damage or skin irritation,” warn Ishaani & Karegoudar. “Although we do not recommend scrubs for the face, mild homemade scrubs on the body helps remove colors easily.  Natural Ubtans (homemade packs) help nourish skin from within and regain its PH balance and radiance.”

“Mix 2 tablespoons of turmeric, lemon juice, honey, and curd and apply on face and body. Another Ubtan option is applying a paste of lemon juice, ripe papaya, and a spoonful of milk powder. Ideally, packs must be kept on for at least 20-25 minutes and rinsed off with cold water. Apply generous amounts of lotion or body butter on the entire body to restore depleted moisture and nourishment,” advise Ishaani & Karegoudar.

At The Tribe Concepts, founder Amritha Gaddam suggests, “An important part while making a DIY face pack is to understand what your skin needs. Choose the ingredients that offer benefits to your skin type and know your allergies. If your skin type is dry, use hydrating ingredients like rose and aloe vera whereas if your skin type is oily, stick with ingredients like Fuller’s Earth to make the best DIY mask.”

Anita Golani of iORA

Mane Bane

One of the most common complaints is excessive hair loss after Holi.  The itching in the scalp is caused due to color debris and harsh chemicals present in the colors.

Anita Golani, Founder, iORA, a DIY Salon Kit Series explains, “Oiling your hair is a must. Make sure you generously oil your hair with coconut oil or any oil of your liking.” The main aim is to let the oil seep into your hair roots to prevent scalp allergies or damage.

“Use a leave-in conditioner or nourishing hair serum if oiling seems too much for you. Be a fashionista and wrap a bandana over your hair. You will not only look cool but also prevent the color from directly touching your hair. Going for a deep conditioning session both before and after Holi celebrations is a pretty good idea too. Wash your hair immediately after coming home post-Holi with a herbal or organic shampoo. Be thorough and make sure to take your time to wash your hair properly to remove all the residual color settled on your scalp. Cut your split ends off if you have any. The dry Holi colors tend to intensify frizziness.”

The mantra is simple – use natural products and masks for your hair and skin care. “So, pre-Holi, you can make a simple yet super nourishing hair mask by combining egg yolks, lemon juice, yogurt, amla powder, and coconut oil. Leave it for at least 40 mins. Almond oil is a great additive in place of coconut oil as it helps the colors to get off easily post-Holi,” adds Golani.

Radhika Iyer Talati of Beauty by Anahata

Take Care

The ears are prone to get infected with colored water and since the structure of the ears is a little complicated, it becomes difficult to remove residue from them. “It is important that you protect your ears by covering them with a small cotton ball. This will help keep your ears safe from any water or color entering them. The eyes must be specifically protected during Holi. I will strongly recommend that you sprinkle a few drops of rose water inside your eyes. Place a cotton pad soaked with some more rose water over your eyes and after five to ten minutes, wash your eyes with normal water and you are good to go. Rosewater is a natural coolant and its application will protect your eyes from any unnecessary eye infection,” says Radhika Iyer Talati, Founder, Beauty By Anahata.

Wear cotton clothing when you venture out and make sure you layer well, and that your clothes also cover your body completely so that no color enters your skin and damages it.

Have fun this Holi! But don’t forget your hair and skin.

Pre-Holi Care

  • Rub ice on your face before stepping out to play Holi. Rubbing an ice cube for 10 mins closes your pores so that the colors don’t seep into your skin.
  • Mix together coconut oil + castor oil + almond oil in equal quantities and massage well into your face. This super moisturizing oil blend creates a barrier between your skin and the Holi colors. Plus, it’s easier to take these colors off once you are home.
  • Do not forget to apply sunscreen on your body to prevent tanning. Wear a non-sticky, matt sunscreen that will last all day.
  • Apply two coats of dark nail paint to prevent unnecessary nail staining and cuticle concerns.
  • Keep your lips hydrated and protected from all the harmful colors by simply applying some good old petroleum jelly.

Post-Holi Care

  • Stay away from soaps and face washes as they are chemical-based and can disturb the alkaline balance of your skin. Go for organic soaps and cleansers instead.
  • Revive your skin’s health with natural face masks or DIY face packs.
  • Stay away from excessive scrubbing to remove the residual color from your skin. Try gentle methods such as oil-based clean-up and wipe the colors off your skin.
  • Apply moisturizer every night to restore the moisture sucked out because of all the toxic and dry colors.

Bindu Gopal Rao is a freelance writer and photographer from Bangalore who likes taking the offbeat path when traveling. Birding and environment are her favorites and she documents her work on www.bindugopalrao.com.
Photo by Bulbul Ahmed on Unsplash

Shrankhla Holecek on UMA Oils Farm

UMA Oils CEO Believes in the Need For Wellness Wisdom

(Featured Image: Shrankhla Holecek on UMA Oils Farms in India)

Los Angeles based Shrankhla Holecek is the CEO of UMA Oils. A long-time Ayurvedic expert who educates on Ayurvedic traditions with contemporary sensibility, she is a lifelong vegetarian, yogi, and natural-medicine practitioner. Shrankhla grew up in India with a strong foundation in the ancient science of Ayurveda, and brings over 15 years of extensive training and understanding in the therapeutic benefits of botanicals, especially as they apply to Ayurveda. Generations of her family have been veterans who have mastered the craft of organic essential oil production and have for decades supplied some of the world’s leading luxury beauty brands. 

Shrankhla moved to Los Angeles about ten years ago for her MBA, after which she spent several years in management consulting. Exhausted by topical creams and one-off medications, she went back to her basics, creating a line of natural skincare and wellness products. In addition to serving as a media expert on essential oils and Ayurveda, she is also a regular contributor to natural health media outlets like Well & Good, Byrdie, Mind Body Green, and Refinery 29.

In this exclusive interview, she talk about her family’s century-old history of being purveyors of essential oils, her brand’s celebrity following, and how she is giving back to the rural community in Chattisgarh where her farms are located.

How did you decide to start your brand of luxurious face, body, and aromatherapy oils, UMA?

Tempted as I often am to tell others – and even myself – that it had a strategic or intellectual rationale, I think the reality is that I started UMA for deeply personal reasons. After what felt like an attempt to get as far away from my family’s roots as possible by moving to Los Angeles, going to business school, and starting a consulting career, I think I came full circle in acceptance and appreciation for all that I had grown up with: the unique value of my Ayurvedic heritage, as well as the beauty, complexity, and richness of the Indian culture. 

In starting UMA, I felt that I could serve as a conduit for a deeper and more authentic understanding of Ayurveda in the West via a platform that demystified its brilliant tenets, but without ever compromising their integrity. There’s clearly a need for wellness wisdom in the world we live in (wherever one may be on the spectrum of integrating it in one’s life, I think most will agree), and I believed that Ayurveda could offer that in a time-tested way. Importantly, building my own business allowed me to prioritize some of the core values I felt very passionately about, gender equality and equal pay is one of them. 

Tell us more about your family’s century-old history of being purveyors of essential oils, and how you translate that ancient science of Ayurveda in your products.  

My family has been revered Ayurvedic physicians for centuries, including being entrusted with creating formulas for the royalty. The role passed down from generation to generation within my family, where we formulated beauty and wellness medicine for the royal family, as well as the kingdom – perfecting Ayurvedic formulas over thousands of women and men, across a wide variety of concerns, constitutions, and skin types. Since Ayurvedic medicine is entirely plant-based, we also started farming many of the ingredients that went into our formulas – and in the last century, that paved the way for our inroads into essential oil distillation and manufacturing. 

Turns out – you need acres and acres of vetiver or jasmine to distill just a little essential oil, and given my family’s heritage and expertise in the field, it was a natural transition to move into the industry. As demand for exotic essential – such as jasmine and sandalwood – oils grew worldwide, my family started supplying some of the marquee fragrance and beauty houses with raw materials (but never the formulas since they have always been a family secret). We have supplied a variety of India-based oils for the exquisite line of essential oils based perfumes Tom Ford created. We’ve also worked with Estee Lauder for over a decade on supplying the essential oils for their beauty and fragrance needs. They expectedly have stringent standards for vendors and we’re proud to meet them!
UMA was created to bring not only our celebrated essential oils but also these revered (and secret) formulas directly to the consumer, as an offering and introduction to deeply authentic and trusted Ayurvedic medicine.

Tell our readers more about the products you offer.

As in the Ayurvedic tradition, a lot of our skincare products are oil-based, helping to balance, treat, and enhance the skin in an entirely natural way. We bring in beloved Ayurvedic ingredients like turmeric, honey, aloe vera, rose water, and saffron through our splendid toners, masks, and gommage cleansers – and ensure the whole of you is cared for (including your mental wellbeing) through our beloved wellness line-up, and whole-body products. We also have delightful candles and incense targeted towards creating a sense of balance in your home environment.

Your brand has also garnered a celebrity following. Tell us a little about that.

Yes, we’ve been fortunate to have some amazing people show us, love! Anne Hathaway, Kelly Ripa, Ariana Grande, Emma Roberts, Eve the Rapper, Molly Sims, and Emma Willis are a few that come to mind immediately. In truth, it is the kind goodwill of many of these incredible people to support a young brand like ours, and the love and passion of so many women and men who have built UMA on our farms and factories over the years that we have to thank for all these blessings every day!

Women Working on UMA Oils Farm in Chattisgardh
Women working on UMA Oils Farm in Chattisgarh.

Relate to us how your brand is giving back to the rural community in Chattisgarh where your farms are located.

On average, we reinvest a third of our annual profits back into our local community. We operate the sole health clinic in our village free of charge and provide the specialized resources to treat Thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder prevalent in the area. We also offer academic scholarships to encourage promising local youth to pursue higher education.

UMA is a woman-founded and run company, and takes great pride in the fact that the UMA estate was among the pioneers in “equal work for equal pay” within India. Our estate has historically employed over 50 percent women, a fact mirrored in the composition of the US-based UMA team. We have always believed that sustainable gender equality can only be achieved by the means of creating true financial independence for women, and for decades have invested in creating the infrastructure necessary to ensure our women employees feel supported and empowered.

Avoiding synthetic pesticides and additives, we actively convert our waste into value. Loving and caring for the environment in the Ayurvedic tradition is a consideration in everything we do. This is why our farming and distillation processes are designed for sustainability and have been since our inception. We farm completely organically, and convert most of our waste into consumer products, like incense, or alternative fuel to power our distilleries. We minimize our dependence on artificial irrigation, and the water used in our distillation processes is cycled back into the farms we grow our crops in.

What are your plans for UMA’s future expansion and other efforts?

Our mission is to continue to educate on Ayurveda and empower people to take full control of their wellbeing, health, and beauty. Ayurveda was so generously shared with us millennia ago, and it’s our company’s responsibility to share that with the world in the altruistic, non-commercial way it was shared with us. I think of products as a way to delight and indulge oneself – never as alternatives to mindful diet and lifestyle habits as Ayurveda recommends – but rather as conduits to enrich your self-care rituals. We hope to continue creating thoughtful products that bring joy, and help strengthen one’s connection to oneself.

Neha Kirpal is a freelance writer and editor based in New Delhi. She is the author of Wanderlust for the Soul and Bombay Memory Box.