Beauty in Balance

The California Ayurveda brands to know



SOMA AYURVEDIC Under Eye Gel, $98.


More than ever, the modern beauty world is embracing Ayurveda’s time-tested rituals. No surprise, California is home to many followers. After all, yoga, often called Ayurveda’s “sister science,” has been hugely popular on the West Coast since the ’70s, and is considered a doorway to Ayurvedic practices. It’s all about balance, the belief that well-being lies in treating the body, the mind and the spirit through herbs, yoga, meditation, sleep, breathing and diet. Here are a few of the brands leading the way in The Golden State.


SOMA AYURVEDIC’s rose oil-based Vitamin C Serum.


Determined to launch a brand that authentically honored his Indian heritage, Soma Ayurvedic’s founder, Arjun Sampath, spent a year traveling throughout Kerala, a lush region in southern India known as the birthplace of Ayurveda. He met with farmers, suppliers and manufacturers, determined to bring this centuries-old healing practice to Western consumers. The fruits of his travels? A three-product skincare collection intentionally formulated with ingredients used in Ayurvedic practices. There’s a brightening Vitamin C Serum with rose and citrus, a hydrating Anti Aging Cream with aloe vera and saffron and a cooling Under Eye Gel with lavender, moringa and avocado. “We don’t say we are a modern version of Ayurveda,” Sampath explains. “Sometimes we see the word ‘Ayurveda’ used too cavalierly, as when brands sprinkle some turmeric on a product and call it Ayurvedic, creating consumer confusion. We are unabashedly Ayurvedic. Everything we do, and will do, is based on this time-tested science.”


SOMA AYURVEDIC Vitamin C Serum, $118.



“Everything we do, and will do, is based on this time-tested science”

Arjun Sampath



RANAVAT’s Kansa Wand Facial Massage Tool, $70.


“I wanted to create skincare that wasn’t just effective; I wanted it to be transcendent,” says Michelle Ranavat, who launched her eponymous skincare collection, Ranavat, in 2017. Inspired by beauty rituals of Indian royals and their elevated approach to self-care, she focused on integrating traditional ways with her own life experiences, creating a modern approach to Ayurveda while remaining true to tradition. “Ayurveda is a science and can appear to be complicated or confusing. But it’s all about creating harmony and balance, in your skin and in your body,” Ranavat explains. The nine-product range, formulated with ingredients sourced in India, consists of organic botanicals like saffron, madder (manjistha) and Pushkar rose. “Our Brightening Saffron Serum is consistently called a real game changer in reviews,” shares Ranavat. “It works wonders on the skin. The serum is balancing, of course. But it is truly a brightening miracle.”


UMA Deeply Clarifying Blemish Spot Treatment, $55.


“I grew up in India, practicing Ayurveda,” says Shrankhla Holecek, founder of Uma, a luxury brand deeply rooted in ancient traditions. Her family served Indian royals as Ayurvedic physicians for hundreds of years, with formulas of their own that still are the backbone of Uma’s offerings. Treatments are made of ingredients harvested from their land. The more than 30 products, mostly oil based, include the in-demand Absolute Anti Aging Face and Body Oils, which combine ultra-pure botanicals like clary sage, frankincense, sandalwood and neroli to revitalize the skin. “Ayurvedic beauty can foster a sense of ritual, peace and pleasure in this frantic world and deliver results far beyond just glowing skin and vibrant hair,” Holecek explains. “It can serve as a gateway to a deeper connection with Ayurveda’s healing principles, and even oneself over time.”


The incense blends from UMA incorporate such ingredients as vetiver and rose.


Feature Image: The potent botanicals in Uma’s offerings are harvested from SHRANKHLA HOLECK’s family estate.


May. 25, 2021

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