My love of beauty oils is well documented, and I’m continually discovering new ones to include in my primping routine! The latest addition to my bathroom cabinet is Uma Oils, which not only harness plant and flower oils to leave skin healthy and glowing, but which also put to use ancient Ayurvedic beauty practices and aromatherapeutic traditions. Company founder Shrankhla Holecek was born and raised in India and built Uma around time-tested (and top secret!) formulations that have been passed through her family for generations. When I met Shrankhla at a recent event in LA, she introduced me to the line and emphasized not only the potent ingredients in Uma Oils but also the importance of how to apply them. The ritual of massaging into skin, of breathing deeply the intoxicating scents, of taking time to revel in a moment of self-care: these actions decrease stress and increase mood elevating hormones, making them just as powerful as the active botanical compounds in Uma’s face oils, hair oil, and wellness oils. I asked Shrankhla to tell me more about how we can create our own rituals to support beauty from the inside out, and here’s what she had to say!
Rituals are simply habits with intention and meaning. Defining ‘ritual’ is important because it’s one of the ways of protecting and nurturing self-care. The first thing that defines a ritual to me is an element of timeliness and repetition, like a Wednesday mask or a Sunday hair treatment. We are all creatures of habit and calendaring things helps. The second piece is that it’s pleasurable. It’s a time I look forward to and make space for. If it’s on your calendar and if you enjoy it, you’re less likely to de-prioritize it. Culturally, rituals have always been an important part of the Indian social fabric. It is not uncommon at all to witness Sunday potlucks where a group of women catch up on the week, each with a hair mask on!
Rituals are personal. In addition to what I’ve already said about scheduling and enjoyment as considerations when creating your ritual, I’d emphasize the importance of “owning” it. The scale of the ritual’s complexity should work for YOU, as should its makeup. Not all about incense and crystals? Despise having a sticky substance on your face for forty minutes? Who cares if turmeric is ingredient du jour?(I personally love it. But that’s not the point!) Chances are you won’t follow through on week two if you’ve created something that doesn’t feel authentic to your personality and commitments. The other thing I’d add is that you’re likely to embrace your rituals if they work, so a little bit of upfront research on powerful, indulgent ingredients/formulas is definitely worth the investment!
The takeaway for creating your own beauty rituals? First set your intention. Put your mani pedi or home facial on the calendar and keep the appointments! Be sure to fill each self-care session with meaning, be it the pleasure of a personal time-out or the joy of indulgence with friends. And finally, find what works for your personality and preferences. Be it the nightly three-minute scalp massage or the weekly hour-long tub soak, there’s a ritual out there for all of us!