Interview with Michelle Ranavat, Founder and CEO at Ranavat Botanics
When it comes to creating her blends, Michelle prefers taking the long road. Each ingredient is methodically extracted, preserved for its healing properties, and secured for the skin’s benefit. Essentially, it’s the melding of modern chemistry and romance.
You work with traditional Ayurvedic ingredients. Where do you source ingredients from? What are your favourite ingredients to formulate with?
We wanted the truest experience of Ayurveda and so we source our ingredients in India where they are naturally cultivated by expert farmers. I love formulating with botanicals that are very specific to India and that are lesser known in skincare so that the experience is unique. Some of my favorites are Majistha for circulation and detoxing and Saffron for brightening and controlling inflammation. There are so many others like Yellow Nightshade, Cobra Saffron and Cardamom that I love working with as well because they work on so many different levels.
What is the holy grail product of your line?
Radiant Rani Brightening Saffron Serum! This product is an incredible “do it all” serum that really has the power to change your skin. It is much more powerful than a regular “Vitamin C” serum because it brightens with carotenoids (commonly found in turmeric and saffron). It works better because it has a more holistic approach to brightening. While regular Vitamin C serums work to brighten dark spots, our serum controls inflammation as well to hopefully prevent the hyperpigmentation from occurring. We also have a rich blend of botanicals that protect against environmental stressors like ashwagandha. My favorite part of this serum is how it is made: we use age-old copper vessels to infuse our herbs into the oil. It is hand-stirred for over 10 days and the result is a copper infused orange-hued serum that works!
What would be the perfect Ranavat daily beauty regime?
For me, luxury is in the details and does not relate to the number of products. I like to keep my ritual simple but effective - and so most days I start with Luminous Ceremony Cream Cleanser - a gentle way to start my morning. I love the lush texture and calming scent. Next I mist with Royal Tonique - a pure jasmine hydrosol that preps my skin for the next step. Lastly I apply Radiant Rani Saffron Brightening Serum - I love this because it is the perfect mid-weight oil to protect, but also to serve as a smooth base if I am wearing makeup that day. In the evening my ritual looks similar, except I use Imperial Glow Facial Polish 3x a week to smooth out my skin and I finish with Eternal Reign Renewing Bakuchi Crème as my rich night cream to protect, seal and replenish my skin.
What is your self-care approach?
To surround myself with beautiful objects that have meaning to me. RANAVAT started as a way to express my Indian heritage and share the work of the artisans that have been creating these treatments for thousands of years. I love indulging in self care that is inspired by my roots and grounds me.
Are there any beauty secrets that your mother or grandmother passed down to you?
My beauty secrets actually come from my grandfather. He was a huge collector of soaps and perfumes and he taught me to think of skincare as an heirloom and time capsule. In honor of his love for scents, the RANAVAT line is very thoughtfully curated – almost like a symphony of scents. When you experience it, you are also experience a part of him.
What does it mean for you to be a female entrepreneur?
I feel lucky to live in a time where female entrepreneurship is celebrated. Just a few generations ago, women did not have the opportunity to create and build businesses and so I think of this journey as an immense privilege.
What are your thoughts on aging?
I believe aging is a privilege. We are lucky to age and it should be celebrated. With the marketing around youth we all start out with a social construct that aging is a bad thing - but I’ve been working hard to come to terms with what is inevitable. What I do believe in is graceful aging- a way to feel good about the process and use products that can help us look and feel our best as we age, knowing their limitations. Skincare has real limitations, but that does not mean they can’t have a positive impact- and that is really where I think a strong lifestyle and a focus on consistency with skincare is important.
How about exercise and wellness?
Before the pandemic I was very regular with Pilates and movement. I was a professional dancer for many years and really believe movement is key to wellness and health.
Name three beauty products that you always have in your handbag.
My Sacred Rose Hand cream, a Beneath Your Mask Lip balm and in the summer I take my Jasmine Mist to freshen up on the go!
And three ride-or-die products?
Radiant Rani is a game changing serum for me- it works to brighten, give me a fresh glowy look and maintain my skin. I can’t go without it! Imperial Glow is another staple, it helps keep my skin soft and cleansed without over doing. Lastly, the Kansa Wand! This wand is my magic wand to help inflammation and is also a stress reliever too.
What is the last thing you do before going to sleep?
I wish I could say something more calming, but I am usually checking to see if my India team and production is on track. Working with so many time-zones I’m always checking in.
And the first thing you do in the morning?
In the morning I spend time with my sons and get them ready for school. I will work out and then drink a big iced coffee at my desk as I go through emails for the day. I love starting off my day with my family, workout and coffee - this routine always puts me in the best mood. Being in LA even dropping my kids off to school is really beautiful- driving through Sunset Blvd and enjoying the sunshine.
Your favourite holistic destination?
I love traveling to India. It connects me to myself on a deeper level, going to places where my ancestors are from. I love uncovering more information about my family and beauty traditions!
Your favourite healthy meal?
I love a salad! There is a place in LA called Wild Living Foods and it has the most amazing salad with Brazil nuts and crispy kale chips. Its so good!
What is one dream you have that you have yet to accomplish?
I want to visit the perfume village in Khannauj India during rose distillation season where they freshly pick the roses and create magical perfumes.
And last but not least. Share with us your 3 pearls of wisdom.
Ritual in all aspects: I love to create routines that make me feel comforted yet productive. Whether it is taking a few moments to unwind in the evening, or your beauty routine, making a routine will keep you consistent. You will see results physically but also mentally as well.
Unplug. Just as important as productivity, taking time to relax and unwind is essential to achieving your goals. Prioritize taking time off and to recharge
Dream. Take time to think about what you want to achieve and don’t be afraid to dream big. Keep reminding yourself of your goals and stay positive.
Find Ranavat on www.museandheroine.com