I had the delight of interviewing Michelle Ranavat, founder of the much-anticipated, Ayurvedic-inspired line Ranavat Botanics, launching in August 2017. Rather than selling products, Ranavat Botanics offers a luxurious experience through a Royal Ritual. The Royal Ritual consists of one of their delectable masks (just wait until you read the ingredient blends on these), each paired with a lovely hydrosol, to be followed by a saffron-infused facial oil. Many of the ingredients are certified organic and all the products will be certified because Ranavat Botanics believes in delivering the best actives and offering full transparency. Having spoken with Ms. Ranavat about her formulations and process, I cannot wait until her launch this coming August.
Melissa (M): Can you tell me a bit about your personal journey and the story behind Ranavat Botanics?
Michelle Ranavat (MR): My dad is an entrepreneur who comes from a long line of chemists, so in a way, I always knew that launching a business was something I wanted to do as well. My father started his business in his basement and grew it from the ground up, starting at zero, without ever taking a single loan. He set such an example of integrity. I wanted to approach my line in the same way, so I have been working and saving for years now and have invested all of these savings into launching my line.
My mother-in-law is a veteran esthetician, and she turned me on to natural skincare. At first, I was skeptical about whether I could get the results I was used to, but after using basic, natural products, I noticed my skin looked better than ever.
M: Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs?
MR: Be prepared for last minute tweaks. Join an inspiring community of other entrepreneurs. [Ms. Ranavat is a member of Bossladies (@bossladiesmag).] You are only as strong as your weakest link.
M: Your mother-in-law was indeed blown away by the effectiveness of natural Ayurvedic ingredients; what do you think makes these ingredients so special and powerful?
MR: When you’re backed by Ayurvedic science, it gives you a powerful framework. For instance, in India, one type of turmeric is used in food, and another type—that gives an amazing glow without any staining–is used on skin. It is an Indian tradition that women wear turmeric masks the day before their wedding for the gorgeous glow and anti-inflammatory effects. Ranavat Botanics will offer something similar with this special turmeric, manuka honey, lemon peel, and Fuller’s earth to enhance the effects.
M: To what degree will your line offer dosha-specific treatments, and why?
MR: Ranavat Botanics is heavily influenced by Ayurvedic principles, but will take a slightly more modern approach. Ayurveda is actually a very specific and truly medicinal approach. If you truly consider real Ayurveda, there a lot of different things people do in India that would not necessarily translate well here and that go well beyond skincare. Ranavat Botanics uses many ingredients typically found in Ayurvedic treatments, but it is not a medicinal Ayurvedic line. My line is focused on and informed by Ayurvedic tradition rather than being precisely Ayurvedic.
M: What sorts of products can we look forward to seeing from Ranavat Botanics?
MR: The way I think of it, Ranavat Botanics is not about selling products, but about sharing a tradition and an experience. We are going to start by launching three power masks paired with hydrosols infused with amazing healing properties of plants. Each mask represents a Royal Ritual when paired with its hydrosol and followed by special saffron-infused oils as well which we plan to release this fall. The ultimate Royal Ritual is to wear the mask, then infuse skin with a tonic, finally sealing in the hydration with a facial oil.
The three masks are:
Kiss of Royal-Tea: A hydrating mask that steeps skin in beautiful Rose Petals, Rose Clay, Rhassoul Clay, exotic Gooseberry, Ashwagandha, 100% pure Manuka Honey, Hibiscus Petals, and more for calming, hydration, and skin plumping
Eternal Reign: A rejuvenating mask for a youthful complexion, this antioxidant and anti-aging powerhouse offers a lovely combination that includes 100% pure Manuka Honey, French Green Clay, Neem, Moringa, Gotu Kola, and Vitamin C to promote regeneration and uncover a youthful reflection
False Veil: A mask for radiant skin that addresses acne and eczema, reduces inflammation, stimulates collagen, and reduces hyperpigmentation with a blend that includes Fuller’s Earth, Bentonite Clay, 100% Pure Manuka Honey, our special stainless Turmeric, Bakuchi, Licorice, Sandalwood, and Saffron for a beautifully even complexion
The three hydrosols will be:
- Jasmine–steam-distilled Indian jasmine flowers to soak skin in monsoon-like moisture
- Lavender–steam-distilled, hand-picked Himalayan lavender blooms nourish and soothe skin with healing properties
- Eucalyptus–steam-distilled, hand-picked Indian eucalyptus for unparalleled cooling and anti-inflammatory properties
M: What are some things that set your line apart from others?
MR: First, as a skincare formulator, I went through countless iterations with the same ingredients until I got it just right. I would not rest until a formula felt perfect and delivered the results I wanted.
Second, each of our products is certified by an outside party. For our tonics, we are going through the USDA and for the masks, we are using a company called Made Safe. This way customers can truly have a guarantee that the ingredient list is accurate and honest.
Third, we keep the water out of our masks and deliver it in powder form in order to guarantee freshness without having to add questionable preservatives. Because honey is a main mask ingredient (e.g., the Eternal Reign Mask is 33% Manuka honey from New Zealand), it was a very special process getting the powder just right, but I love how they are now. Not many lines offer our unique ingredients in such amazingly fresh powder form. The other benefit to having a powder mask is that you are activating the botanical ingredients immediately before use. It’s truly a spa-like experience and you are getting the very most out of your ritual.
M: What is the significance of the Ranavat Botanics’ Royal Ritual?
MR: The Royal Ritual is all about elevating the ritual of self-care. Using really great ingredients to nurture skin is not an issue of vanity; skin is the window to the world, and so taking care of it matters. You have to put in the time to take care of yourself, and Ranavat Botanics offers highly effective and enjoyable ways to make this a priority.