Today is Pratima’s 75th birthday! This woman is a true pioneer of Ayurvedic beauty. Her eponymous natural skincare line, NYC spa, and book Absolute Beauty are not to be missed. Anyone who appreciates the healing powers of herbs, wholesome botanical ingredients, and soothing self care practices could benefit from a dose of Pratima. In honor of her 75th birthday, we’re celebrating Pratima with this special Morning Routine feature. Enjoy!

Name: Pratima Raichur

Age: 75

City: NYC

Current Weather: We’re at the end of Pitta season heading into Vata, low 70’s a bit cooler and hazy.

Skin: Oily & smooth but now that I am a bit older its more combination

Hair: black and wavy

Favorite Star From the Past: Sophia Loren, she’s timeless. (Note: We love Sophia, too, but featured a photo of the beautiful Pratima instead!)

First thing in the morning upon waking…

I look at my hands, say thanks, and ask that whatever will be done through my hands on this day will only go towards helping and serving whomever comes into my life. I learned this from my mother and I’ve been doing it for 60 years. I finish my morning prayers by sending love to my children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, my entire staff, everyone I have known and have yet to meet. I send my unconditional love. loka samasta sukhino bhavantu

Next step in my morning is to clean all the 5 senses.

Mouth: Rinsing and washing mouth, I use Tates Organic Toothpaste and Healthy Gums powder.

Eyes: Splashing cold water at least 21 times with eyes open, this stimulates the optic nerve.

Nose: Neti pot (with warm water and a pinch of salt) I was recently introduced to this beautiful line from Pursoma, which has a great solution for this, sea spray nasal rinse.

Skin: Cleanse with fresh herbs & massage with oil. I use my Vata herbal cleanser and Vata Essential Oil, Age Delay Serum and Amla Collagen Cream.

Sound: I already cleansed by saying the mantras when I woke up.

Then I have black tea with a pinch of cinnamon and cardamom to awaken me.

Next, I perform breathing exercises. I start with kapalbhati for about 10 minutes. I have additional kriyas that I do. Then I always finish with alternate nostril breathing for about 10 minutes. I do about 5 sun salutations, then walk around my house gently singing my mantras. I walk and chant until I am ready to move on. If I have a really busy day and with not as much morning time, I sit on my favorite chair and do the alternate nostril breathing for 5 minutes, this helps to ground me so my mind remains strong and balanced throughout the day.  I never am hard on myself if the proper time doesn’t allow, I give myself the time I need. A lot of these things can also be performed throughout the day with just a few moments of alone time. Even closing the bathroom door in your office and breathing deeply for a few minutes can make a positive difference.

Then I take a shower and use my Organic Herbal Body Cleanser. After I step out of the shower I massage by entire body with Vata Rejuvenating Body Oil and add additional oils on my neck and décolletage for strength and nourishment. I love Shiva Rose’s Rose Face Oil for this, the smell of rose is so delicious on my pulse points in combination with my stress oil.  Its a lovely natural fragrance.

We’re so lucky now, when I was growing up and at the age to start wearing makeup, there were hardly any natural makeup companies. I actually have DIY makeup recipes that have been passed down to me from my grandmother that create natural pigment from herbs and roots. It has been wonderful to see such beautiful and innovative lines come into the market to give women small tools to help them look their best. I support all of them and am excited how the natural beauty industry has come alive especially in the past few years. My staff brings me different ones to try a lot from ABC Home, one of my favorite stores. Some of the brands I am using now and wear most days are, RMS Un-Coverup, in 44 to conceal. W3ll People Creamy Crimson Universalist and Bronzed Rose, such pretty colors! I love playing up the lips, so I use Ilia Lip Conditioner in Lust for Life and Vapour Bold, their Siren Lipsticks have such great pigment. For the eyes I use RMS mascara and just discovered W3ll People Hypnotist Eye Liner, which is beautiful.

I drink warm water and tea throughout the day to help with digestion, detoxify the body, and keep everything in a state of flow. I have fruits and nuts in afternoon for an energy boost.

For me, the most important beauty ritual is talking to people, listening to them, and trying to make a change in their life. Just knowing that I am still able to help people, the joy I get from that is the most important thing for beauty. A lot of people become very sad and stressed because they are unhappy at work; I am lucky that this is not my situation. I am very fulfilled at work, it gives me energy, which comes from joy. That’s what I am able to offer, I receive the grateful energy from other people and I give it right back. It rejuvenates me. It’s the purpose of my life. Before I know it, the day flies by.

In the evening…

I revisit the 5 senses ritual. First thing, I wash my face, cleanse with herbs, and massage my face with Rejuvenating Essential Oil, then apply my Rejuvenating Pearl Cream. I use organic castor oil almost nightly. It is an amazing eye treatment and really hydrates the eye area. I also apply it to my lashes, it helps them grow and become stronger. I then take my Vata Rejuvenating Body Oil and massage my feet, ears and hands. I also massage my scalp with Brahmi Oil to nourish my hair and calm my mind. Before I go to sleep, I boil some organic milk (about ¼ cup) and strain out the fat which is hard to digest and add ½  tsp of organic ghee (you can also substitute almond milk), and a pinch of cardamom powder. This beauty tonic is great for overall digestion, nourishment of the tissues and cells, helps calm the mind to promote deeper and reparative sleep.

When I get into bed, I take some time massaging the bottom of my feet with herbal oil which I keep next to the side of my bed,  which nurtures all the nerves in the body, gets rid of toxins, improves circulation, and is good for brain cells. This also helps me feel peaceful and sleep much better. I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember. You can do this with any natural body oil you have at home.

Looking at my hands again, I say thank you and give gratitude. I try and let go of any worries in my mind as it is best not to carry burden with you at nightime. Sleeping is a sacred time for whole body rejuvenation — the more peaceful and calm you are, the better your body can repair itself. This is the most important step in true rejuvenation, take advantage of this precious time and give yourself the gift of self care.

These are all simple rituals that everyone can follow, in the beginning start with what resonates with you most and what your time allows.  As you start to implement and see positive changes both inside and out,  you will actually end up having more time as other pieces in your life start to shift and open.

Happy birthday Pratima, and thank you for your contributions to natural beauty and wellness!

One Love Organics is hands-down one of the best natural beauty lines out there. They manage to produce hit after hit in terms of products that give excellent results and are gorgeous to use. Plus, they are a great value! The founder, Suzanne, is a master formulator. She not only does the simple things well (have you tried the new dry shampoo?!), she creates sophisticated, problem solving skin treats that smell heavenly. One Love Organics returns to A Night For Green Beauty, so come out and meet Suzanne in L.A. on August 7th!

Name: Suzanne LeRoux

Age: 40

City: St. Simons Island, Georgia

Current Weather: Sunny, Humid

Skin: Combination, sensitive, light complexion

Hair: Straight, shoulder length, low maintenance

Favorite Star From the Past: Lauren Hutton — She is a risk-taking southern-bred natural beauty.

First Thing…

I wake up and drink a large glass of water and take my supplements. I take Thyroid Support from Gaia Herbs and Magnesium Glycinate from Metabolic Maintenance. After the birth of my children, I began to experience dry skin, fatigue, hair loss (including my eyebrows) and difficulty sleeping that was eventually attributed to a sluggish thyroid. Taking supplements has helped tremendously and I can really feel it if I miss a day. I take magnesium coupled with Hope Gillerman’s Clear Mind or True Relaxation remedies to help me stay calm yet focused throughout the day because as an entrepreneur, you never know what the day will bring.

In the Shower…

I take a really quick shower in the morning. Once I am up, I am ready to get to our manufacturing facility and begin my day. I love my job and while I enjoy performing my beauty ritual at night, my a.m. routine is as brief as possible. I wash my face and body using Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser and my pink konjac sponge.

I wash my hair only a few times per week and cutting down on washing and drying has made my hair significantly healthier. For this reason, I absolutely love hair powder and consider it a staple in my routine. I pour a little Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo Powder into my hands and rub it in my scalp. After a few minutes, I brush the powder through and then texturize with a few sprays of Yarok Feed Your Hold Hairspray.

While my skin is damp, I spray on one of our aromatic body serums (right now I am cherishing Gardenia) for moisture and I spray on a deodorant that I make for myself. I love products that spray in the a.m. because they are fast and convenient.

Makeup

I apply a few drops of Morning Glory Complexion Brightening Booster to wake up my skin and then dot W3LL People Narcissist #2 Stick Foundation wherever I need a bit of cover. I brush over just a bit of W3ll People 51 Luminous Mineral Bronzer for a bit of color and glow. I use Tarte’s eye brow pencil in taupe to help fill in my eyebrows that never fully recovered from my thyroid imbalance. For lip color, I love Corsica lip pencil and Taj Mahal shimmery gold lipstick from Primitive Makeup. I will spray our Vitamin D Time Release Moisture Mist to set my makeup and dot Skin Savior Balm around my eyes and on any rough patches to insure that my skin looks dewy and soft for the day.

From beginning to end, my makeup routine takes less than 5 minutes. I end my morning routine with a couple of drops of Lurk Perfume — I love all of the scents but right now I am using PRJ VI — the fresh petitgrain aroma fits summer perfectly!

 

Our love for Osmia Organics knows no end. Their body oils and hand-crafted soaps are some of the most gorgeous smelling goodies we know (don’t get us started on the perfumes!). Just about anything you try from Osmia is sure to please, as evidenced by some of our reviews here, here, and here. Needless to say, we were thrilled when we found out that Osmia is participating in A Night For Green Beauty. Though we hope you can join us at ANFGB, you can get to know Sarah via her Morning Routine below.

Name: Sarah Villafranco

Age: 41

City: Carbondale, CO

Current Weather: Blue skies, hot, and D.R.Y.

Skin: Fair to medium tone, very temperamental, with a history (and occasional flares) of perioral dermatitis.

Hair: Brown, course, long, and rather enormous.

Favorite Star From the Past: Lucille Ball – I don’t think anything makes a person more beautiful than deep, real laughter.

My morning routine?  Well, that phrase implies that my routine is the same every morning.  It isn’t.  If I wake up and my hair is so big that I can’t get a shirt on over it, then I have to wet it again.  If my husband is traveling and my daughters have started their “Mama, we need breakfast!” chorus, then I start the day making eggs with one eye open.  If one of our border collies stares at me intensely until I wake up, I begin the day feeling simultaneously paranoid and amused.  But, if someone brings me tea in bed, then I feel regal and leisurely, and how I savor my morning routine!

Most days start about 6:45.  I grab my phone while I stretch in bed a little, to see if any Osmia business needs my immediate attention.  Once in the bathroom, my routine depends on how much time I have that day.  Some days, I dry brush and oil-pull with coconut oil (there’s a blog post on our site with some thoughts about oil-pulling). During allergy season, I use a neti pot to clear my sinuses. If I can’t wake up, I drop a DIY blend of stimulating essential oils, like grapefruit and mint, on the floor of the shower, letting the warm water vaporize the oils.  I love our Lemon Basil Ginger and Evergreen Shea soaps in the morning – they perk me right up!  For my hair, I either nopoo with baking soda and rinse with ACV, or I use Desert Essence unscented shampoo and conditioner – about twice a week for each method.  I just wish I didn’t smell so salady after the nopoo method, even after my hair dries!  I use our Black Clay Facial Soap to cleanse my face.  This little bar is my very best (made-of-soap) friend.  (Note: most products I use are dictated by my history of perioral dermatitis. There’s an article on our site about my experience with this condition, so I will skip the details here!)

Out of the shower, I pat my face and neck dry, and wrap my hair in a towel, leaving my body completely wet.  If my face feels dehydrated, I apply a layer of our Active Gel Toner, which contains hyaluronic acid and niacinamide – both excellent for dry, troubled skin.  It also has neroli essential oil, which is a scent that makes me feel especially queenly.  I use Avene Thermal Water spray if my skin is extra dry or irritated – I keep one on my desk at work, too.  I follow with our Purely Simple Face Cream on my face and neck, applied after the toner or thermal water layer has dried.  And, I don’t break out frequently, but I always have a bottle of Spot Treatment at the ready.  If I’m going to be outside, I use Elta MD facial sunscreen, SPF 46.  It’s not as clean as I would like it to be, but it seems to irritate my skin the least, and it’s fragrance and paraben-free.  (Confession: I don’t wear sunscreen every day!  I only wear it if I’m headed out for a run or bike ride, or watching my daughter’s softball game!  Then, I wash it off as soon as I can.)

Next, I apply one of our body oils to my wet skin.  Forest is my favorite morning body oil, though – it’s like applying liquid Colorado.  By applying body oil to wet skin, you are effectively creating a lotion – oil plus water – without the additional ingredients like emulsifiers and preservatives that a lotion requires.  It’s such a simple and delightful little trick.  Sometimes, I scrunch the ends of my hair with the residual body oil on my hands – and that’s about the extent of my hair styling.  And, for my teeth, I use Jason Seafresh Deep Sea Spearmint toothpaste because it’s fluoride and SLS-free – both of those ingredients can make my PD symptoms appear.  While I’m brushing, I usually stand on the deck and soak in the splendor of these mountains where we live – I’ve been here nine years and still can’t get enough.

As for makeup, prepare to die of boredom.  I just don’t wear it.  I did some modeling when I was younger, and was slathered with foundation enough that I developed an aversion to the feeling of makeup on my skin.  Now, with PD in the picture, I find that it’s just not worth it.  Plus, I’m a crunchy, Colorado girl at heart!  But, on the four occasions per year when I do wear makeup (one will be ANFGB in August!!!), I love RMS Living Luminizer (who doesn’t?), and our Whisper Lip Gloss.  I always curl my stumpy little eyelashes, and am still in search of a natural mascara that doesn’t smudge.  It sounds like I need to try Kjaer Weis, according to NMDL readers! I’d love to play with more eye shadows (RMS?) and liners (suggestions?) – smoky eyes are super-sexy, as evidenced by saucy green beauty bloggers like Katie of The Green Product Junkie.

Finally, I take a few supplements with a green juice or smoothie in the morning, all of which are related to my skin care routine. I take Garden of Life Raw B-Complex: B vitamins are important in keeping skin and lips healthy, especially for a long-time vegetarian like me.  I have also noticed a very clear connection between my skin and my monthly cycle, so I take Barlean’s Evening Primrose Oil and Oona (Type 1) Herbal Supplement to soften those, um, hormonal fluctuations. (I have an advanced degree in euphemisms.)

And, then, it’s off to the best job in the world!  Thank you, NMDL, for all you do for Green Beauty, and for letting me share my morning routine!

Who wants to move to Colorado? Tell us about your favorite Osmia Organics product!

 

Lucky day! We’re sharing the founder of Province Apothecary’s morning routine! Province Apothecary is one of the brands participating in A Night For Green Beauty on August 7th in LA. If you’re in the area, you must come and meet Julie in person and experience her line for yourself. Her perfume oils are swoon—worthy and we’ve been loving the exfoliating scrub that was included in the ANFGB Deluxe Beauty Box. Julie’s routine reminds us a lot of her line—simple, pure, and gorgeous. Enjoy!

Name: Julie Clark

Age: 30

City: Toronto

Current Weather:  Spring and starting to get humid!

Skin: Fair, dry and sensitive

Hair: Dirty blonde + dry

Favourite Star From the Past: Artist Eva Hesse

I keep my mornings simple. After I get up, I scrape my tongue and put the water on to boil. I make fresh lemon water and have a few bites of fruit (today I had a grapefruit) and then I jump into the shower. My shower routine is pretty simple. I exfoliate my body every day with sugar and oil. Every three days I exfoliate my face with Province Apothecary’s Regenerating + Stimulating Exfoliator. Sometimes I add pureed pineapple to the exfoliator to make it a natural enzymatic exfoliating mask- I love putting food on my face! At the moment I’m experimenting with hand-blended hair products because I can’t find a natural shampoo that I like. My latest infusion has calendula, chamomile, and broccoli seed oil in it. Calendula and chamomile are great herbs for blond hair.

Once a week, before my shower, I do a Detoxifying + Clarifying Mask mixed with raw, local honey. I leave the mask on for 10 minutes and then I jump in the shower and wash everything off. Honey is my favourite mask base. Honey is a natural antioxidant and has antimicrobial properties. It has the ability to absorb impurities from your pores and retain your skin’s moisture. When I get out of the shower I apply PA’s Hydrating + Rejuvenating Serum to my décolleté, neck, and face and I slather my body with my latest body oil blend.  Right now I am using a blend of hemp oil, avocado oil, and pomegranate oil infused with the essential oils of geranium, cypress, cedar wood and vetiver. The floral and woodsy scent is motivating and grounding: a great way to start the morning.

After my shower, I make hot cocoa with maca and honey (I cut out all caffeine last summer) and make breakfast. My boyfriend and I have started making granola for our breakfasts. Our latest batch has ginger, sesame seeds, maple syrup, mulberries, and lots of seeds. Proper digestion and elimination is essential for healthy skin so I am trying to be very mindful of when I eat and how I eat. I have stopped multitasking while eating. Now I just eat and I have seen a huge difference in my digestion and how I feel!

I don’t own any make up so before I leave the house I just apply some SPF 15 Consonant Natural Matt Sunscreen and some perfume. Today I applied PA’s No.14. It is sweet and spicy and the cardamom helps you concentrate, which is perfect for a busy Friday at the studio!

Refreshing, right? What have you tried from Province Apothecary?

Meet Alex, a young teacher trying to make a clean routine work on her teacher’s salary. Sounds like she’s doing awesome. Thanks for this super candid and awesome routine!

Name: Alex

Age: 26

Profession: Teacher (Fourth grade…an awesome age but not easy!)

Weather: Hot, humid Central Florida. We do experience a nice cold front or two in the winter.

Hair: Long, fairly thick, wavy…straight…wavy, depends on the day! Oh, and very oily.  The humidity is not my friend but what can you do?

Skin: Fair and pinkish, on the oily side. I tend to break out occasionally in random areas (usually stress-related). These breakouts have diminished since I’ve cleaned up my routine. I still tend to get your standard tiny blemishes in and around my t-zone and anywhere I consistently touch my face (horrible, very bad, no-good habit!)

Favorite Star: Meryl Streep.  She has such an interesting beauty and way about her!

In the shower…

I start my morning with a nice slathering of raw organic honey on my face. I started using it about six months ago and it has surpassed any store-bought face wash I’ve used! I’ll occasionally mix in a bit of turmeric for some extra anti-bacterial and skin-brightening oomph. I know there are many amazing natural face washes out there but I’m loving the honey a little too much to venture just yet. Whole Foods sells their own awesome organic Wildflower honey for a very reasonable price. I let it sit on my face for a bit and then hop in the shower (if I remember and have a dose of patience, I’ll dry brush as well).  I am currently washing my hair about every other day with Aubrey Organics Blue Chamomile shampoo and Honeysuckle Rose conditioner (conditioner first, then shampoo).  I’m trying to scale it down to once or twice a week but I’m struggling! The grease-ball feeling is holding me back. That and my inability to create a halfway neat-looking updo (any tips for the uncoordinated?)  I’m really wanting to try the Yarok shampoos and conditioners but the price tag is slowing the process…oh, teacher’s salary! I soap up with a Zum Bar…frankincense and myrrh is daydream-inducing but I really enjoy most of their scents.  I’ve yet to try them all. When I shave, I’ll spread some conditioner on my legs. I like coconut oil for shaving but do not love rinsing my razor constantly. If I’m feeling crafty and self-indulgent, I’ll use a homemade coconut oil (virgin and organic) brown sugar, and lemon essential oil scrub. It smells like cake and leaves my skin pretty soft! I love a nice, long shower but do feel guilty about wasting water…such problems I have ;) I usually keep it under ten minutes but I give myself a reprieve on the weekends…ya gotta live!

Outside the shower…

For my face, I moisturize with pure organic rosehip seed oil that I get from a shop back home and a drop or two of essential oil. The rosehip seed oil is great for healing some signs of aging (forehead wrinkles, anyone?) and leaves my skin soft and a little glowy. Depending on my mood, I might use a drop of lavender, pine, rosemary, or tea tree essential oil.  They pretty much all have skin-clearing, anti-bacterial properties so I usually choose based on what I feel like breathing in that morning. Pine should be used very carefully (it needs to be very diluted) as it is very strong. I love the scent, though! It makes me think of living in a charming treehouse in the middle of a redwood forest (my little tree-hugging, hippie fantasy). In fact, I recommend researching any essential oils before they’re used on your skin or taken internally. They can be extremely powerful (I liken them to any topical or ingested medication). Again, if I have the patience, I’ll slather on some coconut oil but I’ve started to look for some clean body lotions that might make that part of my routine more enjoyable. Any suggestions for a truly clean and affordable brand? As you can tell, patience is not a virtue that I’ve yet to possess…I’m hoping a little bit of yoga and meditation might help but I don’t have the patience to start! ;) I’m in the market for a sunscreen…because I don’t use one…because I’m lazy! I want to break the cycle, so all recommendations are welcome. I’m willing to pay a decent price, I just worry about residue and pore-clogging. However, I’m ready to get serious about protection!

Finishing Touches…

About a year ago, I noticed how dependent I was on make-up. I felt so incredibly insecure and unattractive when I didn’t wear it. After some self-reflection, I realized that this was unhealthy and decided to challenge myself to get the heck over it. So, I stopped wearing make-up…sorta. I continued to wear concealer to cover up blemishes and any darkness under my eyes. While I did feel a bit guilty about not fully going for the gold, I knew I was heading in the right direction. Eventually, I ran out of concealer and didn’t buy another! It’s been extremely liberating. I still love make-up but now I use it when I want something a little extra. I love a good cheek stain (I do not know of a clean one) and tinted lip balm! I currently use Burt’s Bees in Red Dahlia for a pop of color or Sprout’s peppermint balm for a bit of shine (it does not have a color). I’m looking forward to trying other tinted balms like Alima’s and Badger’s in the future.  I’ll also get around to purchasing the RMS Living Luminizer (how could I not? You all rave!).  I run a brush through my hair and walk out the door. Right now, I spritz on a bit of Lotus Wei’s Infinite Love before I get to work.  I can’t say I always look put together but I also can’t say that I look too shabby!  My students don’t seem to mind either way so, that’s a plus! It’s taken a while to accept my body and face as they are. Being kind to myself and discovering truly healthy and nurturing food, drink, and beauty care products brings me closer every day. I can’t say that I don’t want to crack my mirror in half on some mornings but, overall, I try to focus on all of the god-given beauty both inside and outside of me. There’s a lot to admire on this big, old planet and there’s nothing more gorgeous than a man, woman, or child who appreciates that with a big smile, a hearty laugh, and a good dose of compassion.