Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Michelle Ranavat’s interest in slow beauty was sparked by her Indian heritage. After stints at Lehman Brothers and her family’s pharmaceutical company, she founded Ranavat Botanics, a holistic lifestyle brand inspired by ancient Indian beauty rituals. Ranavat travels the world in search of luxe ingredients like saffron, damask rose and Himalayan lavender to create fragrant steam-distilled floral waters, indulgent botanical oils and high performance face masks. She talks to ELLE about the importance of stopping to smell the rose water.
ELLE: What inspired you to create Ranavat Botanics?
Michelle Ranavat: My ancestors are from Rajasthan, and I’ve always felt deeply connected to the region’s palaces and the self-care rituals of the kings and queens. The brand feels like a natural extension of that, as well as my interest in sourcing botanicals. I was also inspired by Anita Dongre—her brand’s focus on sustainability and the preservation of Indian handicrafts resonates with me.
ELLE: How is self-care rooted in the brand’s philosophy?
MR: It’s an integral part of the Ranavat experience. For example, we use a traditional masque formula that needs to be mixed with the Jasmine Tonique Water to activate the clays and organic ayurvedic herbs. This simple act of mixing your own masque allows you to focus on slowing down and indulging. One of my favourite moments in the week is mixing my masque, and then sipping our Illuminate Tea while it dries.
ELLE: Are the ingredients the hero of Ranavat Botanics?
MR: They are only part of the story. I am passionate not only about discovering rare botanicals that have great skin benefits, but also about the process. Coldpressed, CO2 extraction and steam distillation are great to preserve the nutrients in our skincare.
ELLE: Describe your beauty routine.
MR: After a shower, I generously apply our Mighty Majesty Body and Hair Serum; its calming scent layers well with other fragrances. Since I only use a face cleanser at night, the Jasmine Tonique is perfect to tone and hydrate in the morning. This is followed by a gentle massage with the Radiant Rani Serum. I don’t wear foundation usually, but I can’t live without Thrive Causemetics eyeliner and L’Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara. After a long day, I treat myself to our Kiss of Royal Tea Hydrating Masque to nourish my skin.