PRATIMA is a New York-based small-batch producer of 100% natural skincare.
In recent years the line has become renowned for its Ayuvedic blends, with each product tailor-made to complement one of the three fundamental doshas.
At present the range contains cleansers, toners, moisturisers, facial oils, scrubs, masks, sunscreen, bath oils and hair care.
Everything is formulated without parabens, petroleum, GMOs, PEGs, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic preservatives, dyes or fragrances and packaged in recyclable glass bottles and jars.
I spoke to founder Dr. Pratima Raichur about Ayurveda, integrative
medicine, the secret to radiant skin and more...
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START PRATIMA?
I have been practicing Ayuveda since I was a little girl – the lifestyle philosophy was passed from generation to generation in my family. My educational path, however, began to take shape when I was 13 years old, apprenticing for an Ayuvedic doctor in India. Later, I completed my university education in science and worked for many years as a doctor in research laboratories and hospitals. When a fellow colleague came to me with a skin ailment, I reverted back to my Ayuvedic teachings that, when combined with my degrees in chemisty and botany, helped me develop a simple, powerful natural solution that healed her skin. Moments like this eventually inspired my skincare and wellness practice, PRATIMA.
WHY DO YOU FEEL IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO USE NATURAL INGREDIENTS?
It is important to understand that our skin indiscriminatly digests whatever it is fed, whether that is beneficial nutrients or harmful chemicals. These substances, for better or worse, are then absorbed into our bloodstream, causing a direct impact on our overall health. This is why natural skincare made from pure, organic ingredients is so important. Synthetic ingredients are indigestible and build up within our body, causing toxicity and even illness, whereas natural ingredients are easily recognised by the body as nutritious, beneficial food that heals and nourishes the skin. However, it should be noted that skincare is not one-size-fits-all, as every individual's constitution is unique – routines should be tailored to fit specific needs.
FROM WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR INGREDIENTS?
We source most of our ingredients from organic and biodynamic farms in India that are committed to fair trade practices and sustainable methods of farming as well as to supporting local communities. The soil, the temperature and the climatic conditions play a pivitol role in the growth of the herbs we utilize in our formulas, which is why it's so important that they come from India. Be it Triphala made from extracts of fruits of Harde, Baheda, Amla or the amazing cure-all Neem, growing them in their natural habitat, India, ensures they are always at their most potent. Local farmers have a vast knowledge of the herbs and work in accordance with nature, respecting the planet and its ecosystem – something we are very passionate about at PRATIMA.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR PRODUCTION AND PACKAGING PROCESSES ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE?
We make many efforts to maintain an eco-friendly environment, from the handmade small batches of skincare that I formulate and mix myself to the recycled cotton insulation, salvaged wood and bamboo flooring at our spa, each decision we make is carefully assessed to ensure it makes the most minimal impact on our planet. All of our formulations are made with ingredients sourced from fair trade resources and are 100% biodegradable and sattvic, meaning that they do no harm to the environment when washed down the drain. All of our packaging is recyclable and all marketing materials, labelling and printing are done with vegetable inks.
YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCT IN THE LINE:
While it is truly hard to pick a favourite, I am partial to my Face Essential Oils. Because they can easily penetrate deep within the skin, they nourish every layer, boost healing and prevent premature ageing, while leaving the skin glowing. Ayuveda has praised essential oils and herbs for their benefits for thousands of years. The oils are truly food for the skin and, I believe, one of the most important steps in a skincare ritual.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR PRATIMA?
I am always growing. Spirtually, I am constantly working towards a deeper state of meditation, guiding me towards new levels of gratitude and acceptance. Professionally, I will be working on writing my second book, as well as continuing to evolve and expand my PRATIMA skincare line. I hope to continue spreading the teachings of Ayuveda, as it has been my life's purpose and I am grateful to be able to do this every day.
THE SECRET TO RADIANT SKIN IS...
Happiness! When you have positive thoughts and pure intentions it will reflect on your skin and you will truly glow. I have always said that beauty is a by-product of happiness. Our emotions are very powerful and manifest physically in different ways, including on our skin. We digest our thoughts the same way we digest our food, so while we should always try to eat healthy and use pure, natural products, we must remember that true beauty comes from within. When we supplement this positive emotional environment with pure, organic skincare you are creating the healthiest foundation for radiant skin.
WHAT IS YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY?
Awareness is the most important thing. Ayuveda teaches us to eat according to our dosha, adapting our diet with what balances our internal energies. Listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel when you eat certain foods. What is pacifying for Vata, for examples, may trigger an imbalance in Pitta or Kapha. If you are new to an Ayuvedic diet, do your best and start slow – don't put too much pressure on yourself to follow your diet exactly. The stress you endure by doing this has a greater negative effect than the food itself!
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING?
Ayuveda taught me the importance of self-care and self-love. I eat good food and I exercise regularly. I find spiritual peace through meditation and spend time each day focusing on what I am grateful for, filling my world with positive thoughts. Everything begins with love. If you apprach your life this way, the rest will come easily.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
Spending time with my children and grandchildren. The moments that we are able to spend with our loved ones are so precious, yet we easily take it for granted. We all measure happiness by different achievements, but I have found that watching my family grow and sharing their experiences has given me the most happiness of all.