Skin Deep

ABOUT FACE: Michelle Ranavat

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Skin Deep

ABOUT FACE: Michelle Ranavat

Meet the scientist turned beauty founder behind RANAVAT Botanics.

Instagram: @ranavat
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Astrological Sign: Libra
Beauty product (or treatment) that changed your skin: My brightening saffron serum, Radiant Rani! I had no idea saffron was such an incredible ingredient for the skin.
Podcast you can’t stop listening to: How I Built This on NPR
Instagram account you love to follow: @stellasimona – she has the most ethereal vibe and everything she does has so much intention and purpose.

Michelle Ranavat knows what it means to search for your place, not only in the world but in the beauty space. Growing up in Wisconsin and Chicago, figuring out her identity was a big part of her life. “My parents immigrated from India in the 70’s and I spent my childhood in the Midwest,” she says. “I was always in this juggling act between trying to fit in and also understand what being Indian means.” For her, that meant earning her Masters of Science in Engineering Management while cultivating a love for Indian culture through dancing. Now, as founder of the all-natural Ayurvedic skincare line RANAVAT Botanics, she’s created a brand that is true to herself. Combining ancient Indian beauty with modern clean beauty, RANAVAT’s products strive to inspire everyone to create their own beauty rituals. Read on to learn more about her beauty philosophy, where she finds inspiration, and why she thinks work/life balance is a myth.

TS

Where did you find the inspiration for RANAVAT Botanics?

MR

RANAVAT is really a culmination of all my life’s experience so far — from a science background that helped me understand formulations and quality to my work in finance at Lehman Brothers that taught me how to run a business. I find so much joy in uncovering ancient beauty secrets and healing modalities that existed thousands of years ago. RANAVAT brings me closer to my roots, and sharing those traditions with the world brings me so much happiness.

TS

What was your biggest challenge you faced when starting your business, and how did you overcome it?

MR

There are so many challenges when starting a business. Once you overcome one challenge there are so many new challenges waiting for solutions. When starting out, navigating the world of social media and content creation was really foreign and difficult. I’ve been finding that so much beauty discovery is done through education, and social media is such an important vehicle to share that information. I overcame this by trial and error — testing out video formats, lighting, and content until I saw it resonate. I am still refining and evolving and that’s part of the fun!

TS

There’s a lot of focus in the beauty industry on new, trendy ingredients and quick results. You choose to focus on selective ingredients that take time to source and distill and that are rooted in tradition. How does this philosophy relate to or reflect your idea of beauty?

MR

I personally take a very holistic view to beauty. I believe our outward beauty is correlated to our overall wellness. I also feel that when we approach our beauty treatments from a place of knowledge and with an understanding of traditions, we are able to more effectively integrate them in our lives because we understand the “why.”
michelle ranavat

TS

What has been the most satisfying part of building a brand and a business?

MR

Connecting with the RANAVAT community! I love hearing when a customer feels transported and royal by using the treatments. I truly enjoy knowing that people look forward to their moment with RANAVAT, and how our products carry a deeper meaning for them. 

TS

What’s the best way to achieve work/life balance? 

MR

I think there is no true balance. Sometimes there’s more life, and other times there’s more work. The art is about listening to yourself and knowing when you need a break. There are days where I am working non-stop, and others where I take a step back and connect with friends and family and allow myself to recharge.

TS

What advice do you have for professionals who want to pursue a career path similar to yours? 

MR

Connect your business with something you are passionate about. This will help you navigate the inevitable ups and downs!

TS

What plans and goals do you have for yourself for the future?

MR

My goal is to create meaningful content around Ayurveda and Indian traditions in a way that connects with the modern person. I would love to see wellness take an editorial feel without stripping out the origins.

I believe our outward beauty is correlated to our overall wellness.”

michelle ranavat
michelle ranavat

TS

What was your first coveted beauty product?

MR

My mom loves lipstick, and when I was growing up I loved to sneak into her bathroom and admire all her lipstick and the beautiful packaging.  Eventually my mom bought me a Chanel lipstick, and I will always associate her with that classic red.

TS

What’s the biggest beauty myth?

MR

Oils are bad for your skin! This is not true. We have sebum on our skin as a way to protect and balance our skin. The last thing we want to do is disrupt the way our body normally functions. I believe in using products that work with our bodies and not fight against it.

TS

Describe your ideal Sunday situation.

MR

Coffee! I love waking up and sipping my coffee outside and enjoying the moment. Eventually I’ll go on a bike ride to nearby UCLA with the kids and meet up with our neighborhood friends. I enjoy a nice light lunch while reading the news and then head out with the family for a little outdoor fun. Eventually I might catch up with some friend (over the phone, given COVID) and cook a nice dinner with my husband Anil as we wind down for the day.

TS

What’s your self-care power move?

MR

Sleep! I love sleeping in and will take advantage when I can.

TS

In a few words, describe beauty as you see it.

MR

Embracing the uniqueness of you.
michelle ranavat

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