Here at Spa Week, we believe spa transcends beyond outer beauty and into overall inner health and well-being (in case you haven’t noticed!). So, a few weeks ago when I got my hands on a sample kit from Shaffali Skincare, I was so excited to learn that not only did the products work wonders on my skin and smell fantastic, they are also grounded in strong Ayurvedic practices and rituals that promote overall health and wellness from the inside out. At Shaffali, a facial cleanser isn’t just a soap. It’s a purifying experience where French lavender and Indian turmeric wash away impurities, stress and insecurities while increasing self-awareness and inner confidence. Each Shaffali product is accompanied by a ritual: a mantra, breathing exercises and meditation, to help you harness the full power of the products and yourself. I had a chance to interview the creator and CEO of Shaffali Skincare, Shaffali Miglani herself. Learn all about how she got into Ayurveda, how the products and corresponding rituals are created and what yoga means to her. Plus find out about her first business, her favorite spa treatment and her New Year’s resolution… **Spa Week Daily Exclusive: Receive $11 off your next Shaffali Skincare purchase at Shaffali.com with code: SW212 Stephanie: How were you introduced to Ayurvedic practices? Shaffali: My mom’s cooking, both home remedies and beauty recipes, introduced me to Ayurveda. My mother is truly an exceptional cook who has an amazing repertoire of recipes from all over the world. As young child, I was very curious and wanted to cook like my mom. The house was always filled with the warmth of her creations. When did you know this was something you wanted to do for a living? I have always been drawn towards creating my own business. One of my most favorite and comical memories is when my two neighborhood friends and I picked all the rose on our whole block (yes, including from other neighbor’s yards!) and soaked them in water. Then we sold this rose petal water as a perfume. Instead of a lemonade stand, we had a perfume stand! At around 14 years old, I started creating my own skincare creations and recipes on a weekly basis to replace store-bought skincare products. Because of my childhood, my kitchen cabinet is truly my medicine cabinet, full of herbs, seeds and spices I use for a variety of recipes. When I was a freshman in college, I was torn about wanting to do something deep and meaningful, like practicing holistic health and wellness, versus something practical, like starting my own a business. So, I decided to merge both the meaningful and the practical and work in the spa industry. After a few years, I was offered a job at a skincare manufacturing company that distributed products to resort spas in over 130 countries. It was there that I had the epiphany of starting my own skincare line – especially as I had been refining my own creations for over 10 years by that point. I truly felt I had something special, unique, thoughtful and effective to offer. How has this affected your life and your brand? The key ingredients in Shaffali Skincare are Ayurvedic. For each product there is a corresponding ritual experience that one can do as a part of a meditative Ayurvedic practice where the mind, body soul and spirit are addressed as well as the skin. How did these skincare rituals come to fruition? Who created them? These rituals are a result of my own experiences. Every week, I do a ritual of preparing my own homemade skincare products. Then I do items (such as a guided meditation) to bring balance to my soul as well. After years of doing this, and especially after being trained as a yoga teacher, I started correlating specific thoughts with specific steps in each skincare practice. Why are these rituals important? How do they affect the skin, mind, body, soul etc? The rituals are important because they address what is going on inside so that you can truly have a glow on the outside. Who comes up with the interesting ingredient combinations that make up the different products? These come from the refinement of my own weekly rituals (I’ve being doing this for the past 15 years, so, 15 years x 52 weeks, I never miss a week, equals 780 refinements and experimental versions of recipes). These refinements continue to propel new product development for the Shaffali line. It is not uncommon for you to find me at home in my skincare lab (my kitchen) concocting new creations on the weekends. What advice can you give our readers about Ayurvedic practices and products? My advice is to approach Ayurveda with an open mind. Don’t overlook it or be intimidated by it. According to Ayurveda, in order to live a happy and healthy life you have to take yourself into account, your body type and mind you are born with (your dosha). Then you can implement your own personal plan to optimize your dosha (or balance) through the foods you eat, exercise, your state of mind etc. (To find out more about your dosha, take our quiz.) Knowing yourself, through Ayurveda, can create a rich and beautiful life path. Which Shaffali product(s) do you use every day? Every day I use the Detoxifying Exfoliant with Peppermint + Pineapple and the Replenishing Moisturizer with Neem and Neroli in the morning. For me, the exfoliants’ aromatherapy scent of peppermint and pineapple is like my natural caffeine wake-me-up in the morning. The exfoliant is not only a manual scrub but also contains a fruit enzyme peel. I leave it on for a few minutes while I make my tea and brush my teeth so I get a mini facial each morning. How does your brand balance wellness and beauty? Our mantra is “reflect the light within,” which refers to finding your inner beauty, balance and happiness and making it shine on the outside. Our logo has many spiritual interpretations; it is a beautiful symbol of the light and beauty within each of us. It also represents a stylized Lotus Flower, which rises towards light and beauty. Like a Chakra, or energy center, in the body, it is symbolic of our higher self. How does your relationship with yoga influence your brand? Yoga is an inherent part of the brand. As I mentioned before, each product has a ritual experience associated with it: positive mantras and instructions for what to think about when inhaling and exhaling the aromatherapy in the product, which is the mantra for the line as a whole (reflect the light within). Due to my intertwined connection with yoga, I started a signature workshop where I teach yoga poses that correlate to each step in the Shaffali self-facial. This workshop is called “Beauty from the Inside Out” and, after many requests, I am going to be offering a certification course to train yoga teachers so they too can teach these workshops as official Shaffali Ambassadors. What advice can you give our readers about yoga? Yoga is a beautiful way to quiet the mind while becoming mindful of the body. It is not just exercise, though it can be used as such. The beauty in it comes from the exploration and introspection of the self. It teaches you to be comfortable in the quiet and challenge of any pose. I use yoga as moving meditation and I like to emphasize the mind, body, breath and soul connection, which I encourage students to embrace fully. Through this embrace and awareness, I believe we can become more conscious of every aspect of our lives, in both the microcosm (our being) and macrocosm (the universe), leading us to our highest potential, and in essence, our highest self. Tell us about your wellness blog, Meditate on This…. How did this get started? Who writes for it? I am the main writer for the blog. I share bits of insight, resources and wisdom from my own humble experiences of living a wellness lifestyle. I also have guest writers from time to time who offer reflective or wellness oriented pieces. The blog also helps me connect with the Shaffali community. It helps me remind people that Shaffali isn’t just a brand name but is also a real person who has a sincere story and belief behind the brand. What is your number one skincare tip/trick? It comes as a package: Sleep, a smile, a good diet, love and happiness from within. What is your favorite spa treatment to receive? Shirodhara. My third eye is a place on my body that I am extremely sensitive to; it is our marma point for intuition, meditation and relaxation. What is your New Year’s resolution? I have been writing my New Year’s resolutions for as long as I have had my journal (22 years). This year, my resolutions are focused on self-improvement. My resolutions are to eat more sea vegetables, experiment with a Gluten-free diet (two of my very dear, and very different friends swear by this), fast more (I used to fast so much often when I was younger, again, the influence of my mother) and launch all of the exciting new Shaffali products that are in the works! For more from Shaffali, sign up for her blog newsletter and visit Shaffali Skincare on facebook page.