Dr. Pratima Raichur began her education in wellness and beauty early, when her grandfather asked her—at just 13 years old—to regularly assist the well-respected Ayurvedic doctor who lived next door to her family in India.
As an adult, she studied chemistry, botany, Ayurveda and naturopathy. Then, one day, a colleague at the hospital where Raichur worked approached her for help with a major skin irritation, having heard about her experience with herbs and skincare.
That sparked a chain of events: Many others began to seek her guidance, so she was inspired to launch Pratima Skincare, a line of 100 percent plant-based formulas for the skin and hair, developed on the principles of Ayurvedic medicine. Based on a Skincare Analysis Test on her website, each shopper is encouraged to identify his or her specific dosha (or one of three underlying energies that guide the body’s constitution), then choose a complementary skincare regimen.
Here, Raichur explains how her approach is tailored to each individual and how laughter is essential to achieving what she calls, “Absolute Beauty:”
Live The Process: When did you begin to study Ayurveda and how did that lead you to skincare?
Dr. Pratima Raichur: Growing up in India, my family followed Ayurvedic tradition, so I grew up learning the wisdom of Ayurveda. At the age of 13, my grandfather asked that I go assist our next door neighbor, who was a renowned Ayurvedic vaidya (or doctor). Each day, after school, I spent a few hours reading to him and helping make various herbal remedies. He insisted that I write everything he said in notebooks; many offerings were special formulations for skin wellness and beauty. Little did I know that, at this young age, my life's work had begun. I went on to obtain degrees in chemistry and botany and doctorates in Ayurveda and naturopathy.
I’ve always been passionate about health and beauty. While working at a hospital, I had a colleague come to me with a major skin rash, asking if I could help. Apparently she had heard that I had extensive knowledge about herbs and skincare. So that night, I went home and mixed some herbs for her to try the next day. After just one day, her skin had completely healed. And then, one by one, I had more colleagues coming to me for various skin issues. I continued to make various formulas, provide Ayurvedic lifestyle recommendations and offer help where I could. Very quickly, I realized I could help even more people if I opened up the space in my life to do so. This ultimately led me to begin the creation of my Pratima line, as I knew that by creating natural skincare that incorporated the principles of Ayurveda, I could truly work to heal and eliminate many of the skin problems that my patients had.
LTP: How do you tailor your habits and routines to your own dosha?
PR: Each of us is made up of our own unique dosha, requiring us each to tailor our lifestyle to our unique makeup. Once you have determined your dosha—an Ayurvedic doctor or an online dosha quiz can help you find out—it is important to recognize that balance is at the essence of health, and so your lifestyle should be adjusted to reflect this. Each of us should follow a slightly different diet and exercise regimen to nurture our individual dosha needs and offset any imbalances that may occur as a result of our dosha’s qualities. It is important to also factor in things like age, as well as the season. My constitution is Pitta/Kapha, however my habits have shifted to also include Vata balancing foods and practices to account for what I need for balance at my age. This includes warm foods, drinking plenty of warm water and performing regular self-massage with herbal oils that include jasmine, rose and sweet orange. I massage my feet every night as a practice of nourishment and self-love. The depth of my meditation has also strengthened, as I work towards total contentment and peace.
LTP: How can we achieve what you call “Absolute Beauty?”
PR: Absolute Beauty is not about a specific body type, feature or age; it means perfect happiness and peace, which leads us to bliss and beauty. To achieve this, you must find balance within your own dosha and find the appropriate lifestyle choices that support this balance. Start with your body: feed yourself healthy, natural, balancing foods; exercise and nourish your skin with pure, organic herbal products, all according to your dosha. Next, go deeper and find balance within your mind—meditate, find acceptance, gratitude and love within yourself and exercise these feelings as much as you can. Also, don’t forget to laugh.
LTP: What inspired your book, Absolute Beauty?
PR: With Absolute Beauty, I wanted to share a complete system of beauty, health and wellness with rituals for self-care incorporating the principles of Ayurveda. Each person is made of unique characteristics, therefore we all require an individualized set of lifestyle recommendations according to our dosha that covers nutrition, physical exercise, skincare rituals and meditation, to name a few. The concept of “ageless” beauty does not relate to a specific age and is really a holistic approach in the eyes of Ayurveda. When we focus solely on anti-aging products and procedures, we are always disappointed, as the results are never genuine and lasting. My book was written as a way to share these holistic methods that can be easily practiced and added into anyone’s daily lifestyle, allowing people to transform themselves from the inside out, achieving optimal wellness and absolute beauty.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
PR: Happiness means contentment, peace, gratitude and acceptance. It is loving what you have and letting go of the negative. It means recognizing that you are pure love and that this love is the strongest and most important love of all. When you know and accept this, you will find happiness in each day, living every moment to the fullest.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?
Living the process is living a life of awareness. It is asking myself every minute of every day, “What am I doing and what is my intention?” I meditate daily in the morning and at night and, because of this practice, I am happier and my relationships are fuller and healthier. The seeds of this must be deeply planted by each of us every day, so that we can live more consciously, treating our bodies, surroundings, the environment and all those that come into our lives, with this transformative and beautiful love.
Find more information about Pratima Skincare here.