Welcome to this week’s ‘My Beauty and Wellbeing’ story… this week we’re sharing our interview with Tanya Mya Shah, Brand Director of Ayurvedic brand Urban Veda.

We’re all about holistic beauty and wellbeing and we love hearing about how other people are managing there’s – for this series we’re reaching out to some inspiring women and men to find out about their favourite products and practices- you know …the things that enable them to be their best selves.

There’s a new story every Wednesday so watch this space and don’t be shy to comment or volunteer to share your stories!

First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself

Hey! I’m Tanya, Brand Director for Urban Veda, a beautiful Award-Winning skincare brand based on the holistic principles of Ayurveda. I joined the Founder about 4 years ago and have since been leading the brand & team and have seen it grow from humble beginnings to a leading International Ayurvedic skincare brand. I grew up in Birmingham, spending most of my teenage years training in Indian classical dance and acting. I then moved to London for University and joined Deloitte as a graduate. I learnt a huge amount from my 6 years there from strategy and problem solving to leading teams and commercial awareness. This set me in good stead for my next big career change – moving to Urban Veda and applying my learnings to a whole new environment!

Why is Ayurvedic skincare & beauty so important to you and how do you incorporate it into your life?

My family are of Indian heritage so Ayurveda really is something that I grew up with and became aware of from a very young age. Treating skin concerns as not just an external issue but also as an indication of an internal balance has been my biggest takeaway. I would say that I incorporate Ayurvedic skincare and beauty into my life predominantly through rituals such as Garshana (dry brushing) and Abhayanga (self massage).

What are your fave skincare ingredients?

I love essential oils, particularly Sandalwood as it is super soothing. I really appreciate the aromatherapeutic qualities of skincare as I believe they harness a calming, meditative power. I’m also a big fan of hyaluronic acid and have been experimenting a lot with the range of acid ingredients too.

What are your must-have skincare products? Apart from your own range, what is the last product that you purchased that you’re loving?

Urban Veda – Reviving Toner is my current fave, I also love our Soothing Facial Polish, Radiance Day Cream and the Reviving Facial Oil.

Our sister brand Ayumi has a beautiful range of skincare products too, I especially love the body washes.

Apart from our own brands, I love:

  • Pai skincare – Rosehip oil
  • The Oskia Radiance Heat Mask is amazing
  • Beauty Pie – mostly love the brand concept which I think is genius – still experimenting with all the products!

As you know Wow Beauty is committed to promoting self-care, what are some of your non-negotiable self-care rituals?

I would have to say taking time each day (even if it’s only 5 minutes) to ground myself and reconnect to the earth. I am a Vata dosha type (which can often contribute to me forever feeling rushed off my feet) so it’s super important to me to remain grounded through practicing meditation for 15 minutes (most) mornings with a cup of hot lemon water!

I follow this with the practice of listing my intentions for the day. It helps me to organize, prioritise and stay focused.

What difference has experiencing pandemic life made to how you practise self care? What items and practices have helped to get you through lockdown?

I think, like many, I was forced to slow down and take a step back at the life I had been living prior to Covid. I realised how easy it is to run off adrenaline and not prioritise your own needs sometimes. In place of commuting for an hour to work, Itanya would use this time to practice my ‘slow morning’ ritual: lemon water, meditate, watering my plants & vegetables, journaling whilst listening to some calming music.

What is your typical daily skin-care routine like? Has anything changed since lockdown?

So I’m really lucky in that I have no major skin concerns; however as I enter my 30s, I am looking to boost hydration where and when is possible! I start the morning with the Radiance Facial Wash and then the Reviving Toner (it’s so hydrating and glowy). I then follow with a Radiance Day Cream (really lovely and lightweight and smells divine). I definitely used more face masks during lockdown as I had more time – so I experimented with a lot of different brands which was fun!

What changes or developments would you like to see in the beauty landscape over the next year.

Transparency for sure- I think it’s really important that we know who is behind a brand and what they are advocating. I’ve seen Indie beauty brands grow in popularity over the last 5 years and are challenging some of the bigger beauty brands to be more transparent too which is amazing. I think a big area of change and development is in packaging – sustainability is not a trend, it’s a movement that is here to stay and we need to evaluate how we can drive more environmentally friendly products in the future.

What have you discovered about yourself this year that has surprised you?

I think more than anything I have discovered my love of (Urban) gardening! I love tending to the herbs and vegetables that I planted on my roof terrace at the beginning of lockdown. Watching the plants grow and change has been so therapeutic and has really supported my mental wellbeing throughout the pandemic.

Thank you, Tanya

Here’s our Founders Talk interview with Tanya talking about Urban Veda