Tip No. 1: Oils Are Multi-Purpose
Beauty Boosting Day Face Oil, $125.
Shrankhla Holececk started Uma Oils when she realized that the beauty industry at large had been misappropriating Indian skin-care practices and ingredients that her family had worked with for generations. The vast majority of Uma's offerings are oils or oil-based—but they produce a range of effects. "Different oils have different targeted results," says Holecek. "Sometimes you'll see inflammation and redness, and lavender is an excellent way to reduce that and prevent bumpiness that appears with acne. Juniper berry is an excellent oil that reduces [skin] breakage and helps you heal faster without scarring. Clary sage helps balance skin."
At face value, any face oil can be seen as a remedy for dry, rough skin—but it can actually work to improve your skin in many different ways, whether you're dealing with acne, aging, or a generally lackluster appearance.
Tip No. 2: Organic Isn't Everything
Just because a product's label says it's "natural" doesn't totally guarantee its freshness and quality. "It's a fairly closed loop, in terms of where skin-care companies are procuring their ingredients from," says Holecek. "Very often, especially for some newer organic companies, brands tend to buy stuff from someone who bought it from someone, who bought it from someone, who bought it from someone."
By sourcing ingredients for UMA from the company's organic, 100-acre estate, Holecek provides transparency that ensures that the products she puts out really are what they seem. Better ingredient awareness can help you stay more aware of what you're actually putting on your skin.
Tip No. 3: Beauty Is a Mind-Body Practice
Pure Calm Wellness Oil, $85.
"I've come to dislike the term 'holistic' because it's become so hippy-dippy, but it really does make sense," Holecek says. "You shouldn't just take on acne topically—take a step back and understand what your body's triggers for acne are. Your skin is not disconnected from your stomach and mind."
If you're under stress and your diet isn't exactly what you'd call healthy, consider what lifestyle changes you can make. When combined with an effective skin-care routine, eating well will likely give you better skin in the long run.
Tip No. 4: Skin Care Isn't One-Size-Fits-All
Discover Kit, $50.
Not everyone has acne for the same reasons, so your approach to treating acne might not be the same as someone else's. "Your body knows how to heal itself, but it can fall out of balance due to internal or external stressors," says Holecek. "It could be something like a sunburn causing itching and collagen breakdown. Or stress can cause a hormonal imbalance leading to acne." Different issues require different plans of action. UMA's Deeply Clarifying Face Oil is best for oily skin that's naturally breakout-prone, while the Spot Treatment works best for treating the occasional blemish that might pop up from stress or diet.
Tip No. 5: Gentle Doesn't Mean Ineffective
Pure Rest Wellness Oil, $49.
UMA's skin-care methods are rooted in Ayurveda, a healing system that has been practiced in India for thousands of years. "Ayurveda approaches skin care as a way of restoring balance to the body so that it can perform its actions in the most optimal of ways," Holecek says. "To restore the body, avoid very harsh chemicals. Don't overuse soap. Don't over-exfoliate. Whenever possible, try to use natural products, because your body understands them."
Tip No. 6: Time-Tested Remedies Can Be Trusted
"All of our formulas are hundreds of years old," says Holecek. "The beauty of having something in our family for so many years, for centuries, [is] that we have very nuanced formulas for practically every ailment you can think of. The most incredible part of the research and bringing those formulas to life was finding out which ones would be most relevant to today's ailments." So while there are plenty of modern skin-care treatments to choose from, we wouldn't blame you for leaning toward using the one that's been relied upon for hundreds of years.
All UMA products are available at umaoils.com.