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Three Questions with Michelle Ranavat ’03

With summer in full swing, Michelle Ranavat shares some tips for taking care of your skin in the summer sun.

When Michelle Ranavat ’03 visited India in 2012, she was awestruck by the ornate detail, meticulous craftsmanship, and luxurious atmosphere of the palaces that once housed the country’s earliest kings and queens. Today, she bottles that feeling of regal indulgence and shares it with the world through RANAVAT, a skincare line rooted in Indian beauty rituals and traditional Ayurvedic ingredients, and designed to nurture and empower one’s inner royal. “Royalty is really a state of mind,” Ranavat says. “Anyone can be or feel royal, but I think this idea of treating your skin like royalty or elevating your self-care really brings more meaning into what you’re doing.” To some, Ranavat’s current work may seem a far cry from her days as an industrial engineering student at the UW, but for her, the only thing more natural than the products she develops is the path that led from manufacturing courses and factory field trips in Wisconsin to a skincare empire in Los Angeles. “I swear, the biggest thing that I use is my engineering degree,” Ranavat says. “It wasn’t so much of transitioning to a different world; it was actually taking so much of what I learned and studied in school and applying it in a different way.” With summer in full swing, Ranavat shares some tips for taking care of your skin in the summer sun.

  1. SPF = BFF. I think the biggest beauty tip is always preservation and making sure that you’re doing everything you can to reduce your direct sun exposure: layering on that sunblock, wearing a nice [hat] — I wear a hat that has UPF in it, sun protection fabric —really making sure that you’re caring for your skin in a preventative way instead of, “Oh my God. Now I have dark spots from the sun. How do I reverse that?” It’s actually easier to not get them in the first place.
  2. Water your skin (inside and out). Hydration is key, and never skipping cleansing at night. I would say cleansing in the morning is optional, but cleansing at night should be a must.
  3. Easy on the acids. Do everything you can to not over-exfoliate [or] expose your skin because that can lead to a lot of other issues like inflammation.

This story originally appeared in the July 2021 issue of Badger Vibes. Learn more about this monthly email newsletter from WAA, and sign up for the mailing list.

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