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Health and Self Care
Four women share their favourite, time-proven, self-care rituals
by Tsitaliya Mircheva
This week on the 7th of April the World Health Organisation invited people from all over the world to celebrate the annual World Health Day.
The campaign this year was dedicated to building a fairer, healthier world.
“OUR WORLD IS AN EQUAL ONE": writes on its main page the WHO. “As COVID-19 has highlighted, some people are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others - entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work and age. All over the world, some groups struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, have poorer housing conditions and education, fewer employment opportunities, experience greater gender inequality, and have little or no access to safe environments, clean water and air, food security and health services. This leads to unnecessary suffering, avoidable illness, and premature death. And it harms our societies and economies. This is not only unfair: it is preventable. That’s why we are calling on leaders to ensure that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health”.
In support of this campaign by the World Health Organization, by Adushka is bringing awareness to Women’s Health and way of living around the world by introducing you to four women, whose work is rooted in uplifting and supporting other women, improving their living and working conditions, education and health! We asked those women to share their favourite personal self-care rituals in hope to bring attention to their work and inspire you to take care of yourself daily through small gestures of self-love and respect.
Anju Rupal is the founder and CEO of Abhati Suisse, a next generation skincare and hair care that blends technology with tradition to adapt Ayurvedic beauty rituals for a contemporary audience. The brand mission is to help girls in rural India obtain an education and make better choices for their future. To date Abhati Suisse in collaboration with NGO’s like www.educategirls.ngo have made it possible for an estimated 389’000 girls to acquire an education. That is only the beginning.
By choosing Abhati Suisse products you become part of the change for many girls’ lives. We asked Anju about her favourite self-care ritual and here is what she shared:
Anju Rupal: My favourite self-care ritual is hair-oiling, which is part of my cultural heritage and ancestors traditions. Indian hair care is an extension of skincare it’s a holistic approach to rituals that are centuries old. It’s all about scalp health and protection for the hair. Hair-oiling includes head massages, which help the blood circulation and in return helps hair growth. In the west hair masks are done when we feel our hair is brittle, weak. Indian women never let this happen, it’s cared for to prevent damage. My grandma or mum would every Sunday oil my hair and then braid it. I’m an Indian Punjabi and hair is our jewellery, even Punjabi men oil and keep their hair long. My grandfather had a farm in Punjab and Naniji granny would grow and use fruits, plants, flowers she would dry and then mortar into a powder and mix for our hair masks, this would be mixed with her organic cold pressed oils or freshly made ghee when she felt I had too much sun on my hair, yogurt was also sometimes used to calm my scalp. Oiling was a weekly ritual which I continued on my daughters. It’s bonding, story telling, connection, touch.
Healthy gorgeous hair needs work and also needs to be protected. Oiling helps hydrate the scalp and improves the follicles and body of your hair as well as overall hair health. Cold pressed oils are massaged into Indian women’s hair a few times a week it’s like a protective barrier for on the go, My example is how the west approaches SPF, we are taught the need to protect our dark long tresses. This tradition is passed on generations how to prevent hair damage.
Tsitaliya: What is the actual process of hair oiling?
Anju: Apply oil to the hair line and massage in from top to nape, then if possible leave overnight. Wash Luke warm, Last rinse in cold water to seal your hair.
You can also add a drop to calm your fly away hair after washing when dry.
A tip we share for our oil is to use it to protect against sea water or chlorine. Or mix it for added nutrition to our conditioner. It’s great also when the winter months kick in and we turn on the heating systems that play havoc on our scalp.
Tsitaliya: Does this treatment have different benefits for different hair types (for example, fine/thinning and thick/course)? How often does it need to be done in order to see a difference?
Anju: Try to stick to the ritual for at least 6 months, you will see a benefit in the scalp and hair structure. Your hair also needs to adjust to purely natural ingredients, something that’s new to western women.
Non toxic DIY treatments are part of the Indian beauty treatments. Please get rid of your harsh surfactant shampoos and go for mild ones like ours rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.
Your comb is important too not only reduces frizz, but massages the scalp, gets blood pumping, and helps spread natural oils to the hair shaft. Abhati comb also de-tangles the hair without snagging.
My daughters are of mixed race, they have finer hair like their dad. Another oil was needed for their hair type that’s why I developed Chambal sacred hair oil using Ancient Indian tradition but adapting it because the traditional ones were too heavy and clogged. Chambal sacred oil absorbs their hair and feeds it and is a sensorial journey, formulated for all hair types with beautiful healing properties. Another tip: mix a few drops of Chambal sacred hair oil into our hair conditioner for a nourishing weekly hair mask. New in our pipeline are hair care treatments, think skincare for haircare.
Her natural beauty, strong personality, her gorgeous grey hair and the air of nonchalance around her has made her one of the most popular Swiss Models in the last few years. But that’s not all. Carmen has become a glorious inspiration for many women empowering them to stay true to who they are, to stop being afraid of age and that there are many ways they can use their voice to make an impact. No woman should feel invisible at any age or stage of her life.
Carmen used to own a beauty salon for many years. Currently she works as a model represented by Scout Model.
Here is what she shares about her favourite self-care ritual:
Carmen Meier Viva: I don’t have some kind of a grand ritual around self-care. But there are a few things I kept doing over the years that could be considered part of my self-care.
Dry brushing, sauna and jumping in the cold lake for a swim no matter the season. I like dry brushing, because it helps remove from the skin the dead cells and stimulates blood circulation. I use a rough-textured towel which really makes my skin soft fresh after brushing. I love taking a sauna too. My husband and I have our own in the backyard right by the lake, so I usually go in for a swim after the sauna. This is such a rejuvenating ritual.
As for my face I don’t use any popular brands skincare. I like to give my skin a good hydration with clean hyaluronic acid serum and I love essential oils. I mix a few drops in my body lotion or on my face. I like to put the face oil in my palms, rub and inhale the smell. This is a small detail, part of my beauty ritual that makes me arrive in that moment and be really present when I apply the skincare on my face and neck. I really love natural essential oils and products that are well absorbed by my skin. I believe that everyone should find what works for them in terms of personal skincare.
There is no such thing as one miracle cream that works for everybody.
Anita Steiner is an independent make up and hair stylist who works with private clients, photographers and companies. In the last ten years Anita has been actively involved into working with families and people who go through serious illnesses such as cancer. She has been consulting, training and prepping them for photo session or helping them deal with the change on the outside. Anita has studied oncology make up, trained in relaxation and breathing techniques and yoga, which she masterfully implements in the personal trainings and numerous workshops organised for her project Be Brave, Be You. Her project was officially launched in February 2021, after several other interesting project Anita took part in. One of them in collaboration with the Kantonal Spital Baden and women’s lingerie brand Amoena where women with breast cancer participated in a fashion show.
“With my project I want to help women feel a little more confident and a little more positive about their future, when looking in the mirror. We women are often so influenced by how we look and a little make up or helping with falling eyelashes and eyebrows or hair is very important to see something positive in such difficult moments. I love seeing women lighten up after we work on their look and suddenly there is more hope and determination in their eyes! That makes me really happy”, says Anita Steiner.
Anita is one of those multilayered superwomen who also is part time flight attendant and has a family which she always puts in the first place in her busy life. She doesn’t have a specific favourite self-care ritual, but she loves practicing yoga, meditation and walking in nature with her daughter. She also loves painting and listening to music.
She finds all these little things bring her closer to herself.
Joy Baldwin is a jewellery designer who recently started a project together with Nea Zoi, an organization supporting marginalized women on the streets or in the brothels of Athens, with the goal to see them equipped to build new lives. The project focuses on training sexually exploited women in Athens to learn how to make jewellery and help them grow their confidence to create a dignified career for themselves.
“The idea for this project has been seeded in many many years ago, when I visited one of the brothels in Athens, accompanying my sister in law who was working for Nea Zoi. After this experience I was so traumatised and could not sleep for day thinking: I have to do something for these girls! Here I am today, I found a way and we started finally last year.
We have a website and we are working with already six women and they have been doing really well”, says Joy.
The long-term purpose of BeJewelled is for all these exploited women to gain the practical, spiritual and emotional support they need to build new lives, to help them find stable employment with social security and health insurance.
As for her personal self-care ritual, Joy says that she loves reading at the beach, especially when she is in Athens. The sea, the breeze, the salty water have such healing power over me, “Plus a good read can take me places I’ve never been and I love that! Reading is my favourite self-care ritual. I find it is such a luxury these days to sit with a good book and let yourself be carried away”.
You can find all four women on Instagram: link to profiles for each name