Amid these uncertain and extraordinary times are inspiring stories of individuals who choose to pivot and thrive. Our KNESKO Visionary series shines the spotlight on people whose passion and principles align to inspire a higher consciousness. This week’s Visionary is Shiva Rose (@localrose), a Hollywood actress, holistic wellness blogger at The Local Rose, and founder of an all-natural beauty line, Shiva Rose Beauty

After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder in her twenties, Shiva discovered a path toward a more holistic way of living, which led her to craft her own line of all-natural, organically grown, toxin-free skin-care products. In this episode, Shiva recalls her journey to pursuing holistic beauty and skincare and why it’s worth treading. Shiva also explains the importance of having daily rituals in her book Whole Beauty

What was the turning point for you to discover holistic beauty? Could you tell us a little bit about your journey?

Even when I was younger, I wasn’t a big fan of things that smelled strong—you know, fragrance and so on. I had always gravitated towards more natural things. When I was 26, after the birth of my first daughter, I had a very hard time recovering so I went to a rheumatologist. When they took my blood, the rheumatologist told me I only had a year to live cause I had lupus, scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis. It was crazy. I just had this baby! Luckily I’m a rebel; I said, ‘That’s not my story. Thank you very much.’ I went to a doctor who was an MD but who also practiced holistic medicine in Beverly Hills. He said he would get me better within a year. Of course, it didn’t take a year, and it’s been a long journey—I still battle with things today. However, I had noticed that when I started gravitating towards a holistic lifestyle—an organic diet, clean water, and air, and mindset—all of these things really affected my health and it really helped me improve. The final piece was all these products. When you eat food that has a lot of preservatives or toxins in it, your liver can sort of detox that so you don’t get all of those bad qualities. But when you put a product on your skin, there’s no filter; it’s going to go straight to your bloodstream and into your system. So when I made that correlation, I started a blog 11 years ago called The Local Rose. And through that, I realized that skin-care products are equally as important as what we eat. And this was way before all-natural and holistic skin-care lines became very chic. I’d had to go to the health food store and find my oils, like my rosehip seed oil, and mix them and create something. Now, we have so many incredible luxury and beautiful skin-care lines.

Why should women consider more holistic beauty?

Well, I feel like we women are ruled so much by our hormones. Our hormones determine if our skin breaks out or it doesn’t, our moods, our ability to have children. And the first thing that a lot of non-natural products will do is affect your hormones. A lot of fragrances, phthalates, or parabens—all these things that we’ve probably heard of—the first thing they’ll do is disrupt your hormones. One of the first things I dealt with was I had a lot of ovarian cysts, which is from being estrogen dominant. One of the things that can make you estrogen dominant is phytochemicals which come from everything like the products we use in our house to the products we use in and on our body. That was sort of a wake-up call. I also follow a lot of Ayurvedic traditions, which are all about slow beauty. It takes time, but eventually, in the long run, your skin is plumper, your hair is more luscious. It may take a lot of layering on of, you know, doing good foods and good oils and good fats and good waters. And all of this over time will have a good cumulative effect.

What is your secret to lifelong beauty, anti-aging, and wellness? What are the biggest changes you’ve made since your health scare a few years back? 

The basics, for sure. I think organic green juices do help. They just make your eyes bright. I love all the greens, and I always like to put a little bit of apple for sweetness. I know some people are puritans and don’t like that, but I love cilantro and parsley and kale and spinach and cucumber—all the greens with a little bit of apple is so good. I also love turmeric with a little bit of nut milk, like golden milk. I usually make golden milk in the afternoon, a tonic of nut milk with turmeric and black pepper, and a little bit of ghee, which is the good fat, which we need for our hormones and our skin and our hair. Sometimes I’ll add a little ashwagandha to it or reishi mushroom, which is called the queen of all mushrooms. It’s great for your immune system. 

What are your favorite remedies for healthy skin, hair, and nails that are all-natural?

Vitamins are really crucial, especially B vitamins. If you get a very good B vitamin that has all the Bs in it, that’s wonderful for your hair and your nails. I would also go with calcium-rich foods, the naturally rich ones like nuts, and things that have minerals in them. I take minerals every morning. Also, there’s something called Quinton. It’s a sea mineral that comes in these glass vials. I just open it in the morning and take it because at night you get depleted of all your minerals when you sleep. So it’s great to do it first thing in the morning. And that’s one thing that’s wonderful for your skin and your hair too.  

So I know you have a book, Whole Beauty. Tell us a little bit about that.

Yes, my book, was a labor of love. It’s called Whole Beauty, but it encompasses rituals around beauty and encompasses everything from Kundalini yoga, breath, work, tea ceremonies, crystals. And then it has tonic recipes—beauty tonics, tonics for the hair, tonics for the skin, and also all the masks you can make with everything in your pantry. You can use oats and bananas and honey, and it’s just a variation of all sorts of different recipes. 

What are your top three rituals that are in your book that you want to share with us?

I love to do tea ceremonies every day. That’s something that I’ve been practicing for many years. I actually went to China and studied it there and I went to the tea farms. I do that every morning. I do a little bit of a Kundalini meditation. I do some stretching and I definitely do a moment where I connect to a source and spirit and myself. I really feel like that connection comes before anything and everything. And that sort of helps me get grounded in my day.