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Q&A with Ravi Prasad, Founder of Almora Botanica

Q&A with Ravi Prasad, Founder of Almora Botanica

By B. Soberano

Introducing Almora Botanica, a revolutionary skincare brand that combines the power of nature with innovative scientific research. We were fortunate to have the founder of Almora Botanica, Ravi Prasad, join us to shed light on the brand's story, values, and unique approach to skincare. Read on as we delve deeper into the brand's philosophy, the science behind their formulations, and the inspiration behind their innovative Ayurvedic products.

Ravi Prasad, Almora Botanica Founder

What are the origins of Almora Botanica and what inspired you to start the skincare range?

My journey began as the chief executive at Himalaya Wellness Company, which is one of the world’s biggest Ayurvedic medicine companies. Before coming into ayurveda I was in the allopathic industry, which over time I realised is entirely symptomatic in its relief and isn’t curative. 

The ayurveda system of medicines, on the other hand, tracks the cause of the problem and they address the cause, eradicating the symptoms. That to me is what the healthcare system should be. I therefore wanted to apply that system into skincare hence the launch of Almora Botanica.

For me, I realise that good health comes to you through balance and through the purity of ingredients. I wanted Almora Botanica to be inspired by this.

Almora is a little village up in the Himalayas. As part of my work leading the biggest ayurvedic company in India, I worked with a network of farmers across the country including those based in a village named Almora. The people I worked with produced innovative and contemporary herbal drug scientific research and the village was well respected because they were in tune with nature, in that case I wanted to bring the provenance into the brand name, hence Almora Botanica.


What is Ayurvedic skincare and how does this approach impact the efficacy of the products?

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medicinal system that translates as ‘science of life’, and its practice lies in balancing the mind, body, and spirit. We have scientifically researched Ayurveda’s most impactful botanical and adaptogenic ingredients to create a holistic approach to maintaining health and wellbeing.

I think Ayurveda is becoming increasingly relevant because, after COVID, there is a growing trend with consumers that do not want to eat or use chemicals. I don’t want myself or my family to be exposed to these chemicals through food consumption, so if you don’t eat chemicals then why should you feed your skin chemicals? 

The skin unfortunately has no filter in comparison to when you eat something, and it’s filtered by the stomach and by the liver and a lot of the toxins are removed from the body naturally. However, if you apply something which is harsh and dangerous on your skin or hair for instance, it just goes into the system. A classic example is silicones for your hair which are used for straightening and smoothing your hair for example, the half-life of silicones is so high it never biodegrades so it stays on the scalp and stays on the soil which makes it cacogenic, and it destroys all the microflora in the ground. 

An ayurvedic formulation in one product might be completely different in another as it's determined by how it's processed. The formulation is not about blending a few ingredients, it’s about how you process it, how you cook it, how you make the product. The recipe can be the same for various formulas and various brands but what has gone into making it can really determine whether it’s safe and efficacious.

How do you keep a commitment to sustainability and making conscious decisions for the planet?

The sustainability credentials of our products are very important to us as it's a seed to shelf concept. It must happen through the entire value chain and sustainability starts with the seeds that I use which make sure that no farmer that we work with has used genetically modified seeds. This is all monitored by an organisation called the soil association which is part of COSMOS.

The second stage in the value chain is that of extraction. There are two extraction techniques which are commonly used, one is water extraction and the other is alcohol extraction. I didn’t want to use either because water extraction only extracts active principles which are soluble in water and the rest gets wasted so you don’t get the goodness of the entire herb.

Alcohol extraction brings in alcohol to the extract which may be bad for the skin because over time it can produce redness and make your skin more sensitive. 

The factories are audited by COSMOS to ensure all the manufacturing principles which are employed are green which is very important for sustainability and the green aspect is very important for the brand right from the growing fields to the selling shelves.

All the products are vegan as well. There are no scents or perfumes as they are a cause of allergies like essential oils, we didn’t want to add any perfume or any artificial fragrance to the product so the smell you get is the smell of the active ingredients.

Almora Botanica

What are the two different ranges and what concerns do they target?

Almora Botanica is a natural vegan skincare brand complete with 7 products created to either prevent or repair skin damage.

The Prevent and Preserve collection has been crafted to prevent the first signs of ageing and preserve skin health. It is suited to all skin types. The Restore and Repair range has been crafted to restore and repair damaged skin, as well as fight visible signs of ageing. It is especially suited to mature skin, but can be used by all skin types.

The products in both ranges use powerful adaptogenic ingredients in the formulas, helping the skin to rebalance and adapt to any individual's needs. The high-impact formulations use the purest botanicals sourced from nature to deliver supple, nourished skin.               

Just launched products: Purifying Gel Cleanser, Hydrating & Resilience Face Lotion, Radiance Day Face Oil, Nourishing Night Face Oil, Restorative Night Face Oil, Serum for Fine Lines, and Restorative Hand Cream.                                                      

Sapta Complex can be found in: Radiance Day Face Oil and Serum for Fine Lines.

Almora Botanica Face Oils

Can you tell us about your hero face oils and what it is that makes them so unique?

Our carefully curated range of face oils fast became our hero products. Unlike a traditional face oil, they are ultra-lightweight. This is because they contain our patent-pending Sapta Complex, a blend of seven natural cold-pressed oils that use unique delivery technology to reach deeper into the skin.

Clinical studies were carried out on 38 people under dermatological control using these face oils for 12 weeks. An in-vitro study was also done on a T-skin model mimicking full-thickness human skin for 7 days.

The results were very good, for example our hero product the Radiance Day Oil scored 85% in improved skin hydration and 70% showed perceptible shade improvement in their skin. For instance, the serum for fine lines found that after 8 weeks, 100% of consumers agreed that the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles significantly reduced.

Therefore, our patent pending Sapta Complex in these face oils acts as a natural retinol alternative, delivering active ingredients faster and deeper in dermal layers.

Your formulas are powered by a Sapta Complex. How does this innovative technology work?

The great thing about the base which we call Sapta Complex is that the viscosity of the blend is only 5 times that of water whilst the viscosity of any blend that you have on the market is between 55 and 60 times that of water, so we are about 10 times lighter than other face oils (or even serums) because of the Sapta Complex.

Face Yoga

The brand promotes face yoga and facial massage as a key part of the skincare routine. What are the benefits of this?

Our range of products is supported by a face yoga studio on the lower ground floor of 14 Dover Street. Face yoga is a fundamental part of the Almora Botanica brand and during the session customers can experience key techniques designed to strengthen facial muscles, tighten skin, and ease tension.

Ravi Prasad's passion for botanical ingredients and his dedication to preserving the environment shine through in all aspects of Almora Botanica's operations. Be sure to discover the range of products and experience the formulations that aim to go beyond skin in the full Almora Botanica collection today.

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