Shel Pink is the founder of SpaRitual, a pioneering, sustainable beauty brand based on the rituals of self-care. Pink built SpaRitual on the guiding ethos of slow beauty, encouraging women to reclaim ownership of their greatest commodity – time – and establish a connection through meaningful, daily beauty practices. Pink’s is sought after as a keynote speaker for her advice and insights. She has been featured as a green beauty authority for outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, and Organic Spa. Pink launched her first book, “Slow Beauty: Rituals and Recipes to Nourish the Body and Feed the Soul,” in 2017.
What is your biggest hope for the industry going forward?
My biggest hope is that the industry will abandon the anti-aging rhetoric and use messaging that is more expansive, positive, and supportive. We are all aging. There is no reason to be against it or race against time. Let’s create opportunities for consumers to define their own personal beauty standards, instead of chasing after the illusion of quick-fixes and instant results.
Do you have a company or personal motto by which you live?
Health is wealth. My mother instilled this in me when I was a young girl. If we feel good, we look good, and we naturally share the goodness.
As you grew your company, did you have any significant moments of clarity that helped shape its future and course?
As we were developing the SpaRitual brand in the early 2000s, it was crystal clear to me that a more discerning, enlightened consumer was on the horizon, and that is exactly what has shaped the brand. We wanted to create a brand that not only offered beautiful products, but also was a platform for positive social change. And then, again, around eight years ago, when I was going through the motions of checking emails, voicemails, and social media channels, I realized the world had changed forever. With pervasive technology, our pace of life had accelerated. At that time, my son’s class pet, Torti the Tortoise, came to stay with us over winter break and I observed his slow, meditative pace, and I so deeply craved a slower pace of life. The phrase Slow Beauty came to mind. Since the world was showing no signs of slowing down, we wanted to help people find moments to slow down by encouraging them to enjoy our spa treatments with our spa partners and, also, to transform their beauty routine at home, for wellness in between spa appointments.
How did you decide that skin care was the right industry for you?
It chose me. And when it did, I never looked back. I love this industry, the people I have met along the way, and the meaningful friendships I have formed.
What characteristics or skills distinguished you from your peers and enabled you to be successful so quickly?
Since 2004 when we launched SpaRitual, I have been speaking about conscious beauty, the enlightened consumer, and the importance of slowing down for self-care – slow beauty. Back then, I took a stance against anti-aging rhetoric and made a commitment to not use that terminology on any of our packaging or communication touch-points. It just is not part of the SpaRitual vocabulary. It is vitally important to redefine the language we use around beauty. I love to see and know what is coming – what is going to impact how we think and live in a major way.
Also, I read a lot – in a wide variety of subject areas – and I like connecting dots. I studied history of art in college and I have always been intrigued by the great art movements. These movements began with an authentic need for change and then became the zeitgeist. I guess one of my most distinguishing characteristics is that I have been able to identify some of the socio-cultural movements – well in advance – because I am passionate about research have an insatiable desire to know what may happen next.
What has been the biggest change in the skin care industry?
The enlightened consumer. This educated, discriminating consumer is an activist for personal health and well-being and deeply understands the connection between health and beauty. They are passionate, vocal, and savvy about living a healthy lifestyle and the products they choose to support them in this mission.
What do you see as an upcoming trend in the industry?
Education has always been important in the industry. Now, I see education becoming even more relevant, with more emphasis on lifelong learning, and going back to the basics to ensure that we have a solid, professional, foundational skillset on which to build our unique areas of expertise.
Also, love is the evergreen trend in all aspects. Love is the humanizing need, and we are seeing a lot of activity and passion around self-love with the intention and mission that radically loving and accepting all aspects of self will help us to love others and the world around us more authentically and meaningfully.
Why do you think people are loyal to certain brands?
One of the reasons people are loyal to certain brands is they love the benefits and results of the brand’s products. In addition, people are loyal to a brand whose values align with their own. People look at a brand’s ingredient stance, commitment to the environment, and its philanthropic initiatives. Enlightened people are loyal to enlightened brands.
Is there a particular ingredient that you feel is a “super” ingredient? If so, why?
I am big on therapeutic scents. SpaRitual has always been known for its unique scent options in our body care product range. My favorite “super” ingredient is our Earl Grey scent in our new Earl Grey skin care for the body collection. This all-natural scent is composed of organic bergamot essential oil, organic marigold extract, and organic orange essential oil. This “blend is nourishing and comforting, reduces inflammation, relaxes muscles, is packed with anti-oxidants, and was created to help reduce stress levels and anxiety and promote healing.
Other than your products, what are the greatest assets and strengths your company offers?
We have an incredibly passionate team representing the SpaRitual brand and an unparalleled education program. One of our greatest assets is the support we give our customers, setting them up for success. We believe in supporting our partners through collaboration and lifelong learning.
What is the toughest decision you have had to make at your company?
Sometimes the toughest decision is actually making a decision.
How did you come up with the name of your business?
“Spa,” because the ancient spa tradition is the source of wellness on this planet, and “Ritual,” because a ritual is something you practice over and over again to connect with self and elevate the mind, body, and spirit. SpaRitual means “elevated wellness” that is attainable by everyone.
Do you or your company support any particular causes or charitable organizations? If so, who and why?
We have supported many causes and charitable organizations throughout the years, like In Pink, Cancer Schmancer, the Go Green Initiative, Trash For Teaching, Step Up, S.O.I.L. Surge for Water, and One Tree Planted. In particular, we supported the David Lynch Foundation that teaches meditation to at-risk populations, like veterans of war and kids who are growing up in challenging environments. We created a color collection called Meditate to raise awareness of the benefits of meditation to all and donated a portion of the sales to the foundation. Our vegan stance is our activism platform. Using vegan ingredients in our products is our commitment to being compassionate to animals, as well as to the environment. All of the organizations we have partnered with over the years are working tirelessly to improve either the health of the individual or the health of the planet. We place a big focus on health and wellness.
Which honor or achievement are you most proud of?
The honor of being a wife and mother is what I am proud of. I am also most proud of the honor to work each day with the incredible SpaRitual team. I feel so blessed to have my family and incredible colleagues in my life everyday. Life is a blessing.
What advice do you have for someone planning to start a career in this field?
The professional beauty industry is an incredible industry. My advice, no matter what the field, is to be tenacious.
You wear so many hats in this industry. What is your secret to keeping life in balance and enjoying the journey?
A long-term meditation practice has been my touchstone over the years and has helped to reduce stress quickly and effectively. I also make it a priority to spend an ample amount of time in nature to receive all of the stress-reducing benefits nature has to offer. Spending quality time with friends and family is also key. And, most importantly, I do my best to focus on the good. Life is really about where you place your attention.
Can you share something that most people would not know about you?
I wrote a book! I have had a lifelong dream to become an author and my book, “Slow Beauty: Rituals and Recipes to Nourish the Body and Feed the Soul,” was recently published. Needless to say, I am very excited!
How and where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in nature, art, travel, ingredients, and other unlikely places.
Who does it right in Hollywood?
Anyone with an excellent and intelligent sense of humor.
What is your daily skin care Ritual?
I have sensitive skin, so, for my face, I use mostly Pai skin care products, and I keep it very simple. For cleansing, I use Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, followed by Pai Perfect Balance Blemish Serum. Then, I use Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream. I use the day cream morning and night. I also use Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream with SPF 30 as the final cream for the day. For body, I exfoliate a few times a week with Earl Gray Teatox Sugar Scrub with activated charcoal to purify my skin. After the shower, I use the Earl Grey Oil Salve for my daily abhyanga self-massage to nourish my skin. At night, I use Earl Grey Body Soufflé on my feet for deep hydration.