Here at Byrdie, we love learning about skincare rituals worldwide and how to incorporate them into our personal routines. When we met Pritika Swarup (a Gen Z entrepreneur, model, Columbia grad, and Operation Smile ambassador), we immediately wanted to learn more about Prakti, the new beauty brand that’s rooted in her Indian heritage. Here, Swarup shares the importance of the inner-outer beauty connection and why her new powder-fine exfoliator will impart that sought-after, perfectly polished glow.
A Brand To Know
Few Indian brands have reached a macro scale, but Prakti aims to change the game. Swarup says her goal is to bridge traditional Ayurvedic and Western ideas while appealing to Gen Z and Millennial consumers. "While many Indian beauty brands have been primarily traditional—almost quiet in nature and seemingly targeted exclusively to an Indian audience—this brand is meant to resonate on a global level," she says. "I've always felt comfortable and proud of my cultural duality; born and raised in America but with Indian heritage."
Her identity helped shape a concept that combines India's cultural richness and spirituality with the technologies of the West. "I've seen very few people that look like me in any Western media, so I felt compelled to create a brand that's inclusive and offers a true representation of global beauty. Plus, I believe that Indian beauty deserves a place at center stage."
The Importance of Indian Skincare Rituals
Swarup understands how powerful Ayurvedic rituals can be by witnessing the results from her family matriarchs. An essential Indian skincare concept has to do with the connection between inner peace and skin. If someone is struggling, stressed or anxious, tension from the body will affect one's complexion. For that reason, spirituality is key for internal balance and outer glow. "Skincare rituals in India are sensorial, and meditation during self-care brings spirituality to a deeper level," Swarup says. "I chant Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad before and during my skincare rituals each day. It's a mantra representing knowledge that comes through the soul and intuition."
Kitchen recipes were also a memory from Swarup's youth. She cites one of her favorite combinations as rice flour, milk, turmeric, and rosewater, a mixture that inspired her first product, PritiPolish. Her second drop, MahaMask Pampering Moisture Treatment, is a hydrating mixture inspired by a homemade recipe. "I wanted to use staples in Indian homemade skincare remedies and create modernized sensorial experiences."
A New Way To Glow
PritiPolish is an all-natural micro-exfoliator that was designed to be super gentle. "Exfoliators have an important place in Indian skincare routines," Swarup says. "Every homemade mask has a mild exfoliant whether it's chickpea flour or ground orange peel."
PritiPolish also has an unexpected color transformation that adds a bit of magic; mixing in just a few drops of water turns the white powder into a pretty amethyst shade. Using less water will create a grittier exfoliation, and the formula works physically with rice powder and chemically with pomegranate enzyme. Swarup adds that natural ingredients from the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia like Oryza sativa rice powder and vetiver root oil help clear and refine. The overall product goal is to impart smooth, glowing, poreless skin without harshness.
Swarup adds that the packaging is a nod to India with the genie jar shape and copper spoon. "Inspired by traditional spice spoons, ours is calibrated and custom-made to measure the exact amount of PritiPolish you need for each use," she says.
After learning about the history that inspired PritiPolish, we were intrigued by the polishing powder. Ahead, Byrdie senior beauty editor put it to the test and shares her honest thoughts:
"I am 100% guilty of not exfoliating as regularly as I should, so when I got my hands on PritiPolish, I saw it as a great chance to test and buff off dead skin that's been lurking around. For starters, I love the packaging of this product. The lightweight powder is housed in a quaint white jar that's super sleek. Inside of the package is a tiny rose gold measuring spoon that allows you to use the perfect amount of powder on your face.
"I scooped one spoon into my damp hands to create a slight lather and was surprised as the powder turned into light purple color. The texture has a nice grit that isn't too harsh or abrasive and can be controlled by adding more or less water. I mixed the powder with water and my cleanser to clean my face and chest area. It didn't feel too rough but added a nice kick to my first step. My skin felt polished and clean afterward, but I didn't feel like I over-exfoliated. It's definitely a product I plan on adding to my rotation weekly and dusting in my cleanser when my skin needs some extra love." — Aimee Simeon, Senior Beauty Editor