Taking care of your skin can be a form of self-care, and how you feel about your skin can play heavily into your relationship with yourself. Below, we talked to British-Asian journalist and model Simran Randhawa about skin care, mental health, and diversity in the beauty industry.
Simran Randhawa has been nothing short of vocal about her life on social media. Her Instagram stories showcase articles she’s written about issues that have personally affected her, such as why traveling alone is important to her and how it has shaped her relationship with herself, and her captions are insightful snippets into what she’s thinking about, whether it be Punjabi delicacies or what it means to be British Asian.
Long-time followers of Simran undoubtedly know and love her for her activism. In between pictures of travels to far-off destinations and photos of her Desi-inspired Western outfits, Simran makes time to talk about issues of importance, including mental health, feminism, politics, and diversity.
In a British Vogue article she wrote candidly about how makeup was a powerful tool in bettering her mental health, stating that while “we are taught that self-care often comes in a commercialized package of a Sunday night face mask, bath bombs from Lush and a shellac manicure,” having little routines and patterns like this can have a much more significant effect. “My beauty routine was and is my act of compassion to myself when other areas of my life are beyond my control. Beauty has come to act as a coping ritual,” she wrote.
She also recently documented her journey with dealing with and treating all-over leg scarring with her 112K Instagram followers.
Whether you’ve followed Simran for years or are just being introduced to her, one thing is certain: hers is a candid voice that you’ll always want to hear more from. Read our recent conversation with her below!
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The Klog: First, let’s talk skin care! What does your typical daily routine look like?
Simran: My morning and night aren’t too different from each other. I really swear by Avene products; they’re so gentle and hydrating which has been key for me lately as my skin has been problematic. For night I love to incorporate some Disciple oils, or Dr. Dennis Gross Universal Peel Pads when I need them. Also Supergoop is my fave SPF right now!
You’re a journalist, a foodstagrammer, and a model who still makes time for travel, fitness, relationships, and activism…so how does skin care play into your busy schedule?
I think it’s just something I have to do, I think it’s just part of my daily routine. I don’t really consciously make time for it, I just make sure it gets done! I’m a massive fan of trying out different things so I love trialling out different beauty treatments when I can! It’s weirdly fun for me.
What is your relationship with skin care and how does it go hand-in-hand with your mental health?
I’d say like above it’s just something that I do – like I genuinely can’t remember the last time I slept in my makeup! I guess if I had to unpack it there’s something there about knowing I’m looking after myself, but like anyone, my skin has been problematic lately which has [definitely] been affecting my confidence.
You’ve been very open about your leg scarring and laser transformation on Instagram. What has that journey been like for you?
Omggggggggggggggggggg, my leg scars were the bane of my life! They were caused from years of shaving/picking my skin/ingrowns/generally having skin that reacts. People told me to exfoliate and wax which didn’t help anything and was the most frustrating thing to be told! It really impacted my self confidence and I didn’t feel comfortable wearing skirts/shorts etc., so when I could finally invest in laser it was hands down the most transformative thing for me! It has given me so much confidence!
You’re very vocal about your Indian roots and representation of South Asian women in the media and the beauty industry. From one Punjabi girl to another, what does diversity mean to you in relation to the beauty industry?
I think it just means authenticity and nuance – showcasing a range of South Asian women, not just a tokenistic few and I think in relation to the beauty industry in particular I’ve found it really transformative having and meeting South Asian women behind the scenes. We need them working in PR, comms, product development etc., as that’s where input is often more crucial.
How have you overcome the standards set for South Asian beauty by the industry, such as skin bleaching and hair removal, and embraced your natural skin?
I think as cliche as it is, realizing it’s a journey. I [definitely] feel like it gets easier as you get older and more confident in who you are, but there was a point where working in fashion had really negative impacts on my mental health. I’ve just slowly realized that there’s actually only so much I can change (if I want to), and my body is my body. Whilst the way I look is important to me, my health is so much more and falling in love with staying fit again gives me something so much more important to focus on.
Not only is your Foodstagram account, @simsnackin, full of delicious traditional Indian meals, but you also have a knack for incorporating Desi fashion into Western trends, so we have to ask: Are there any traditional Indian skin care or beauty secrets you incorporate into your routine that you’re willing to share with us?
Ha! When my sister got married she swore by haldi (tumeric) masks before her wedding, but I honestly don’t really have time for a lot of the desi DIY beauty stuff anymore (sadly). One thing I do swear by though is almond oil! Loads of people have asked me how I’ve managed to get my hair so long + healthy after bleaching and whilst there are other factors, [definitely] a big one is almond oil! I feel it absorbs way better in my hair than coconut oil, which tends to just sit on top.