Exclusive: The New Saffron-Packed Mask That’s Big on Brightening

In Michelle Ranavat’s opinion, 2019 was the year of skin-care acids—and that’s not necessarily something she considers a good thing. “There was such a big focus on acids and intense resurfacing treatments that can sometimes lead to a lot of barrier repair and damage,” the founder and CEO of RANAVAT says. “I wanted to infuse Ayurvedic wisdom to create a smarter and better way to enjoy this ritual. Inflammation and stress contribute to the signs of aging and skin irritation, so I wanted to create a blend that provided the anti-inflammatory support.”

To that end, she spent three years cooking up the indulgent bright-orange RANAVAT Flawless Veil Resurfacing Saffron Gel Masque ($75). The “obsessively formulated” treatment officially launches next week, and Ranavat says the secret to its multiple skin-boosting benefits relies heavily on Ayurvedic botanicals, like saffron, turmeric and lotus seed, that are both brightening and anti-inflammatory

“This powerhouse blend is combined with soothing aloe to really cocoon the skin as the AHAs work their magic resurfacing the skin. Visually, the floating saffron threads and gorgeous texture of this masque creates such a sensorial experience for me. In the summer, the cooling aloe feels so calming and the entire process is truly an experience!”

Ranavat is also especially proud of one specific ingredient dear to her heart: saffron.

“When it comes to saffron as a spice, it is a household staple in South Asia and the Middle East. It is a very pure and sacred spice—and also the most expensive spice in the world!” she explains. “In South Asia, you can find saffron being used in temples and it holds so much value spiritually as well.”

“When it comes to skin, however, saffron has been overlooked. Indian and Middle Eastern beauty traditions have not yet become mainstream here in the U.S. and as they do, saffron will be at the forefront of this experience. Saffron has so much value as a skin-care ingredient because of its brightening properties (it has natural occurring carotenoids). In addition to being a super brightening ingredient, it is also known to calm and sooth inflammation and supports wound healing. Unlike vitamin C which breaks down in the sun, saffron does not—and, therefore, it is an incredibly important ingredient to slow the signs of aging.”

On a personal level, Ranavat says the value of saffron goes even beyond the cultural connection and skin-care benefits for her. “Saffron has a beautiful spiritual quality to it. It brings calm, relaxes the mind and puts us in a meditative state. For a skin-care ritual, that is what dreams are made of!”

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