Beauty is definitely more than just skin deep. The truth is it starts with confidence from within that is further complemented by glowing skin and a beautiful complexion. Just ask former Miss America Nina Davuluri, who has created a new clean beauty brand that features natural Indian ingredients like turmeric, neem, almond oil, and rose water.
The brand was founded by two women of Indian descent: Davuluri, who has been recognized by former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle for her global work in promoting diversity and inclusion, and Wharton entrepreneur Rooshy Roy. Their signature product line is all about simplistic beauty as part of the brand’s four-step routine: The aavrani Ritual.
We caught up recently with Davuluri to talk about the clean beauty industry, how it felt to be crowned the first Miss America of Indian heritage and her commitment to empowering women.
Why is clean beauty so important to you?
Obviously, growing up I used Indian inspired beauty products like coconut oil and turmeric, which is a staple of Indian cooking. As I got older, I drifted from these products due to convenience. I didn’t have any problems with acne, but after I won Miss New York, I had an allergic reaction to a beauty product. That was a wakeup call to educate myself more and more. I started actively looking for clean beauty ingredients and more natural products, but couldn’t find them so I wanted to create my own line.
What makes aavrani so unique?
All of the ingredients are Indian inspired. We have 12 ingredients that are core to us formulated in four products. When I won Miss America, I was given all of these incredible products but didn’t know how to use them and in what order. This line is so simple to use.
Tell us about your own personal beauty regimen.
I definitely think I am at the point where less is more. Obviously, competing for Miss America, makeup is at the forefront. There is that expectation even as we were creating aavrani when I thought should we create a makeup or skincare line?
How did it feel to be the first Miss America of Indian heritage?
It was overwhelming. The support I received from communities of color in general has been tremendous. Growing up, I felt like no one looked like me. Miss America branded us as the girl next door, but I didn’t look like the girl next door with blonde hair and blue eyes. To reach that demographic of women today was the impetus and I was able to showcase my talent.
You have been committed to helping women feel confident in their own skin. Why has this been a topic so near and dear to your heart?
It has been for so many ways for the misconception that the lighter your skin the more beautiful you are. People are using toxic bleaches because of this misconception of beauty. There was the question, is Miss America too dark to be Miss America? Why does this question even exist? We are more than our skin colors and should not adhere to any type of beauty standard. All complexions are beautiful.