Shiva Rose is changing the way we think about organic beauty, utilizing natural ingredients in her line of products. (Photo: Shiva Rose)
Just a few years ago, the word “organic” was still a fad to many, but to Shiva Rose, founder of the holistic lifestyle blog The Local Rose and an eponymous boutique skincare label, it was just life. “I started The Local Rose five years ago when my former life broke open into another form,” says the Los Angeles resident. “I was going through a divorce, dealing with a life-threatening auto-immune condition, and having to find a new home for my daughters—all I yearned for was to get close to the Earth and its protection.”
This desire led the former actress (her ex-husband is actor Dylan McDermott) to begin to simplify her life by “finding a place surrounded by nature, going totally organic with my diet, growing my own food and seeking more spirituality in my daily life.” Her blog documented this evolution from actress to boho-chic Earth mother alongside healthy recipes, nontoxic beauty, healing methods, and local artisans. The idea for her skincare brand came during a Kundalini meditation. “Ever since I was a child I would play at being an alchemist, mixing various flowers, stems and oils together,” says Rose, who made a powerful serum using roses from her garden and launched her line in 2014 with the Rose Face Serum.
“We absorb everything we put on our skin through our blood stream instantly,” she says. “One of three women will get a form of cancer, and a lot of it can be attributed to the chemicals in beauty products. It just doesn’t make sense to eat organically and then soak our pores in chemicals.” She calls the oils she uses “food and sunshine for your skin” because they’re so nourishing.
“It just doesn’t make sense to eat organically and then soak our pores in chemicals,” says Rose.
Rose is Iranian (she moved to the US as a child), and in Persia the rose is highly celebrated, which has influenced her use of the ingredient. “Roses can open the heart chakra, beautify the skin and so much more,” she says. “I drink rose water every day for its medicinal qualities. It aids digestion, is antibacterial and adds a harmonious element to your mood.”
The so-called “queen of flowers” is not the only natural ingredient she harnesses. “I like to formulate new products by listening to what the flower, oil or plant is saying to me,” says Rose. “I know it sounds new age, but I really feel if I listen I can hear what wants to be created.” The body oil she’s currently working on came in stages, starting with cardamom she was using in a dessert one night.
Other ingredients she’s now working with include beeswax from her own honeybee hives for balms, and frankincense and other essential oils, for body oils or bath salts. Rose’s younger daughter is eager to join the process as well, gathering items from their garden to play alchemist with, just like her mom.
Rose’s skincare represents a bridge between two worlds. “It brings a woman natural, nontoxic, luminous beauty but in an elegant, refined way,” she says. “I am a woman who loves to camp in the woods of Big Sur, but with beautiful high-thread-count bedding—a marriage of the natural world with a lovely aesthetic.”