Soap World

posted in: Print, Published Articles | 0

By Diedre Johnson


These days it’s all about reinvention and the side hustle – just ask actress-turned-natural beauty product guru and author Shiva, now hosting her own show on NBC’s new DIY streaming service Bluprint. Shiva’s all about making beauty potions from scratch and sharing the knowledge via her lifestyle blog ( Now her skincare line’s gaining traction, too!

Shiva’s products have a celebrity following that includes Kourtney, Kim and Kendall. Kourtney loves her scrub and organic rose oil, while Kim and Kendall follow the excellent beauty advice she dishes out on her site.

Shiva starred in David & Layla and The Division and is the ex-wife of actor Dylan McDermott (The Practice, American Horror Story). Last year she published the book Whole Beauty, offering homemade beauty tips and recipes. It also delved into her fight with autoimmune disease…

How did your autoimmune disorder inspire your desire to create a holistic approach to health and beauty?

I was diagnosed in 2006 with some autoimmune issues and it just really took a long time to try to get it in a place… I tried going the Western route and that helped a bit but I had a lot of complications from the medication. Then 10 years ago, I sort of had a flare-up when I was getting divorced [from Dylan] and transitioning – and acting wasn’t fulfilling me so I really started to go down the holistic route. I got a house off the beaten track and I started to grow my own food and I got honey bees and chickens and got rid of all the chemicals. I got rid of all the skincare products that had chemicals and tried really go back to the Earth. That scorched my blog The Local Rose and so I started my skincare line a few years after that. So they kind of all transitioned into each other.

Do you mind telling us a little more about the disorder, before you made the switch to all-natural products?

I started healing my gut because I think my gut was not in good shape; adding a lot of probiotic foods, adding more fresh vegetables. Just getting in touch, in harmony with what was growing around me. I was on [a prescription pill], for many years, which isn’t good for your liver.

In some ways I feel like modern medicine is a remarkable thing and I’m not saying in any way that we shouldn’t use it, I just think you have to use it as a band-aid and then get back to the core of the issue creating it.

What are some of your top DIY beauty tips you can share?

I would say to add more fat to your diet! Just adding more butter to your diet can help your skin and your hair, adding things like nettle leaf. Nettle leaf infusions and teas can help your hair, skin and nails. I would [advise trying] to eat organically 100 per cent – or as much as you can. Try to reduce plastic in the home and whatever food that comes in plastic. If I buy any food from the grocery stores, I like to use my own bulk Mason jars; or if that’s not possible, take it out of the plastic as soon as I get home.

What about spa/ beauty tips?

A lot of skin breakouts and rashes are due to gut health – for example, acne or rosacea. I say people should check for inflammation of the gut. I wouldn’t use so many chemicals, like peels and cleansers, that are very astringent and too harsh for the skin. Ayurveda is all about replacing and rejuvenating so I would add fat and oils to your skin, your hair, your body. I would also do dry brushing [ayurvedic technique using a dry brush to sweep the skin, starting at bottom of the feet and going up to near the heart], which is a great way to detoxify the body. It sloughs off your dead skin, but it also clears the lymph system. If we detoxify well every day, then we’re preventing diseases from building up.

You’re really back to nature with your Santa Monica hideaway with its backyard for chickens and all!

Yes, I feel really lucky that I was able to do that. I probably couldn’t find this house now but back then it was a little more available. I tell people who write to me and live in an apartment or a city or urban place, I really touch on that in the book as well because I feel like you can create a little haven for yourself. I mean, it’s a luxury to have space but if you don’t have space, you can do grounding and earthing techniques in the park near you; if you have a balcony, you can grow some plants. There’s definitely things you can do to connect to the Earth and to nature. Shop at farmers’ markets – now we’re so lucky that they’re almost everywhere, even if you have to drive. When I’m out of town, I will drive an hour for a good farmers’ market. sw

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *