In You Heard It Here First, Bustle's editors introduce the coolest up-and-coming beauty brands you should have on your radar. Here, model Iskra Lawrence opens up about the launch of her new body care brand Saltair and the daily practice that is essential to her self-care routine.
Shower routines are important for obvious reasons (to cleanse your body, wash your hair, etc). But for Iskra Lawrence, a shower session has become a meaningful and transformative ritual that’s important for her mental health.
“It sounds silly; I’m sure for most people showering is a priority,” Lawrence tells me over Zoom. “But when you’re going through something, going through a dark period, or you’re struggling, showering can be something that gets left at the wayside.”
During the last two chaotic years, the model and new mom struggled with postpartum depression on top of everything going on in the world. This led her to skip daily habits such as showering and kept her in a vicious cycle of feeling down.
“One of the things I missed when I had a baby and during my postpartum was making dedicated time in the shower to enjoy the moment and do more than the bare minimum,” she says. “I needed to restart taking that time to look after myself.”
While some rituals require intricate setups, Lawrence describes a simple but impactful experience. First, she clears all the chaos and excess, leaving only the products she normally reaches for in her space. Then she spends 10 minutes, soaking in the air, smelling the soothing scents, and just cherishing the small moment she has to herself as she cleanses.
When it came to her first foray into the beauty space, the body-positive influencer knew that a body care line made the most sense for her. Thus Saltair was created, in hopes of turning simple daily body care habits into self-care rituals. “My goal in my career has been to help people build or strengthen their relationships with their bodies,” she says. “How do I create a brand that has a message that is powerful enough to help everyone feel empowered, to make their day feel more special, to make them really invest some time into feeling their body, thinking about their body, touching their body, and being really grateful for [their body]?”
In collaboration with Ben Bennett, founder of LA-based brand incubator The Center, Saltair is first launching with a collection of body washes. They come in six scents — Santal Bloom, Island Orchid, Exotic Pulp, Lush Greens, Lagoona, Black Tide — and one that’s fragrance-free, each costing $12.
A body wash, Lawrence says, is a universal product that does two things: touches your body and gives you that necessary spare moment to say an affirmation or just have time to yourself, even if it’s only for five minutes as you cleanse. “What [other] product refreshes you [and] really switches up your day?” she asks. “Starting [your] day with a shower is [that moment] to reset and make your day intentional.”
She credits Bennett and the experience of creating the line for teaching her about the skin’s pH levels and which nourishing ingredients (monoi oil, cupuaçu butter, niacinamide, and kukui oil are a few of what you’ll find in the body washes to take care of your skin) are needed to create a results-driven product.
She also nods to Bennett for helping her create something that gives consumers a true moment of self-indulgence and positivity. Bennett, whose mother is from Thailand, introduced her to Thai bathing rituals, which take bathing and washing the body very seriously. The beauty and sanctity of those practices is something they both hope to bring to everyone who might currently treat body care as an afterthought.
Other self-care habits she recommends include speaking to yourself in the mirror in a positive way, journaling, and having an accountability buddy who you can text with about what you’re grateful for each day. Most recently, she’s encouraged her friends and followers to write down something they are grateful for on a piece of paper and put it in a jar before going to bed. If they feel like they need a pick-me-up in the morning, they can reach into the jar for a pleasant reminder.
No matter what form of self-care ritual you pursue, remember that you don’t need to start big. “Small changes are always possible,” she says. And if there’s anything to learn from Lawrence, it’s that small change can even start somewhere like your shower.
Saltair Serum Body Wash is available now at saltair.com.