The Ayurvedic Expert: Martha Soffer
Beauty is not just about the face; it encompasses the entire body. Treat your body like it’s a temple because it is—and it’s the only one you have.
Slimming Massage Oil
As I got older, I noticed that my skin was getting dryer and I knew it needed something I didn’t have, so I created the face oil. After a few more years and a few more wrinkles, I needed something more, hence our collagen cream was born. I think my grandmother would be so proud of me!
Her proudest product moments: “Our Balancing Collagen Cream and our Balancing Face Oil. Both are inspired by Ayurvedic tradition, my Colombian grandparents, and my own personal experiences. As I got older, I noticed that my skin was getting dryer and I knew it needed something I didn’t have, so I created the face oil. After a few more years and a few more wrinkles, I needed something more, hence our collagen cream was born. I think my grandmother would be so proud of me!”
Balancing Collagen Cream
Her daily beauty ritual: “I start with dry brushing and a quick, full-body abhyanga [self-massage] with a bit of calming, energizing, or cooling body oil. I wash my face and my eyes with cold water before doing 20 minutes of Transcendental Meditation. That’s actually part of my beauty routine because real beauty starts with an open heart and that’s what meditation gives me. When I’m done, I wash my face again and reapply face oil. Once the oil is absorbed, I apply our collagen cream. Done!”
Her must-try spa treatments: “Definitely our abhyanga [massage] and shirodhara [stress-reducing oil therapy], which is really two treatments combined into one. You breathe out but you also have to breathe in, which is the most fundamental combination in Ayurveda. At Surya, we call it ‘Nourish & Restore’ because that’s exactly what it does.”
Her foolproof Ayurvedic meal: “Traditional mung bean, rice, and vegetables. We cook and eat this at the spa every single day. It’s also available for our guests.”
Her go-to beauty pros: “I absolutely love my acupuncturist from Colombia. His name is Dr. Camillo Gonzales. I see him remotely every Thursday and make him available to guests as needed. I also love my hairstylist, Antonio Peluquerias. I literally fly to Columbia to get a haircut—and see my family, of course!”
Her beauty mantra: “Be careful what you put in your body and on your body. When we eat, we think about how food is going to make us feel and what it’s going to do to our bodies. The same thought process should be applied to the products we put onour skin because they end up in the body, too. Beauty is not just about the face; it encompasses the entire body. Treat your body like it’s a temple because it is—and it’s the only one you have.”
Her favorite escape: “When I really want to escape, I go to our yurt, which is situated on the hill above our home in Mandeville Canyon. Before moving to the Santa Monica Proper Hotel, we operated Surya Spa out of our home and my husband and I actually lived in the yurt for seven years! It’s not big or fancy, but it’s so beautiful and lined with saris and books. When I’m in the yurt, I feel hugged by nature.”
Her dream vanity raid: “Gwyneth Paltrow. Her skin is so beautiful. I first met her years ago, and whenever I see her again, she always looks just as amazing. She has such a glow and it never goes away. I’m also convinced that it comes from within!”
Surya’s famous almond-flour bread
Written by Amber Kallor