celebrity shopping

What Freida Pinto Can’t Live Without

Photo: Courtesy of Clarks

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked actress and activist Freida Pinto — who is currently partnered with Clarks and an ambassador for Girl Rising — about the books, oils, and yoga straps she can’t live without.

In 2007, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I was put on the birth-control pill to restore fertility and whatnot. But it’s a hard condition and I felt like I was never really given the full picture, which I think happens a lot, especially when you’re just given these quick-fix “band-aids” for larger problems. For me, it was time to get off the birth-control pill, which wreaked havoc on my skin, hair, and moods for a couple of months. I’m a big research person. That’s one of my favorite things. If I weren’t an actress, I feel like I would do really well in investigational research. So during my research phase, I wanted to try everything natural for my body. I wanted to get to know my body again in my own way. And Alisa Vitti was very crucial in that journey.

I feel like with gynecology especially, it’s been a very male-driven field. How does someone who has never had a period in their life empathize fully? This is not me going against male gynecologists, but this is me really saying, if you’ve never had a period in your life, how do you know what it is? When I read this book, I felt like, oh holy hell, things I haven’t been told! I think one of the most brilliant things I read in this book is about the various phases of your menstruation cycle. It’s no longer, “Oh, I’m PMSing.” I don’t even use that term anymore. I just say, “I’m in the luteal phase.” And if someone doesn’t know what I’m talking about, I tell them to buy this book. Every woman should know.

I started using oils during childhood. My parents are from the south of India, so I grew up using things like coconut oil. That was very common. These essential oils are something that I came to in 2011 when I was shooting Girl Rising. They can really change your mood. I’m also not a coffee drinker, so one of my favorite tricks is when I’m jet lagged and have to go to an event or have a shoot right away, I rub peppermint oil on my belly and around my back, shoulders and neck. I just tap a little bit of peppermint oil in each place and it wakes my body up instantly. I swear it’s better than a caffeine rush. I learned this from my naturopath. I was like, this is fantastic. Now, peppermint oil always travels in my kit with me.

I read a lot of self-help books, but I wouldn’t really describe them like that. I call them self-educating books. I’m not looking for how to make a million dollars or how to win a guy. The books where I can actually educate myself are my favorite, especially now that I’m older; I turned 35 this year. My yoga teacher gave this to me when I was 28 and I was like, ugh, boring. And I didn’t read it. What a mistake. When I turned 30, I picked it up. I was in a place in my life when I felt like I needed something like this book to talk to me on a more personal level, and it was a game changer. This was a very educational book on how the mind works, obviously in the slightly more spiritual way of explaining it. I think, being a woman, no one tells you that at 30, your hormones are changing and your mind is changing. I started feeling different at 28, and by 30, it was like, Whoa, this is a real change. Any woman in her 30s will agree that something happens. Something clicks. Something changes. I started feeling more comfortable. I started weeding all the bullshit out of my life. I no longer was interested in dealing with it.