You’d be hard pressed not to notice the trend in natural and organic products everywhere you look, and cosmetics are no exception. When you start diving into these products, many different terms come up fairly regularly. One of those is Ayurveda. So what exactly are Ayurveda cosmetics, and are they something that you should give a try?
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda itself is a 5,000 year-old tradition of medicine, originating in India. It is growing in popularity in the west as an alternative medicine or complementary to existing western treatments. The history of Ayurveda is long and covers many diverse fields, but we’re interested in the best part: cosmetics. Why is Ayurveda so tightly intertwined with cosmetics? Not only do these cosmetics use some of the same natural and exotic ingredients used for other treatments, but cosmetics may even have come first. The haldi wedding mask which is still regularly prepared today is one of the first cosmetics ever documented in human history. How’s that for some beauty trivia?
Ayurveda teaches that our bodies are ruled by three energies, or doshas. These are Kapha, Pitta and Vata. Your skin type as well as any associated skincare issues are determined by which of these dosha are out of balance and having too much influence. You can take our quiz to determine which doshas are dominant with you, and you can later use this information to customize Ayurveda cosmetics to treat your specific problems.
Ingredients in Ayurveda Cosmetics
Ayurvedic remedies are rooted in herbs, spices and other natural ingredients. One of the most commonly used ingredients in Ayurveda is turmeric. You’re likely familiar with turmeric from the kitchen, but this member of the ginger family has uses throughout Ayurveda. It is actually what gives the traditional yellow haldi mask its color!
If you’ve asked yourself why Ayurveda isn’t more popular in the West, or why you’re just now hearing about it, we’ve stumbled upon one answer with turmeric. While the skincare benefits of turmeric are proven, the associated yellow staining is not something that uninitiated clients may not be willing to risk. Many of these ingredients also have strong, often unpleasant aromas. Spirulina is just algae, after all. The challenge for a modern, luxurious cosmetics brand that wants to share Ayurveda outside of its traditional reach is to offer all the tangible benefits of Ayurveda and the exotic ingredients offered, in a style that is pleasing both visually as well as aromatically.
Of course, these problems have already been solved! Instead of using traditional yellow turmeric, you can find cosmetic facemasks that use the rare white turmeric. It shares all the benefits of yellow turmeric, without the unpleasant staining attributes. You may not always find it at the local market in India, however, as it only grows once a year in Himalayan valleys after the monsoon. There are also many options available to make your ready Ayurvedic cosmetics smell wonderful as well. You can have delicate, hand-picked flower petals or essential oils added to turn a skincare ritual into a spa experience.
Ayurvedic beauty care is rooted in three core goals: cleansing, nourishing and moisturizing. Whether you buy ready-made cosmetics or try DIY skincare recipes, these are the three tenets which should be upheld throughout.
Ayurveda allows us to customize our skincare routines and mix and match natural ingredients to reach our desired results. If you have thin, dry and dehydrated skin, it’s likely that the Vata dosha is dominant with you, and there are specific suggestions on what you can do to cleanse, nourish and moisturize your skin safely and effectively. Do you get breakouts, inflammation and freckles? Take a look at our Pitta dosha guide. Is your skin dull and oily? Do you have large, visible pores? See what options are available for the Kapha dosha.
When you come across Ayurveda cosmetics online, they will typically be offered in two formats. One is the traditional format, with ingredients shipped with no care for packaging, appearance, and often times with potential safety risks. On the other hand, you can also find luxurious Ayurveda-inspired cosmetics, with pleasant aromas, rare and hand-picked ingredients, luxurious packaging, and modern safety and quality controls.
Benefits of Ayurveda Cosmetics
While the tangible skincare benefits of Ayurveda cosmetics are rooted in 5,000 years of history and tradition, there is also more to love here. These products are often available in powder form, as they traditionally are, and need to be mixed with water to activate the ingredients. This helps to not only reduce water usage and save on shipping, but it also allows manufacturers to avoid harsh preservatives and other chemicals.
Packaging is also important here, as any product you buy will want to find itself in a prominent place in your beauty cabinet. Plastic bags filled with nondescript powders of various colors are out, and modern solutions are in. Bamboo offers the perfect balance, allowing packaging that is both luxurious as well as sustainable.
Are Ayurveda cosmetics right for you?
If you’ve been struggling to find the right products and techniques to treat your skin the way you want it to be treated, then give Ayurveda a try. It can be as simple as mixing together a DIY facemask from a handful of common, household items and taking 20 minutes out of your day to enjoy a spa ritual at home.
With more than 5,000 years to get it right, Ayurveda has solutions to every skincare and beauty ailment that you might have. Couple that with exotic, natural ingredients, and you’ve got a powerful skincare tool at your disposal. The Slow Beauty and Now Age movements have brought natural, Ayurveda-inspired cosmetics into the limelight. Is it time for you to embrace a new skincare ritual?