Having taken skincare lessons from Japan and Korea, interest is now turning to Indian beauty, specifically skincare based on Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient philosophy that aims to bring balance to mind, body and spirit. Research shows global demand for Ayurvedic beauty products is booming, as more consumers seek natural ingredients and restorative rituals.
‘Skin is alive and we believe beauty products should be made from “living” substances,’ says Kulkarni. ‘Ideally, you would prepare your own fresh concoctions using seasonal ingredients and following ancient recipes. In today’s fast-paced world, we offer a “next-to-best” option, for example herbs that are sun-dried and flowers picked at peak potency and hand-pounded, with blends based on an ancient Sanskrit treatise.’
In a nutshell, the theory of Ayurveda spans five elements: air, water, space, earth and fire. These interact to form three ‘doshas’ or life forces of the body – vata (air and space), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (water and earth). Ayurveda practice rests on the idea that each person leans towards a dominant dosha, shaping your character and constitution, thereby indicating the best approaches for your well-being.
As far as skincare is concerned, a vata skin type tends to be dry, rough and shows signs of ageing easily, so benefits from regular deep nourishment and hydration. Pitta skin is prone to warmth and redness, so responds to cooling, anti-inflammatory ingredients, while kapha skin is often oily and dull, so purifying products are go-to remedies.
In Ayurvedic beauty, rituals are also important. For instance, ‘abhyanga’ (self-massage with oils) not only keeps skin supple but promotes inner balance. For facial massage, new brand Almora Botanica has sublime oils such as Nourishing Night Face Oil (£87).
While understanding doshas can help inform your choice of products, according to Kulkarni, it’s not a prerequisite for beginning your self-care routine – simply tuning into how your skin looks and feels will guide you: ‘Ayurveda is a wonderful journey of discovery, not a passing trend. A philosophy that crosses generations and cultures.’