Our "new normal" has most definitely highlighted the relationship between skincare and self-care more than ever. From home, it’s likely you’re finding more time to focus on yourself, your skin, and subsequently recognizing concerns you may have overlooked. Time at home allows us to be more mindful in that respect.
Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing science, has always emphasized holistic wellbeing. From gut-healing concoctions to rituals that help revive dull skin, the benefits and offerings of Ayurveda tap into every sphere of your life. Beauty brands in India and around the world are taking note of Ayurveda's growing popularity in the mainstream, and bottling formulas that bring its benefits to your beauty shelf. You’ve tried turmeric lattes, possibly a flour-based face mask, and even an Ashwagandha supplement—but these brands have made it even easier to incorporate Ayurvedic practices into your daily routine. Read on for our favorites.
Kiera Nachman, a certified Ayurvedic practitioner and Reiki healer created Nao Ayurveda in her kitchen in Brooklyn back in 2014. The brand itself came together as a happy accident, as she started to create custom formulations for her clients based on their individual needs. “As I was making them, the ritual of it really tapped into something ancient within me—the act of medicine making, and oil-making, which throughout the ages has typically been in the hands of women,” says Nachman. She creates her entire line of dosha-focused products herself in her private studio while incorporating Reiki healing in each of them. “My highest intention is for the products to remind the skin and body of its cellular wisdom, balance and wholeness.”
What Is a Dosha?
There are three doshas, or biological energies, at work in every human being: kapha, pitta, and vata. According to the Himalayan Institute, "How these three doshas work together in each of us is a manifestation of our basic nature and determines our physical constitution." They can also determine conditions of growth, aging, health, and disease.
Founded by Ayurveda expert Kavita Khosa, this Hong-Kong based beauty and wellness brand is a green-beauty champion. Most ingredients in their Ayurvedic formulations are Ecocert certified (the others are raw and wild), cruelty-free, vegan, ethically sourced and fair-trade. A majority of their potent ingredients are sourced from regions around the Himalayan ranges, generating meaningful employment for women in the area. From supercharged serums to facial oils and even beauty tools, Purearth’s portfolio boasts of effective, beautifully packaged products (in recyclable, reusable packaging) that look as lovely on your shelf as they are for your skin.
Fable & Mane
Oiling your hair and scalp is common in Indian households—oil massages boost hair health and provide a few moments of relaxation. Founders Nikita and Akash Mehta have bottled this centuries-old tradition into a line of four plant-based haircare products. The indulgent Ayurvedic blends of oils, herbs, and spices work to hydrate, nourish, and balance your hair and scalp—and will easily become a mainstay in your routine.
Founder Lisa Mattam grew up in Kerala, India’s Ayurveda hub, using coconut oil in her hair and turmeric as a spot treatment for breakouts. A former pharmaceutical executive, her entire product line at Sahajan is a result-oriented blend of Ayurvedic ingredients and methods. “We work with two Ayurvedic doctors in Kerala on the formulas to ensure authenticity—but with my pharma background guiding me, we do extensive regulatory and clinical testing,” says Mattam. The Toronto-based brand’s formulas incorporate more potent concentrations as compared to traditional remedies to produce highly effective skincare.
Founded by Shrankhla Holecek, Uma Oils incorporates Ayurvedic tradition and learnings into every step of the formulation process. The ingredients are grown and harvested at their 100-acre meadow in Raipur to ensure quality produce and production. They’ve also recently launched their Ultimate Ayurveda Kit packed with beauty and wellness essentials to lead a holistic, Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Founder Michelle Ranavat has a background in raw material sourcing and over six years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Ranavat's products are inspired by beauty traditions of Indian royalty—they stock a serum named Mighty Majesty—and each one is made according to Ayurvedic family recipes.
Forest Essentials is one of India’s most loved Ayurvedic beauty brands, as every ingredient comes from the Himalayan forests and is grown organically. Founded in 2001 by Mira Kulkarni, their products deliver all the benefits of traditional Ayurvedic concoctions, but in more modern formulas. In fact, their products are stocked as guest amenities in most luxury hotels around India as well.
Subtle Energies fuses together aromatherapy and Ayurveda for face and body products that feel equally indulgent, effective, and therapeutic. Founder Farida Irani is a qualified clinical aromatherapist, aromatic medicine specialist, and Ayurveda practitioner with over 27 years of clinical research experience. “In the early 90s, I came upon these unique and rare Ayurveda aromatherapy oils. I feel proud, humbled, and grateful to have researched them, seen profound results, and been able to promote these ancient therapeutic ingredients worldwide,” says Irani. Hotels and spas around the world, including the Four Seasons and Six Senses Spas, incorporate their healing blends into their treatments.
Founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 by Sonia Lloyd, Rasasara Skinfood is just that—food for your skin. These natural and organic products (also edible) are created for specific Ayurvedic doshas, by skin type, as well as offerings that suit all doshas. Think 100 percent natural, plant-based, cruelty-free skincare that’s made to heal and nourish your skin.
If you’ve done some research on experts in Ayurveda, you’ve likely come across Dr Pratima Raichur. The New York-based Ayurvedic physician and naturopath has bottled over 40 years of experience into her line of 100 percent natural products for the skin, hair, and body. “I’ve always created products that treat the skin holistically, as a living system. It’s not just about combining pure and natural ingredients, it’s about understanding that the ingredients themselves have an innate constitution and intrinsic intelligence that work synergistically within their environment. I harness this intelligence by using both traditional Ayurvedic processes along with modern technologies, resulting in highly effective custom blends that produce immediate visible results, and are harmonious with all systems of the body and mind,” she says.
UK-based Mauli Rituals houses a collection of skincare, haircare, body care and daily supplements using Ayurvedic techniques and sensibilities. Britain natives of Indian origin Anita and Bittu Kaushal founded the brand after a trip to India reintroduced them to healing powers of Ayurveda. “We worked on creating exceptionally efficacious formulations, each with the aim of inner balance and outer radiance, because we believe one can't truly exist without the other,” says Bittu Kaushal.
At Taza Ayurveda, founders Divya Viswanathan and Amy Engel had one goal: To introduce the fast-paced life in the West to the healing benefits of Ayurveda. Their products are formulated in Kerala, India by Ayurvedic doctors and approved by Ayush, the Ayurveda governing body in the country. Their collection comprises of three products they consider essentials—a face oil, body oil and a digestive supplement—to calm your body on the inside and outside.