Can looking good be combined with feeling good? Can we successfully bring together aesthetics with well being in one product? Yes, it would seem so. Only, we will have to go back a few centuries! As interest in a more holistic way of life increases across the world, the consumer industry is also forced to keep up.
This is why there is now an increased focus on natural products that not just makes us look good, but also stays true to nature. In India, we already have a tradition of such products in Ayurveda. The ancient texts of Ayurveda are now being used by Ayurvedic cosmetics companies to make products that confirm to the age-old wisdom of only using what is good for our body.
Although many people see Ayurveda as a since of wellbeing, it was also a treatise on how we should live. This included the use of beautification products. Improving one’s personal appearance was seen as part of our wellbeing and hence, had an important place in Ayurveda. This is why we find that Ayurveda contains formulations on using ingredients that enhance our looks, such as using soot for kajal or henna to colour one’s hair.
In that sense these products meet the rather narrow definition of cosmetics. Many Ayrvedic companies have taken these formulations a step further, experimenting to produce other cosmetics like lipsticks! But the benefit of Ayurveda ensures that these products cannot be seen through this narrow view.
Cosmeceuticals are hybrid of come tics and pharmaceutical products. These are a product that not when applied, actually improves the quality of our skin or hair. These products combine the superficial effects of looking good with a deeper side-effect of benefiting your wellbeing. For instance, using lotions that not just moisturize your skin, but also reverse the effects of ageing!
The interest in such products has naturally gone up in recent years because it is a more holistic approach towards wellbeing. We are now using products that will work actively in improving our appearance from within, repairing as well as improving. This includes products like anti-ageing, acne-control and sun-protection creams. On of the leading manufacturers of cosmeceuticals are Ayurvedic cosmetics companies.
Relevance of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is, some would say, tailor-made to fit this space. The formulations, carefully designed to improve the overall wellbeing of a person, were meant to go much beyond the superficial cosmetic enhancement of the user’s face and body. It is this holistic approach that we are now witnessing in the market today.
The Ayurvedic writers and physicians were curious about the human body and its working beyond all else. These texts were written over years by more than one noted physicians who used their medical and medicinal knowledge to find solutions to various ailments, illnesses and sickness. But their approach always centred on the overall wellbeing of their patients.
Hence, what they made for ornamentation was also meant to benefit the user in another way, by improving the quality of their skin and hair from inside. They used naturally occurring herbs, plants products and other ingredients that they derived from nature. They believed that nature holds the key to our problems — a sentiment echoed by the holistic approach.
Although many modern scientists dismiss Ayurveda for its lack of modern experimentation evidence, it was actually founded on sound scientific practices. The texts carefully note how the writer, usually a physician himself, has reached a particular diagnosis. There are details about how procedures were carried out, observation and clear record of the data. The Ayurvedic cosmetics companies also follow the same principles when coming up with their own formulations.
Using natural ingredients:
Ayurveda works with natural ingredients, using the nature to cure and heal different disorders. Cosmeceuticals aim to beautify, while ensuring a healthy body. In its outlooks Ayurveda was far ahead of its time, seeing the value in health before any other result. In fact, it is among the rare ancient systems that aimed for a holistic health benefits.
With the deep and long-lasting benefits of Ayurveda, its formulations can never be called simply cosmetic. In fact, Ayurvedic cosmetics products should be seen more as cosmeceuticals, products that heal as well as improve our appearance.