Until I started researching health and beauty brand Fushi for my blog posts, I’d never heard of Ayurvedic skincare. And whenever I came across Ayurveda in any other conversation, be it medicine or food, I skimmed over it without ever really taking in any key information. But then I discovered that Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu system of medicine, brings a holistic approach to your skincare, incorporating other aspects of your life from diet to sleep and exercise. Western culture is now waking up to the importance of wellbeing (something that some other cultures have been doing for centuries) and how all aspects of your lifestyle affect one another, so it seems a logical step to take Ayurvedic principles on board. After all, the Western world has already gone crazy for yoga and meditation, two practices that originated in India. Although natural skincare brand Urban Veda was born in England, the inspiration is very much based on founder Sheilesh Shah’s Indian heritage (you can read my Q&A with him here). So what exactly is Ayurvedic skincare, what is a dosha and how does this skincare actually perform?
What’s your dosha?
In the words of the brand’s founder, ‘Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old philosophy derived from India. It teaches that we all need balance in our life in order to thrive and maintain good health’. I couldn’t agree more, but how do you achieve this balance? Well Ayurvedic herbs support your body’s internal balance, so Ayurvedic Practitioners treat people’s internal health issues with these herbs. And what’s this got to do with skincare? By offering different product ranges each featuring a unique blend of Indian Ayurvedic herbs, you can target specific skin types. And how do you know what your skin type is? You take Urban Veda’s online quiz, a skin tool that helps you figure out what your dosha is, an energy circulating in the body. Depending on the proportion of the three energies (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) you will have a different temperament, physical constitution and varying needs. I love a good quiz, especially a skincare one (have you tried Cult Beauty’s one?) so of course I took this one and came out as a Kapha (I sound like I’m part of a sorority): loving, forgiving, and stable, but with tendencies for envy – oh dear. My skin type is oily and needs a regular detox with deep exfoliation – which perfectly fits my love of mechanical scrubs.
This leads me very handily onto the first – very brief – Urban Veda product review: the Purifying Facial Polish. Featuring wild mint, eucalyptus, tea tree and witch hazel to detoxify congested and acne-prone skin, this is ideal for Kapha skin. The natural pumice scrub is coarser than I would like however it manages to feel gentle enough on my face. The scent is certainly refreshing and a little tingly, in a good way, and my skin felt softer and smoother. 125ml RRP £13.99 Sachet photographed is a sample.
I do love a toner. It’s the kind of product that I rarely think of buying, but when I receive one I’m always so pleased to add it to my skincare routine. In the words of my husband – and I know he’s not alone – ‘What’s the point of a toner? It looks like water’. The purpose of a toner is to remove any last trace of makeup, dirt or makeup remover and prepare the skin so that it absorbs as much serum, oil or moisturiser as possible. I tend to use a toner after a balm textured makeup remover such as Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm if I want a fresh feel. Urban Veda’s Radiance Hydrating Toner is enriched in healing aloe vera and blemish-reducing papaya, and although it’s supposed to be ideal for dry skin and to balance the Vata dosha, I find that my combination skin is very happy with this fresh-scented product. 150ml RRP £13.99
Although the Radiance Day Cream has been formulated to soothe dry skin, I typically find that my combination skin requires a light formula on the T-zone but a richer one for cheeks and neck. Yet this gel-like moisturiser feels lightweight enough to slather on all parts of my face. Infused with turmeric (have you tried a turmeric sheet mask?), the yellow powder is supposed to encourage cell renewal and protect skin for a brightening result – perfect for a dull complexion.
As for the fast-absorbing Reviving Day Cream, it features Ayurvedic arjuna extract helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles so ideal for more mature or dry skin. 50ml RRP £18.99 Sachets photographed are samples.
From only using facial oils once in a while to incorporating them into my daily skincare routine, I’ve now developed a bit of an obsession and have over a dozen stashed in my bathroom cabinet and on my bedside table. This one I applied in the evening on a spa weekend away, after exfoliating and toning. This light and easily absorbed oil smells of delicate rose and nourishes skin thanks to argan oil. 30ml RRP £29.99 Sachet photographed is a sample.
I’ve become increasingly cautious with night creams since I read that some may have heavier formulas unsuitable for congested skin. But this one doesn’t feel overly rich, I’d even say it’s pleasantly light yet moisturising. Suitable for sensitive skin, I mix this with the Reviving Facial Oil and apply together as one product (since discovering this technique with Fushi’s BioVedic skincare range I’m obsessed). The gentle formula contains healing geranium, calming lavender and anti-inflammatory rosemary: perfect for a bedtime skincare routine. 50ml RRP £19.99 Sachet photographed is a sample.
This light and creamy shower gel feels gentle and hydrating to skin. Developed to balance all doshas (although particularly good for dry or mature skin) and featuring skin conditioning plant extracts that don’t strip skin of its natural oils, the delicate rose damask and soothing geranium scent makes it feel more expensive than it actually is and leaves skin nourished. 200ml RRP £12.99
Are you tempted to find out what your dosha is? I’d love to know what result you get, so please do leave a comment below to let me know!
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