Ayurvedic beauty is nothing new. There have always been niche products that are based on or inspired by Ayurvedia. Nearly a year-and-a-half ago when Sephora announced its first cohort of startups participating in its Accelerate program, Lisa Mattam and her brand Sahajan were among the lucky few.
Sahajan “creates ayurvedic inspired, organic skincare--marrying the ancient traditions of Ayurveda with modern science,” as Cosmetics Design reported at that time. The skin care, hair care, and body care brand collaborated with two Ayurvedic doctors in South India on product formulations, according to the company site. And today Sahajan’s best-selling product (again, according to the site) is its Nourish Face Ceram, which is formulated with ‘natural’ hero ingredients such as triphala, gotu kola, and coconut oil.
Kalp, an Ayurvedic naturals brand out of Canada, announced a new product launch just last week: Vijs Namaste Ayurvedic Hand Butter. The brand got its start in 2012 and launched one year later with local distribution in yoga centers, wellness clinics, and holistic spas around Ottawa, Canada.
Now, the brand is also sold online and at retailers across Canada. Kalp’s latest hand and body butter product is vegan, made in small batches, and formulated with food-grade preservatives.
“We have developed Vijs Namaste to relieve any skin type,” says Seema Kudesia, founder and director of Kalp, in a media release about the new product. “With a number of trials and many tests with Vikram Vij [a celebrity chef, who’s somehow close to the brand], we have succeeded in formulating Vijs Namaste to tend to all of those searching for true and natural ayurvedic products,” adds Kudesia.
Proper Ayurveda is the traditional Hindu system of medicine. So as its philosophies and ingredients are incorporated into personal care, it gains legibility as a so-called global beauty ritual. Such rituals do best in the market when they can draw a line back the country and culture where the practice originated. (Think of Korean beauty, French beauty, or Nordic beauty, for example.)
Well-known global brands like Clarins, and multinational beauty corporations like L’Oréal and Unilever are getting in on Ayurvedic beauty. Late last year, the first Clarins spa opened in Inda, as Cosmetics Design Asia reported. While prestige beauty brands and services are something of a departure from holistic therapies common in the country, the concurrence of such options makes tech, product, and treatment transfer much more likely.
Just last month, L'Oreal got in on the Ayurvedic beauty trend.“India’s strong consumer enthusiasm for its traditional wellness system, Ayurveda, has seen brands tapping into the naturals trend to profit: L’Oréal’s new Garnier launch is the latest,” writes Cosmetics Design Europe editor Lucy Whitehouse. The brand’s Ultra Blends hair care line was developed especially for the Indian market, according to remarks Jean-Christophe Letellier, MD for L’Oreal India, made to the press. And, as Whitehouse also reported, in April of 2016, Unilever bought Indulekha, an Ayurvedic hair care and personal care brand in India.