Unlike Western conventional medicine, Ayurveda is a comprehensive health philosophy that not only aims to eliminate the symptoms of a disease, but also seeks to balance the body and mind to prevent new ailments from emerging. For ayurveda, well-being and the absence of disease are the natural state of a balanced being.
With a holistic and comprehensive view of health, Ayurvedic medicine prioritizes diet and healthy lifestyles as the main sources of health and well-being. And it combines healthy life practices and habits with de-stress (or stress-preventative) rituals of massages, natural oils, herbal treatments, and natural skin and hair care, among other things.
Ayurvedic cosmetics makes the English concept of “skin food” its own motto and develops cosmetic products that claim to be food for the skin with extensive nutritional benefits because it understands that skin cells get feed like the stomach and also understands that the skin is a huge and complex organ that fulfills important functions within the human body and in the balance of the inner being.
Ayurvedic cosmetics, therefore, do not use chemicals or preservatives. The trend of organic in Ayurveda begins with feeding because when you feed yourself well you understand that the skin needs also to get nourished, and that if you do not want to eat herbicides you do not want to put them on your skin either. The Ayurvedics say that the skin is the largest tongue that has our body, and that if there is something that we cannot put in the mouth we cannot put it on the skin either.
That is why Ayurvedic cosmetics are better for the skin and also for the planet, as is the case with natural medicine. Both concepts are indissoluble. Natural health or cosmetics cannot be done with practices that impair environmental health.
Thus, the philosophy of Ayurvedic cosmetics is radically opposed to the philosophy of conventional Western cosmetics since it is based on a different idea of health that prioritizes well-being as something from the inside of the being and not as something from the outside.
For Ayurveda, and equally for the “slow” movement, beauty is a matter of integral health and personal acceptance born of the maturity of being.
From the different concept of beauty and health of both trends are born their developments and their intervention strategies in natural health and cosmetics.
The strategy to look beautiful of Ayurveda is to take care of yourself from the inside, eat healthy and hydrate well to have a pretty skin and, of course, use cosmetics and hygiene products with natural ingredients.
The strategy of cosmetics and conventional medicine, which understand health and beauty as something alien to being, is by nature invasive, since it is an external strategy.
Botox, acids, and silicone will help you look better, no doubt, but at the cost of what? These strategies minimize the problem in the short term, but will your skin look better in the long run because it has put acids on it or because it is hydrated from the inside? And will a woman feel better and more beautiful at 50 years old for wearing silicone on her lips or breasts or for learning to accept who she is?
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONVENTIONAL COSMETICS AND AYURVEDIC COSMETICS OR “SLOW” COSMETICS
We explained in our post on the “slow” cosmetic movement that the movement was founded in 2012 by the Belgian Julien Kaibeck. The “slow” cosmetic movement would almost totally coincide with the framework of Ayurvedic cosmetics and with this idea of “food for the skin” of natural cosmetics by means of which we avoid smearing on our skin something more than a food in itself.
And it would coincide with the vision of natural medicine about “the human being” as a being connected with the planet whose balance is impossible to achieve if we intoxicate and alter the environment. That is why the cosmetic proposal of the “slow” movement is clearly ecological.
According to the natural “slow” cosmetics movement: “Cosmetics must be formulated and packaged in accordance with environmental protection rules. Natural and unprocessed organic ingredients must be privileged in formulas, excluding any ingredient in synthetic chemistry, petrochemicals, animal exploitation or any other potentially polluting ingredient for the environment. Cosmetics must be formulated, sold and used in compliance with nature, animals and humans in all their complexity. We condemn cosmetic products that are disrespectful to humans, animals or plants. We support certified organic products, but also fair-trade products and homemade recipes.”
Just as conventional western medicine addresses the disease with invasive drugs and drug-based treatments with the intention of correcting imbalances and combating a problem, “commercial conventional cosmetics” share this same philosophy and produce products loaded with synthetic vitamins, chemical preservatives, silicone and other synthesis ingredients.
However, let’s also be careful with some herbal cosmetics that are supposed to be natural, or with some of those recipes and pages that make natural cosmetics loaded with vitamins and synthetic ingredients that are supposed to optimize the final product and where the result is just the opposite of the expected one.
Or, perhaps, can we understand that foods laden with preservatives and stabilizers on supermarket shelves are healthier than fresh, organic fruits and vegetables? These highly processed foods are, exactly, like synthesis cosmetics.
A natural cosmetics recipe formulated with natural ingredients does not need to add such a vitamin or such an acid because the cold-pressed natural oils contained in the recipe already have those vitamins and trace elements naturally. And you don’t need to add rare acids or preservatives because the meaning of a natural cosmetic product is not to store it for months, but to consume it fresh to better take advantage of all its qualities.
Have it clear, they are two concepts and two very different philosophies of building health and making cosmetics.
“Slow” cosmetics, like Ayurveda, understand beauty as a natural thing that comes from our inner being and understands that it is necessary to reconnect with nature and learn all that it has to offer to our own health and inner beauty.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AYURVEDIC COSMETICS AND HOMEMADE NATURAL COSMETICS
In principle, there would be no difference. Both share the same purpose of nourishing our skin and balancing it with natural ingredients.
The philosophy of Ayurveda also applies to cosmetics. This field seeks to enhance the use of natural products (based on herbs, spices, minerals and essential oils) to protect the skin and hair, enhancing the overall well-being of each person. Ayurvedic Cosmetics are based on its relationship with Mother Nature and with all that it can offer us.
Both share the idea that natural medicines and the natural health that balances us cannot be harmful to the planet. They understand that if something balances our being and our skin cannot be a product with toxic ingredients that go to sea and destroy aquatic life, as is the case with conventional medicine and cosmetics.
The only difference would be that Ayurveda, with a deep integral vision of the human being, distinguishes three types of metabolism or “doshas” different from those derived from the three types of skin that we talk about in Western cosmetics.
According to the Ayurveda, we are composed of three unique energies (also called Doshas): Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (water and soil). In a state of balance, energies coexist in harmony; unbalanced, on the contrary, create an unease.
And from these three types of energies derive the types of skin that would broadly match the three skin types we distinguish in our Western context.
Kapha would correspond to oily and acneic-prone skin and hair.
Vata would correspond with dry and dehydrated skin and fine hair.
Pitta with mixed skin and hair, sometimes irritated, sometimes hypersensitive and with a reactive tendency.
And, according to this classification, the different formulations are prepared to balance each skin type.
Thus, for example, almond oil, rosehip or sesame are ideal for the biotype Vata, for its calming and soothing properties for dry or irritated skin.
Olive oil or argan oil are very beneficial for Pitta to nourish and protect the dermis from external changes.
Jojoba and hazelnut oils are perfect for the Kapha type for their regulatory and moisturizing sebum properties.
As Ayurvedic cosmetics are based on their relationship with Mother Nature, the ingredients used in creams, oils or soaps come from plants and plant ingredients. In these natural cosmetics, we never work with chemicals that may have harmful effects on the health of our skin.
One of the main ingredients in all compositions of Ayurvedic cosmetics are oils, both vegetables and essentials. These must be of first quality, taking into account the mode of extraction (in the case of oils, by cold pressure*), their packaging and the raw materials that make up them.
*One of the first factors that we will take into account when purchasing a vegetable oil, will be its extraction mode. We will always tend to use oils extracted by cold pressure. With this technique the oil is obtained by means of a paste squeezed at room temperature. Thanks to the cold pressure all the characteristics of the seed or fruit from which the oil comes are preserved.
In future entries we will better clarify what types of products and ingredients Ayurveda uses to re-balance the different skin types.