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Sustainable practices in ayurvedic beauty-

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The beauty landscape has evolved tremendously over the years. Every few years, the industry has seen newer trends emerge that have transformed the meaning of beauty in the eyes of consumers. While some trends managed to change the curve of the industry, others came and went. This paradigm shift over the years has revolutionized the industry into becoming more realistic, natural and innovative. 

Consumers are increasingly seeking skincare / personal care options that are sustainable and ethically sourced. With the current consumer requirements, the Ayurvedic beauty and skincare industry, which incorporates the use of sustainable practises, is gaining increasing relevance among  consumers. Ayurveda is a medical system that originated in India in 2nd century BC and has been practised for thousands of years. The practise is based on the belief that health and wellness are based on a delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit and its ultimate goal is to cleanse the body and  restore balance to the body, mind, and spirit. Ayurvedic practises make use of the power of herbs and natural remedies to heal and nourish the body. Nearly 75% of people in India use some form of traditional medicine, including Ayurveda. With the increasing affinity of consumers to opt for sustainable skincare solutions, the Ayurvedic industry, which was initially popular for its medical benefits, has started gaining relevance in the global skincare and beauty industry. According to the Global Ayurvedic Market Report 2020-2026, the Global Ayurvedic Skincare Market is expected to grow at a staggering rate of 16.14% (CAGR). The global recognition and rising demand for Ayurvedic beauty brands is also contributing to the exponential growth of the Indian Ayurvedic skincare market. The Ayurvedic skincare market in India was valued at approximately $998 million in 2020 and is projected to witness a CAGR of around 16% during the forecast period 2021-2026.

The Ayurvedic beauty industry strikes a delicate balance towards both meeting the requirements of the consumers given its effectiveness and giving back to the environment. Leading Ayurvedic skincare brands, in India and globally, follow the practise of Green Chemistry which focuses on designing products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances. This approach helps brands to prioritize safety, sustainability, and environmental responsibility throughout their supply chain and manufacturing processes.

Some of the key factors that contribute to incorporating Green Chemistry in the brand’s approach include:

  • Ethically Sourced Natural Ingredients

Ayurvedic product formulations are made from ingredients that are ethically sourced from locally grown herbs & plants  on traditional farmlands by local communities. Typically, Ayurvedic skincare brands make use of sustainable herbs native to India to curate their products. These ingredients are generally known for their therapeutic properties and effectiveness in promoting healthy skin. Ingredients such as Neem, Tulsi, Kumkumadi Thailam, Ashwagandha, Aloe Vera and Turmeric are a part of the extensive list of natural ingredients that are used to make Ayurvedic skincare products. These sustainable ingredients are usually combined with other natural ingredients such as Honey, Rose Water, and various essential oils to create effective and holistic skincare formulations that help treat skin conditions such as inflammation, acne and scars, thereby promoting overall skin health. Sourcing ingredients locally also contribute to increasing employment thereby assisting the livelihood of the local farmers. By prioritizing local sourcing, the Ayurvedic skincare industry fosters a symbiotic relationship with local farmers and communities. It not only supports their livelihoods but also preserves traditional practises, promotes fair trade, and contributes to community development. Ultimately, this approach aligns with the ethos of Ayurveda, which emphasizes the interconnectedness of humans, nature, and sustainable living.

Ayurvedic beauty brands understand the importance of nature and have at large started using plastic-free product packaging or biodegradable solutions to manufacture their products. These brands are known to adopt initiatives such as planting trees on product purchases and making efforts to become plastic neutral. According to recent research by the Zero Waste Week, plastic packaging waste from the overall beauty industry reaches over 120 billion units of packaging annually. Certain Ayurvedic companies are working to reduce this waste generation by ensuring that any plastics used in packaging are 100% recyclable, or offer return-and-refill options. They also try to make use of glass packaging for products wherever possible. The Ayurvedic beauty industry strives to minimize waste by adopting eco-friendly packaging solutions thereby reducing their overall carbon footprint.

  • Age-old Wisdom meets Skincare

Ayurvedic beauty products are formulated using traditional recipes and methods, which in many cases even date back to the Vedic era (1800 BC – 1000 BC). The production of the skincare formulations is modernised as per the current skincare standards and consumer demands. These age-old Ayurvedic recipes make use of herbal ingredients that are manufactured using traditional techniques such as hand grinding and cold-pressing and require the use of minimum ingredients to bring greater results. The integration of age-old wisdom from Ayurveda into modern skincare provides a holistic approach that goes beyond superficial beauty. It promotes a sense of self-care, mindfulness, and a deeper connection with nature. It encourages individuals to prioritize overall well-being and make conscious choices that benefit their skin and overall health.

Ayurvedic beauty and skincare products are gentle on the skin and do not have any side effects, especially for consumers who have sensitive skin. The use of sustainable ingredients increases  product efficacy from a long term standpoint. Ayurvedic skincare products also penetrate deep into the skin’s external layers, combatting external factors such as pollutants and climate change, while helping rejuvenate the skin from within. This skincare approach is collaborative and works on every level of healing and nourishment, starting from the outer layer and concluding in the inner layer. As a customised approach, Ayurvedic skincare recognizes that each person has a unique skin type and constitution. Ayurvedic practitioners assess an individual’s dosha (body type) and prescribe specific skincare rituals and products tailored to their needs. This personalized approach helps address specific skin concerns from the root cause effectively, leading to long-term improvements in skin health.

Today, consumers are more discerning about making conscious choices. For instance, they check the entire list of ingredients before making a purchase,  opt for brands that have ethical or environmentally sustainable practises and values, and no longer purchase certain products because they have concerns about the brand’s sustainability practises or values. Responsible buying involves not just choosing effective  products  but also choosing brands that are conscious, ones with which they can personally identify and relate. As consumers become more discerning about what they use and the effect this can have on their health and the environment, the demand for Ayurvedic beauty products has surged. Many beauty brands now offer Ayurvedic-inspired lines or incorporate Ayurvedic practises into their existing offerings. Ayurveda’s holistic approach of both meeting environmental prerequisites as well as a consumer’s desire to see effective skin care results, has made Ayurvedic beauty and skincare a preferred choice amongst consumers at large. The demand for organic, cruelty-free, and environmentally sustainable Ayurvedic skincare products will continue witnessing growth as consumers prioritize sustainability and ethical practises.



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Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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