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By: Emily Keats, Editorial Intern, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine
Posted: August 29, 2008, from the September 2008 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
As the movement for environmentally friendly personal care continues to advance, an ancient approach to well-being has resurfaced with perfect timing. Ayurveda is a holistic health care philosophy that emphasizes a balance in mind, body and soul. The word ayurveda is part of the Sanskrit language that translates as “the science of life.” While consumers continue to seek eco-friendly routes in health and hygiene, this archaic science may be just what formulators need to (literally) spice up formulations.
According to Sonia Boba of Alcanz International LLC, the distributor of ayurvedic line Kama Ayurveda, ayurveda is a “holistic principle to living—the whole idea is to ensure the body is naturally in sync with nature and that the body and mind are well.”
“A typical ayurvedic formulation may contain more than twenty herbs and spices with specific roles,” explained Boba. Ayurveda takes formulation to a more individualized level, as products and medicines are concocted based on body type or dosha. The three dosha types are vatta, pitta and kapha.
According to the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, doshas are said to represent one or two of five basic elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. These doshas are based on a combination of internal and external qualities, personality traits and mental characteristics. A person may have more than one dosha but usually one is dominant.
The kapha body type is designated as heavier-set with thick hair and coarser features. This skin typically is affected by an abundance of oil and acne, and spicy ingredients such as cayenne, cinnamon and black pepper are used with this body type to help ease congestion to slow oil and sebum output.