It was only a matter of time, y'all! I'm finally making some Ayurvedic products. While most of my formulations are developed with Ayurvedic principles in mind, I've been itching to make an explicitly Ayurvedic set of products, given my background & training in both yoga and Ayurveda. In addition to my foundational Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor training, I've been doing a lot of self study, especially into the Ayurvedic approach to herbs.
I've had several customers ask me if I'll ever consider making a facial oil. It wasn't on my radar when I first launched, but after hearing the question enough, the seeds were planted. Given Ayurveda's love of both internal and external oilation (abhyanga, anyone?), facial oils felt like the perfect product to formulate using Ayurvedic principles and theory.
Before I get into each formula, let's go over some foundations:
- Ayurveda means "knowledge" of life and is an ancient system of health originating over 5,000 years ago in the Indus River Valley (in modern day Pakistan). Ayurveda has an individualized approach that encourages living in accordance with your own unique constitution and your changing environment.
- Dosha means "fault" and refers to your unique constitution, established before birth by your DNA. Just as earthquakes happen along fault lines, we tend to become imbalanced in our primary dosha. In Ayurveda, there are three doshas, and each of which is comprised of two elements and has specific, immutable qualities.
- The chief principle of Ayurveda is "like increases like, opposites balance." Exposure to qualities of your primary dosha (via food, routine, season, etc.) will cause imbalance. Exposure to qualities opposite your primary dosha will bring you into balance.
During ingredient brainstorming, I referred to my trusty copy of The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine. While herbs can be used in many ways (e.g. ingested, as a poultice, topically in a paste), each plant has known energetic properties that apply to all methods of use, though oral consumption of properly & safely prepared herbs is likely to beget the strongest results. Of course, all of the herbal elements we are using will be applied topically.
elements: space & air
qualities: dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, clear
ingredients & energetics
- Safflower oil, rosehip oil, apricot kernel oil, carrot seed oil, and cinnamon essential oil are heating and balance Vata's cold nature
- Black cumin seed oil is a gentle stimulant that encourages circulation
- Brahmi extract, sweet basil essential oil, and vetiver essential oils are nervine and help calm & ground Vata's overactive nervous system
- Sweet fennel essential oil is calming and soothing to sensitive skin.
The Vata formula is designed to warm the skin thereby improving Vata circulation, soothe and heal dry skin, and offer a grounding energy.
elements: fire & water
qualities: hot, oily, sharp/penetrating, light, subtle, cloudy/sticky
ingredients & energetics
- Jojoba oil, evening primrose oil, pomegranate seed oil, raspberry seed oil, black cumin seed oil, peppermint essential oil, vetiver essential oil, lemongrass essential oil, and sweet fennel essential oil are cooling and balance Pitta's hot nature
- Turmeric extract, pomegranate seed oil, raspberry seed oil, black cumin seed oil, and evening primrose oil are blood purifiers that can treat and heal inflammatory skin conditions common with Pitta imbalance
- Turmeric extract is also antibacterial and can manage acne-prone Pitta skin
The Pitta formula is designed to cool and heal inflammation and treat acne-causing bacteria.
elements: water & earth
qualities: cool, dense, static, cloudy/sticky, hard, heavy, oily
ingredients & energetics:
- Safflower oil, apricot kernel oil, sweet basil essential oil, ginger essential oil, and cinnamon essential oil are heating and balance Kapha's cool nature.
- Pomegranate seed oil, raspberry seed oil, black cumin seed oil, and myrrh extract are blood purifiers that can cleanse the circulatory & lymphatic systems of toxins, or Ama
- Ginger essential oil has expectorant qualities that combat lymph stagnation
- Black cumin seed oil, ginger essential oil, and cinnamon essential oil are gentle stimulants that improve circulation
- Lemongrass essential oil has mild diaphoretic properties that stimulate circulation and disperse edema
The Kapha formula is designed to warm the skin and thereby improve circulation, disperse edema and lymph stagnation, and reduce Ama as it presents in the skin.
I'm looking at an April or May release for these goodies, so stay tuned! We will be posting product development on Instagram, so you can keep up with us there.
Until next time,
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