Just as Ayurveda, the concept of beauty exists since ancient days. Woman, in particular, with their desire to appear charming and beautiful, have tried using various herbs in beautifying themselves and in maintaining their youthfulness, since age-old days. It is a proven fact that herbs, herbal cosmetics and concept of beauty go hand in hand.
Even ancient scriptures and mythological epics include use of cosmetics for enhancing beauty. Kajal, Tilak, Agary and Alita were used for decorative purposes on the skin and the face, even during the days of ancient Gods and deities. It even showed that jewellery and cosmetics were used not only by women, but also by men. Turmeric, alkanet, agaru, saffron, indigo, chlorophyll from green leaves, raktachandan, mehendi etc., were also used for purposes of beautification.
However, today, in the cosmetics industry, there are plenty of ayurvedic toiletry formulations and ayurvedic cosmetics developed with traditional Indian herbs as main ingredients. For instance, in America, there is an increasing demand for soaps, anti-wrinkle creams, moisturizers, and shampoos based on Ayurveda, and are marketed in the name of “Aveda” so that it appeals to the local clientele. In fact, Aveda, actually means “Against veda”!
However, though there is no specific reference about Ayurvedic Cosmetology in the Vedas, the principles of Ayurveda which deals with a relationship between nature and humans, form the base for certain general principles which the ayurvedic cosmetic formulation should abide with. A few such principles are:
- The ingredients should be purely natural obtained from vegetable sources
- The ingredients can include herbal extracts or herbs
- The ingredients can include essential oils
- Cosmetics should include using only recognized traditional ayurvedic plants.
- They should follow high quality control standards
- Artificial preservatives, fragrances or colors should not be used.
- Alcohol should not be included in manufacturing cosmetics.
- Also no animal ingredients, mineral oils, pesticides, chemicals, or testing on animals is permitted.
- The product packaging should be environmental friendly.
However, the draw-back in Ayurvedic cosmetology is that there is no official certifying body, which contributes to lack of general credibility and customer confidence, posing a threat to ayurvedic cosmetic products in the market.