If you’re a regular on the spa circuit, you’ve likely seen the word “Ayurvedic” used to describe a facial or a massage. Ayurveda, which translates from Sanskrit to “science of life,” is an ancient science from India. It teaches that a balance in mind and body leads to optimal health.

Today, Ayurvedic principles are being incorporated into Western skin-care products, from body sprays that promise balance to face creams with Ayurveda-approved ingredients (such as coconut oil) and beauty rituals such as drinking warm lemon water in the morning (I always start the day this way, layering in the advice of my dentist to drink lemon water through a reusable straw, rinse with water and wait before brushing your teeth to lessen enamel erosion).

Lisa Mattam, founder of Canadian skin-care brand Sahajan, says Ayurveda offers both a time-tested and relevant approach to skin care, giving us an effective routine using natural ingredients. “Many of Ayurveda’s practices for healthy skin and many of the ancient recipes have been proven in modern science and they continue to be studied,” she says. “Out of these 5,000 years also comes a series of recipes or powerful plant-based ingredients that can address the needs of the skin and hair. Many of these ingredients are still unknown in the West and are now being studied for their impact on the skin.”

A former pharmaceutical executive, Mattam always consults with Ayurvedic doctors when she’s formulating a new product. However, she’s quick to point out that beauty comes from finding balance in life. “No amount of skin care in the world can address your needs if you’re not eating well, sleeping well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

What to Try

In Ayurveda, there are three dosha types: vata, pitta and katha. These vegan lip balms vary plant, fruit and root ingredients to compliment different energies (fiery pittas can chill out with the cooling effects of amalaki (Indian gooseberry), coconut, lemongrass and peppermint).

Hurraw! Pitta Lip Balm, $4.99 through thedetoxmarket.ca.
This lightly-scented mist is like a spa in a bottle and brings balance to all dosha types with essential oils common in Ayurveda: patchouli, sandalwood and cinnamon.

Vida Tri Dosha Ayurvedic Body Mist and Room Spray, from $22 at Vida Spas (vidaspas.com).
Formulated with moringa, rose and coconut oils, Sahajan’s newest launch feels like it’s nourishing skin as it washes the day away.

Sahajan Ayurvedic Blend Essential Oil Cleanser, $48 throughsahajan.ca.

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