Why Is Kumkumadi So Popular Again And What Can It Do For Your Skin?


My friend Tanvi, who’s a soon-to-be bride, recently shared that she’s been using kumkumadi oil on her face and she’s seen a visible difference in the quality of her skin. Sure, I’d heard of tons of products launching recently with this ‘wonder ingredient’ – kumkumadi. And now with a close friend singing its praises, my interest was piqued. But how does it actually work? Is it really that effective? And being an ancient preparation, why is it such a big deal now? I set out to find answers to all these questions.

To start off, kumkumadi is an ancient Ayurvedic preparation with anywhere between 15 to 25
precious herbs infused in oils. We spoke with Dr Smita Naram, Ayurveda expert & co-founder of Ayushakti, a leading ayurvedic health centre, who shares that according to Bhaishajya Ratnavali 60/115-120, kumkumadi tailam is originally composed of 21 herbs. “Kumkumadi is an Ayurvedic herbal blend made from natural oils and herbs that works wonders for the skin. A combination of antioxidants and antibacterial properties aid in improving blood circulation and also in healing skin cells. Sandalwood and red saffron are the primary ingredients in this product. The skin absorbing the benefits of saffron, sandalwood, and turmeric gives radiance and a natural glow, making skin appear younger and brighter. That is why numerous beauty and skincare products use this ingredient today.”

But why has kumkumadi found so many takers once again? She shares, “In recent times, there is more and more awareness about non-cosmetic and Ayurvedic products. People are even using more homegrown brands. This has been a big reason why brands increasingly use ingredients that more people are aware of. Kumkumadi is something which many may have heard of via their parents or grandparents.” The point Dr Smita makes is definitely true and can easily be proved by the sheer number of Ayurveda-based products and brands that are being embraced by not just Indians but even the rest of the world now. There’s a sense of pride in our ancient knowledge, recipes and blends that have stood the test of time.

Benefits of Kumkumadi Oil For Skin

Dr Smita reveals that there are lots of benefits of kumkumadi oil if used in a right manner. “It is a natural sun protector against harmful UVA and UVB radiations. Rich in the extraordinary properties of saffron, this oil helps reduce the appearance of dark spots, pigmentation, and blemishes and provides a clear and lighter skin complexion. The regular and right use of it, creates a luminous, youthful, and healthy skin by rejuvenating and renewing skin cells.”

While it suits all skin types, Dr Naram cautions, “If someone having chronic skin ailments wants to use this ingredient, they need to consult their doctor first.”

We’ve also recently seen kumkumadi in the form of face oils, cleansers, day creams, scrubs, packs and so much more. So, with countless product options available, how do we know which formulations work best? “Kumkumadi works well in any form,” she says, adding that kumkumadi as a face wash is sulphate free; it mildly cleanses the skin, improves texture, fights pigmentation, clears the complexion, controls acne, and clears blemishes. “As a moisturiser, it spreads effectively on the face. It is a remedy for dark circles, acne and pimples, pigments, scars, and stretch marks, as it contains skin-friendly herbs. Kumkumadi as oil can be utilised for face massage; it is highly beneficial in treating pimples and acne on the skin. It acts as a cleanser to cleanse the skin’s pores by removing excess oil, dirt, and grime and sheds dead skin cells.”

If you’re looking to try, here are our picks of kumkumadi products in various formulations…

Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi Brightening Bi-Phase Essence


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A lightweight bi-phase skin essence, it is made with kumkumadi oil that brightens dull skin and enhances radiance. Pure Kashmiri saffron adds a dewy, golden glow while liquorice brightens and helps remove excess melanin. With anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, aloe vera leaf juice present in this essence for skin soothes and heals. Plant-based emollients smooth out skin texture lending a subtle sheen. The essence can be used in the morning or night, spritzed and patted onto the face and neck post cleansing and toning.

Sadhev Aloe Vera and Saffron Gel with Kumkumadi Tailam


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This lightweight gel is a fusion of aloe, saffron with kumkumadi tailam that moisturises the skin, hydrates it and protects it from sunrays and dust. It provides deep nourishment to the skin, regenerates it, enhances complexion, reduces blemishes and makes it petal soft. It works to heal dry skin, gently treat acne, and even minimises the signs of ageing.

SoulTree Advanced Kumkumadi Purifying Facial Cleanser


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Infused with 100% organic mogra saffron, handpicked straight from the fields of Pampore, this cleanser is a gentle blend that pulls away dirt, dust and makeup residue from the skin, giving it a nourishing, radiant glow.

The Tribe Concepts 24K Kumkumadi Thailam

Love your face oils? Then try this one which is an excellent treatment for anti-pigmentation,
blemish-free skin. Kumkumadi not only acts as an anti-ageing serum but also fades undereye dark circles and treats crow’s feet. This repair oil penetrates deeper into layers of skin and protects it from damage over time.

Ayuga 10% Kumkumadi Skin Radiance Day Cream SPF 30


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This skin-firming cream formulation is enriched with 10% kumkumadi oil, containing a blend of USDA-certified organic ingredients like saffron, lotus extracts, and 28 precious herbs. It works to reduce dark spots, and pigmentation and deeply moisturises the skin. Suitable for normal and dry skin, this moisturising cream is also packed with SPF 30, making it capable of neutralising UVA & UVB radiation to protect your skin from sun damage and environmental stressors.

Inveda Kumkumadi Tailam Ubtan Face Pack

Sit back and relax with this face pack that contains the goodness of kumkumadi tailam, saffron, turmeric, kaolin clay and fuller’s earth (Multani mitti) and a mix of natural herbal ingredients to deeply rejuvenate your skin. Effective in removing dirt, impurities, sebum and residues, this naturally made face pack helps tighten the skin, give it a radiant glow, and also enhances skin’s texture by refining pores and boosting elasticity.

RAS Luxury Oils Revival Kumkumadi Night Face Elixir

Add this elixir to your night skincare regime. It is a potent blend of more than 29 finest herbs and plant oils. Deep nourishing and fast penetrating, this weightless and non-sticky elixir leaves skin feeling smooth, even-toned, and firm. This unique formula gives overnight radiance and promotes cellular renewal for skin that feels and looks young.

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