Does The Pairing of Ayurveda With Active Ingredients Really Benefit The Skin? Experts Weigh In

Active Ingredients

Have product labels with ingredient combinations such as ‘Turmeric & hyaluronic acid’ or ‘patchouli & peptides’ caught your attention lately? While the focus and information on active ingredients grew exponentially in the last few years, there’s a growing category in skincare where traditional Ayurvedic ingredients are now being paired with these modern active ingredients to tackle skin concerns.

In case you don’t already know, active skincare ingredients are those which are added to skincare products to target specific concerns. Commonly added actives in skincare include hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid and other alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), niacinamide, ceramides, peptides, retinol, vitamin C, etc.


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Ayurveda And Active Ingredients

Recently, Deepika Padukone-backed skincare brand 82°E launched their newest products – Licorice Beam, a clear sunscreen gel infused with licorice and ceramides, and Sugarcane Soak, a cleanser with antioxidant-rich sugarcane and stimulating mandelic acid, which is a type of gentle AHA.

In fact, each of the products in 82°E’s skincare range combines time-tested Indian ingredients with powerful scientific compounds to create high-performing products. Other products from the brand include Ashwagandha Bounce which is a rejuvenating moisturiser with ashwagandha and sodium hyaluronate, a derivative of hyaluronic acid, while Patchouli Glow SPF 40 PA+++ is a lightweight sunscreen fortified with patchouli leaf extract and ceramides. 


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Homegrown dermat brand Dr Sheth’s, now part of Mamaearth’s parent company – Honasa Consumer, has time and time again launched these kinds of products with ingredient pairings such as their Haldi & Hyaluronic Acid Sunscreen, Kesar & Kojic Daily Pigmentation Correction Cream, and the Neem & Salicylic Acid Face Wash that targets acne. 

We spoke to industry experts and dermatologists to get their take on these pairings.

Dr Madhuri Agarwal, Founder and Medical Director of Yavana Skin Aesthetics says she really likes this concept wherein traditional Ayurvedic ingredients are combined with active chemical ingredients. “When we combine the two, it is like a marriage of two powerful philosophies or thoughts of medicine. If done right, this is a game changer product – I call it a hybrid product, because with this combination you get a wonderful, effective product.”

She shares that while we have an active ingredient line from modern medicine or the chemical range which is effective but has its own share of side effects and reactions, we also have Ayurveda with beneficial ingredients but sometimes these are not as effective and they’re comparatively milder as compared to the chemical ones. “So, in bringing together both of them, there is this synergy, a symbiotic relationship, which gives efficacy while simultaneously cutting down any reactions. The unique blend, if done right obviously, is beautiful and can give you results with lesser side effects or reactions.”

Dr. Taruna Yadav, Senior Ayurveda Doctor at Forest Essentials, India’s luxury Ayurveda brand, shares, “By incorporating modern actives, such as scientifically proven antioxidants or peptides into Ayurvedic formulations, we at Forest Essentials have been able to harness the efficacy of traditional Ayurvedic recipes and address specific skincare concerns with the infusion of these high-performance active ingredients, a rare amalgamation in today’s evolving beauty landscape,”


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Most of Forest Essentials’ bestselling products such as the Soundarya Radiance Cream With 24K Gold & SPF25, Advanced Eternal Youth Formula Date & Litchi, Rasa Activating Serum and Tejal Balancing Water contain high-performing rejuvenators including humectant-rich hyaluronic acid that is derived from organically grown sweet potatoes, bakuchiol, polyglutamic acid (fermented soybean), saccharide isomerate and folic acid ferment filtrate extract.

Dr Taruna shares that this synergy allows their consumer to immerse in an experience that entwines the wisdom of ancient traditions and the advancements of modern science. “It enables us to create products that are not only rooted in tradition but also deliver visible and measurable results, catering to the evolving needs of today’s modern consumer.


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Another beauty brand indē wild, founded by entrepreneur Diipa Khosla is crafted in what it calls ‘Ayurvedistry’ – a blend of Ayurveda & chemistry. For example, it features products like the 15% Vitamin C:AM Sunrise Glow Serum which is packed with Ayurvedic superfoods including turmeric and ashwagandha and marries them with 15% pure vitamin C and E, ferulic acid, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid that work together to brighten and smooth the appearance of skin. 

Combining Ayurveda with active ingredients is also Shankara Naturals, whose approach to skincare consists of blending the best of ayurvedic herbs with modern actives. Astha Katpitia, Head of Shankara India, shares, “All Shankara products are 100% natural and result-oriented that infuse the Ayurvedic wisdom of the East with the knowledge of actives and modern processes of the West. Our products are created using cold processed, synergistic blends of anti-ageing, antioxidant-rich active ingredients, combined with highly nutritive Ayurvedic herbs along with therapeutic, and aromatherapeutic essential oils.”

Take, for example, Shankara’s Timeless Moisturiser that blends Ayurvedic herbs such as turmeric, saffron, aloe vera, manjistha with actives such as vitamin C and sodium hyaluronate. The brand’s Anti-Age Serum combines Ayurvedic herbs like gotu kola, bakuchiol, and ashwagandha with actives like squalane, and lecithin, while the Hydrating Cleanser combines herbs such as aloe vera, sandalwood, neem, and amla with actives such as fulvic minerals, panthenol, and glycerin.

While she believes most combinations seen in the beauty market are safe, Dr. Jushya Sarin, MD Dermatologist and Co-founder, Sarin Skin Solutions provides a contradicting opinion. “Most skincare ingredients, even in allopathy are derived or inspired by nature. So, it’s not a recent development. It’s only that brands have started writing the names of these natural, Ayurvedic ingredients that people are now more aware of these.”

She believes it’s more a marketing tool; like serving the same food on a different platter, she opines. “For example, turmeric is a more generic name, but its active compound called tetrahydrocurcumin has been used in allopathy forever now. The word haldi or turmeric is more appealing to the masses. Adding them to other actives, you can cater to both who want allopathic actives and also the ones with the Ayurvedic bent of mind.”

Whether one agrees with this school of thought or not, it seems that the coming together of traditional Ayurvedic ingredients with modern actives can be a powerful and effective approach to skincare.

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