This Ayurvedic elixir should be in your skincare routine
This facial oil has a history longer than the lines to watch Gadar 2
Trends are like makkhis struggling to leave your house even though you have a massive window open. When you’ve managed to guide one flitting pest out into the world, you realise another one has made its way in. I’m a sucker for viral trends, namely in the skincare realm. I want to try the latest mascara; have to get the shampoo that one influencer claims stopped her hair fall completely. My fingers itch to hit ‘add to cart’ to three different shades of the newest skin tint because I can’t tell which is closest to my skin tone. I can be my bank account’s worst enemy, but no matter how many glass bottles and jars have dotted my dressing table, one product has stood the test of time. That’s Kama Ayurveda’s Kumkumadi facial oil (also known as Kumkumadi Tailam).
My sister introduced me to Kama Ayurveda’s Kumkumadi facial oil over a decade ago. The Iconic Kumkumadi Youth & Radiance Revitalising Facial Oil was a mouthful and hard to take seriously. I consider anything with ‘miraculous’ claims with immediate caution and scepticism. On her insistence, I gave it a try and was served a platter of crow to eat after only a few days. Catching my reflection in the mirror on my way out of the house one day, I had to double back. I finally understood what people mean when they say ‘glow from within’. I was radiant. Experts say that you need at least a month or two of daily use to see the impact of any product on your skin, but a few days into using the Kumkumadi facial oil, I was hooked.
This ‘miraculous beauty’ serum has a history longer than the lines to watch Gadar 2. Kumkumadi is a timeless treasure that has traversed centuries, leaving a trail of luminous complexions and rejuvenated skin. “The history of Kumkumadi facial oil is deeply intertwined with India’s ancient Ayurvedic traditions, highlighting the wisdom of using natural ingredients to promote skin health and beauty,” says Dr Aruna Purohit, Ayurvedic consultant at Kama Ayurveda.
A traditional preparation found in the Ashtanga Hridayama, among the primary ancient ayurvedic texts, Purohit says it dates back 1,500 years and was “prescribed by the ‘dieties’ of medicine, Ashwini Kumaras.”
What is it about Kumkumadi that has kept it relevant and so in demand for all these years? Purohit breaks down the origins of the Kumkumadi facial oil recipe, the science that powers this ayurvedic legend and how to incorporate it into our skincare routines.
History of Kumkumadi
Ayurvedic practitioners developed Kumkumadi oil as a potent skincare remedy, says Purohit. She further explains that the Sanskrit name is derived from two components: Kumkum, meaning saffron, the red stigmas from the crocus flower, and adi, meaning ‘other ingredients’. Kumkumadi oil has saffron at its heart, along with other herbal extracts mixed with a carrier oil as a base.
“Saffron has been a cherished and prized spice in India for centuries, known not only for its culinary uses but also for its medicinal and cosmetic properties. Its skin-brightening effects were recognised and utilised in various formulations, including Kumkumadi facial oil,” adds Purohit.
Kukumadi facial oil’s key ingredients and their benefits
Kumkumadi owes its transformative powers and holy grail status to an intricate blend of 14 natural ingredients. Each component is meticulously chosen for its unique qualities and the synergistic effects when combined. Purohit explains some of Kumkumadi facial oil’s key ingredients:
“Saffron helps improve complexion and reduces the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation.” It’s a natural source of crocin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, says Purohit, which protects the skin against environmental stressors.
Exceptionally rich in phytoactive molecules, saffron is also a powerhouse of vitamin A (retinol), which repairs cell damage and enhances skin cell turnover, and vitamin C, which “helps brighten dark spots and mitigates pigmentation.”
Kama Ayurveda uses the finest Kashmiri saffron, sourcing 75% from farms in Pampore Valley, known for superior quality and higher potency levels than its counterparts.
Lotus is an emblem of purity in many cultures and is believed to offer astringent and skin-toning properties. Its extract helps refine the appearance of pores, promoting a smoother complexion by calming and soothing inflammation.
Indian madder or Manjistha
Defending the skin from oxidative stress, Indian madder, especially when combined with lotus and saffron, makes a potent formula that protects the skin from sun damage and signs of premature ageing.
Does it live up to the hype?
In the constantly evolving world of skincare, the enduring relevance of Kumkumadi facial oil lies not only in some mystical ancient Ayurvedic appeal but in its efficacy. Its formulation, refined over centuries, incorporates a blend of potent botanicals that address modern skin concerns.
From combating pollution-induced damage to managing imbalances, Kumkumadi oil’s multifaceted benefits resonate with the challenges of contemporary lifestyles.
Kama Ayurveda has the science to back it up. They undertook a study to evaluate the product’s efficacy with volunteers over 28 days. The blind study – the participants were unaware of the type of product being applied – included men and women between 35 – 52 years of age with skin concerns ranging from dull skin and wrinkles to crow’s feet and pigmentation. With regular check-ins with dermatologists, 100% of participants reported brighter, more youthful skin.
Three ways you can use Kumkumadi facial oil
Purohit says you can use the Kumkumadi facial oil as a serum, treatment oil or moisturiser.
Apply 2-3 drops at night before your moisturiser for targeted action on pigmentation or dullness. Massage it well and follow it up with the moisturiser.
Power-up your moisturiser
Mix 1-2 drops of facial oil with your moisturiser in the palm of your hand to boost nourishment and get that firefly-esque glow from within.
Apply a thick layer of the facial oil and leave it on as a mask twice a week for 15 minutes. Let the goodness of lotus, saffron and Indian madder do their job and then gently wipe away any excess oil and massage in the rest. The amount you leave will depend on the season and your skin type.
Which step you add the goodness of kumkum to your skincare routine can depend on your skin’s needs, and Kama Ayurveda has an entire line with Kumkumadi as the star.
Incorporate it into your skincare routine step by step, or take the plunge and treat yourself to the relaxing beauty ritual.
Kumkumadi Brightening Cleansing Oil, ₹1,195
Kumkumadi Brightening Face Scrub, ₹1,095
Kumkumadi Brightening Bi-Phase Essence, ₹995
Kumkumadi Illuminating & Skin Perfecting Day Cream, ₹595 – ₹2,995
Kumkumadi Rejuvenating & Brightening Night Cream, ₹1,795 – ₹3,295
Kumkumadi Facial Oil, ₹995 – ₹7,495
Shop these on www.kamaayurveda.in