In use for over 5000 years, Ayurveda is a traditional method of healing that is said to provide a harmonious balance between body and soul. And following in the trend for natural active ingredients for cosmetics formulations, Ayurvedic ingredients are appearing in products ranging from shampoos, to lip balms and sunscreens.
Symrise has to tap into this market by developing its Ayurvedic Extrapones range - preparations that are made from a variety of botanical extracts from an aqueous-glycolic or glycerin base.
To develop the ingredients line, the company worked with Dr. Chandrakant Basole, an Indian expert who has been involved with Ayurvedic medicines for the past 20 years. In that time he has developed a specialization in phtytoscience and the workings of Ayurvedic plants.
In India, such plants have been used in cosmetics products for centuries, a phenomenom that the West is now starting to catch onto. In Indian cosmetics, Ayurvedic ingredients have proved to be particularly popular in soaps, hair care and skin care products.
Known as Ayurveda Extrapone, the product range comprises components from traditional herbs and plants such as sandalwood, lotus flower, cinnamon and ginger that have all been grown according to strict principles that are said to bestow nourishing, soothing and purifying qualities in a natural manner.
Together with herbs and plant extracts, the range also includes root and fruit extracts, including Amla Fruit, Bel Fruit, Nutgrass Root and Indian Berberine Root.
In addition to these principal ingredients, Symrise says its Extrapone formulations will focus on two other important ingredients - neem and Guduchi - because of their importance and efficacy.
Neem is extracted from the leaves of the neem tree, which has been cultivated in Ayurvedic medicine circles for over 4,000 years. Its medicinal qualities have given it the name of 'miracle tree'.
In Indian culture Guduchi is a vine that is known for its immortality because it can continue to grow even after it has separated from its roots. This is said to give it harmonious properties, particularly in anti-ageing cosmetic products.
The company's move into the Ayurvedic market follows on from the Quest International's expansion into the same market back in April this year. It launched natural actives for skin and hair care, with two new Indian-sourced ingredients - Actisculpt, a herbal blend body sculpting ingredient and Karanja oil, aimed at sunscreen formulations.
Ayurvedic-based cosmetics are slowly moving out of the specialist category and into the mass market. Proof of this came back in March of this year, when UK retailer Tesco launched its own line of skin care products formulated with ingredients sourced according to Ayurvedic principles, as part of what it termed a more 'holistic' approach to skin care.