Centuries in the making
“As the majority of the Indian population lives in rural regions, consumers are familiar with using natural homemade remedies for beauty needs,” stated Shreyansh Kocheri, Senior Research Analyst at Euromonitor International.
Until recently, these consumers prepared homemade natural remedies for oral, skin and hair care needs. It is this cultural tradition that is now entering the mainstream cosmetics sector.
“Usage of natural based products is part of Indian ethos and Ayurveda is considered as an ancient Indian system of medicine based on natural and herbal ingredients,” Kocheri went on to say.
Honey, turmeric, neem, tulsi, almond, coconut oil, avla, badam, henna and lemon are common natural and herbal ingredients that are used for skin and hair care applications.
While skin creams, hair oils and toothpastes containing these ingredients are popular, the natural composition of Ayurvedic products is driving consumer purchasing decisions.
Creating a lifestyle
Lifestyle changes have also made a big impact on the usage of Ayurvedic beauty products in urban Indian centres. The growing trend of yoga and "big awareness campaigns from beauty players such as Patanjali Ayurved, Dabur India and Sri Sri Ayurveda”, are fuelling this trend. This relationship between Ayurveda and yoga has now “witnessed renewed interest” over the past three to five years.
“The younger urban consumers still prefer to stick to products which claim quick relief and consider natural/herbal/Ayurvedic products to take a longer time to provide benefits,” added Kocheri.
Communicating the harmful effects of chemicals on hair and skin is encouraging the increasingly younger urban consumers to search for “chemical free and natural-based products”.
The key attraction of Ayurveda beauty relates to its ability to prevent diseases and “eliminate its root cause if it does occur rather than management of diseases,” Kocheri emphasised.
Since the current government in India came to power in 2014, it has been promoting Ayurveda beauty “aggressively” to encourage support and spur purchases.
Several initiatives have since taken place. The Government of India started a new ministry named AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), for example, in 2014 to raise awareness of traditional Indian sciences.
In 2016, the government also launched ‘All India Institute of Ayurveda’ to advocate and develop Ayurvedic science and trained professionals in the industry across states.
‘Global Ayurveda Festival 2016’ was also launched to alert citizens and consumers to the benefits of Ayurveda as a way of life. World Yoga Day, which The Government of India proposed to the United Nations, and which is now celebrated on 21st June every year, complements this.
There are a number of emerging Ayurveda-based skin care products in the Indian market including Sri Sri Ayurveda’s innovations in beauty including face packs, nourishing moisturisers, natural butters and facial scrubs.
Patanjali Ayurveda is another leading name in the sector. The brand has launched moisturisers, face scrubs, face washes and aloe vera gels that include a host of ingredients such as shea butter, olive oil, rose, neem, aloe vera and chamomile.