Ancient Wisdom; Modern Beauty.

By Louis Lefaix

An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, we all know how that saying goes. Health is deeply linked to nature. We can get so many things we need from the earth. Whether it be food, materials or even skincare. Our ancestors understood this. Yet we walked away from these ancient methods. We are now going back to what once worked so well for us; ancient wisdom has become modern beauty. Today we’ll look into these practices of the past that are being revived, from India’s Ayurveda to Ireland’s use of seaweed in Ancient Wisdom; Modern Beauty. All images by Jasmine Gillanders

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In the Middle Ages, certain plants were associated with witchcraft. For this reason, the practice of botany could be looked down upon in some Western cultures. For instance, Nicholas Culpeper was considered a sorcerer.

In reality, he was an English herbologist who practised without a license and was rejected by other members of the medical profession. However, he still published “The English Physician” a comprehensive list of native medicinal plants, that prescribed the most effective types of treatments and their dosage.

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Whereas in eastern cultures, the relation to botany was completely different. It was a lot more involved in healthcare systems. This relationship has been present in these civilizations for as long as we can remember.

Ayurvedic medicine

Known as Ayurveda, Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest medical systems and remains one of India’s traditional healthcare systems. Ayurvedic treatment combines products (mainly derived from plants, but may also include animal, metal, and mineral), as well as diet and exercise.

It is a wisdom of healing and longevity that has been known to Indian physicians for over six thousand years. It has stood the test of time. And been refined to modern-day skincare and even oral health brands.

Mahsa Whitening Toothpaste Using charcoal in combination with ginger will remove staining and whiten your teeth but also give you a fresh breath by killing the bad bacteria in the mouth. Mahsa Rosemary & Thyme Probiotic Toothpaste and Mahsa Rosemary & Thyme Activated Mouthwash As a harmonious duo, these two herbs share a rich culinary heritage. Thyme mixed with Rosemary has long been used as a remedy for: The reduction of bad breath. Urban Veda Mouth Scraper A ritual practiced for over 5,000 years, the time-tested Ayurvedic method of tongue cleaning is a clever, and effective, approach to oral hygiene. A tongue cleaner promotes a healthy mouth and gastrointestinal tract, which in turn, leads to a happy gut.

 The principles of Ayurveda lie in the simplest movements of life. Such as diet, as the saying goes “you are what you eat”. But there is also evidence in the use of cosmetics such as Ghritas (body butter), hair cleansers, Thailams (oils), Lepās (masks).

Chāmpo is a haircare brand founded on ancient Ayurvedic principles, combined with modern trichology and active botanical haircare. Chämpo (pronounced shar-pour) is the Sanskrit origin of the word we all use today, ‘shampoo’. The brand has based itself on the ancient practice of ‘cleansing, soothing and massaging the head and hair’. It has reintroduced these methods by combining them with modern-day beauty savoir-faire.

Or Urban Veda, a natural skincare that also believes in the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. They associate ayurvedic herbs, roots, flowers, and fruits with multivitamins. They use over 200 botanical extracts across their 4 ranges of skincare. The company is breathing new life into these ingredients once cherished in the past.

Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron & Neem Proper cleansing includes removing dead cells, toxins, and impurities without stripping the skin off its natural oil and moisture content. Following this innate philosophy of Ayurveda, the Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser Kashmiri Saffron & Neem is a natural alternative to harsh Sulphate-infused cleansers and is especially designed to treat sensitive, acne-prone, and oily skin. Forest Essentials After Bath Oil Oudh & Green Tea This exceptional water soluble oil is a blend of pure, naturally distilled essential oils cold-pressed base oils of organically grown herbs, to leave your skin supple, silky smooth and hydrated. Forest Essentials Advanced Eternal Youth Formula Date & Litchi an ancient formulation from the early 17th century, made with the most effective and precious Ayurvedic ingredients, including sweet Almond Oil, fermented Litchi juice and Date extracts which are traditionally known to revitalize the skin. Forest Essentials Light Day Lotion Lavender & Neroli The Forest Essentials Light Day Lotion Lavender & Neroli is a superbly light moisturizer, which contains pure Lavender water that is therapeutic and calming for the skin. Ayumi Bio Active Detoxify Hair Oil This powerful scalp treatment is formulated with antioxidant-rich botanicals that help soothe irritation and flakes while encouraging healthy hair growth. Simply massage into your scalp before shampooing, and you’ll notice a difference in the look and feel of your hair in no time. Ayumi Bio-Active Repair Hair Oil Our Repair Hair oil contains natural ingredients and ayurvedic extracts to help in repairing and nourishing your hair. This oil has everything your hair needs. It reduces hair loss and conditions and nurtures hair. Ayumi Bio Active Growth Hair Oil Formulated with a powerful blend of antioxidant-rich Amla, Aritha, Bringaraj, and Shikakai, in a base of plant oils including Organic Coconut, Castor, and Sesame, this serum helps to promote hair growth by promoting an increase in the production of both collagen and elastin. Bertioli Water Meadow Breathing Balm Enriched with healing botanical essential oils that create a scent rooted in wild spaces, our Breathing Balm promotes deep breathing, helping you to switch off the body’s stress response and in doing so, harness the myriad of wellbeing effects on both body and mind.

There is also Forest Essentials, a pioneer of Luxury Ayurveda. They aim to revive this practice by revisiting ancient recipes and methodologies to create products that appeal to today’s discerning consumer.

Following is Subtle Energies. The natural skincare brand was founded in 1993 by Farida Irani in Sydney. Farida Irani allies her qualifications in clinical aromatherapy, aromatic medicine, and Bowen therapy to Ayurvedic traditions. She does research into what is now termed Ayurveda Aromatherapy. The idea was spurted when she came across essential oils not heard of in Western Aromatherapy nor used anymore by Ayurveda Doctors during a trip to India.

Ranavat is what the founder Michelle Ranavat calls “a melding of modern alchemy and romance”. Ranavat was inspired by the elevated level of self-care in India and their devotion to ritualistic daily practices. Thus, it bases its practices on Ayurvedic traditions.

Ayumi is on a quest to spread the power of plants. Also Ayurveda-inspired, Ayumi focuses on using traditional Indian herbs, and spices to cleanse, balance and protect the skin.

Purearth uses Ayurveda principles to build a closer connection to the Earth, through immersive experiences and a desire for rejuvenating simplicity.

Also from India comes Fable and Mane a modern hair wellness brand of potent plant-based products inspired by India traditional Indian haircare, such as hair oiling. They also have a fund up, called the ‘Fable Fund” to restore wildlife habitats of tigers in India. It is based on the “Ahimsa”, principle of non-violence towards all sentient beings on our planet.

This new remedy wave doesn’t stop in India. For instance, we also have Japan’s Kampo.    

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Kampo medicine is a medical system organized based on the reactions of the human body to therapeutic interventions. With its roots in ancient Chinese medicine, it was introduced to Japan in approximately the 5th to 6th century. Generally, are extracts of herbal formulations.

Today, 148 Kampo formulas are officially approved as prescription drugs. It can serve to control and maintain the function of the digestive system. Recently, it has been used for recovery from surgical interventions for the elderly.

It is a system that has proven itself through the centuries. That’s why it’s still going strong today.

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Koishimaru Silk, a fibre, as old as the samurai era, once reserved only for the imperial family, is now repurposed. Sensai, the Japanese brand is combining advanced skincare technology with the power of the Koishimaru Silk. This combination results in the feeling of silk on the skin. 

Asia isn’t the only continent embracing ancient wisdom. The rest of the World also has its own examples of a new remedy. Spread across the globe, people are retrieving the lore of age-old practices and utilizing them for modern beauty.

First up is Dr Jackson, who creates natural skincare products and organic herbal teas. In an effort the protect our skin and the planet. Dr S. J. Jackson travelled the world studying traditional medicines that used plants. As a result, he gained the wisdom to launch his award-winning range in 2012. It started with Kigelia, the “sausage tree” found in Sub-Saharan Africa, whose fruit has long been revered by local tribes for its incredible medicinal properties.

Dr Jackson’s Day Cream Award-winning light-as-a-feather vegan moisturiser combines natural ingredients with cutting-edge science to address sensitive skin and deliver a healthy, radiant and youthful looking complexion. Buly1803 Shea Butter Shea butter is powerful moisturiser. In any beauty routine, it is a true ally as it protects the cutaneous barrier, fights against premature skin aging, soothes irritation and lastingly softens the epidermis. Fable & Mane MahaMane Smooth & Shine Hair Oil A potent blend of Ayurvedic roots and six nourishing fruit oils strengthens and shines. Shikakai tames frizz and adds instant shine, Ashwagandha offers strength, and fruit oils like Passion Fruit oil nourish strands. Fable & Mane HoliRoots Hair Oil Designed to be part of your weekly hair ritual. Ashwagandha helps to thicken fine hair and strengthen the scalp, while Dashmool promotes healthy scalp circulation to encourage hair growth. Subtle Energies Blissful Sleep Inhalation Patches This gentle floral and unique dreamy blend of exotic oils provides deep relaxation and stress relief. Perfect for winding down those busy days and helping quiet the mind. This exquisite aromatic inhalation patch will help in soothing the senses and aiding a good nights sleep. 

Next, we travel to the land of ice and fire. Bioeffects is an Icelandic skincare brand that discovered a way to bioengineer a plant-based human replica of EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) in barley plants.

One of the most important growth factors for skin, it helps boost the production of collagen and elastin to ensure skin stays healthy. The brand won the Marie Claire sustainability award in 2021.

We also observe this in the UK. In fact, founded in 1964 The British Herbal Medicine Association promotes the use of herbal medicinal products manufactured to pharmaceutical standards to ensure consistently high quality and effectiveness for the consumer. They believe herbs can be ideal complements to modern medicines. What was once regarded as witchcraft is now helping us heal.

British brand Bertioli Beauty is rooted in a love of nature and a belief in the beauty of simplicity. Their daily bathing and breathing products focus on the power of breathing and bathing, methods that have been used for centuries. Bertioli aims to reconnect people to nature.

Nottnuit Swedish natural skincare believes that nurturing both the skin and the soul is equally important. To do so they take a holistic approach to skincare rituals, combining beneficial frequencies of 528 Hz, often referred to as the love frequency and said to have DNA-repairing properties, with innovations in science. 

Mahsa was founded by one of London’s leading dental surgeons Mahsa Nejati. She has come up with a formulation from homemade remedies of spices and herbs, for her various products after having worked on it for 15 years. The aim is to help millions of people to have fresher breath, cleaner, whiter teeth, and reduce inflammation of the body.

Rhug Wild Beauty Replenishing Mask with Rhug Honey A mineral-rich purifying treatment mask that targets dull, dehydrated and congested skin for a smoother, brighter and more refined complexion. Rhug Wild Beauty Deep Cleaning Balm A gentle deep cleansing balm with Safflower Oil rich in Vitamin E, known to reduce the signs of ageing, Rose Otto Essential Oil moisturises and soothes and antioxidant-rich Wild Berries from the Rhug Estate, brightens and protects.

In Scotland, home of ancient Celtic warrior heroes and tales of witchcraft rituals. The tradition of purification through bathing is being brought back. This is thanks to the French brand Buly1803’s bath salts made from Scottish lichen.

Next up, we have award-winning British brand Ilapothecary. The name ‘ilapothecary’ is inspired by the Sanskrit word for Earth – ‘ila’. Their products are infused with powerful remedial ingredients, such as live stem cells, silk, powerful gemstones, vitamins, aromatherapy oils and homeopathic ingredients to offer a natural healing.

Ilapothecary Digital Detox Pouch containing Protective Aura Day Cream An alchemical blend of Wild Indigo, Boswellia, Copernicia, Moringa and Sandalwood, this daily defensive aura cream leaves skin smooth, hydrated and beautifully scented, while helping to provide high anti–pollution, environmental and digital stress protection. And Digital Face Mist An enlivening, remedial facial spritz which reboots both your skin and mind. The Digital Face Mist is high in antioxidant and free radical scavengers, known to help stimulate cellular detoxification protecting from inflammation, and helping to prevent photo-ageing.

Now we go to the castle capital of the world; Wales. Wild Beauty by Rhug Estate utilises the countryside’s abundance of natural and organic plants growing to create a truly luxurious skincare collection using the finest organic and wild foraged ingredients from the estate.

Meet the Irish brand Hibernicis. It utilises the country’s abundance of health-enhancing rituals and ingredients. Uses natural resources such as Seaweed, whose benefits have well been known along the Irish coast.

Costa Brazil harnesses the enriching, all-natural ingredients of the Amazon rainforest. Launching with two oils and a candle, each product is infused with Breu, a fragrant resin taken from the Almacega tree, that’s prized for its healing and antioxidant properties.

Finally, Rowse has stripped down the beauty routine to the essentials, relying on raw plant-based alternatives. Working with ingredients such as Hemp oil from France or Spain’s Tangerines.

Rowse Tangerine Cleansing Balm An oil-to-milk formula to melt away makeup, absorb impurities and effectively remove dirt, oil and pollution. Easy to use and gentle enough for sensitive skin and the eye area, this balm keeps the skin soft and hydrated. We love its eye-popping gold colour and its subtle natural sweet and citrus aroma.

The use of these traditional ingredients is coupled with the search for the latest scientific solutions to improve their formulations. This is an example of a new remedy among many others. After all Mother nature knows best.

If you enjoyed reading Ancient Wisdom Modern beauty why not read Under Natural here

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