- Ayurveda is based off of ancient Hindu principles of mind-body medicine, leveraging the diet, herbs, and yoga for a holistic sense of well-being.
- Ranavat Botanics Jasmine Hydrating Tonique soothes red and irritated skin on my sensitive nose, cheeks, and jawline with its calming scent and cooling powers.
- This $40 face spray tones, moisturizes, and preps my skin for masks and is the perfect multipurpose travel product.
As an Indian woman, I grew up surrounded by herbs, from my mother’s incense to her teas and my grandmother’s hair and skin-care home remedies. As a beauty lover, I’ve been testing products for more than a decade. But as time passed, I flew further from the herbal remedy coop — until the scent of jasmine lured me back in.
My memories of jasmine date back since before I could talk or walk, from aromatic garlands donning Indian brides-to-be to deity offerings as a symbol of prosperity, purity, and beauty. I never thought to put it on my body until my mom scolded me for using products with long ingredients lists and chemicals.
I have sensitive skin that gets easily irritated and red, especially around my nose and cheeks, so I figured adding more clean ingredients to my routine couldn’t hurt. I scanned the web for Ayurvedic skin care, wondering why I couldn’t just hop over to Whole Foods’ produce section and start rubbing some plants on my skin.
According to Dr. Karuna Sabnani, a licensed naturopathic doctor, quality of ingredients is paramount. "If you get something low quality, mixed with chemicals, or rancid or handled by someone incorrectly, that will all go in your skin. So how ingredients are distilled or diffused is really important." In search of the highest quality, mom-approved skincare, Ranavat Botanics caught my eye with their simple ingredients, most of which are organic, cold-pressed, and steam-distilled.
I tried many products, but the standout for me within just a couple of weeks after receiving the product in the mail was the Ranavat Botanics Jasmine Hydrating Tonique. The first thing I noticed was its intoxicating scent, which alone would keep me coming back for more. Sabnani highlights the importance of scent in Ayurveda: "Jasmine is one of my favorite scents. It’s not always about the topical component, but the scent also calms the mind."
Sabnani explains Ayurveda sorts us in to three doshas: vata (wind), pitta (fire), and kapha (earth). These doshas aren’t just our physical bodies; they show up in our state of mind, actions, and how we relate to our environment as well. Redness and irritation in skin implies a tendency towards pitta skin. When that gets aggravated by heat, running late to a meeting, missing a reservation, or a fight with a friend, the first thing that happens is that our skin gets red. It’s because of blood flow, and just as heat rises, our blood goes to our face. Jasmine is a cooling flower, according to Sabnani, so breathing it in and applying it to the skin has a soothing effect on pitta — not that I needed another reason to take in a bit of a whiff before spraying this on myself.
How I use it
I started using the product on my face as a toner in between my nightly cleanser and serums for a couple of days. I noticed the redness around my cheeks, and especially nose, lightening, so I started putting it on after a light cleanser in the morning as well. It’s not exactly color-correcting makeup, but it does keep my skin noticeably less red throughout the day. For that reason, it has become an essential for my beach/poolside bag, not just to keep my skin hydrated but also to keep it from getting aggravated by excessive heat. The uses don’t just stop there though.
Like any other beauty junkie, face masks are a must in my routine. I live in New York City where pollution is an issue, so I use a lot of pore-unclogging masks with strong ingredients. Those masks tend to draw out more than just the dirt and grime of the city. They often take out my face’s natural oils, leaving my skin feeling dry and taut. To combat this, I spray a generous amount of jasmine tonique onto my face before applying a mask. I do this while my face is still wet with the tonique, as the moisture makes the mask’s ingredients penetrate more deeply into my skin.
After washing off the mask, I apply the tonique again while my skin is still wet so the jasmine really seeps into the pores around my cheeks and nose. Not only does this leave my skin less irritated, it also acts as a sort of primer for the mask, making it more effective yet gentle. My skin is noticeably softer, not to mention I can smell the scent lingering on my skin afterward. Ranavat Botanics Jasmine Hydrating Tonique makes my skin feel so good that if I feel like giving my face a bit of a break, or if I’m just feeling a little lazy at night, I’ll wash off my makeup, spritz some of the tonique on, and go to bed sans serums and night creams.
It’s not just my mom who is trying to spread the Ayurvedic gospel. Many consumers are growing curious about clean ingredients and simple skin care. Dr. Julie E. Russak, a board-certified dermatologist, says she understands why the ancient Ayurvedic principles are making a comeback. "There’s a distrust in labels and synthetic ingredients, such as synthetic chemicals," she says. "Consumers are shifting towards natural, good-for-the-earth alternatives. There’s a demand for holistic action with special emphasis on the link between wellness and skin care."
The demand for simple, quality skin care has brought with it a host of seemingly clean brands, but if you’re looking for a brand with a focus on extremely high-quality ingredients or for a simple start to incorporating Ayurvedic skin care in to your routine, Ranavat Botanics Jasmine Hydrating Tonique is a toner/moisturizer/setting spray/mask primer goes a long way with a $40 investment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not replacing my favorite retinols and vitamin C serums with herbs and earthy ingredients just yet, but I am going to be more mindful about incorporating clean skin care and Ayurvedic principles in to my routine — and if it makes my face smell like a flower, that’s just a great bonus.
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