Husain's practical experience of Ayurveda has been
in the field of cosmetology, where she has applied
the nature principle and found it ideal for modern
demands. Apart from its long history of practical
usage and the element of safety, Ayurveda has
several benefits in skin, hair and body care.
Plant extracts and natural substances have been
formulated into cosmetic products, according to
the Ayurvedic system, not only for the daily care
of the skin and hair, but also for the treatment
of many problems. One of the major benefits is
that biologically active ingredients are easily
absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin and
influence it at the cellular level. These organic
ingredients are based on the same biological
principles as the human body. This is the reason
why the human body responds extremely well to
natural substances, while it has an in-built
resistance to synthetic ones.
of Ayurveda in beauty care
history of safe human usage.
safety from irritative after-effects.
human body responds well to natural substances
and has a resistance to synthetic ones.
skin and scalp are influenced at the cellular
level, helping to improve normal functions.
the capacity to absorb products.
the normal balances.
have a mild effect, but have powerful and
specific healing properties.
suited to skin and hair care.
fragrances of flower and herb extracts help to
calm the nerves and induce relaxation.
centuries, the west has been attracted to Indian
spices and herbs. Today, many Indian plants are
being used in the formulation of modern medicines.
Research has also been conducted into the
medicinal properties and other traditional uses of
those ingredients, which have been a part of
Ayurvedic pharmacopeia and folk medicine. This has
helped to provide scientific support to the
empirical knowledge contained in Ayurveda.
of these medicinal ingredients have also been in
use due to their effects on the skin and scalp and
have proved to be ideal in external treatments.
They are part of Shahnaz Husain's repertoire of
formulations for skin, hair and body care. Apart
from products for general care, Shahnaz Husain has
evolved many therapeutic formulations for the
treatment of specific problems, like acne,
pigmented skin, freckles, premature ageing, scars,
skin-sensitivity, dehydration, dark circles,
enlarged pores, dandruff, hair damage, hair loss
ingredients that have been selected for these
formulations not only have specific curative
properties, but have shown a lack of harmful
after-effects and irritative reactions. In fact,
many of them help to soothe the skin and cure
inflammatory conditions. Ayurvedic ingredients are
chosen according to their ability to increase or
reduce specific doshas. Herbs are also remarkably
versatile. They can have a combination of effects,
allowing the entire scope of the problem to be
treated. For instance, a particular herb may
cleanse the skin, restore the normal acid-alkaline
balance and also have a germicidal and soothing
effect. Thus, the properties of the herb can be
related to individual needs. Neem (margosa) is one
such versatile product and every part of the tree
is used for healing purposes. Neem leaf infusions
have been used to cure skin diseases and are still
used to relieve itching, soothe rashes, create a
germicidal environment and clear inflammatory
conditions. Neem contains organic sulphur
compounds, which have powerful and versatile
is not only an expert chemist, but the best
cosmetologist. An entire range of cosmetic
products exists in nature, with definite
preventive and corrective actions. Henna, which is
so much in use today, has its basis in the ancient
dyeing method, when chemical dyes and colourants
were unknown. Apart from imparting colour, henna
has also proved to be an effective natural
conditioner. It has the ability of coating each
hair shaft, lending strength, body and shine to
the hair. Henna has been combined with other
herbal extracts, like 'bael' (Aegle marmelos), 'amla'
(Emblica officinalis), 'brahmi'(Centella asiatica),
arnica, hibiscus and so on, to formulate hair
cleansers, tonics, rinses, nourishers etc. These
preparations have helped to bring back health to
damaged hair, promote hair growth and maintain the
health of the hair and scalp, apart from
controlling dandruff and other problems. Herbs
like Shikakai (acacia concinna) and Arishtak
(Indian soapnut) have been traditionally used for
washing the hair. Amla (Embelica officinalis) is
another such popular ingredient. The ancient
physician Charaka referred to amla as a medicine
that delays aging, because of its high Vitamin C
content. It is said that the Vitamin C content of
amla is so stable that it is resistant to heat.
a combination of three herbs, has varied uses,
from toning the scalp to curing eye ailments and
digestive disorders, soothing cough and
inflammation. It consists of amla, haritaki (Terminalis
chebula) and vibhitika (Terminalis belerica).
Bilva (Aegle marmalos) and Brahmi (Indian
Pennywort) have also been used in hair care. Bilva
helps to control Vata and cures hair problems and
inflammatory conditions, while Brahmi helps to
control stress-related problems, as it has a
calming effect on the nerves, apart from other
beneficial properties. Brahmi (Centella asiatica)
is well known for its ability to bring back health
to the hair, as its fragrance induces relaxation
and helps in cases of stress related conditions
like alopecia and general hair loss. Other
ingredients, like amla (Emblica officinalis),
shikakai (Acacia concinna), reetha (sapindus
trifoliatus), bhringaraj (Eclipta alba), anantmul
(Hemidesmus indicus), have been made into tonics,
oils, cleansers and conditioners for hair care.
They have been effective in the treatment of
dandruff, seborrhoea, alopecia and general hair
is one of the most popular cosmetic ingredient
used in India. It has been mentioned in ancient
Indian texts as far back as the 5th century BC. It
has powerful germicidal and antiseptic properties,
while its exotic fragramce is said to have a
relaxing effect on the mind. Not only does
sandalwood soothe the skin and heal inflammatory
conditions, but also has anti-ageing and
rejuvenating effects. It is ideal for all skin
types. Protective creams have been formulated with
sandalwood, to protect the skin from the effects
of pollutants, sun-exposure, dehydration and skin
sensitivity. Sandalwood oil and extracts have been
used in many other formulations, from light
moisturizers, rich body shampoos, body lotions,
massage oils, to after-shave creams. In fact, the
gentle action of sandalwood makes it ideal for
baby-care products too, soothing and preventing
prickly heat and other rashes.
(Holy Basil) has so many medicinal uses that it
has been traditionally venerated and worshipped.
Modern research has revealed that it helps to
purify the air, apart from its soothing and
curative actions on the skin and scalp. Extracts
and oil of rose are also common beauty aids. Oil
of rose, in fact, originated in India. It has been
used for centuries, in various ways, both for its
healing action and delightful fragrance. The
fragrance of rose, sandalwood, brahmi and other
natural scents is said to have a soothing and
relaxing effect on the nerves. In fact, rose was
used as an anti-depressant during ancient times.
Today, we know that a relaxed mind is one of the
pre-requisites of healthy skin and hair, because
mental stress can trigger off many skin and hair
problems, like acne, alopecia and general hair
loss. Rose is suited to all skin types and has a
refreshing effect too. It has powerful tonic
properties, improves skin texture and soothes
inflammations. It can assume the role of a
cleanser-cum-refreshing lotion for all types of
skins. In fact, it even benefits the delicate skin
around the eyes, reducing puffiness and fatigue.
and natural substances also help to promote the
elimination of toxins and wastes, as well as dead
epithelial cells, thus encouraging the
regeneration of new cells. This, in turn, helps to
preserve the youthful qualities of the skin. The
aging process can be hastened by many factors,
among which exposure to sunlight is the most
significant. Chemical pollutants, artificial
heating and cooling, make-up cosmetics,
chlorinated water, alkaline soaps, can also
trigger off the manifestation of aging signs.
Neglect and abuse also take their toll. Such
assaults cause the skin to become dry, lose its
resilience and wrinkle easily. Chronic lack of
moisture can be a single factor that causes
premature aging of the skin.
is only through daily cleansing and care with
natural ingredients that the skin can be protected
from early aging and other problems. Cleansers
containing powerful moisturizers, like aloe vera,
have been formulated to remove impurities without
disturbing the moisture balance. They also improve
the skin's ability to retain moisture and restore
the normal acid-alkaline balance. Aloe vera is
also known to help cell renewal. During the
ancient times, aloe vera was used to heal cuts and
wounds, as it speeds up the skin's cell renewal.
Extracts of aloe vera, lemon, ashwagandha (Withania
somnifera), turmeric, rose, etc., have been used
to formulate cleansers and protective creams for
almond, wheatgerm, lavender, jasmine, balsam,
sesame and many such herbal extracts form the
ingredients of emollient nourishing creams.
Wheatgerm oil is rich in Vitamin E and helps to
protect the tissues from degeneration. Almond is
ideal for the delicate skin around the eyes,
keeping it free from wrinkles and dark circles.
These vitamin and mineral rich extracts benefit
the skin by increasing blood flow and restoring
damaged capillaries. Sesame seed, sunflower oils
and even sandalwood are known for their sunscreen
properties. Such natural sun-filters have been
used in sun-block products, along with natural
rehydrants and humectants.
from plant products, Ayurveda also used metals and
gems for healing. These have been incorporated in
formulations for skin care, mainly due to their
powerful age-control properties. Among these are
gold, diamond, gems and powder of pearls.
Shahnaz Husain formulations, which use a large
number of such Ayurvedic ingredients are a perfect
union of an ancient tradition and the latest
scientific techniques. Not only have they been
subjected to stringent clinical and laboratory
tests, but to the most exacting test of all……..the
Test of Time.