Like most of the women of my generation, I am at fault for neglecting my “personal” self throughout the usual journey of building a career, marriage, children and caring for ageing parents and in-laws.
And like with most women of my generation, I was also hit with the realization one day about how out of shape I had become and how my skin has lost luster and moisture. Spots, wrinkles and blemishes had mysteriously appeared and I no longer had a clear “to be proud” skin. And so now started my quest for the right nourishment and exercise for my body and the right products to ease my skin woes.
Given my intrinsic nature (read that as lazy with anything to do with beauty) and my love for minimalism, the search was on for a single product (or at the max 2) with maximum skin benefits, which were “no fuss” to apply. It needed to be quick and easy to use and had to slip seamlessly into my daily routine. However, regarding the physical health part, I was still willing to move a leg and shake the booty to rectify that area.
Also given my intrinsic nature, if I decide something, I get after it and I pride myself in being detailed. So, First things first – the physical part. It was actually easier to take care of than I had initially thought. I needed a “Guru” for guidance and the choice was easy – Rujuta Diwekar, India's leading nutrition and exercise science expert, a vocal champion of using our common sense and un - complicating the act of eating. Just what I needed as I was surely not going to follow any fancy diet and exercise routine as I was sure to fall off that bandwagon. A positive - healthy and hydrated body also meant better skin health.
Now comes the fun part – beauty products! I have read enough about the effects of chemicals and preservatives in cosmetics to know that I only wanted natural ayurvedic preparations minus any preservatives. So that considerably reduced my range of products to explore.
The buzzwords in the ayurvedic beauty markets that caught my attention were Vitamin C Serums, ubtans or face packs, certain facial oils or tailam. There were the usual creams thrown in which addressed certain issues, which all sounded good except that I was searching for a complete solution.
Having dug deeper, kumkumadi facial oil or serum is what stood out as possibly being able to help me achieve the desired outcome. I was certainly impressed with its resume of 26 potent herbs, combined together into a powerful concoction, using age-old ayurvedic recipe.
Mind you, being a passionate believer of DIY’s, it did cross my mind to try my hand at making it. But one look at the ingredients and the process, I thought its best to leave it to the manufacturers who know exactly what they are doing.
A little more about the kumkumadi facial oil/serum to understand “why” this particular product.
Touted as “Miraculous Elixir”, kumkumadi oil is said to make your skin “glow like gold.” It gets its name from the red-gold saffron, known as “kumkuma” in Sanskrit, which is the chief ingredient of this oil. Though it is not impossible to talk about all the 26 ingredients, I want to draw your attention to just a few so that you get an idea about how formidable this potion is.
The biggest plus is that kumkumadi oil is suitable for all skin types including oily, men and women alike. You just have to ensure to use just two drops for oily skin. It is even suitable for acne prone skin as it is non-comedogenic. So this meant that I didn’t have to think about whether it would suit my skin type before purchasing it.
Rich in antioxidants, saffron improves blood circulation, rejuvenates skin cells, evens the skin tone, lightening and brightening it. Due to the presence of Saffron, this oil is not suitable for use in the daytime as it can lead to tanning.
Another favorite in ayurveda and our general life, sandalwood which has cooling and soothing properties. It cleanses the skin, reduces inflammation, controls excess oil, removes tan and lightens the skin tone.
Laksha (Lac) is derived from the secretions of female lac insects and have remedial properties for treating skin infections and wound healing.
Daruharidra (Tree turmeric or haldi), a popular and powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory containing remedial properties, keeps infection at bay. It assists in the production of collagen, improving the skin elasticity overall, making it looks younger.
Yashtimadhu (Indian Liquorice) is the root of the plant called glycyrrhiza glabra. It greatly helps to reduce the effects of prolonged sun exposure. It improves the skin hydration and makes it look plumper and brighter.
Whereas Indian Madder (Manjistha) helps to remove toxins as it has blood purifying properties. Due to its immense regenerative properties, helps to keep the wrinkles at bay.
Vetiver (or Khus) for balancingthe skin’s PH, moisturizing and hydration. Padmaka (or Indian Lotus) keeps acne at bay and retains moisture in the skin. Banyan (Vata) prevents skin allergies and relieves acne and rashes.
Kamala Kesara (Lotus stamen) is extremely beneficial in hydrating and moisturizing the skin as it is a natural conditioner.
And the list of ingredients and benefits can continue. But it was clear that this oil should be able to take care of my issues of wrinkles due to its antioxidant and collagen production properties, any skin infection due to its remedial properties, even skin tone due to its healing, lightening and brightening properties, moisture due to its hydrating properties and of course glow due to all the combined properties. What more could I ask for?
Coming on to use, nothing else could be simpler, easier and faster to use than the kumkumadi tailam. Just clean your face at night, take a few drops in your hand and massage it, into your skin with circular motions. And off to sleep you go.
Even though it is known as a “Miraculous Elixir”, I wasn’t expecting a miracle overnight. You do need to give a product time to work its magic. So many people blame products for not being effective whereas the truth be told, they have not been consistent in using the products. Thankfully I had no such notions else would have been highly disappointed.
It has been about 3 complete weeks of using the kumkumadi facial oil and I have consciously been keeping a track of the changes and effects.
Week one – I had mostly seen a change in the moisture level of my skin. No dryness or flakiness.
Week two – The skin was softer and plumper with slight lightening of the blemishes and scars.
Week three – Noticeable lightening of blemishes and scars. Some small black spots like dots had disappeared. I had been told by a Doc once that these were due to microorganisms and they mostly did no harm except aesthetically. And the wrinkles appeared to be filling out. The skin overall looks healthy, happy and has a glow.I obviously am going to continue my journey with the kumkumadi oil as we still have to achieve some goal together, and then stay together to maintain what we have achieved. I would say that kumkumadi oil has been vetted and does stand true to its reputation of a miraculous elixir. There would be many more who agree with me.