Ayurveda’s roots and modern day cosmetics

   It seems in today’s beauty industry there is a lot of buzz concerning natural ingredients and holistic approaches to cosmetics. The company Aveda has used Ayurvedic ingredients and seemingly adopted much of the belief system as well as a portion of the 5,000 year old medical practice of India’s name itself, only to now be bought by Estee Lauder, a non-holistic, non-ayurvedic company. In this buy out, the company’s animal testing practice policies have come under scrutiny, which it is even more so becoming an undefined gray area with the much rehearsed retort in the companies defense “Aveda only tests on animals when legally required to do so.” 

   It is apparent that China requires animal testing on products because in a place with air quality in weekly ratings of 500, and a required particulate respirator mask to be worn in some areas, this country cares about the health of its citizens. So requiring the testing of products that have previously been tested and making testing on people who will wear the products, out of the question, China insures the health of its populace, whom in southern Beijing walk outside and breath air which has the toxic equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes.

   The ingredients of Aveda products were by no means 100% ayurvedic previously, but the formulas made use of aloe in an eye wrinkle cream, turmeric in a hair loss formula and amla in other products. This was a nice way to incorporate some Ayurveda into modern living and to see the beauty industry aspect of its future unfold, as more people became aware of it through this company.

   But for now the questions still remain: How much animal testing, if any is occurring at Aveda? Could Aveda’s previous policy affect the overall policy of Estee Lauder, which does test on animals, or will it most likely be swallowed up and turned into your average mainstream cosmetic company with no real policy on environmental issues, greener packaging or animal welfare to speak of? And how will the products change? Will the previous hints of naturalness and light dustings of high quality “ayurvedic” ingredients all but disappear to be replaced by eau de lauryl sulfate? Time will tell. 


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