An Ayurvedic approach to beauty has been gaining steady momentum over the last year, incorporating sacred plant extracts and ancient teachings about holistic wellness, including how certain ingredients or practices can affect one’s dosha, or physical/emotional/spiritual constitution. Now Avya Skincare is taking things one step further with a self-described “East meets West collaboration” of dermatology and Ayurveda.
The company was founded and self-funded by pharmacist Deepika Vyas and Tanuj Nakra, MD, FACS under the umbrella of parent company Global Beauty Science Holdings, Inc. Vyas, born in Kenya and of Indian descent, was inspired to start her own skincare line in a quest to treat her own highly reactive skin, which led her to the Ayurvedic tradition. Nakra is a triple board-certified facial cosmetic and oculoplastic surgeon, as well as co-founder of international educational webinar platform Global Cosmetic Surgery.
In developing the formulas for Avya Skincare, the duo focused on healing and anti-inflammatory botanicals such as turmeric, peony, and neem, which are microencapsulated in order to boost bioavailability, creating the signature Avya skincare complex. The bioactive substance of turmeric, tetrahyrdocurcumin, stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes and protects against oxidative environmental stress; neem offers antibacterial and exfoliating properties; peony brightens the skin and offers antioxidants.
Amidst the launch of their newest product additions, Vyas sat down with BeautyMatter to discuss the process of fusing historic practices with modern dermatology and her thoughts on the current rise of Ayurvedic beauty.
What inspired the launch of the brand?
The brand was inspired with a passion to combine Ayurveda, used for thousands of years in beauty rituals, with modern clinical ingredients and technology to create luxurious and highly efficacious formulations balanced by Ayurvedic botanical ingredients. Avya means “the first rays of the sun,” and we truly believe we are well positioned as a unique beauty brand.
What was the challenge of fusing dermatological science with Ayurvedic principles?
It was definitely the inexperience with understanding how to best combine Ayurvedic ingredients with more typically used ingredients for skincare. This led to going through three manufacturers before we found one who is highly skilled. Also, we took advantage of a delivery system to encapsulate some of the molecules that needed to be protected before release into the skin. We also used the proprietary technology to protect the highly unstable vitamin C molecule in the Avya Advanced Anti-Aging Power Serum.
How did you ensure the botanicals used are also suitable for sensitive skin?
We took great care to source the purest ingredients from partners who share our commitment for transparent and ethical business practices. With our background and expertise, we are also able to identify the active components for the botanicals we use; for example, we use a colorless, odorless form of turmeric—tetrahydrocurcumin—that enables us to formulate products that are highly effective and also have a luxurious sensory experience. Avya is also a clean brand free of phthalates, parabens, and gluten.
Who is your customer?
Our customers are women and men, aged 20-60, who are resonating with our Ayurvedic roots, founder expertise, authenticity, inclusivity, and encompassing a holistic approach to beauty.
How do you explain the recent rise of Ayurvedic beauty brands—how is it tying into a wider cultural zeitgeist?
Ayurveda is an ancient way of living consisting of yoga, meditation, a more natural diet, and using botanicals for beauty and medicinals. Traditional ingredients used for thousands of years in India and Eastern cultures has led to a rise in Ayurvedic beauty brands. I think the global pandemic during the past few years has caused a great reset in peoples’ minds about prioritizing health and well-being above all. This pause has encouraged consumers to be mindful of what they are consuming and using, as well as exploring older, traditional practices from other parts of the world.
What are your plans for the future?
Our future plans include continued brand awareness, additional national distribution, and international expansion. Additionally, with the growth we are experiencing, Avya continues to innovate and launch new products, and we look forward to procuring additional partners for growth and expansion capital some time in 2023.
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