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The Influence of Timeless Indian Traditions in the Modern Beauty World

After the pandemic, I've noticed how the boundaries between beauty and wellness have started to blur. It seems like people are searching for experiences that truly make them feel whole, inside and out. It's fascinating to see how Indian beauty traditions, which are built on this very concept, are making a strong impact on the Western beauty scene. I believe this influence will only grow stronger in the coming years.

As the conclusion of the South Asian Heritage month in the UK approaches, I take this opportunity to reflect upon some of the Indian Beauty Rituals that I grew up with and which have truly captivated the cosmetics industry:

At the heart of India’s beauty philosophy lies Ayurveda, which translates to 'Knowledge of Life'.

It is a holistic approach derived from the observation of nature and its aim is to establish harmony among the mind, body, and soul. It suggests that this harmony can be achieved by wellness practices which consist of proper nutrition, physical activity, and meditation. Ayurveda’s principle of focusing on achieving a holistic balance can also lead to enhanced beauty and lasting skin health. With the expansion of the food supplements and wellness sector within the Western beauty market, the principles of Ayurveda and the effectiveness of its ingredients have experienced a surge in popularity. For further information about this trend and regulatory challenges please visit Are Ayurvedic products taking their place in the global beauty market? (

Growing up in an Indian household, the idea of “home remedy for everything" was a way of life.

From addressing minor discomforts to enhancing natural beauty, our pantry held a treasure of remedies. Whether it was the cooling effect of aloe vera for sun-exposed skin or the magical effects of a besan (gram flour) and turmeric face mask, these homemade remedies have played an important role in nurturing a holistic well-being. This is why the Indian beauty market greatly leans towards organic, natural ingredients – a trend that has also made its way into Western markets.


The haircare industry in India has always found inspiration in Ayurveda and traditional beauty remedies. When I think back, a heartwarming memory emerges of my grandmother's weekly ‘Champi’ ritual during which she gently massaged a mix of coconut, almond, and apricot oils into my hair. Beyond the moisturising and conditioning benefits of the oil that left my hair looking healthy, the soothing head massage helped to relieve stress. It is fascinating to see how the practice of hair oiling which has transcended generations and cultures, is now making its mark in the Western world as well. Following the overnight oiling regimen, my mother would prepare a hair mask using ingredients known for their hair-strengthening properties, like onion juice and hibiscus flower extract, which she often sourced from our own gardens. After that, I would cleanse my hair using Shikakai, an Ayurvedic herb renowned for its natural cleansing and hair growth abilities. Both Indian and Western haircare brands have noticed the benefits of these ingredients and those rituals as I have seen various specialised product lines inspired by their efficacy.


During my upbringing, homemade turmeric and sandalwood face masks and scrubs held a special place in my heart. While I had restricted access to store bought cosmetics, these masks offered me natural home made alternatives. Renowned for their radiant and soothing effects, these ingredients were my go-to choice. Rose water, a beloved element of the Indian skincare regimen, served as a facial mist and I still find myself using it frequently. This routine became a cherished part of my weekly ritual, my own version of skincare before I had access to commercial products.

Colour cosmetics

Throughout my years in high school, the use of makeup was restricted. Among my friends and me, the lone makeup item we cherished was Kajal. Applying Kajal to our eyes had the remarkable effect that complemented our facial features and enhanced our appearance. Kajal held a special status as the sole permissible makeup item, which is also deeply ingrained in the Indian beauty practices. Consequently, both Indian and Western makeup brands recognize its significance, often incorporating Kajal into their product lineup when entering the Indian market. A prime example is Maybelline's Iconic Colossal Kajal, which has gained impressive popularity and achieved cult product status.


In India, the tradition of making essential oils and natural fragrance oils known as ‘Attars’ through distillation is passed down from one family generation to another. These special Indian essential oils are renowned worldwide for their high quality, authenticity, and natural sourcing. They also serve practical purposes in Ayurveda due to their therapeutic properties. Personally, I cherish the scent of Jasmine Attar, as its presence is widespread in India, and it transports me back home.


In a world driven by ever-evolving beauty standards leading to an influx of cosmetic products, the Indian beauty market is undergoing its own gradual transformation. While colourism is prevalent in Indian society, the transition from "Fair and Lovely" to "Glow and Lovely" represents a small yet promising step forward. Online shopping for beauty products has significantly increased in India and as seen around the globe the Gen Z consumers also have a strong impact on the Indian beauty market. Indian consumers have been exposed to an array of international brands and particularly, Korean beauty products have achieved noteworthy popularity among Gen Z consumers.

Even with these dynamic changes happening, I believe Indian consumers are still amazed by the long-lasting effectiveness and appeal of beauty traditions that have been around for a while. These timeless routines, using simple ingredients from the kitchen, hold a special place and bring a comforting sense of nostalgia. It's fascinating to see how the hair oiling routine my mom used to make me do, which I found annoying when I was younger, has now become something that captures the interest of people worldwide.

At Bloom Regulatory we are thrilled to be working with brands from all over the world that are proud of their cultural heritage and values. Our team is multicultural and we are all passionate about the beauty industry. We help brands to comply with complex regulatory landscapes in EU, UK, India and other key markets while keeping their cultural DNAs authentic and alive. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need regulatory or strategy support.

Written by Sayali Garud


Sayali grew up in Pune, India, a city of culture, education and natural beauty. Her Marathi background harmonises with Pune’s lively cultural scene of music, theatre, sports and literature. In 2019, she moved to London to pursue Cosmetic Science at the London College of Fashion, University of Arts London. Her blog draws inspiration from her Marathi heritage and the vibrant atmosphere of both cities.

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