Isn’t it time your skincare philosophy matched up with your food and wellness philosophies? Too often we are religiously strict about cutting out things like dairy and gluten and yet pay no mind to what we are slathering all over our skin. Skin is our biggest organ and it is both very porous and thirsty, and whatever you rub on your skin is absorbed into the bloodstream. Luckily, there are some highly nutritious — and highly luxurious — products on the market that are just as effective and indulgent as the ones you are reluctant to give up.
One of my new favorite lines of luxe, holistic and all-natural products (yes, it is possible!) is Kanya. Kanya is the Sanskrit word for “girl” and it epitomizes youth, innocence and purity. Exactly what you want in a beauty product, no? Raised in India by a mother who was both a Reiki master and yoga trainer, Kanya founder Vernika Shukla developed the products based on ancient chakra therapy and each one is meant to both deeply nourish the skin and impart a sense of wellbeing.
When I met Vernika a few months back, the first thing I noticed about her was her flawless, radiant skin. So, of course, I pried for Indian skincare secrets. Turns out, it’s all about the ingredients. So here are some of the most potent, good-for-you ingredients Vernika has incorporated into her products. And well, if it is good enough for her and her luminous skin, then it is good enough for us as well.
Moringa oil is an amazing oil that is extracted from the seeds of the moringa tree. It possesses unique nutritive properties and is considered an ancient Egyptian beauty secret. In Egypt, it was used to make ointments to protect the skin in the desert and as a treatment for sun damage and wrinkles. It was revered and vases of moringa oil were found inside ancient Egyptian tombs. I had not heard of moringa oil until a few years back, but when I started reading about it, I realized that this is the same plant we grew up eating back home in India. We used to eat the seeds from the drumsticks in soups and leaves as vegetables because they are extremely nutritious. The moringa tree is called “the miracle tree” and is being used to end hunger in some extremely poor countries.
*Absorbs easily into the skin, improving the appearance and radiance of skin.
*It has skin-healthy nutrients like vitamin A, which help build collagen in the skin.
*Vitamin C helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles
*Vitamin E heals the skin and is anti-inflammatory.
*It is one of the few oils that has plant hormones called cytokinins, which induces cell division and growth and delays damage and deterioration of skin tissues.
*It’s beneficial for treating rough, dry skin conditions like dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.
Rosehip oil is harvested from the seeds of specific rose bushes and is full of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. I was intrigued by this oil because it contains beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that helps correct dark spots, reduce scars, fine lines and hydrate dry, itchy skin. It is an extremely healing and a non-comedogenic oil.
We have incorporated rosehip oil in a number of our products. I love to use the Kanya Heart or Crown & Third Eye Body Oil right after I take shower. I apply it on slightly damp skin so that it locks in moisture and the aromas help me to start my day more mindfully. At night, I love to apply Root and Sacral Body oil because the aromas help me sleep better. And I use Kanya Throat Chakra during allergy season. It has eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender and clove, and their combination is a powerful barrier to seasonal allergies. We created the body oils not only to moisturize the skin, but also to generate a shift from our busy and unhealthy lifestyle toward a more mindful way of living.
*Protects the skin and increases cell turnover because it is extremely rich in natural beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin D.
*It is high in oleic, palmitic, linoleic and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
*Rosehip oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids (vitamin F), also known as an essential fatty acid. These fatty acids convert to prostaglandins (PGE) when they are absorbed through the skin. PGEs help with cellular membranes and tissue regeneration.
Salts are extremely healing for your whole body. They help you relax both mentally and physically, and they also boost moisture levels in the skin. I always recommend salts be used in the bath during fall and winter months. Our bath soak and scrub has a combination of Epsom and Dead Sea salts.
Dead Sea salt is extremely detoxifying and has anti-allergic properties. It is especially helpful for people suffering from psoriasis as it softens the skin and helps to retain moisture. Dead sea salt contains 21 minerals including magnesium, zinc and potassium, which are known to protect and maintain moisture in the skin. Epsom salt not only softens the skin, but it also has amazing healing properties for the whole body. It eases stress, relieves pain and muscle cramps, improves blood circulation, helps eliminate toxins and relieves constipation.
I love to use the Kanya Tranquility Bath Soak and Scrub at least once a week in the shower. I start by applying it to damp skin, dissolving within seconds leaving my skin gently exfoliated and nourished. In the evenings, generally over the weekend, I use the Sensual Bath Soak and Scrub to help relax my muscles and my mind. I also use the soak and scrubs in my kids’ baths. It has done wonders for my son’s eczema.
Hydrosols are flower waters and are produced by distilling leaves, flowers and other plant materials. They have the water-soluble components of the plant and the microscopic droplets of essential oils. They are high in carboxylic acids, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Because they are a by-product of the distillation of essential oils they have similar therapeutic properties and the subtle aroma of the essential oils. Therefore, hydrosols are extremely good toners and are often also used in making creams and cleansers. The most well know is probably rose water. Pure rose water is actually rose hydrosol, and that is why it is so beneficial for the skin. We use lavender hydrosol in Kanya’s Floral Essence Hydrating Facial Tonic and neroli hydrosol in our Botanical Essence Vitamin C Facial Tonic. Both the toners are alcohol-free and have other superstar ingredients such as witch hazel, aloe vera, and several healing plant extracts.
Dying to try Kanya for yourself? Book in for a treatment at the Four Seasons Westlake, Four Seasons New York, The Surrey in New York or directly from her website, and experience the magic for yourself.
Have you been to a spa that uses Kanya products? Or maybe you’ve tried them at home? Tell us what you think in the comments below!