Talking beauty with amla

Where to get what, to add some vitamin C into your skin and haircare routine

The superfood has been an integral part of our kitchen larders and home beauty remedies. And now it’s becoming the hero ingredient in everything from serums to conditioners.

Dr. Sheth’s: The launch of Dr. Sheth’s Amla VC Vitamin C Serum (their first product with the gooseberry) just after the first wave of Covid-19, was a coincidence, says founder and CEO, Aneesh Sheth. “We had been working on it for a few years,” he says, adding that the brand is now working on an anti-ageing product with the vitamin C powerhouse.

RM Herbals: Amla has been a key ingredient in most of the Chennai brand’s products, over the last 25 years. Run by 71-year-old Rajam Murali, a household name for homemade beauty care — thanks to her long-standing show, Azhagu Kalai, on Doordarshan — the bestsellers are the henna, and the herbal oil made with amla extract. Murali sources the gooseberries from a supplier near Erode, Tamil Nadu, and is now working on an amla hair oil, face wash and facial scrub. “I had launched a herbal tea in 2019, with amla as an ingredient. The sales have picked up now,” she says.

Forest Essentials: “One of amla’s unique properties is that it contains five of the six tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, astringent and pungent. This gives it a holistic, balancing effect on the tridoshas [the body humours],” says Shweta Netke, the senior Ayurveda doctor at the cruelty-free, luxury brand. Find it in their Advanced Eternal Youth Formula Date & Litchi, Bhringraj Hair Vitalizer, Tejasvi Brightening Emulsion, and Hair Cleanser & Conditioner in Amla, Honey & Mulethi. “All our ingredients, including the amla, are sourced from local, small-scale farmers, and rural cooperatives that use environmentally-sound farming practices.”

Kama Ayurveda: This brand that follows classical Ayurvedic formulations has amla as the key ingredient in two best sellers, the Bringadi Intensive Hair Treatment, and Nalpamaradi Thailam Skin Brightening Treatment. “Other products that have amla include the Rose & Jasmine Hair Conditioner, Dhanwantaram Thailam Pre-Post Natal Treatment Oil, and Himalayan Deodar Hair cleanser,” says Vivek Sahni, CEO and co-founder.

Juicy Chemistry:Amla was an integral part of growing up. Being someone who has always had low haemoglobin, my mother made dried amla every summer for me to snack, and amla juice with coriander, spinach and black salt,” says Megha Asher, co-founder of the Coimbatore-based, certified organic skin and haircare brand. At Juicy Chemistry, “we use it in a powder for our vitamin C-rich mask and as an oil in our haircare range. Antioxidants and vitamin C found in amla help with brightening the skin. We source from certified organic farms locally.” The Hibiscus, Onion & Bhringaraj Shampoo Bar, and Kakadu Plum, Matcha & Blood Orange Face Mask, both with amla in it, are bestsellers.

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