Lots of people I know (bloggers. I’m talking about/read a lot of bloggers, nobody else can afford or really cares enough to do this) use the new year as an excuse to shake up their skincare regime.
Cynicism aside, what works for us in the summer probably won’t be good enough to carry us through the colder weather – relevant, with snow and ice forecast again in Scotland later this week. The cold snap we had a few weeks before Christmas was motivation enough for me to start using my beloved Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream as a day moisturiser again – something I don’t tend to do in the summer, as it’s too rich for my combination skin – leaving me with a vacancy for something to do the heavy lifting overnight.
Enter SAMAYA: a brand that promises to create “calm and balance in your life” while rejuvenating your skin.
In a crowded market for skincare, brands need a good story in order to be able to stand out – and SAMAYA’s is one of the best I have heard. The products are based on Ayurvedic principles; Ayurveda being a 3,000-year-old Indian system of holistic medicine based around the belief that health and wellness require a delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit. The idea is that using the SAMAYA product line that best corresponds with your dosha, or constitution, will help you achieve samadosha, or the “perfect balance”.
The first step is therefore to figure out your dosha: something which, thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can do by way of a handy online quiz. There are three dosha types, each of which corresponds to a different set of physical and emotional traits: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Although the quiz brings me out somewhere between Vata and Pitta it was the description of the first of these that drew me in: energetic and creative in balance, but worried, tired and indecisive when out of balance. A gimmick, sure; but a gimmick worth exploring further, I thought.
Each SAMAYA product line consists of three products: a hydrating cleanser, an anti-ageing cream and an anti-ageing treatment oil. I was sent the Vata anti-ageing cream*, which I’ve been using as my nighttime moisturiser for the past six weeks. Like all SAMAYA products, the moisturiser is made from a combination of clinically-proven anti-ageing ingredients and the natural botanicals which date back to the Ayurvedic system: in this case rose flower extract; turmeric root; tulsi, a sacred Ayurvedic herb; gotu kola, a herb with anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties; and ashwagandha, or ‘Indian ginseng’.
Of course, I knew none of this when I first pumped the product onto the back of my hand, as I’d rather get stuck in than read piles of marketing material – but I could immediately smell the rose extract, and I was hooked. It was interesting, then, to read that a preference for a particular scent can itself be an indicator of your dosha type: true, I haven’t smelled the other SAMAYA products but I struggle to imagine being quite as drawn to them.
Texture-wise, the cream is gorgeously light and practically sinks into the skin. That scent – oh, that scent! – also adds to the experience: I’ve always avoided scented moisturisers for sensitivity reasons, so using this one adds an extra, sensual layer of luxury to my pre-bedtime rituals. At the risk of sounding as though I have bought into the hype, I really do feel as though it compliments my skin type and it certainly hasn’t set off any of the redness or reactions I particularly worry about in the winter.
So, that’s my rave – but, as I’m continually finding with quality skincare, the sticking point is the price. The cream costs a whopping £89 for a 50ml bottle – but, in its defence, the pump minimises product wastage and, despite nightly use, I’d anticipate getting at least another two months out of this supply. The cleansers and anti-ageing treatment oils come in at a similar luxury price point, at £69 and £79 respectively.
Once again, this is a case of getting what you pay for when it comes to quality ingredients – but the prices mean the products really aren’t accessible to everybody. A shame, as this is a really intriguing concept and I’d be keen to find out if those with different dosha types react as strongly as I do to the scents of their particular products.
As ever, I’d love to hear what you think – particularly if you have tried the dosha quiz!
This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own and unbiased.