While in India, I was curious to take a look at some of their beauty products that we don’t get in the US. I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with a friend in New Delhi who was able to help me find some great stuff. India is big on Ayurvedic skin care, which focuses on plant-based formulations with recipes that stem from ancient holistic medicinal practices (and smell amazing!).
Early in the day we spent a good amount of time walking around Khan Market, which has a lot of spas, beauty shops, and pharmacies as well as clothing stores and restaurants. The main place my friend wanted to show me was Forest Essentials, a skin and body care company with very beautiful jars and bottles as well as very wonderfully fragrant stores. I’ve been using these products for a few weeks now, and I can tell you that Forest Essentials is definitely one of the things I’d bring over from India to the US, if I could have it my way.
The first thing I was looking out for was some new makeup remover. I had run out of my makeup removing wipes and had bought some cheap facial wipes in India, but something I’ve noticed in Asia is that facial wipes never advertise or feature any makeup removing capabilities, so I needed a dedicated bottle of something.
Forest Essentials’ Floral Makeup Remover is great. It is a pretty simple formulation of 7 oils and has an amazing jasmine fragrance. I massage it into my skin with my fingers, and it’s effective and pleasant. It doesn’t rinse off with just water, so I like to wipe it off with a warm washcloth and finish with a gentle facial cleanser. I always cleanse after removing my makeup, so I don’t see this as a downside. It costs Rs. 495, or around $8 USD, which is pretty reasonable.
I will say that the reason I didn’t bring a bottle of makeup remover with me in the first place is that I like the keep the number of bottles of liquids that I bring with me fairly low. This one isn’t an entirely travel-friendly bottle, but it works ok. There’s a little plastic stopper that helps for the most part, but it leaks a little during altitude/pressure shifts or if my suitcase gets squeezed. I roll it up in tissue and seal it in it’s own little plastic bag (I carry a handful of plastic bags with me when I travel just for this reason).
The next thing I looked for was some toner, a product I always go through relatively quickly and I was running low on. This Facial Tonic Mist really lovely and lightly hydrating, and I think it smells like marigold … I say that not actually knowing what marigold smells like, but it smells “Indian” or recognizable to how a lot of stores or other spa products seemed to smell like in the country. I think it’s marigold.
A bonus purchase was a day moisturizer with a little SPF. This one is a little more expensive at Rs. 1,595 or around $26.50 USD, but I love it and out of all of the products in this post, this one is definitely going to last me the longest. The price isn’t unreasonable considering the quality and amount of product – 1.3 fl. oz.
The lotion smells amazing – a little spicy, but not too strong. It gives my drier areas enough moisture but isn’t greasy at all. It makes my skin feel very soft very quickly. I’m very happy to have dropped some money on this one.
It comes with this little pamphlet on key ingredients, too.
Lastly, passing through a pharmacy I saw a wide variety of products from Biotique which were really affordable. Did I need a cleanser? Not really, but I paid Rs. 65 or around $1 USD in order to try out this Bio Honey Gel Hydrating Face Wash. I had brought a cleanser along with me for traveling that ended up being a little abrasive for twice daily use, so I thought it would be nice to have something really gentle to alternate with.
I really like this one, as well. A little goes a long way and it becomes lightly frothy on wet skin. It makes my skin feel clean, smooth, and not overly dried out. A little of this works really well after the Forest Essentials makeup remover. I’m kind of bummed I can’t keep buying a product like this for as little as $1 once I go home. The only thing for me is that I don’t think they have a fully ingredients list posted anywhere. They have a list of actives with percentages that add up to 12% plus purified water, so I feel like that isn’t the full picture. Normally I’d take the time to ask the company, but I didn’t take the time while on vacation
I’m really loving the skincare I bought in India, and a little sad that they won’t be so readily available at home. Shipping these products to the US looks to be an option, but I just played around with a Forest Essentials shopping card and found that shipping was Rs. 2,117 or around $35 USD … so, quite expensive. India makes for a really wonderful trip, though, and one day I’ll come back.
I hope you’ve been having a good summer! Have you found any new products you’re loving?