The Nine Anti-Aging Properties of Youthful Skin Cream:
From the Perspective of Personal Experience, Scientific Research and the Authenticity of Tradition
In this special newsletter an ayurvedic dermatologist from The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians discusses the scientific and traditional aspects of the Youthful Skin Cream.
Part One — Presented in a two-part series
Q: People who use Youthful Skin Cream have reported some phenomenal results, with wrinkles melting away and skin regaining its youthful moisture content in a very short time. Independent research has also shown that these results are real, and can be measured in a quantifiable way. Why do you think Youthful Skin Cream was able to achieve these kinds of results?
A: I think we were able to reach this level of success because we were able to replicate the techniques and formulas from the ayurvedic tradition. The age-old tradition of Maharishi Ayurveda contains all the knowledge necessary to create long life — and that includes youthful, healthy skin. My own family has been practicing ayurvedic medicine with a specialization in skin care in an unbroken lineage for more than 5,000 years. So the traditional knowledge behind the Youthful Skin Cream formula is the key to its success.
Q: Can you give us an overview of some of the ayurvedic factors involved in keeping the skin youthful?
A: Certainly. The skin is governed by three subdoshas: Shleshaka Kapha, Bhrajaka Pitta and Vyana Vata. Shleshaka Kapha controls moisture balance, Bhrajaka Pitta is the metabolic mechanism that coordinates all the various chemical and hormonal reactions of the skin, and Vyana Vata controls circulation of blood and nutrients to the seven layers of the skin.
Almost all of the body tissues (dhatus) are also involved, but there are three that are especially reflected in the skin: Rasa, Rakta and Mamsa. Rasa dhatu is the nutrient fluid that feeds all of the body's tissues and keeps the skin healthy; Rakta dhatu is the blood, which is associated with liver function and purifies the skin; and Mamsa dhatu is muscle, which provides skin firmness.
The malas, or waste products of the body tissues, are also involved in skin health. For instance, sweat, the waste-product of fat production, helps to purify and refine the skin.
To be successful, an anti-aging cream has to provide support to all of these areas.
Q: We understand that you have designed Youthful Skin Cream to reflect nine ayurvedic anti-aging principles. Can you tell us about those nine anti-aging principles contained in Youthful Skin Cream?
A: Yes. I'll start with the first one and explain each of the nine principles of ayurvedic skin care contained in Youthful Skin Cream in detail.
1. Anti-aging Effect (Vayasthapana). An herbal formula that nourishes the doshas, dhatus and malas and has an overall anti-aging property is called vayasthapana, which literally means "maintaining youthfulness."
Youthful Skin Cream has this Vayasthapana effect. There are a group of herbs that, when combined together, create this Vayasthapana effect. Vayasthapana herbs give overall support to the skin by keeping the three subdoshas of Shleshaka Kapha, Sadhaka Pitta and Bhrajaka Pitta in balance. They support Rasa, Rakta and Mamsa dhatus. Finally, they purify the sweat mala and thus support the purification and refinement of the skin.
Gotu Kola is the foremost vayasthapana herb. It is unique because it supports all these functions all by itself, alone. Research verifies that Gotu Kola has an anti-aging effect, and in particular it enhances collagen synthesis. But in addition, the entire formula is called Vayastapana because it works to support these functions as a whole.
Thus you see that Maharishi Ayurveda provides a deep understanding of the skin and what it needs. While other manufacturers think in terms of a fragmented approach, offering a formula that is collagen synthesis enhancing, or contains some vitamins to nourish the skin, this formula does all of these anti-aging actions holistically. Gotu Kola brings this Vayasthapana effect — a holistic anti-aging quality — to Youthful Skin.
2. Youthful Radiance (Varnya). Another important group of herbs is called Varnya, which means the ability to enhance the radiance or bright complexion of the skin.
This brings up an important point. In Maharishi Ayurveda, when we say a formula is anti-aging, we aren't just talking about improving the firmness or tone or removing wrinkles. We're also talking about improving the quality of youthful radiance. If the skin doesn't have a healthy glow, or Varnya property, then it's not considered youthful in ayurveda.
3. Protection from normal wear and tear (Sandhanya). Sandhanya herbs unify the healing and regenerative functions of the skin, repairing the aging effects resulting from normal daily living. Sensitive Plant has the Sandhanya property. According to modern research, Sensitive Plant enhances healing and regeneration of the nerves by 30 to 40 percent. Thus when applied topically, Youthful Skin Cream helps repair damage from mild scratches, climatic conditions (such as the aging effects of sun, wind, dryness, heat, and cold) and normal wear and tear on the skin.
4. Deep healing (Branropana). Branropana herbs enhance the deeper healing ability of the skin. The Branropana herbs Gotu Kola and Sensitive Plant are known for their ability to heal wounds, and are contained in Youthful Skin Cream. It is due to both the Sandhanya and Branropana effect that some people using Youthful Skin Cream have even reported healing from scars and wounds.
5. Enhancing and nurturing (Twachya). Twachya herbs and ingredients support moisture balance and provide overall nourishment to the skin. Gotu Kola and Rose Petal are the famous Twachya herbs used in this formula. Grapefruit extract and natural sources of Vitamins A, C, and E are included in Youthful Skin formula to nourish the skin and to enhance the Twachya value of herbs. The whole formula is also Twachya, because it gives targeted nourishment to the skin.
It is due to the Twachya value that many people report that their skin feels fed, feels nourished by Youthful Skin Cream. Feeding the skin properly is very important if you want to prevent the skin from aging. Youthful Skin Cream has this property.
6. Anti-inflammatory (Shothahara). This group of herbs provides the anti-inflammatory effect of Youthful Skin Cream. The Shothahara herbs are essential to any anti-aging formula, because they protect the skin against allergens, inflammatory substances, chemicals and even stress.
The skin is the barrier between the world and our own body, between the outer and inner environment. There are many elements in the outer environment that can cause inflammation or breakouts. And while we can protect every other part of our skin by covering it with clothing, the facial skin is always exposed.
That's why we need to protect the skin from the environment with the Shothahara herbs contained in Youthful Skin Cream. After all, everyone is concerned with how their face looks, because beauty starts with your face. It's with our face that we "face" the world. When we meet someone new, our expressions and emotions are revealed on the face.
7. Strengthening the skin's metabolic mechanisms (Twachagnivardhani). Twacha means "skin" in Sanskrit, and in this case "agni" refers to the metabolic processes taking place in every cell and organ of the body. Vardhani means "to enhance," so Twachagnivardhani means literally to enhance the luster of the skin by enhancing the skin's metabolism.
When you feel the skin, you can feel warmth. That is a reflection of its metabolic activity, governed by Bhrajaka Pitta, which controls all the biochemical and metabolic changes in the skin. As I mentioned earlier, Youthful Skin Cream supports and nourishes Bhrajaka Pitta. The Twachagni is a more expressed form of this metabolic principle, just as the flame of the fire expresses the source of the fire.
As we age, our metabolism in general slows down, and digestion is usually weaker because of this. In the same way, the metabolism of the skin also is weaker. If Twachagni becomes weak and imbalanced, then it creates ama. Ama in the skin clogs the channels, leading to wrinkles, dryness and other signs of aging. Clogged channels also create dullness and lack of youthful glow.
When metabolism is weak, it doesn't matter how many healthy herbs you apply to the skin, because if it can't metabolize or process them, the herbal nourishment is not going to reach the cells. So the Twachagnivardhani herbs are essential for any anti-aging formula. They enhance the skin's ability to process and transport nutrients to the skin by clearing the channels and removing old impurities that have clogged the channels for a long time. It is because of the Twachagnivardhani property that the nutrients and herbs in the Youthful Skin Cream are more easily absorbed.
Gotu Kola is the foremost Twachagnivardhani herb. And because it enhances agni when applied topically, it improves circulation immediately when you apply it to the skin. Also, by removing ama and deep impurities, it removes the source of varicose veins, cellulite, aging skin and weakened immunity to allergens and skin diseases. Scientific research verifies these effects of Gotu Kola, and also indicates that this remarkable herb helps alleviate varicose veins and cellulite (caused by a concentration of ama and other impurities beneath the skin's surface).
8. Hypoallergenic. Youthful Skin Cream contains only natural, life-supporting ingredients. It is completely free of chemical preservatives and ingredients, which in itself removes the major cause of allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions occur when ama builds up in Rasa dhatu (the nutrient fluid) or in Rakta dhatu(blood). Also if Bhrajaka Pitta is out of balance, the skin becomes more sensitive to allergens. Thus the entire Youthful Skin cream formula supports the skin's own ability to fight allergens.
9. Prevention of sickness and aging (Twagrasayana). In ayurveda, a rasayana is an especially refined herbal formula that promotes longevity and well-being. Thus a Twagrasayana (skin rasayana) is a refined and powerful herbal formula designed to prevent sickness and aging of the skin. Youthful Skin Cream is a very powerful rasayana for the skin because it contains all of the eight ayurvedic properties mentioned above.
It's also important to note that the ingredients that create the rasayana for the skin also nourish the mind and overall feeling of rejuvenation. That's why many people say that they feel younger and have a greater sense of well-being when they use Youthful Skin Cream. This rasayana effect is even more pronounced if you use all three Youthful Skin products together: Youthful Skin Herbal Soap, Oil and Cream.
Q: That's very impressive. The nine properties of anti-aging certainly make this a holistic formula with nothing left out. Earlier you had mentioned that there is scientific research on Youthful Skin, which verifies many of the herbal properties described in ayurvedic texts. Can you tell us about that research?
A: Yes, I'd be happy to. The clinical test was done at Dermac Laboratories, an independent research laboratory that has tested other premier skin-care products from world-class companies. This is a famous and well-respected laboratory that uses the most up-to-date techniques and instruments. Rather than relying on simple observation, they use Skin Replica/Image Analysis to measure visible lines and wrinkles, a Ballistometer to measure skin firmness, a Minolta Chromometer to measure skin color and tone; an Impedance Measurement to test skin moisturization; and ultrasound to measure skin thickness. They also use before and after photographs of the eye area.
There were twenty female subjects aged 35 to 55 with normal to dry skin who exhibited some visible signs of aging that participated in the study. Changes in factors such as skin thickness, firmness, tone, and dehydration were measured over a three-month period. Subjects who used Retin-A, topical antibiotics, and other medical skin products were excluded from the trial. Subjects with psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis atopica, and subjects who received facial peels during the last year were also excluded.
The protocol included a one-week dry-out period, when all of the subjects stopped using their usual skin-care regimens and all subjects washed their faces with Neutrogena® soap. During the dry-out period they also refrained from using any moisturizer, sunscreen, liquid make-up, or tanning parlors. The purpose of this protocol was to factor out any effects from other skin-care products. The subjects applied the Youthful Skin Cream twice daily for three months. We asked the laboratory to base their research on the nine ayurvedic principles of anti-aging that we just discussed, because we wanted to see how successful we were in producing the results predicted by the ayurvedic tradition.
Q: It sounds like a very sophisticated clinical trial. Can you tell us the results in each of the areas measured?
A: They were quite impressive. Because the Youthful Skin Cream is holistic, meaning that it doesn't just target one fragmented aspect of the skin but supports healthy skin as a whole, everyone benefited in all of the areas tested.
But at the same time, the results were individualized, because not every person's skin is the same. Some people have more wrinkles, others have trouble with thinning. If the subject had especially dry skin, the test showed more benefit in that area. Another subject might experience more benefit in the area of firmness, because that's where her imbalance lies.
In other words, every subject experienced improvement in all areas measured, but depending on their imbalance, they had more visible improvement in that area. And that's what Maharishi Ayurveda is all about. It gives holistic, balanced support, not just targeting one isolated area. At Maharishi Ayurveda, we take this concept of balance very seriously.
Q: Can you talk to our readers about the results in the improvement of skin thickness?
A: While skin thickness varies according to skin type, genetic makeup and ethnic background, in general it is a measure of youthful skin. This is because the skin tends to thin as the metabolism slows down with aging, and especially after menopause. Thicker skin results in increased firmness and a reduction of wrinkles and lines.
Everyone in the study, regardless of where they started, experienced an increase in skin thickness. The subject with the minimum thickness of 6.76 mm experienced an increase to 7.33 mm. The test showed that after two months, skin thickness increased by an average of 14.59%, which is a statistically significant increase. To increase skin thickness in just two months by using only natural sources, without any harmful side effects, is truly an unheard of result.
Q: What do you attribute such remarkable results to?
A: That's a very interesting question, one that I would like to answer by referring to the nine anti-aging properties of Youthful Skin mentioned at the beginning of this article.
The reason that Youthful Skin Cream could build up the thickness of the skin so rapidly is because of the Twachya, or nourishing and nurturing property of Youthful Skin Cream. With the combination of many Twachya herbs and vitamins contained in this formula, Youthful Skin Cream feeds all seven layers of the skin. That is why the skin thickness could improve an average 14.59% in just two months.
Q: That is fascinating. What about the test for lines and wrinkles?
A: Again, the results were quite amazing. In wrinkle reduction, one subject experienced a 70.42% reduction in three months. That was the maximum benefit, and even the minimum benefit was 22% reduction in wrinkles in three months. This is a remarkable result, especially considering that the wrinkles and lines were reduced without any negative side effects such as extreme photosensitivity, which is found with Retin-A and other commercial wrinkle-reduction products.
Q: Can you talk about skin firmness. I know that some women are concerned with their skin sagging as they age, especially around the eyes.
A: Firmness also increased substantially. Firmness improved by an average of 22.42% after one month and 27.01% after just two months. The researchers reported that both increases were statistically significant, and that firmness reflects an increase in epidermal thickness and density.
The reason for the increase in skin firmness is the Sandhanya or unity-enhancing property of the Youthful Skin Cream. Firmness is also due to the enhancement of Mamsa, Rasa and Rakta dhatus by the various herbs. And finally, skin firmness increased because the subject's skin was nourished by the Twachya herbs and vitamins included in the formula.
Q: You mentioned earlier that the radiance of the skin is important in ayurvedic anti-aging skin products. Was this measured too?
A: Yes, the skin's clarity, or radiance, was found to be enhanced. Average clarity increased by 20.29% in just two months. The researchers commented that this was quite significant because the technical method employed, although highly discriminating, shows only modest numerical changes in clarity. (As a comparison, this measurement shows only a 30-40% difference between severe scaly skin and fully moisturized, smooth skin.)
Q: What is the ayurvedic explanation for Youthful Skin Cream achieving such remarkable results in increasing the clarity or radiance of the skin?
A: The results were due to the Varnya herbs included in the Youthful Skin formula. If a person has wrinkle-free skin but it is dull, rough and lacking in glow, he or she will not look youthful. When the skin is lacking in clarity, it hides the inner light. The Varnya herbs in Youthful Skin cream help clear the blockages in the channels of the skin, and allow the inner light to radiate outward, on to the skin's surface.
Q: Drying of the skin is a big problem caused by aging. Was moisture balance found to increase too?
A: All subjects tested exhibited increased skin hydration ranging from a low of about 18% to more than 90%. After one and two months, the average increase was 42.33% and 47.54%. And all of the subjects experienced an increase in rehydration.
In fact, there was also a substantial increase in skin moisture after just one month's use of Youthful Skin Cream. To achieve this much moisturization from a skin cream that is applied on the surface of the skin is quite a remarkable thing.
Q: Why do you think Youthful Skin Cream could moisturize the deeper layers like that, when usually that kind of deep moisturization must be done from the inside, by drinking more water in addition to applying moisturizers on the skin from the outside?
A: The ability to moisturize the deeper layers of the skin is due to the increase in metabolizing ability created by the Twachagnivardhani herbs contained in Youthful Skin Cream. By enhancing the agni or metabolic capacity of the skin, you increase the ability to rehydrate the skin from within.
It works like this: if you have a weak metabolism, ama accumulates in the pores and channels of the skin. Then no matter how much water you drink, it won't reach the deep layers of the skin. The Twachagnivardhani herbs enhance the metabolism of the skin, which, in time, reduces ama and clears the channels. Thus the skin becomes more easily hydrated from the liquids you drink. It is interesting that the Youthful Skin Cream, even though applied from the outside, causes the skin to be moisturized from the inside as well as the outside because of its unique action on the metabolic processes that occur in the skin.
Q: I don't think there's any other formula that reduces wrinkles, increases moisture, improves thickness, enhances clarity and improves firmness all to such a remarkable degree.
A: Yes, it's amazing that this one formula reduces wrinkles yet rehydrates and moisturizes the skin.
Q: It's also interesting that all of these factors improved in every subject. How do you explain that?
A: That's an interesting question. These qualities increased in every subject because of the balanced nature of the formula. Remember that the ninth anti-aging property of Youthful Skin Cream is Twagrasayana. The herbs contained in Youthful Skin Cream create a rasayana for the skin, which means that they support not only the physical values such as thickness, but the intelligence of nature as well.
The herbal formulas used in Youthful Skin Cream also nourish Rasa Dhatu and Rakta Dhatu at the deepest layers of the skin, and balance all of the three subdoshas concerned with the skin: Shleshaka Kapha, Bhrajaka Pitta and Vyana Vata. Thus the results are very balanced, and this is why all of the measures for skin thickness, wrinkle reduction, firmness, tone and clarity improved in every subject.
Scientific Research on the Ayurvedic Herb Gotu Kola and Its Ability to Heal Wounds
- Balina, L.M., et al, 1961. Clinical results of an asiacotiside in cutaneous ulcerous lesions, Dia. Med. 33: 1693-1696.
- Bazex, J., et al. 1982. Periulcerous eczema type cutaneous reactions during and after ulcers of the leg. Rev. Med. Toulouse, 18 (4): 171-174.
- Boely, C. and A.R. Ratsimamanga. 1958. Traitement des ulceres de lambe par l'estrait "de centella madagascariensis", Presse Med. 66:1933-1935.
- Caevalho de Vasconcelos, F. et al, 1980. A new association in the treatment of leg ulcers. TECA + Neomycin hydrocortisone. Folha Med. 81 (1): 131-135.
- Delaunay, M.M. 1977. Management of perforating ulcer of the sole of the foot. Bordeaux Med. 10 (21): 1453-1454.Scientific Research on the Ayurvedic Herb Gotu Kola and Venous Disorders
- Allegra, C. 1984. Comparative capillaroscopic study of certain bioflavinoids and total triterpenic fractions of centella asiatica. Clin. Ter. 110 (6): 565-559.
- Allegra, C., G. Pollari, and A. Criscoulo, 1981. Centella Asiatica extract in venous disorders of the lower limbs. Comparative clinical and instrumental trial against a placebo. Clin. Ter. 99 (5): 507-513.
- Barletta, S., et al. 1981. Results with Centella Asiatica in chronic venous insufficiency. Gazz. Me. Ital. 140-(1):33-35
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.