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DoshaCare Sakala SPF 28 Sunscreen enhances Ayurvedic elements

Reviewed by Copley November 27, 2009 5 Comments
Just as America is a potpourri of varied cultures, modern medicine is a melting pot of traditions from all over the world. Borrowing from 5,000-year old Indian traditions, the Ayurvedic system may seem like an exotic approach to skin care, but new brands are changing that. DoshaCare launched this past September with the goal to make Ayurveda accessible to the Western consumer by simplifying the process of selecting a skincare regimen. On DoshaCare's website, a quick online questionnaire identifies your primary and secondary doshas (worldly elements that define your well-being) and recommends products based on your results. The Sakala Sunscreen is one of the few items in DoshaCare's line that isn't exclusive to a specific dosha and embraces all skin types.

After years in pursuit of the perfect sunscreen for everyday use, I have found a new favorite. Sakala Sunscreen has been an addition to my morning ritual for the past several weeks, serving as an intermediary between my moisturizer and makeup. It is rare to find a mostly natural sunscreen that doesn't yield a shiny mug and/or a ghostly pallor. Sakala beats the odds. With just a small squirt of the white potion, I can coat my entire face with a layer of pearlescent, protective, mattifying magic. It absorbs instantly, leaving a scent-free, grease-free shield from UV light. The level of protection was even strong enough to survive yesterday's sun- and sweat-drenched Turkey Trot.

The texture is so smooth and consistency so lightweight that Sakala sunscreen is the perfect base for makeup. Though it's not deeply hydrating enough for my winter-parched skin, normal-oily skin types probably wouldn't need an additional moisturizer. I have applied Sakala sunscreen over nearly every cream and lotion in my emollient arsenal, and it has adapted well to every single of them, absorbing excess oil like a sponge. As is true for the rest of the DoshaCare line, Sakala's formula clings as close to nature as possible and harbors no less than 98% botanical ingredients.

Many of these ingredients are remnants of the ancient Ayurvedic balancing system. There's turmeric, an antiseptic and skin lightener, aloe vera, a versatile anti-inflammatory, and sandalwood, a soothing tonic. Found in comfrey root, allantoin is believed to aid in the healing of damaged skin by stimulating new tissue growth. Macadamia nut oil softens and protects the skin's natural moisture barrier, while jojoba oil nourishes dry and wrinkled skin. Neem extract, which imparts anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, also normalizes oil production. The formula is further enriched by eucalyptus, shikakai, tulsi, hibiscus, and fenugreek extracts.

With such botanical bounty, you might think that Sakala sunscreen can do no wrong. Unfortunately, its paraben-free preservative record is marred by the ubiquitous phenoxyethanol. Aside from sodium benzoate, the remainder of the formula is for the most part helpful or harmless- until it reaches the sunscreen portion. Micronized zinc oxide blocks both UVB and UVA rays without interfering with the lotion's look and feel. Though it may allow for complete protection with a sheer layer, it also raises concerns about nanotechnology. No matter how safe zinc oxide is deemed by the Environmental Working Group, there is little doubt that nanoparticles can enter the bloodstream and bring toxicity risks into the body.

The "oct-" screens, chemical sun blockers, present a set of separate dangers. Both octisalate and oxtinoxate undergo a certain degree of degradation when exposed to sunlight, which reduces their UV-filtering power. While octisalate has been linked to contact dermatitis, octinoxate has the potential for estrogenic and adverse developmental effects. Octocrylene has been shown to not only bioaccumulate in fish but also to increase free radical production in human skin, inducing indirect DNA damage. All in all, however, the combination of sun-shielding ingredients amounts to thorough broad-spectrum protection. The lotion's lovely feel on the skin leaves you reminiscent for the simpler time of Ayurvedic tradition, when chemicals and nanoparticles weren't yet conceived.

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5 %, Octocrylene 7.0%, Octisalate 5.0%, Zinc Oxide 2.9%

Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Sorbitan Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Dimethicone, Polysorbate-60, Silica, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Azadirachta Indica (Neem) Leaf Extract, Ocimum Sanctum (Tulsi) Leaf Extract, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Wood Extract, Eucalyptus globules (Eucalyptus) Leaf Extract, Acacia Concinna (Shikakai) Fruit Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Eclipta Prostrata (Maka/Bhrigraj) Extract, Trigonella Foenum – Graecum (Fenugreek) Extract, Allantoin, Squalane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Essential Oil Blend.
  • January 7, 2010

    by Patty Schmucker

    DoshaCare does not use Nanotechnology in any way. The research does not support complete safety.

  • December 29, 2009

    by Patty Schmucker

    Thank you for your posting in response to your reader's comments about DoshaCare. I am not sure where the reader gets the % quoted of non botanical based ingredients, because it is incorrect. We have gone to great lengths to produce a product that adheres to the principals of Ayurveda, while providing the highest standards for consumers' safety and making use of advancements in modern chemistry that allow us to package highly potent, fresh, natural and organic ingredients.

    Two of the most significant steps we have taken to achieve our goals include our pharmaceutical grade essential oils and our chemically standardized Ayurvedic ingredients.

    We have developed, with a leading authority in Ayurveda and Aromatherapy, customized blends of pharmaceutical grade essential oils for each Dosha type. Our essential oils are selected and watched from cradle to insertion in our formulas to ensure organic standards or wild crafted harvesting, organic distillation, purity (no cutting with other materials) and no synthetic preservation during shipping.

    It also means that each blend provides both form and function to our product. Each Dosha type will be attracted to their unique Dosha blend. When you take our dosha quiz (www.doshacare.com) you will find your primary and secondary dosha. With 99% accuracy we have found people are attracted to the aroma for their primary and/or secondary dosha. Our sense of smell identifies what our bodies need,(Hydration if we are Vata, Soothing if we are Pitta and stimulation if we are Kapha.) The blends bring together the essential oils that stimulate "function" as described in traditional Ayurvedic text to balance the Dosha conditions.

    The second element of DoshaCare that allows us to deliver a truly authentic Ayurvedic product is chemical standardization. For practical purpose this means the "identification, quality, and potency of chemicals (plants are a composition of chemicals) and drugs to meet standards set by the government or industry; includes the development, testing, and application of standards of adequacy or acceptable performance." (http://crisp.cit.nih.gov/Thesaurus/00001539.htm)

    For botanical ingredients it means that we now have the ability to measure not only the amount of Neem or Turmeric(two traditional Ayurvedic ingredients) needed for an Ayurvedic product, but we can validate the quality of the botanical and how they have been grown, harvested, preserved and transported to ensure the integrity and potency of the element. It is in this manner that we adhere to the principle of Ayurveda while achieving acceptable performance. For example if we want lavender in our product to calm the mind and skin, with chemical standardization, there is a test that can be done on the raw materials to validate the integrity of the ingredient before the product is made.

    The exciting thing about our use of pharmaceutical grade essential oils for form and function and chemically standardized Ayurvedic ingredients is that we are able experience today the power of this 5000 year old tradition of health care and our amazing botanical alias, in a safe and convenient manner, that gets results, feels fun, prestigious and yes...beautiful.

    Finally an Ayurvedic brand is a brand that is authentic in the message. Caring for our skin is but one element of caring for the whole person. Go to our website and read Our Difference to learn how committed we are inspiring people to look different at the way they care for their skin.

    Namaste and Happy New Year
    Patty Schmucker
    DoshaCare Founder

  • December 9, 2009

    by Matina

    I think all these marketing words like "Ayuervedic" are just that. Words that make us think it's exotic and ancient etc etc and justify, in our own minds, spending a bit more because of that. It's easy to fall for the hype but either you like a product for what's in it regardless of it's pedigree or you don't. The only way to know is to try it.

  • December 2, 2009

    by Charlotte

    This looked to be a candidate for a Five Best sunscreens, until a reader commented that this was Ayurvedic my ass (or words to that effect). What do you think?

    I think you should clean up the language here!
    Nothing ruins "real" beauty more than a foul mouth!

  • November 28, 2009

    by Erik

    Ayurvedic? 19.5% petrochemical actives, with Dimethicone, Polysorbate-60 as main ingredients, phenoxyethanol, etc... C'mon, give me a break. Maybe if a pile of BS is considered ayurvedic.

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