There’s nothing like a pandemic to get us all thinking and caring about our immune systems. Most of us are now eating healthier, taking extra vitamins, practicing extreme self-care and washing our hands more frequently than we thought humanly possible. But there’s one more action we can take that’s not on every top 10 list of “How to Strengthen Your Immune System”: choose the right skincare products.
“This is what Ayurveda has said for millennia; it’s not only what you ingest,” says Kavita Khosa, founder and creative director of ethical skincare brand PurEarth. “Our body is a very complex machine and whatever you apply to your skin will be absorbed. It’s like your skin is eating it.”
A former lawyer, Khosa founded PurEarth in 2014 to combine her passions for clean beauty and positive social impact. The native of India, who grew up in a small rural town following many of the Ayurvedic principles she would go on to study, specialises in what she calls “slow skincare”. PurEarth formulas are based on Ayurvedic wisdom, using responsibly sourced ingredients mostly harvested by hand in the Himalayas.
Among the most potent skincare ingredients when it comes to immunity are turmeric, neem, copper and sea buckthorn. “When you apply these herbs on the skin, it’s like an immunity shot,” Khosa says. Of course there are several factors, including molecular size and where it’s applied, that determine whether and in what amount these ingredients do in fact reach the bloodstream. But we’ll take our chances.
The very first product Khosa created, and still very dear to her heart, is the Turmeric Sand Exfoliant Face Masque. Besides being anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial, turmeric is often used in India to treat wounds, swelling and bruising. It’s frequently touted as a superfood in the fight against Covid-19 and is even being used in clinical trials to treat infected patients, with results to be announced in October.
“Turmeric is a household herb in India and one that I’ve grown up consuming and using daily, be it in our cuisine or for sore throats, coughs and colds,” says Khosa, who also recalls her grandmother using the plant to make ubtan, an Ayruvedic paste applied as a face mask.
PurEarth sources its turmeric from a family-owned farm in the Himalayan foothills that practices Vedic, biodynamic agriculture. “It’s really incredible,” Khosa says, “they chant mantras when they plant and when they harvest.”
“As a child, morning rituals in our household started with neem-infused baths,” Khosa says. “I would wake up to large pots of hot water gurgling and bubbling away in our courtyard, strewn with neem leaves plucked fresh off the giant tree next to our cottage.”
The use of neem, known as the sacred healing tree in Ayurveda, dates as far back as the 4th century BC when reports of its curative properties appeared in the ancient treatise Kautilya’s Arthashastra. Today Khosa turns to neem for its powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it particularly well suited to acne- and rosacea-prone skin (not to mention anyone living through a global pandemic).
You can find neem in PurEarth’s Mandarin Body Butter, Mitti Raw Honey Masque and Rose & Seabuck Replenishing Face Cream.
Khosa calls sea buckthorn—also known as seaberry—a “miracle berry”, particularly after her father started drinking a teaspoon of its oil a day and saw his arthritis pain disappear, his eyesight improve and his whole body feel rejuvenated.
“It’s the richest known plant source of rare omega-7 with a uniquely high content of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA),” Khosa says of the 100% raw oil PurEarth extracts from berries grown on the wild, glacier-fed terrains of the Ladakh Himalayas. “Studies show high levels of superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant that combats free radicals. This is a stellar oil that can revitalise skin in every way.”
Sea buckthorn, which has been used for thousands of years in Indian and Chinese healing modalities, features in PurEarth’s Wild Seaberry Supercritical Oil, Rose & Seabuck Replenishing Face Cream and Sitara Strobelighter Serum, among others.
The key ingredient in the Kwansha Beauty Coin, PurEarth’s patented facial massage tool, copper is emerging as one of the star materials of the Covid-19 crisis. “Copper is truly a gift from Mother Nature in that the human race has been using it for over eight millennia,” Michael G. Schmidt, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina, told Smithsonian Magazine, referring to studies that showed the virus survives for days on glass and stainless steel but dies within hours after landing on copper.
Indeed, Khosa has known of copper’s superpowers since she was a child. She drinks water from a copper cup, keeps a copper pot next to her bed and will often spend an hour each night massaging her face with the Kwansha Beauty Coin. “It’s not just for the glow,” she says. “It’s actually building and boosting immunity.”
And, should Covid-19 make its way into your home and onto the Kwansha Beauty Coin, its ions will blast it into oblivion. Even better, those virus-killing properties will never wear off, so you’ll be well prepared for the next pandemic.
Start building your immune-boosting skincare routine at purearth.asia. Shipping is free in Hong Kong and India.