When it comes to ancient Ayurvedic wisdom, saffron is one of the most valued ingredients when it comes to beauty. It is for this reason that Kumkumadi tailam is revered as the ‘Miraculous Elixir’. Kumkumadi oil, loosely translated as saffron oil, is a combination of 21 herbal ingredients that are said to treat multiple skin issues.

While this powerhouse blend has been around for years, it is now gaining popularity in the burgeoning homegrown beauty space. Making its presence felt both in its original form and also as a part of skin care products such as serums, sunscreens, scrubs, and under-eye creams.

Kumkumadi Oil - Safflower oil in glass bottle on wooden
Image: Courtesy Shutterstock

What’s in the Kumkumadi oil?

“Kumkumadi Tailam or facial oil consists of 100% natural herbs, essential oils, and cold-pressed vegetable oils. It is organic, vegan, paraben-free, and sulphate free. It is a blend of several ayurvedic herbs and pure essential oils such as Saffron, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Sesame oil, Turmeric extracts, Rose oil, Manjishtha, Almond oil,” shares aromatherapist and cosmetologist, Pooja Nagdev who is also the founder at INATUR, that has a few Kumkumadi products in their roster. One of the defining ingredients in oil is saffron which also earns the oil the moniker of saffron oil, although the base oil is usually sesame.

Kumkumadi oil benefits –

The reason behind Kumkumadi oil’s growing popularity is its ability to tackle various skin issues and types. Broadly speaking it is said to reduce signs of ageing like wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, blemishes, and pimples. It is also said to help in reducing hyper-pigmentation, a common issue with Indian skin and also help fight against common allergies and infections.

Its key ingredient Saffron oil helps lighten skin tone and illuminate it from within — turmeric treats cuts, burns and acne, sandal oil smoothens skin, liquorice reduces spots and so on and so forth. High on antioxidants, the oil reduces the inflammatory response of the skin that causes pigmentation and also works as an antibacterial ingredient in tackling acne-related issues. The ancient science of Ayurveda basically passes on all its best skincare treatments in one highly concentrated serum.

How to use the Kumkumadi oil?

Keeping the sticky and thick nature of the oil in mind, it is suggested that you use it sparing on your skin. A clean, thoroughly washed face is the right canvas for the oil. Just a few drops massaged on your face should do the trick. Let the oil stay overnight or at least for 2-3 hours before you wash it off for maximum effectiveness.

Header and feature image: Courtesy Shutterstock. 

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The oil is cited in the ancient Ayurvedic text of Ashtanga Hrudaya as an essential beauty treatment for the face. Loved widely by beauty editors and bloggers is Kama Ayurveda’s Kumkumadi Miraculous Beauty Fluid Ayurvedic Night Serum (Rs 845) that is essential for radiant and rejuvenated skin.

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Another Indian skincare brand that relies on the principles of Ayurveda to create its products, Forest Essentials’ Kumkumadi Night Cream (Rs 2,225) is designed for younger skin. Its powerful ingredients help lighten pigmentation and heal acne scars that are often an issue with teenage skin.

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If you’re always on the lookout for creams, serums or magicians that can brighten your under-eye area, then check out INATUR’s Kumkumadi Under Eye Serum (Rs 552). This product tightens your under-eye skin, reduces dark circles and puffiness. Spread on a clean and damp face as the first layer for maximum result.

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If your skin type or preference doesn’t allow for a facial oil, give Love Organically’s Kumkumadi Saffron Gold Face Scrub (Rs 1,400) a whirl. Based on the Ayurvedic ritual of Udhvarthana where a paste of herbs and grains is massaged into the skin to smoothen and clean it, the product uses haldi for brightening and Kumkumadi for that natural glow.

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It is believed that the secret behind Mughal empress Nur Jahan’s eternal glow was a result of rich ingredients like saffron, aloe vera, and others on a daily basis. We are investing in Sadhev’s Aloe Vera And Saffron Gel With Kumkumadi Thailam (Rs 887) in hopes of achieving the same exquisite shine.

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If you’re looking for a mild yet effective scrub, then consider the VASU Sugar Scrub (Rs 370) that is Enriched with Kumkumadi Tailam & Vitamin E. This stellar combination along with the gentle facial exfoliating properties of sugar eliminates sebum, surface impurities, and unclogs pores.

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A blend of essential oils such as Jojoba, Olive, Grapeseed and Walnut along Mulethi, Ashwagandha, Aloe Vera, Lemon Peel and Vitamin E, Kumkumadi oils with their vast range of ingredients are great at tackling multiple issues. The Teal & Terra Kumkumadi Oil Anti-Ageing Night Serum (Rs 2,799) is great at targeting stubborn skin issues all during your sleep.

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The Anantam Soundaryam Kumkumadi Serum (Rs. 2,295) at Mantra Herbals might seem pricier but the efficacy is what makes it a popular pick. The luxurious serum is light on the skin, quick-acting, and highly effective at handling pigmentation.

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Akshita Nahar Jain
Sr Associate Editor
Akshita Nahar Jain has worked with various publications, including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar Bride, and Time Out Delhi, and written extensively on fashion and lifestyle. A sucker for alliteration and stylish sitcoms, she enjoys scrolling the web for less travelled destinations.