Made-in-India beauty for Russia
Maria Chabana is like any other beauty expert running a salon in St
Petersberg. But the techniques and the products she uses are
essentially Indian. Same is the case with hundreds of clinics in
Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine and many Central Asian republics.
And not just the products, their beauticians have been specially
trained in India and use only herbal products. Chabana is heading a
group of 15 trained cosmetologists who are here to do a two-week course
in Ayurveda and herbal cosmetology.
After movies, it's now the turn of Indian beauty products to woo the Russians and women in other Central Asian countries.
"There is lot of craze among women in our country to use only herbal
cosmetics. In the last five years many cosmetic companies like
Himalaya, Biotic, Shahnaz Herbals, Dabur have become very popular
there," says Chabana.
"French cosmetics are very popular back home. But slowly people are
realising the ill-effects of chemicals and are shifting to herbals.
Ours is a very small country, but we have two herbal clinics and many
are in the process of opening up," says Monica, who owns a clinic in
"The rules on setting up beauty clinics are very strict in our
country and people working in them are trained cosmetologists. And only
herbal products which meet all the required specifications can be
used," says Chabana, talking through an interpreter.
"Since the techniques for using these herbal products are different,
we have to send the cosmetologists for training here, especially in
facials and massage techniques," says Monica, adding, 'we have a very
western culture. But once here, our cosmetologists also learn how to
treat their clients in a very special way, answer their queries and
explain them very patiently about different techniques'.
"Skin care, hair care and facials using Ayurvedic products are very popular there," she says.
Rashi, a cosmetologist at a training institute, says, "besides
Central Asian countries, the Ayurvedic beauty courses are also very
popular with North Americans, South Africans and even Swiss".
"They are interested in learning anti-wrinkle treatment, face-lift techniques, acne and hair-fall treatment," she says.
"With the wellness concept sweeping the world, there is a global
interest in holistic systems like Ayurveda. The Indian philosophies of
yoga and meditation have already become extremely popular around the
world, not only in the West, but also in other countries, including
South East Asia," says beauty expert Shahnaz Husain.
"Due to the cold climate in many western countries as well as their
exposure to artificial heating, Ayurvedic moisturising and nourishing
products are in demand. Skin rejuvenation and anti-ageing products too
have universal demand, whether in the West or Russia," she says.
"The aromatherapy products too are popular, since it is an ancient
science and has existed all over the world since ages," she adds,
noting 'we have had students from Japan, USA, Australia, Malaysia and
Middle East. There is lot of scope in emerging markets of China, Spain
"The Indian cosmetics industry is very well organised and it
combines a beautiful blend of traditional and modern beauty products,"
she says adding India today manufactures a wide range of Herbal
cosmetic products which have gained acceptance all over the world.