​All About Indigo: Indigo Skin Care, History, and More

At Ayr Skin Care, when it comes to choices for the ingredients in our luxury products, we always strive to use natural elements that provide a little something extra. Indigo is a great example of this, adding history even as it adds to the color. There are even some supposed indigo skin care benefits! We love the backstory and surprise of the indigo that we use to give a lush grey-blue color to our spa-quality products.

What Is Indigo’s Story?

Indigo is a shrub found in many areas of the world. We’ve seen it here in the deserts of California, but species are found all over the world from the West Indies and China to the Caribbean and Europe.

Hundreds of years ago, rare and expensive indigo was carted and sold along the famed Silk Road from India to China. Romans, Greeks, and civilizations in the Americas prized indigo plants for their beautiful blue-purple color to brighten fabrics. The famed traveler Marco Polo reported on its popularity, and it was revered by many Europeans along with tea and other expensive imports. In fact, indigo was so expensive that only the aristocracy could afford it! We now know this distinctive blue-purple as the color of royalty.

It’s hard to say what the ancients knew of indigo skin care benefits, but like most plants indigo would likely have been thoroughly scrutinized for any possible benefit it could bring.

Photo of large indigo ball of yarn in a hands overlooking huge clay barrels

Coloring the Gold Rush

Although indigo has been found in pieces of cloth dating back almost 6,000 years, it rose to fame more recently during California’s gold rush in the 1800s, when approximately 300,000 people migrated to pan for gold. These workmen’s pants were sturdy for outdoor work, and were dyed with indigo.

It was a few years later in 1873 when Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss patented the original work jean for the common man, and “blue jeans” truly took their place in history. Today almost all of us wear them in various styles.

Photo of an Asian-style garden and house with beautiful landscaping and a winding path

Indigo Skin Care Benefits & Indigo Cream for Psoriasis

Here’s the surprise.

Little known, except by Japanese Geishas and Samurai, is that indigo possesses restorative and smoothing properties for skin. WebMD has even reported that indigo cream for psoriasis makes a great treatment. We haven’t verified any of these medical claims about the use of indigo, but isn’t that an interesting fact?!

At Ayr Skin Care, we choose indigo for its lovely color and skin-supporting qualities, and feature it prominently in our Dead Sea Spa Body Bar. Mixed with rare cambrian blue clay, it adds a distinctive color and quality to our luxury spa bar, as well as a touch of natural indigo skin care so that your skin will love it too!

Fun Fact

Most indigo found in today’s products is a synthetic colorant invented in the 19th century which drastically reduced the cultivation of natural indigo dye. The demand for the inexpensive synthetic blue jean dye was just too strong! So true natural indigo is more rare today than even a hundred years ago.

But Ayr, at least, still uses the real thing.

If you have any questions or comments, we would be happy to answer you personally! Please contact us at info@ayrskincare.com.