Ayurvedic skin care is an ancient system of caring for your skin. Read on to learn more about your skin type and how you can best care for your skin.
Ayurvedic skin care begins with finding out your skin type. Vata skin is generally dry, thick, delicate, and cool to the touch. It is easily dehydrated and very vulnerable to dry, windy weather. Vata skin may age faster and it tends to be dry, rough, and flaky when out of balance. Pitta skin tends to be fair, sensitive, soft, warm and of medium thickness. Pitta skin types tend to be more prone to freckles and moles than other skin types and when out of balance, this skin can flare up in rashes, rosacea, acne, or sunspots. Kapha skin has all the qualities of water and earth. It can be oily, thick, pale, soft, cool, and more tolerant of the sun. It tends to age slower and form less wrinkles than the other two types of skin. Kapha skin types may suffer from a dull complexion, enlarged pores, excessive oil, blackheads, pimples, moist types of eczema, and water retention. Combination skin can be Vata-Pitta, skin that is both dry and sensitive, Kapha-Pitta is oily and sensitive, and Vata-Kapha which is dry with some oily zones.
The aggravation of the three energies or the tridosha in the body results in acne, pimples, and blackheads. Pitta dosha is the most affected and this is because of the excessive intake of alcohol, tea, coffee, spicy, oily, and fried foods. Stress, tension, pollution and chemicals are all also major aggravators of the Pitta dosha and result in acne, boils, pimples and rashes. A paste of sandalwood powder and turmeric mixed with milk is very helpful as is a paste of nutmeg and water. Half a cup of aloe vera pulp can be taken internally or applied externally to the skin. Before bed, wash the face thoroughly and apply a paste of coriander juice mixed with a pinch of turmeric powder. For pimples, a paste of cumin seeds may help. A paste of fresh fenugreek leaves applied and washed off before going to bed prevents pimples.
The imbalance of Bhrajaka Pitta that colours the skin and can be compared to melanin causes blackening, pigmentation and discolouration of skin. Excessive exposure to the sun, irregular eating, sleeping habits and consumption of foods and drink that aggravate the Pitta dosha also aggravate Bhrajaka Pitta. Grind five almonds and mix with one teaspoon of fresh cream and a few drops of lemon juice. Apply to face and neck and leave for about 15 minutes. Papaya juice or mashed papaya can be applied to the affected area. Equal amounts of sesame seeds and turmeric in a small amount of water can be applied. A paste made from basil leaves and water can be used on the affected skin.
Premature ageing is due to the aggravation of the Vata dosha, which naturally increases with age. Age is thus something that can be stopped from coming too early but it cannot be cured as such. Ageing causes dryness and wrinkling of the skin and factors such as excessive thinking, stress, tension, overwork, strain, irregular sleeping and eating habits, and cold or dry foods enhance ageing. Foods with artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, and chemicals also aggravate the Vata dosha and hasten ageing. Massage the face with ghee, almond oil or coconut oil before going to bed. Use grated cucumber in a face pack. You can also apply fresh aloe vera gel to the skin.
Clear, beautiful skin only happens when your insides are clean and toxin-free, and you follow a strict daily and weekly external cleansing regimen. Your skin is like a mirror – it reflects what is happening inside the body. Blemishes, eruptions, patches and sallow skin are often related to an inappropriate diet or poor lifestyle choices that lead to the accumulation of dietary toxins. Following a skin-friendly diet and using skin-friendly herbs can make your skin look fantastic.
Generally speaking, eat foods that are appropriate for your constitution and the season. Eat lighter meals that are well spaced out so that one meal is digested before you eat another. Choose whole, fresh foods. Start the day with hot water with the juice of half a lemon. Lemon is antibacterial, promotes regular elimination, and helps flush toxins from the system. Vata and Pitta skinned people can start the day with raisins that have been soaked in water as raisins promote regularity. Have two or three cups of herbal or spiced tea per day. Choose from fennel, mint, cumin, fresh ginger root, aniseed, cardamom, rosehips and cinnamon. Cleansing Ayurvedic herbs include neem, Indian sarsaparilla, turmeric, Indian madder, and marshmallow root. Include some raw vegetable salad with your lunch.
Dry roasted seeds are rich in nutrients and good essential oils. They offer natural lubrication and are good for all types of skin. If you have a less fiery digestion, enjoy skin friendly vegetables in a detoxifying soup. Include at least one helping of a leafy green vegetable every day. Pick only the freshest greens. Stick to skin friendly oils and avoid foods that contain trans-fats.