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  5. An Ayurvedic Guide To Dusky Skin Complexion

New age beauty standards have gone through a major shift. Being dusky is now celebrated as a beautiful complexion. The main aim of any skincare and makeup routine is to rejuvenate your skin from deep within and to accentuate the beauty you are naturally blessed with.

Scroll down to know how you can easily master the key tips and tricks of skincare and makeup suited for your beautiful caramel, dusky skin complexion!

What Is Dusky Skin Complexion & Why Is It So Beautiful?

Dusky skin is a type of complexion which lies close to the light brown family of skin tones. It is a little darker when compared with a fair or wheatish complexion. It is important to note that the complexion of your skin is an outcome of its melanin content. Irrespective of how promising fairness creams and serums may sound, the reality is that what makes you naturally beautiful is maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle routine along with a positive outlook in life.

Dark is indeed beautiful and most definitely commands as much care and attention as any light complexion. Sadly, we normally measure beauty with a fair complexion and this wrong notion isn’t curbed by the popular beauty and skincare brands too. It is about time that being beautiful is no longer associated with only fair complexion. An individual with a brown or dark complexion can still be gorgeous and vibrant.

It is imperative to note that every aspect of youthful and beautiful skin, irrespective of your complexion, depends on your skincare regime and discipline. We are all aware of the various functions that our skin is responsible for, but we tend to either overlook or forget to pay attention to its basic needs.

An effective skincare discipline ensures that your skin is properly cleansed, toned, evenly moisturized, and shielded from the harmful UV rays by using a sunblock or sunscreen. The types of skincare and beauty products which your skin requires depend solely on your specific skin type and needs.

How Do You Know If You Have Dusky Skin?

human skin tone set vector illustration

Your skin tone, also known as undertone, varies from your complexion which is the actual colour of your skin, and can be light, dark, or medium. The undertone doesn’t change under any environmental conditions such as exposure to sunlight. It doesn’t change even when your skin tends to tan in the summer or turn pale in the winter. There are primarily three types of undertones: cool, neutral, and warm.

Being aware of your skin tone may benefit you in several ways. You will be able to choose the right hair colour for your tresses, figure out the apt lip colour, and pick the most suitable colours to wear from your wardrobe to look drop-dead gorgeous!

There are few easy and simple ways to identify your skin undertone on your own. These include the following ways:

1. Check The Colour Of Your Veins

Check the colour of your veins on the inner side of your wrists. It is a quick measure to identify your undertones, but only if your veins are clearly visible. Place your arm under natural light and observe the primary colour.

  • If you aren’t able to determine whether your veins are either blue or green in colour, then you are most likely to have a neutral undertone. If you have an olive skin complexion, then you will definitely have a neutral undertone.
  • If your arteries are purple or blue tinted, then you most likely have a cool undertone,
  • If your arteries are green tinted, then you most likely have a warm undertone.

2. The Sunlight Test

Determine how your complexion normally responds to sunlight. Does your skin tend to easily tan during summers? Do you usually get freckles or experience sun burns? The level of melanin determines how your skin responds to sunlight as well as helps in identifying your skin tone.

  • If you are prone to tan and don’t burn, then you have high melanin levels and are likely to have a neutral or warm skin tone.
  • If you tend to burn easily and don’t tan, then you have low melanin levels and have a cool undertone.

Individuals with dark, ebony complexion don’t experience sun burns frequently but yet have a cool skin tone. Therefore, it is important to perform some more tests to determine the right undertone.

3. The Silver & Gold Test

You may use silver or gold jewelry or foil to determine your skin tone. Keep a gold foil sheet right in front of your face so that it allows the light to reflect back on your skin. Now observe whether the reflected light makes your face appear washed out or grayish, or it highlights your skin. Repeat the same steps with a silver foil sheet.

  • If the sheet of gold foil makes your skin more warm and beautiful, then you are most likely to have a warm undertone.
  • If the sheet of silver foil makes your complexion more vibrant and glowing, then you are most likely to have a cool undertone.
  • If you fail to see any noticeable difference (both gold and silver are complementing), then you are most likely to possess a neutral undertone.

If you don’t have any silver or gold foil at home, then try placing silver and gold jewelry on your wrist, and observe which metal compliments your skin tone better.

What Is The Difference Between Dark Skin & Dusky Skin?

A wheatish skin tone is usually a pale white hue closely resembling a beige or yellow hue, whereas a dusky skin tone is a darker hue leaning towards the family of brown hues. Individuals from India are the best example of a dusky skin tone [1].

  • Too much melanin in the skin may cause dark spots (hyperpigmentation) in individuals who have experienced trauma [2].
  • In such cases of trauma, the excessive melanin content stimulates the dark pigment cells in the skin. In cases of breakouts or trauma, skin pigmentation is accompanied with inflammation.

How Can You Look Beautiful In Dusky Skin?

Irrespective of skin complexion, if you wish to maintain a flawless and glowing skin, you should follow the basic steps of skin care which is CTM and S. It translates into cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and protection from sunlight.

The type of SPF you should use is based upon your skin type, texture (gel, cream, or lotion) and lifestyle (maximum time spent indoor or outdoor).

A. How To Choose Foundation For Dusky Skin

Searching and using the correct shade of foundation is an important task. Your makeup application becomes easy and hassle free once you have chosen the perfect foundation based on your skin type and complexion. The right shade and texture of foundation will help make your skin look natural, flawless, and glowing as it beautifully blends into your skin.

Dusky complexion is known to have minimal skin issues, and naturally looks flawless without too much makeup. Once you have recognized your skin complexion and undertone, then it becomes easier to find the perfect shade of foundation for your skin.

If you have narrowed down upon a few shades of foundations, then it is best to apply a little amount of these shades on your skin to identify the closest match.

1. Begin by selecting at least three shades of foundation that are a close match to your complexion.

2. Apply each shade in the form of short lines across your jaw line, maintaining some distance between each of the foundation shades.

3. Always consider your neck along with your face for the final selection process. The right shade of foundation should seamlessly blend with both your neck and face.

4. Out of the three foundation swatches, wipe out the two shades which don’t match your complexion.

5. Finally, evenly spread the final shade of foundation on your jawline and gently dab a cotton ball dipped in makeup remover or moisturizer in the middle section.

6. If there isn’t any gaping difference between your normal skin and foundation, then it is the perfect shade of foundation for your skin type.

7. However, if you see any visible difference between the foundation and your skin, then it is not the right shade for you.

8. Repeat the steps until you are able to choose the perfect shade for your skin type and complexion.

B. Beauty & Makeup Tips For Dusky Skin Tone

woman with makeup

There are endless discussion boards, expert advice, and forums about skincare and beauty tips. The sad part is that the majority of them still ignore that most tips don’t work on individuals with darker complexions. Not only the complexion, but even the cellular function and texture of darker skin types is different from the light skin types. Below are some easy and simple tips to ensure a healthy and glowing complexion for dusky skin.

1. Stay Away From Heat

To protect your complexion from sun damage, it is advisable to protect your skin from sun exposure. Always remember to take extra precaution when you step outside in direct sunlight. To avoid sun damage, apply a suitable sunscreen or sunblock with SPF 30 or above. Also, wearing a light coloured scarf or wide-brimmed hat works wonders in preventing sun damage.

2. Use A Tinted Moisturizer

Most foundations make your dusky skin look a shade lighter, making your skin look more artificial and unnatural. In turn, your skin looks unevenly coated and gets roughed up. Avoid this grave blunder by blending a tinted moisturizer, which matches your complexion, with your regular foundation. This light tint helps your foundation to closely match your complexion, making an even and beautiful skin tone.

The tinted moisturizer allows the foundation to evenly spread on your skin, thereby minimizing the formation of ugly patches.

3. Take Extra Care For Pimples

Dusky and dark skin complexion is more susceptible to acne breakouts, blackheads, and pimples. You may have experienced frequent episodes of acne. In order to avoid acne, you may have to deep cleanse and open your skin pores.

Cleanse your face twice a day with a mild, herbal facial cleanser to clean the pores. Additionally, remove any traces of makeup from your face before going to sleep. This allows your skin to breathe freely. Never pick or remove your pimples forcibly as it may lead to a severe breakout.

4. Use The Right Toner

One of the effective ways to ensure that your skin is free of acne and pimples is by regularly using a toner. A suitable toner for your skin type will help gently exfoliate your skin as well as get rid of accumulated impurities and dirt from your skin.

5. Exfoliate Your Skin

Your skin needs to breathe freely in order to remain healthy and flawless. Dusky skin tone is generally oily and attracts more impurities and dirt than lighter skin tones. Your skin is layered with dust particles, impurities, and accumulated sebum which needs regular exfoliation. Use a mild, natural scrub on your skin.

A scrub of gram flour and curd is an excellent home remedy for exfoliating your skin. Otherwise, regular sugar granules and a dash of olive oil will help you exfoliate your skin. Gently massage the scrub in circular motions on your skin and rinse with normal or lukewarm water.

6. Foundation That Matters

If you have a dusky complexion, then finding the right foundation is one of the major roadblocks in your skincare. The humongous challenge of finding a compact or a foundation cream which matches your skin tone is well-known. It is important to find the perfect match which compliments your complexion naturally without masking it with a different shade altogether.

Your foundation shade should closely match your natural complexion. If it doesn’t match, then a lighter shade will make your skin appear ashen and pale. Foundations in liquid form are considered most suitable as they don’t leave a matte finish post application.

7. Say No To Powder

Your dusky skin inevitably shines due to the presence of excess sebum. Never mask the shine by applying tonnes of face powder as it makes your face cakey and uneven. Just like a horribly wrong foundation, tonnes of powder may also make you look grey and ashen. Alway remember that face powders can never blend in with your skin like how a foundation does.

8. Say Yes To Facial Masks

When compared with other skin complexions, dusky complexions tend to lose moisture content quite easily. Hence, it is imperative to keep your skin well hydrated and moisturized at all times. In order to keep your skin radiant, clear, and nourished, use any homemade or herbal mask at least once a week.

Egg whites and honey make an excellent homemade mask for glowing skin. If you have an oily complexion, then try using egg whites. And if you have a dry complexion, then use the egg yolk.

9. Keep Your Skin Clear Of Excess Sebum

Individuals with dusky complexion face the biggest hurdle in their skincare - oily skin. You may skip applying the moisturizer as it makes your skin more oil prone, dense, and greasy.

You may apply a small amount of milk of magnesia on your skin. Leave it for a few minutes before applying a light, herbal moisturizer. This will help keep your skin moisturized without making it too oily and greasy.

10. Stop Using Hot Water

It is quite relaxing and refreshing to take a hot shower or bath on a cold, winter morning or right before going to sleep at night. However, if you have a dusky complexion, then you should skip this altogether.

Bathing or taking a shower in hot water may deplete the essential oils in your skin, thereby leaving your skin dry and stretchy. Instead, opt for a lukewarm water bath or shower to keep the moisture intact in your skin.

Dr. Mamtha Tandle, Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, "People have the false notion that sunscreen has to be applied only when we step out of home or when we are exposed to the sun. But sunscreen has to be applied daily as we get exposed to UV rays indirectly as well."

C. Ayurvedic Ways To Make Dusky Skin Glow

large medicinal herb selection for womens health care

According to the ancient and holistic science of Ayurveda, your skin is primarily governed by bhrajaka pitta and vyana vata. Bhrajaka pitta is a sub dosha of pitta and it is responsible for the colour of your skin complexion. When bhrajaka pitta is aggravated, it exhibits pigmentation, rashes, and redness of the skin.

In Ayurveda, a few of the brightening herbs or natural ingredients are classified as varnya herbs [3]. These herbs help improve the radiance of your skin. The varnya herbs help pacify the pitta dosha, which is in charge of imparting colour in the upper layer of your skin. In Ayurveda, it is known as avabhasini. Varnya herbs have potent phytochemicals which provide essential nutrients and supervise the functions of your skin.

The varnya herbs are largely:

  • Shita virya (cooling potency)
  • Kashaya rasa (astringent)
  • Tikht rasa (bitter)
  • Madhura rasa (sweet)

The above-mentioned properties make the varnya herbs perfect for detoxifying blood and pacifying pitta dosha, thereby making them suitable complexion enhancers and skin toners.

1. Ayurvedic Herbs

A. Madhuyashti

Also known as licorice or madhuka, its regular usage helps remove dark spots, scars, and blemishes. Including licorice-infused tea in your daily diet will help prevent sun damage from the harsh UV rays.

You may also use a licorice root decoction as a sunblock to prevent tan and sunburns [4]. Additionally, you may apply an ayurvedic pack consisting of licorice tea, fresh turmeric, and crushed cucumber to heal sun-damaged skin.

B. Manjistha

In traditional ayurvedic medicine, manjistha is a renowned rasayan (rejuvenator), varnya herb, and an excellent blood purifier. Therefore, it is widely used in ayurvedic skin care treatments.

C. Padmaka

The powdered form of padmaka is used as an ayurvedic paste to naturally enhance your complexion [5]. It is a potent herb for your skin due to the presence of six essential elements including copper, zinc, and iron in varying amounts in its pure extract form. It helps prevent acne breakout while retaining the moisture levels in your skin.

D. Nagkesar

Tung or nagkesar is renowned for its antioxidant, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties in Ayurveda. It helps improve your complexion and allows you to achieve a soft, glowing, and clear skin with regular application. The herbal oil extracted from the stamen of flowers has potent antibacterial properties, thereby making it a popular ingredient in numerous ayurvedic skincare treatments.

E. Vetiver

Also known as khus or usheer, vetiver is an acclaimed complexion rejuvenator. The ayurvedic oil is deeply nourishing and rejuvenates dry skin easily. One of the most well-known benefits of vetiver is its efficacy in minimizing the appearance of pigmentation and blemishes on the skin, resulting in an even and smooth skin tone.

2. Ayurvedic Remedies

You should cleanse your skin daily with mild, herbal, and natural ingredients. Try to avoid applying excessive makeup and cosmetic products.

A. Mix half a tsp of manjistha powder, sandalwood powder, orange peel powder, and a pinch of pure turmeric in one tsp of pure honey. Apply this as a face pack.

B. Mix one tbsp of besan (gram flour), two tbsp of plain yogurt, and a pinch of turmeric. Apply the pack for 15 minutes before bathing. This face pack helps in clearing tans as well as lightning and removing freckles.

C. Gently apply and massage a few drops of kumkumadi oil on your face daily. Apply the ayurvedic oil for 30 minutes before taking a bath. This helps improve your complexion and prevents the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, scars, and acne.

D. Make an ayurvedic paste of two tsp of fresh rose petal, half a tsp of honey, a pinch of turmeric, and half a tsp of sandalwood powder in a little milk. Leave it for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.

E. Gently exfoliate your skin with one tsp of walnut powder or dried orange peel powder with jojoba oil.

Vedix Tip: According to Ayurveda, your skin is directly related with raktha and rasa dhatus. Any commercially available ‘fairness’ cream will only have a temporary effect along with a plethora of side effects.

  • You may consider having a teaspoon of laghu sutshekhar, pravala, and yahti twice a day.
  • You may have a teaspoon of shanka, shweta chandana, and rasapanchaka twice a day.
  • You may apply panchatikta ghrita on your face and neck once a week.
  • You may apply an ayurvedic mask of bhukoda, yashti, shwet chandan, and sativa with milk on your face and neck.

D. Colours That Suit Dusky Skin

If you are wondering what colours and shades will beautifully compliment your dusky skin, then fret no more! Below is a list of hues and tones which will suit your caramel tinted skin complexion!

1. Black

Black will never go out of style. Always in vogue, black looks flawless on any complexion. Shine black or matte black, both manage to bring out your charm and elegance. One of the most sought-after colours in red carpet events, black is a sureshot hit in any formal occasion.

2. White

White and its different hues are not only for fair skin complexion or synonymous with peace and harmony, but it beautifully compliments dusky complexion too. The different shades of white like eggshell white, snow white, and smoky white are some of the popular shades that work perfectly for dusky complexion.

3. Blue

Blue is considered the coolest colour among all colours which is liked by all and extensively used in fashion. Blue also works for your dusky tone and you can choose from a wide variety of shades. Royal blue, navy blue, coral blue, and denim blue are some of the shades of blue that you can choose from!

4. Ivory

Ivory is an off-white shade with a yellow-tint. It looks amazing on dusky complexion as it exudes a summery vibe.

5. Maroon

It is a popular choice for dusky complexion as it exudes class, sheer elegance, and adds confidence to the final look. Another sought-after colour for formal occasions and red-carpet events.

6. Hot Pink

If you think it's kitschy and fun to experiment with colours, then hot pink is your definitive shade. Wear it with confidence and you are sure to steal a few glances your way.

7. Mustard Yellow

A wonderful lukewarm colour for dusky skin, you may easily wear it both in summer and winter. It perfectly highlights your natural complexion.

8. Lavender

If you love the colour purple, but are averse of wearing it, then try going with a lighter hue of lavender. Exuding the feminine charm and beauty, lavender will definitely add softness and freshness to your look.

9. Grey

A balanced and neutral shade, grey also compliments dusky complexion. You can wear it for a formal event as it looks elegant and classy.

10. Brown

Brown is the popular colour for dusky complexion. You may play with this shade as it looks warm and natural. You may try the gunmetal shade to intensify your look.

Can Dusky Skin Become Fair?

young dark-skinned woman

Skin experts, plastic surgeons, and dermatologists warn against believing the false claims of any skincare and beauty product or treatment which guarantees a visible difference in skin tone and complexion. In medical science, it is impossible to change your skin colour so drastically.

Numerous skin concerns affect your skin appearance, texture, and tone. When you consult a knowledgeable dermatologist and ayurvedic practitioner to treat your specific skin concerns, your skin is restored and rejuvenated from deep within, giving an even skin tone and an improved appearance.

Important Note:

It is imperative to note that the majority of skincare and beauty products which are commercially available contain harsh chemical ingredients such as tretinoin, mercury, hydroquinone, and steroids.

Always use such skin creams and serums only after being prescribed by a dermatologist for a limited time. Never use such skincare products without supervision or guidance.

The Last Word

Until the last decade, beauty has been synonymous with pale and fair skin tones. But with the dawn of an inclusive new age, women are globally breaking the barriers and norms of beauty standards.

You must know that beauty is not defined by your skin tone, but how diligently you take care of your skin as per your specific needs and environmental conditions. Follow the above-mentioned skincare, makeup, and ayurvedic tips for a glowing, radiant, and beautiful complexion which surpasses your skin colour!

Know Your Dosha Now

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