Are pimples and dark spots your primary skin concerns? Ayurveda offers a range of herbal face packs that yield quick results without any side effects.
According to the ancient science of Ayurveda, an imbalance of the doshas and a vitiation of the rakta (blood tissue) causes acne conditions and skin pigmentation. The best cure for these recurring issues are face packs made with therapeutic herbs and oils that provide holistic healing.
Read on to know the best natural ingredients to prepare your own acne and dark spot face packs at home.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks
“Ayurvedic herbal facepacks are very effective against acne. Instead of sterilizing the skin, ayurvedic herbs detoxify the skin and nurture a healthy biome.”
Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
What Is The Use Of A Face Pack?
According to Ayurveda, a ‘mukha lepa’ or a face pack has multiple benefits for your skin. It heals your skin issues, hydrates and protects your skin from environmental damages, removes toxins and strengthens your skin's immunity.
Based on their functions, mukha lepas are classified into 3 types- ‘Doshagna’ (dosha-balancing), ‘Vishagna’ (toxin elimination) and ‘Varnya’ (complexion-enhancing). For maximum benefits, face packs can be customized according to one’s skin type and skin needs.
“Ayurvedic herbal facepacks are very effective against acne. Instead of sterilizing the skin, ayurvedic herbs detoxify the skin and nurture a healthy biome. Ayurvedic Mukha lepa combinations are holistic in approach, to treat acne. Krimi hara (Vidanga, Tulsi) herbs are effective against microbes. While Kshara and amla (Triphala) herbs help peel away the comedones. Shotha hara (Bilva) - herbs reduce inflammation, decreasing swelling and redness. Ropak (Vata) herbs heal the acne, while Varnya (Manjishtha) restores natural skin color. A set of herbs like Lodhra and Shatavari reduce the skin's sensitivity to Androgenic hormones, hence prevent and heal hormonal acne.”, says Dr Zeel.
The concept of using herbs and minerals to enhance skin complexion and treat skin problems hails from the Vedic era. Procedures such as steaming (swedana), exfoliation (udvartana) and face pack applications (mukha lepana) are explained in the Rigveda.
Best Face Packs For Pimples & Dark Spots
A. Homemade Face Packs
1. Curd, Besan & Orange Peel
These ingredients are known for their ability to clean your pores and enhance your complexion. While besan sloughs off dead skin cells, the lactic acid in curd and citric acid in orange peel helps lighten dark spots on your skin.
All three ingredients are well suited for all skin types.
- Orange peel powder
- Besan (gram flour)
How To Use
- Mix 1 spoon of orange peel powder, 2 spoons of besan and 1 spoon of curd. Apply on your face and leave it on for 15 minutes before washing off.
2. Aloe Vera, Mint & Tea Tree Oil
With over 50 bioactive compounds such as enzymes , saponins, vitamins and salicylic acid, aloe vera is extensively used for healing pimples and lightening dark spots. Additionally, mint brightens your skin tone. Tea tree oil’s powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, astringent and antioxidant properties fight acne-causing bacteria, regulate oil production and aid skin regeneration.
This face pack for acne and dark spots suits all skin types.
- Fresh aloe vera gel
- Mint leaves
- Tea tree oil
How To Use
- Blend mint leaves into a fine paste. Add 4 to 5 drops of tea tree oil and 2 spoons of aloe vera gel to it and mix. Apply on the pimple affected skin and wash off after 20 minutes.
3. Papaya And Manuka Honey
Papaya contains the enzyme papain which exfoliates dead skin, clears blocked pores and helps reduce inflammation. It is also used to fade dark spots and pigmentation. Honey keeps your skin moisturized and its antibacterial properties help treat pimples on all skin types.
- 1 ripe papaya
- Manuka honey
How To Use
- Mash a ripe papaya and add a tablespoon of honey to it. Apply this pack on pimples and dark spots. Wash off after 20 - 30 minutes.
4. Potato & Onion Juice
These ingredients work well for dark spots. Natural enzymes, sulfur and vitamin C in them reduce pigmentation and enhance collagen production for faster skin healing. This face pack suits all skin types and is especially beneficial for skin that is frequently exposed to the sun.
- 1 potato
- 1-2 onions
How To Use
- Blend the two together and extract the juice. Apply on dark spots, leave it for half an hour and wash off.
5. Coffee & Activated Charcoal
This face pack is recommended for treating pimples, dark spots, oily skin and premature skin aging. The antioxidants in coffee help detoxify and reduce skin damage from free radicals. It enhances subcutaneous blood flow and removes stubborn pigmentation from your skin. Charcoal treats pimples as it unclogs pores, removes excess sebum and reduces skin inflammation.
This can be used on all skin types
- Activated charcoal
- Coffee powder
How To Use
- Mix the two in equal parts. Add water to make a thick paste and apply on your face. Let it dry for 15 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water.
6. Green Tea, Bentonite Clay & Clary Sage Essential Oil
The antioxidant, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties of green tea make it a favourite ingredient for treating pimples and dark spots. According to research, bentonite clay also helps to detoxify, cure acne, soothe rashes and clarify skin. Further, essential fatty acids and antibacterial agents in clary sage essential oil prevent bacterial growth in your pores and maintain a healthy oil balance on your skin.
This pack can be used for pimples and dark spots on all skin types
- Green tea
- Bentonite clay
- Clary sage essential oil
How To Use
- Brew green tea and cool it down to room temperature. Add 3-4 drops of clary sage oil and bentonite clay and mix well. Apply on your skin and leave it on for 20 minutes before washing off.
Vedix Tip: For treating dry skin issues, add a little uncooked ghee, honey or coconut oil to your face packs.
B. Ayurvedic Face Packs
1. Sandalwood, Turmeric, Saffron & Raw Milk
These three Ayurvedic ‘Varnya’ (skin brightening) herbs along with raw milk have been used since time immemorial to treat uneven skin tones, dark spots, lentigines, and acne scars. Sandalwood also helps relieve skin irritation caused by pimples.
Apart from skin lightening, curcumin in turmeric helps treat acne, skin inflammation and bacterial infection. Adding raw milk enhances their exfoliation and skin brightening properties. This pack can be used on all skin types.
- Sandalwood powder
- 1 medium sized rhizome of raw turmeric
- Raw milk
How To Use
- Blend the raw turmeric to make a fine paste. Add sandalwood powder and kesar in equal parts and add 2 spoons of raw milk to prepare your herbal face pack for pimples and dark spots. Apply on your face and wash off with lukewarm water after 30 minutes.
2. Neem, Tulsi, Yashtimadhu & Coconut Oil
Neem and yashtimadhu are traditional Ayurvedic herbs known for their antibacterial, blood purifying and powerful tyrosinase  (enzyme responsible for melanin production) inhibiting properties.
Tulsi helps fight bacterial infection while coconut oil keeps your skin moisturized and fortified from external damages. This mask is helpful for all skin types experiencing pimples, acne and dark spot issues.
- 15 Tulsi leaves
- 15 Neem leaves
- Yashtimadhu powder
- Cold pressed coconut oil
How To Use
- Blend neem and tulsi leaves together. Add a spoon of yashtimadhu powder and a few drops of coconut oil to make a paste. Apply this on the affected skin and wash off after an hour. This face pack for acne is suitable for all skin types.
3. Multani Mitti, Lodhra & Rosewater
Multani mitti is frequently used for removing dark spots on skin and cleaning dead cells, debris and excess oil that blocks skin pores. Its cooling properties also help reduce redness, inflammation and pain caused by acne.
Lodhra, a powerful Ayurvedic herb helps prevent bacterial infection, reduce excess tyrosinase activity and improve overall skin health. Rosewater enhances moisturization and skin rejuvenation. This face pack for pimples and dark spots is safe to be used on all skin types.
- Multani mitti
- Lodhra powder
How To Use
- Mix a spoon of lodhra powder with 2 tablespoons of multani mitti. Add an adequate amount of rosewater to make a paste. Apply this pack on your dark spots and wash off after 15 to 20 minutes with lukewarm water.
4. Vetiver, Manjistha, & Sariva
Vetiver is used in Ayurveda to treat various skin issues including pimples and dark spots. The oil extracted from vetiver is used in many cosmetics and skin whitening products for its ability to reduce melanogenesis. Manjistha, known for its blood purifying abilities, helps remove harmful Ama toxins from the body that cause acne and skin pigmentation.
Sariva, also a blood purifier, can lighten dark spots due to the presence of various phenolic compounds in it. This acne and dark spot face pack is suitable for all skin types.
How To Use
- Mix all ingredients in equal parts and add lukewarm water/ honey/ coconut oil to prepare a herbal face pack for acne and dark spots. Apply all over your face and wash off after 30 minutes.
5. Ela, Tvak & Daruharidra
Ela (cardamom) has amazing antibacterial and skin brightening properties. Tvak (cinnamon) helps increase blood flow to your skin and dry out excess oil that can lead to blocked pores and acne conditions. It is also antibacterial and has the ability to reduce melanin production in your skin.
Daruharidra , an ancient Ayurvedic herb, shows significant antioxidant and ‘varnya’ (melanin reduction and skin brightening) properties due to the presence of various alkaloids in it. All these herbal ingredients make an effective face pack for pimples and dark spots. It is suitable for oily and normal skin.
- 5-6 ela pods
- Tvak (cinnamon)
How To Use
- Add ela and daruharidra in equal parts. To this add a pinch of tvak and prepare a paste by adding water or coconut oil to it. Apply on the affected skin areas and wash off after 20 to 30 minutes.
Tvak may irritate dry and sensitive skin. Hence, consult your doctor before adding tvak to your face packs.
What Is The Difference Between Face Mask And Face Pack?
After setting, a pack is likely to feel like a mold
Sits evenly and does not stick to the skin
Sets/ dries quickly
Takes time to dry
Has a thick consistency
Are usually a lighter blend
Are designed to address specific skin issues
Rejuvenate and promote overall skin health
What Is The Best Time To Apply A Face Pack?
In your regular skin care routine, a face pack should come after cleansing and exfoliating your face. This preps your skin to better absorb its goodness. While there is no strict rule to using a face pack in the morning or at night, a pack aimed to hydrate your skin or keep it oil-free should be used in the morning.
But if you are using it to treat a specific skin issue or to clarify your skin, apply it at night. However, trying to fit it at least once or twice a week into your skincare schedule, can yield amazing results.
The Last Word
Face packs are considered an essential part of your skincare routine owing to their incomparable skin benefits. However, one must remember that too much of these therapeutic ingredients can cause skin sensitivity and irritation.
So, do consult your Ayurvedic doctor to know which herbal ingredients are best suited for your prakriti. This helps to balance your doshas and resolve your skin issues without any complications.Know Your Dosha Now
1. Doctrine Of Cosmeceutics In Ayurveda, 2018
2. Aloe Vera: A Short Review, 2008
3. Critical Review Of Ayurvedic Varnya Herbs And Their Tyrosinase Inhibition Effect, 2015
4. Phyto-Chemical And Pharmacological Applications Of Berberis Aristata, 2012
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