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  5. An Ayurvedic Guide To Natural Skin Care

Acne breakouts, pigmentation, dark circles, inflammation, dry skin, and what not! It’s a never-ending list when it comes to skin problems. Isn’t it? Despite your conscious efforts, your skin might not glow from the inside out too. So, what could be the reason?

Healthy skin depends on your diet, lifestyle practices, and a regular skincare routine suited for your skin type. Internal imbalances can affect your skin’s health. The ancient science of Ayurveda brings out the most healthy version of your skin with the help of natural remedies.

In this article, we tell you how you can take care of your skin with Ayurveda’s time-tested herbal remedies. Let’s begin!

How To Take Care Of Skin In The Right Way?

1. Find Your Ayurvedic Skin Type

As per Ayurveda, every person is the congregation of three life energies: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, which govern the physical and mental systems. While these doshas vary in unique proportions in each person, the dominating doshas have a major impact on the person’s psychophysical characteristics and health. These doshas need to be at balanced levels to keep your body and skin healthy.

In terms of skin type,

  • A person with dominant Vata dosha can have sensitive skin which is more prone to dry or rough skin texture, wrinkles, etc.
  • A person with dominant Pitta dosha can have skin that is more prone to acne, sunburns, freckles, etc.
  • A person with dominant Kapha dosha can have skin that is naturally oily and produce excessive sweat. These people usually have greasy skin texture.

To get the right products for your skin type, you need to find the dominant doshas in your body. You can identify the aggravated doshas in your body based on your skin problems. This helps you choose the most suitable skincare routine with products containing herbs that balance specific elevated doshas.

2. Develop A Regular Skin Care Ritual Based On Your Skin Type

“Ayurveda recommends following a regimen that includes cleansing, toning, and moisturizing twice a day (in the morning and before sleep) with the right herbal products for your skin type,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.

At Vedix, we offer you a customized Ayurvedic skincare regimen with dosha-balancing products for your unique skin.

A. Cleansing And Exfoliation

Regular cleansing is essential to remove dirt, pollutants, and dead cells from your skin. You can use herbal DIY face cleansers and gentle exfoliants daily as per your elevated doshas.

  • For Vata dominant skin: Prepare a fine paste by mixing a spoon of almond powder and ½ spoon of coconut milk. Apply it to your face and gently massage it for a few minutes. Later, wash your face with lukewarm water.
  • For Pitta dominant skin: Prepare a thick paste by mixing a spoon of lentil flour, ½ spoon of neem powder, and one spoon of water. Exfoliate your skin using this paste and then wash it off with cool water.
  • For Kapha dominant skin: Add ½ spoon of lemon juice to ½ spoon of honey and apply it to your face. Wait for 5 minutes and then wash it off using lukewarm water.

Your skin(epidermis layer) renews itself every 28 days [1].

B. Toning

Toning is essential to close the pores which were opened during the cleansing process. Toning also removes any pollutant that might have remained on your skin after cleansing.

Rose water is an ideal toner for any type of skin. Take some rose water in a spray bottle and use it as a face mist on pat dried skin, after cleansing. This also gives an instant plump effect to your cheeks.

C. Moisturizing

Most of your skin problems can be avoided if you moisturize it regularly with products containing ingredients well suited for your skin type. Moisturization[2] keeps your skin hydrated while maintaining healthy skin cells. It relieves your skin from irritation, breakouts, and acne.

  • For Vata dominant skin: You can choose a deep nourishing moisturizer that contains herbs such as vetiver, aloe vera, bakuchi, etc.
  • For Pitta dominant skin: You can choose a moisturizer with cooling herbs such as neem, kamala, vetiver, etc.
  • For Kapha dominant skin: You can choose a light moisturizer with herbs such as lodhra, manjistha, kamala, etc.

3. Do Self-Massage (Abhyanga) For Nourishment

You should perform Ayurvedic abhyanga or oil massage therapy at least half an hour before bathing during sunrise. This procedure involves massaging your whole body with warm Ayurvedic oils which work to pacify your elevated doshas. Besides, it nourishes your skin tissues greatly with improved blood circulation.

“While Vata dominant people can use sesame oil, Pitta people can use coconut oil and Kapha people can use sunflower oil to do abhyanga,” says Dr. Zeel.

woman with ayurvedic oil dipping on face

4. Respect Seasonal Rhythms

To keep your doshas in balance and thus maintain your skin’s health, Ayurveda recommends following certain rituals based on seasonal rhythms (Ritucharya [3]).

  • During summers, you need to keep your skin cool by using herbs such as aloe vera, chandana, karpoora, vetiver, etc. Always protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
  • Spring is the best time to detoxify your skin with regular abhyanga and panchakarma practices.
  • During fall and winter, focus more on your skin’s nourishment with organic herbal oils. Moisturize the deep layers of your skin too.

5. Use Essential Oils

You can use nourishing essential oils such as chamomile, lavender, tea tree, rosemary, etc. in your skincare products. Add 4-5 drops of any of these essential oils to your moisturizer or body wash. You can also dilute these essential oils in carrier oils such as sesame or coconut oil and use them for self-massage or abhyanga.

Vedix Tip: Do not apply essential oils on injured areas of your skin. Also, do a patch test on your elbow with diluted essential oil. If you do not have any allergic reaction in the next 48 hours, then you continue to use it to your skincare products.

6. Maintain The Right Food In Your Diet

Eating the right diet is essential to maintain a balance in your doshas. Every food has specific properties that can regulate your doshas. Hence, you need to have foods that bring your elevated doshas to balance.

Eating vegetables such as lettuce, asparagus, carrot, radish, cucumber, fennel tips, etc. regularly can benefit any skin type. Include almonds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds in your diet based on your doshas to achieve glowing skin. Also, add herbs like cumin, fennel, ginger, coriander, lemon, etc. to your meals daily.

Below are some dietary guidelines that can help you maintain healthy skin:

  • Lower the usage of salt and sugar. These ingredients damage the collagen in your skin and eventually cause early aging and uneven skin tones [4].
  • Eat only freshly prepared meals and never eat preprocessed or junk foods.
  • Eat your meals mindfully in a cozy corner. Do not indulge in talking or watching TV while you eat your food.
  • Drink water half an hour before and after your meals. Avoid drinking water while you eat.

7. Drink Lots Of Water

Dehydration is one of the primary manifestations of aggravated Vata dosha in your body. It makes your skin look dry and dull. You need to stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking at least eight glasses of water. This will keep your skin hydrated and give it a soft and smooth texture.

“You can also have fluid-rich vegetables and fruits such as cucumber, watermelon, bottle gourd, etc. to boost the hydration of your skin,” says Dr. Zeel.

8. Exercise Regularly

Indulging in regular exercises help in enhancing the blood circulation to your skin tissues, which in turn boosts nourishment and detoxification of free radicals in your skin. Thus, exercising contributes to the natural radiance of your skin.

Moreover, physical workouts are a great way to deal with your physical and mental stress levels, which otherwise take a toll on your skin health. Involve yourself in breathing exercises too for at least 15 minutes daily.

“You can try yoga and meditation regularly to calm your body, mind, and soul. This way, you can channelize your positive energy through your body and control stress,” says Dr. Zeel.

9. Have Good Sleep

Beauty sleep is a real thing! Your skin tissues undergo repair while you sleep and your body needs at least 6 hours of sound sleep on a regular schedule daily. Sleep is essential for your skin rejuvenation and insufficient sleep triggers an increase in inflammatory cells in your skin. This can eventually lead to dermatitis and acne. Also, improper sleep cycles result in a disruption in Vata doshas, which causes dryness and premature aging [5].

10. Protect Your Skin From Sun

Though your skin needs a bit of sun exposure to synthesize the daily required dose of vitamin D for your body, excessive sun exposure causes aggravation in Vata and Pitta doshas, which in turn result in tanning, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and sunburn. Hence, you need to protect your skin from the sun by applying sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 daily, especially between 10 a.m and 5 p.m. You can also use an umbrella or scarf to protect your skin from direct sunlight.

What To Avoid For Healthy Skin?

1. Do Not Use Chemical Products

Most of the synthetic chemicals present in skincare products not only damage your skin in the long run but also cause damage to different ecosystems. Ensure that the skincare products you use are herbal or organic fruit-based. Such products maintain your skin’s health naturally. You can get customized Ayurvedic skincare products based on your skin type at Vedix.

2. Do Not Stress Yourself

The increased cortisol hormone levels due to stress produces free radicals in your body. This, in turn, results in wrinkle-prone, dull, tired-looking, and dry skin. For great skin, it's important to strike a work-life balance and be stress-free [6].

3. Avoid Smoking And Alcohol Consumption

Smoking and alcohol consumption result in dryness, sagging, dullness and early aging of your skin. These habits increase the oxidative stress in your skin, which can result in many skin disorders.

restriction signs of smoking and alcohol

4. Reduce Caffeine

Though caffeine does not cause acne directly, recent studies [7] claim that overconsumption of caffeine can cause a heightened stress response in your body, which triggers excessive oil production and acne breakouts in your skin.

5. Do Not Eat Incompatible Foods

Food becomes toxic to your body when it is taken in the wrong combinations. Below are some of the incompatible foods which you need to avoid taking together to keep your skin healthy:

  • Meat and milk
  • Ghee and honey
  • Milk and fruits
  • Cold drinks, ice creams or frozen yogurt after a meal, etc.

6. Do Not Take Long Hot Showers

Taking hot showers for long periods can damage the lipid layer of your skin, which in turn causes dehydration in your skin tissues, eventually leading to dry skin and irritation.

7. Avoid Smoky Or Polluted Environments

Your skin quality depends on the air quality in your surrounding environment. Polluted environments trigger free radical release in your skin which causes premature aging.

Ayurvedic Skin Care Tips For All Types Of Skin

1. Make a habit of consuming a herbal tea made of chamomile, ginger, or lemon, preferably in the afternoon, post your lunch.

2. Soak a spoon of raisins in a glass of water overnight. Take them in the morning on an empty stomach. It helps to pacify your imbalanced Pitta dosha.

3. Rub your skin with the paste prepared by mixing a spoon of dry okra powder and half a spoon of honey. This keeps your skin soft.

4. Add two spoons of yogurt to one spoon of orange peel powder. Apply it evenly on your face and wash it off after half an hour. This helps to reduce acne and enhance your complexion.

5. Soak a pinch of saffron strands in a spoon of milk overnight. Next morning, add a spoon of aloe vera gel into it and mix well. Apply the mixture to your face and wash it off with cold water after half an hour. This keeps your face nourished, blemish-free, and radiant.

6. Mix half a spoon of turmeric powder and a spoon of sandalwood powder. Add 2-3 spoons of honey to the mixture to prepare a fine paste. Apply it to your face and neck and leave it to dry. Later, rinse it off with cold water. This way you can control inflammation and severe acne.

7. Mix 1 spoon of sandalwood powder, ½ spoon of turmeric powder, ½ spoon of milk, and ½ spoon of yogurt. Blend the ingredients well to make a fine paste. Apply it to your face and wash it off with cold water after half an hour. This is the best way to achieve glowing skin while reducing extra oiliness and blemishes from your face.

8. Extract the juice from finely grated potato and apply it to your face using a cotton ball. Leave it overnight and rinse it off the next morning. This can help you treat your dark spots and prevent premature aging.

9. To remove dark spots due to pigmentation and tans, prepare a fine paste by mixing 2 spoons of chickpea flour, 1 spoon of milk, and ½ spoon of diluted lemon juice. Spread the paste all over your face and let it dry completely. Later, massage your face for a few minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.

10. Make a fine paste by grinding a handful of fenugreek leaves. Apply it to your face and wash it off with lukewarm water after half an hour. This is the best remedy to treat dryness and prevent wrinkles on your face.

11. Make a paste by grinding a handful of tulsi leaves. Add a spoon of raw milk to it. Apply the paste to your face and rinse it off with cold water after half an hour. Besides treating acne, this remedy helps you even out your skin tone too.

12. Add a few drops of water to half a spoon of cow ghee. Massage your face with it in circular strokes for about 10 minutes. Leave it overnight and wash it off using a mild cleanser the next morning. This prevents anti-aging signs and keeps your skin texture soft and supple.

13. If you have elevated Vata and Pitta, you can apply freshly grated cucumber to your face. This reduces inflammation and moisturizes your skin.

14. Apply freshly made bitter gourd juice over the Pitta origin acne. Leave it for half an hour and wash it off with cold water.

The Last Word

Ayurveda emphasizes the lifestyle and regimen that brings ease and equilibrium to your doshas, which reflect on your vibrant and healthy skin. If you feel overwhelmed to adopt all the Ayurvedic skincare tips simultaneously, then you can try with one step at a time.

Begin your journey of achieving healthy skin by understanding the dominating doshas in your body. At Vedix, we customize an Ayurvedic skincare regimen that is most suitable for your skin type by analyzing your skin and doshas.

Know Your Dosha Now

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