In this post, we discuss the history of Ayurvedic skin care, the importance of healthy skin to a healthy body generally, the different kinds of Ayurvedic skin types, tips for balancing the different kinds of Ayurvedic skin types, and the importance of sleep and healthy food. We then canvass several Ayurvedic methods for increasing the health and beauty of your skin, discuss the importance of meditation to healthy skin, canvass various types of yoga poses which support healthy skin, describe an excellent Ayurvedic skin care regime, and conclude by discussing different kinds of Ayurvedic skin care products.
We have all heard that ‘beauty comes from within’ and that the most important kind of beauty is that which radiates from within ourselves. But did you know that the physical appearance of our skin is also greatly impacted by what is happening inside our bodies from a health perspective?
In particular, skin problems usually arise when our inner balance is disturbed. Our skin is one of the most important parts of our body and needs to be properly cared for in order to ensure optimal health. Fortunately, Ayurvedic beauty and Ayurvedic skin care practices can help boost your overall wellness while greatly increasing the health of your skin and giving it an incredible radiant glow that your friends and family are sure to notice. These practices can also help you better understand your skin, treat it with more love and respect, and thereby allow your inner beauty to better shine through your body.
History of Ayurvedic Skin Care
Many of the Ayurvedic skin care regimens and remedies adopted by modern Ayurvedic practitioners originated approximately 5,000 years ago with the birth of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic skin care is a particularly important part of Ayurveda. Skin is the largest organ of your body, with the result that the health of your skin is closely connected with the health of other parts of your body. In ancient times, Ayurvedic skin care regimens and remedies were largely focused on natural products found in nature which were used for maintaining young and glowing skin.
Healthy Skin and a Healthy You
Radiant and glowing skin is something we all want, given the degree to which it represents who we are to others. In fact, your inner emotions and state of wellbeing can be greatly reflected in the appearance of your skin. For example, when you are in a period of high stress, your skin can often look dull and lifeless or become plagued with acne or other skin conditions. In this way, internal problems are manifested in the negative appearance of your skin. Bad nutrition, illness and an inactive lifestyle can also result in lifeless skin, dark circles and blemishes.
Our skin is a key mechanism through which toxins are removed and excreted from the body, thereby helping support overall wellbeing. The skin is also essential in helping maintain our body temperature. Ayurvedic skin care is about taking care of your skin naturally by following healthy lifestyle practices.
Ayurvedic Skin Types
According to Ayurveda, the five elements (air, fire, water, earth and space) provide the building blocks which form human beings and the universe. In addition, Ayurveda posits that a combination of these elements form the three Ayurveda doshas, being vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas also define your skin type.
- Vata skin type - delicate, thin, dry skin, which has fine pores and is prone to wrinkles.
- Pitta skin type - soft rosy or fair skin with medium thickness and susceptible to rashes.
- Kapha skin type - soft, oily, smooth skin with enlarged pores which often suffers from blackheads, pimples and eczema.
Understanding your skin type is important to helping you create a customized daily routine in order to nourish and balance your skin. The main aim of Ayurvedic skin care is to bring harmony to your skin using natural herbs, plant extracts, essential oils and minerals.
Tips For Balancing Vata Skin
Vata skin is a dry type of skin and becomes easily dehydrated. As a result, it requires ample moisture balance. If you have vata skin, Ayurveda recommends that you drink plenty of water and eat juicy fruits to moisturize your skin from the inside. It is also recommended that you maintain a strict daily routine and also practice meditation and relaxation. Daily warm oil massage using sesame, almond or avocado oil can also help lubricate your skin and balance your skin type.
Tips For Balancing Pitta Skin
Pitta type is a sensitive skin which is prone to rashes. Cooling and soothing therapies can help calm your skin. Steam facials, chemicals and long hours of sun exposure can damage pitta skin. Eat organic cooling foods like avocados and bananas and avoid hot, spicy food. Avoid sun exposure and use coconut oil for daily massage.
Tips For Balancing Kapha Skin
Deep cleansing is the most important beauty regime needed for balancing kapha skin. Use clay and mud masks weekly for exfoliating away impurities. Massage regularly using warm oil (mustard or almond oil) to enhance circulation and lymphatic drainage. Eat organic vegetables and exercise daily to support your body’s detoxification process.
Sometimes your skin might not fit into only one of these skin types. In that case, your skin may be influenced by multiple doshas thus giving you a combination skin type. Also, your skin type might change with the seasons. It is important to adapt to different Ayurvedic skin care practices depending on your specific needs at any point in time.
A good night’s sleep helps maintain youthful skin. In addition, having your evening meal two hours before bedtime so that the food is properly digested before sleep can also help ensure that you have a comfortable and restful sleep. Ayurveda recommends sleeping before 10:00pm and to avoid late-night screen time. Deep sleep is essential to healthy skin and to properly balancing the Ayurveda doshas.
Sleep balances your body’s hydration and allows your skin to regain its moisture. In addition, a good night’s sleep helps reduce skin aging and dark circles and thereby helps promote radiant and glowing skin. Eight hours of undisturbed sleep is recommended to ensure optimal skin and overall health.
Healthy Skin Diet
Healthy skin requires a healthy diet. Eating whole foods with vital nutrients and fibers and healthy fats and oils helps ensure a smooth complexion and healthy skin. Proper nutrition is essential if you wish to properly care for your skin. Drinking a lot of water is also an important part of your healthy skin diet.
Inappropriate diet leads to an accumulation of toxins which reflects on your skin as blemishes and patches. Choose appropriate food and eat light, nutritious meals for healthy skin.
Tips for a healthy diet:
- Reduce sugar in your diet and satisfy sugar cravings with fresh fruits.
- Consume spices like turmeric, coriander, and fennel, which are very good for your skin.
- Eat fresh vegetables and fruits while avoiding processed food.
- Add healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates to your diet.
Food items that can help support healthy skin:
- Avocado is rich in biotin which is very good for helping hydrate the skin.
- Walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and olive oil contain healthy fatty acids which can help moisturize your skin.
- Rich colored fruits and veggies such as leafy greens, broccoli, blueberries, carrots, plums, beetroots, tomatoes and red peppers can help bring radiance to your skin.
Best Ayurvedic Skin Care Tools For Healthy Skin
Ayurvedic skin care is inspired by natural ingredients from mother nature. Accordingly, some of the best skin care products are easily available in your own kitchen or garden. In particular, certain Ayurvedic herbs, spices and oils can play a vital role in your Ayurvedic skin care routine. Follow these skin care tips for healthy, glowing skin.
1. Moisturize your skin with coconut oil
The cooling nature of coconut oil helps dry skin bounce back into radiance. Try facial masks made from coconut oil to help absorb excess oil and thereby support healthy and nourished skin. In fact, a recent study revealed that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of coconut oil promotes the healing of the skin.
2. Pat your skin with raw milk
Dairy-based milk is great for soothing irritated skin. Dip a cotton ball in milk and pat your skin thoroughly with it. This practice removes dirt while nourishing, softening and smoothing your skin.
3. Tone your skin with aloe vera
Applying aloe vera gel on your skin will help make it smooth and supple. Consuming aloe vera by adding it to your juice is also beneficial. In fact, a study conducted on the effects of aloe vera has revealed that it moisturizes the skin and has anti-aging properties.
4. Practice oil pulling
Swishing your mouth with a spoon of coconut oil is not only beneficial for oral health but also good for your skin. Oil pulling is a detoxification process which aids in overall wellness.
5. Massage your skin with a dry brush or raw silk (garshana)
This massage is very effective for vata and pitta skin types and can help result in toned, firm skin. Dry brushing is a less abrasive type of exfoliation which helps with the elimination of dead cells, thereby making the skin clean and radiant.
6. Self-massage with oil
Abhyanga is an Ayurvedic warm oil massage which can boost your skin’s radiance and bring about complete relaxation. Regular massage using Ayurvedic oils has many health benefits. Abhyanga, when practiced regularly, boosts immunity and increases circulation.
Depending on your dosha, different oil is recommended for Abhyanga:
- Vata - sesame oil is considered optimal because of its warming effect.
- Pitta - coconut oil or sunflower oil is recommended as it is good for sensitive skin.
- Kapha - herbal oil is recommended for its purifying properties.
7. Turmeric with lemon juice
Turmeric is known for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. In Ayurvedic skin care, it is often combined with lemon juice and used as a mask for treating acne breakouts and also for the exfoliation of dirt. Studies have shown that topical application of turmeric is effective in treating sunburns and other radiation-induced skin problems.
8. Cleansing with ginger
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger powder can be used in a number of ways in a daily skin care routine. A paste prepared by combining ginger powder, milk powder and water can be used as a face mask. A toner can be prepared by boiling the ginger powder in water.
9. Ghee massage for anti-aging
Ghee or butter can be applied to moisturize the skin, boost collagen production and reduce the appearance of aging. Applying ghee is very helpful in treating dry skin.
10. Rose water spray
Rose water is a natural toner that tightens skin pores and tones the skin. It also helps reduce the appearance of aging and helps moisturize your skin.
Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation
Yoga is an integral part of the Ayurvedic lifestyle and essential to helping balance your doshas. In particular, yoga helps to balance the vata dosha and removes ama, or toxins, from your body. Pranayama or deep breathing techniques supply more oxygen to the cells of the body and thereby help create radiant skin. Meditation is a stress-free deep relaxation practice that helps to maintain youthful, supple and glowing skin. When meditation calms your mind and helps eliminate stress, it also helps rejuvenate your skin.
Six Powerful Yoga Poses for Glowing Skin
Unhealthy lifestyle and food choices can cause premature aging, acne and other skin problems. Yoga asanas increase blood circulation which brings more oxygen into the body and helps create a healthy skin tone. In fact, a recent study has revealed that yoga has a positive impact on the aging of skin cells and can help you maintain youthful skin.
- Bhujangasana (cobra pose) - elevates your mood and smooths your skin.
- Matyasana (fish pose) - brings hormonal balance and makes your skin flexible and firm.
- Halasana (plow pose) - skin glows with increased blood circulation to the face and head.
- Sarvangasana (shoulder stand pose) - helps to get rid of dullness while also helping to fight acne.
- Trikonasana (triangle pose) - increases the quality of the skin.
- Shishuasana (child pose) - relieves stress and tiredness.
Simple Ayurvedic Daily Skin Care Regime
The Ayurvedic skin care routine starts shortly after waking up in the morning and generally involves the following steps:
1. Facial splash (Achaman)
Fill your mouth with water and wash your face with water. Gently splashing water on your face helps rehydrate your skin.
2. Drink water from a copper vessel (Ushapaan)
The word ‘ushapaan’ refers to the importance of drinking water in the early morning soon after waking. Ancient Ayurveda principles posit that drinking a glass of water from a copper vessel in the early morning is very beneficial to our health. This process flushes out the ama or toxins from our system which helps detoxify our body and gives our skin a healthy glow.
3. Oil pulling
Oil pulling is essentially the practice of swishing coconut oil in your mouth for an extended period of time. By removing toxins, oil pulling helps to clear skin impurities which can cause dullness and rashes.
4. Ayurvedic powder massage (Udvartana)
Udvartana is full body massage with herbal powder. It helps unclog the pores on your skin and evens your skin’s complexion. This body scrub will moisturize your skin, bring about complete relaxation, and leave a lustrous glow on your skin.
5. Oil massage (Abhyanga)
Abhyanga, or self-massage using warm oil, can make your skin feel radiant and refreshed. Oil massage is the best way to nourish and hydrate your skin.
Best Skin Care Products
Various herbal ingredients are used in most Ayurvedic skin care products. This is to be contrasted with most other commercially available beauty products, which often contain harmful chemicals that can detrimentally affect your skin over the long term. Ayurveda helps your skin by maintaining its natural balance, thus making Ayurvedic skin care products among the best skin care products.
The benefits of choosing Ayurvedic skin care products include:
- They are generally pure and natural products with no harmful additives.
- Ayurvedic products are generally safe to use with no adverse reactions.
- When used regularly, they often generate long term benefits, including making your skin look more youthful.
Enhance your natural beauty by using Ayurvedic skin care products.
As discussed above, a healthy mind and body is reflected by healthy, glowing skin. Accordingly, if you want to achieve radiant, glowing skin, you need to glow from the inside. In order to achieve this, you should adopt a healthy lifestyle while also taking care of your skin using Ayurvedic skin care practices. Consider adding an ionic dry brush to your Ayurvedic skin care routine for optimal results!