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Care for your skin the ayurveda way

Care for your skin the ayurveda way

An expert's take on ayurvedic skincare and natural DIY recipes
herbs kept on a table
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Beauty and skincare are very personal, from trying different skincare regimens to trying out new cosmetics, it all comes to the way one incorporates skincare routines into their lives.

When it comes to taking care of one’s skin the ayurvedic way, the buck stops at the three elements (vata, pitta and kapha) of our body and how the skin types are related to them. While the vata person has dry and rough skin, the pitta person has oily skin and the kapha person tends to have oily skin.

Based on these skin types, the ayurvedic practitioners list out the following pointers for a healthy skin.

Turn the beauty – Inside out

Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to skincare, where eating healthy, taking less stress, and creating a lifestyle that balances one’s body and mind every day is given importance along with a good skincare routine.

Know the skin basics

According to ayurvedic practitioners, understanding the skin type (vata, pitta and kapha skin) is the first step towards choosing a skincare routine.  Based on one’s skin type, one can go for cleansing, moisturising or facial scrubs. Good knowledge about the skin care products, their PH levels, and ingredients goes a long way in using the right kind of products. For example, you should know which butter would be best for your skin after consulting your ayurveda doctor, says Dr Sukanya Krishnakumar assistant professor, Karnataka Ayurveda Medical College, Mangaluru.

Natural healthy skin starts in the gut

A 2021 study on the relationship between gut microbiome and skin conditions concludes that the gut-skin axis needs to be explored further for therapeutic and cosmetic applications.

According to Dr Arya Krishna, an ayurveda skin consultant and lifestyle blogger from Washington DC, USA, we need to create a relationship between the gut and skin through diet. One can also approach this relation through mindful activities such as yoga, meditation, and spiritual understanding for mind-body balance.

These activities detoxify the body, resulting in nourishment and cleansing; and the external cleansing methods like exfoliation, cleansing and moisturisation help in maintaining healthy skin, Dr Krishna added.

 DIY methods suggested by Dr Sukanya K.

Cleanse and exfoliate 

Wash your face at least twice daily to open clogged pores and remove dirt and bacteria. You can use natural face wash or gel cleanser; always use a toner that suits your skin.

Using aloe vera gel daily is a good way to start the mornings. One can apply aloe vera gel with rose water and essential oils (lavender or sandalwood) for half an hour as a cleansing process. After that, use potato peels or strawberries for exfoliating. One can also use ubtan by mixing chickpea flour with milk, as a gentle natural exfoliant.

An all-round moisturiser with self-massage

An important skin care practice one can follow is hydrating and moisturising the skin internally and externally at specific intervals.

Excessive cleansing with chemical moisturisers or face washes should be avoided. Instead, you can use fruit moisturisation, honey, pasteurised milk or curd as natural options.

One can apply 1-2 teaspoons of glycerine on the face every day for 10 minutes. It is a great moisturising enhancer and helps in reducing the dryness of the skin. One can mix glycerine with honey or any essential oil and massage it over the face daily in the morning.

Apply any of these packs for 30 minutes daily. 

  • 2tbsp of aloe vera and 1tsp of honey
  • 2tsp of orange zest
  • 1tsp of milk with drops of essential oils
  • Yoghurt with honey
  • Cucumber paste with milk
  • Frozen banana or banana paste with orange

Internal skin detox recipe

Ayurvedic skin experts talk about getting a healthy skin by bringing inner balance via an internal cleanse. One should undergo a panchakarma detox once every six months to eliminate the body’s toxins. Here is an easy to do seven-day purgation programme at home shared by Dr Arya Krishan.

  • One can begin the day by consuming 1tsp of melted pure ghee. Practice this for five to seven days
  • It is important to have a healthy diet during these days to ensure good digestive fire and proper digestion and metabolism
  • On the final three days, do a whole-body massage with coconut oil, herbal skin care oil, or sesame oil
  • Drink a cup of warm prune juice on an empty stomach on the 7th day, which may induce multiple bowel movements. Drink two to three litres of boiled water throughout the day

Hydration and diet

Ayurvedic doctors say that one should eat food according to their dosha type, and everyone should eat warm, moist foods. Green leafy vegetables, squash, sweet juicy fruits, and plenty of water are essential for good hydration.

“As you progress with your age, you must have a moisturising diet. Include different salads and boiled vegetables to your diet. One should avoid eating fruits after 5pm,” says Dr Krishnakumar.

“Take one bowl of fruits daily on an empty stomach to enhance skin health. One must go for the rainbow salad by adding cabbage, beetroot, carrot, capsicum, baby corn and sweet corn during the evenings. One must avoid refined sugars and fried or processed foods as much as possible,” she adds.

Yoga and sleeping pattern

Ayurvedic experts suggest exercising daily or at least five times a week for better skin health. Moreover, keeping a consistent sleeping schedule is important for better skin health. If one is not into gyms, then incorporating yoga asanas into everyday routine is another way to improve the skin. Yoga helps in improving the flow of prana or energy levels in the body, enhances blood circulation and tones the muscles.

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