Ayurvedic Beauty Tips – The Natural and Healthy Approach to Body Care
Beauty may lie in the eyes of the beholder but being beautiful is so much more than just having a pretty face. Ayurveda defines true beauty as a state when the mind, body, and soul are in harmony and takes a holistic approach of “Roopam, gunam, vayastyag, iti shubhanga karanam”. Roopam illustrates the outer attributes of glowing skin & lustrous hair, gunam reflects the integrity of character, vayastyag states that inner goodness is everlasting and thus beautiful.
Classical Ayurvedic texts are a treasure trove of knowledge, written by rishis over the ages, that advise natural healing through medicinal herbs. Ayurveda believes that if you discipline yourself and follow a natural body care regimen, then having glowing skin & hair is within reach of everyone. Here are some useful Ayurvedic tips that will not only maintain a balance of inner-outer beauty but will also boost your overall wellness…
Know your dosha and skin type
As is well known, Ayurveda states that there are 3 doshas in our body, vata, pitta & kapha that control our metabolism & the digestive fire/agni. The interplay between these doshas determines our Prakruti or body type (either Pitta type, Kapha type, or Vata type) which is established right at birth. Similarly, these doshas also determine our skin type. In case of any skin troubles (caused due to an imbalance between the doshas) an Ayurvedic doctor will first establish your dosha type and your skin type before suggesting any remedies.
Vata skin is dry, thin and delicate and can easily become flaky and wrinkled. Mental stress, anger aggravate vata & pitta type skin and may lead to skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
Pitta skin, unlike vata skin, is medium thick, soft and warm. But pitta type skin is sensitive and is susceptible to acne, rashes, rosacea and other skin infections.
Kapha skin is oily, smooth, thick and cool. Kapha type skin tends to accumulate excess oil and can be prone to pimples & blackheads.
Manage skincare as per the season
It is important to manage your skincare in relation to the seasons. Ayurveda believes that each season has a unique impact on our body and any skincare must be directed towards a particular skin type in that season. So for example, if you have a vata constitution then you will need to balance the pitta dosha during the hot summer months. Similarly, if you are a pitta type then you will need to balance the vata dosha.
Keep your skin moisturized & hydrated
Make sure that your skin is well hydrated (especially vata skin) by drinking enough quantity of water, using natural cleansers & moisturizers (kapha skin) such as milk or coconut oil, applying sunscreen (pitta skin) before going out in the sun. it is important that your skin retains the necessary amount of moisture to avoid inflammation or irritation. Applying Aloe vera on your face is highly beneficial as it prevents sunburn, improves blood circulation, rids the skin of spots & marks, giving it a smoother and younger look. Also, facial oils (such as Kumkumadi oil which suits most skin types), help in balancing your dosha, detoxify the skin and leave it with a natural glow.
Oil Massages work wonders on your skin
Ayurvedic massages are known to work well for de-stressing and relaxation, but they also help give radiance to your skin. Abhyanga is one of the best-known Ayurvedic massages performed with warm oil where the oil is applied to your entire body from the scalp to toes. Abhyanga massage, in addition to being an excellent stress reliever is also known to have therapeutic benefits like regulating the heart rate.
Udhvartana for gentle exfoliation
Exfoliation helps remove dead cells from the top layer of the skin. Ayurveda advises udhvartana (meaning to move in forward direction) or massage with utane for gentle exfoliation which is suitable for all skin types – vata, pitta or kapha. Udhvartana is an ancient Ayurvedic massage that is done using a paste prepared from a mix of herbs, medicinal spices and minerals such as harad, bibhitaki, amla, deodar, senna, kulthi etc. Udhvartana activates the skin metabolism, helps remove dead cells and clears the pores, heals rashes & itchiness, balances pigmentation and revitalizes your skin leaving it soft, glowing and toned.
Oil pulling is beneficial
Gargling mouthwash to maintain oral hygiene is well known but oil pulling (rinsing your mouth with a tablespoon of oil) with coconut/sesame oil has become quite popular. As per Ayurvedic beliefs, a healthy mouth is a way to maintain overall wellness (if your gums are healthy, then your heart also stays healthy) and it also helps in all-round detoxification.
Home remedies for glowing skin
- Haridra or haldi, popularly known as ,turmeric (has 300 + antioxidants!) is one of the best ingredients for glowing skin. Applying turmeric paste (can be used by all skin types – vata, pitta & kapha) on your face will not only brighten it but will also reduce pigmentation.
- Kumkumadi oil is made from 16 herbs (kumkuma in Sanskrit means red-gold saffron). Using this oil for a facial will leave your skin rejuvenated and radiant.
- Rose has excellent cooling properties and using rose water on your skin helps remove impurities, gives an even skin tone and helps balance sadhaka pitta.
- Chandan or sandalwood is well known for its fragrance but is also known to give a tranquil/serene effect. Applying sandalwood paste on the face and neck helps achieve smoother & younger-looking skin.
- Gently massaging Honey on your face is highly beneficial as honey has antioxidant properties that protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals.
- Milk, an ingredient available in any household daily, can work wonders for your skin. A combination of milk (the lactic acid in milk acts as a gentle bleaching agent) and honey mixed with some besan (gram flour) is an age-old skin brightening technique used in Indian homes.
Having a rosy complexion is every woman’s (and some men’s too!) dream but getting that picture-perfect radiance is not always easy. Pollution, stress, sun exposure, alcohol, smoking, unhealthy eating habits, irregular sleep patterns, sedentary lifestyle are some factors that can leave your skin listless and dull. But these Ayurveda health tips can help you regain the lost radiance to your skin and that too from the comfort of your home.
Ayurveda Diet for radiant skin
A healthy skin tone cannot be the result of only external efforts. Ayurveda has long stressed that what you eat is what you will feel. So, a diet that includes organic foods will not only provide nourishment but will also fight against infections & repair damaged skin.
- Tulsi or basil, the most revered herb in Indian tradition, has excellent antiseptic & anti-bacterial properties. It is also known to be a natural astringent and a skin & hair moisturizer. Eating tulsi every morning (either leaves or adding those leaves to tea or water) will restock your antioxidants and help you not only refresh your skin but also keep infections and impurities away.
- Fruits that are rich in vitamins (especially Vitamin C), magnesium, potassium, folic acid, and dietary fibers such as oranges, papayas, berries, mangoes, pomegranates need to be a part of your daily diet. Not only do fruits promote overall good health, but they are excellent for improving skin texture, reducing pigmentation, repairing damaged skin cells and treating dry, flaky skin.
Vegetables rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C such as tomatoes, spinach, carrots, broccoli, beetroot, sweet potatoes prevent premature aging, protect the skin against UV rays and reduce pigmentation, leaving your skin shiny & glowing.
Although technically considered a fruit, Cucumber or Kheera, is used more as a vegetable in Indian homes. A water-based food, it is highly used in skincare for its hydrating and cooling properties. Consuming cucumber (sliced, as juice or salad) is effective in fighting acne, preventing wrinkles & lines, skin toning, as well as healing scars. Applying cucumber slices on the face and eyes has a cooling & relaxing effect.
- Water is the most essential drink which helps hydrate our skin and keeps it soft, clear and free of skin diseases. Make sure that you drink those 8 glasses of water every day.
- Neem is one of the stars of Ayurvedic medicine, especially for skin-related ailments as it is highly beneficial for treating acne, rashes and allergies. Neem, a known blood purifier, helps in reducing dark spots and scars. Neem leaves can be eaten directly or applied to infected parts of the skin. Neem oil diluted by combining with other oils is also used to heal skin problems.
A healthy diet combined with natural living is the way to achieve healthy, glowing skin. These Ayurvedic beauty tips, time tested and proven, are quite effective and will help you, not just with body care, but to achieve the all-important balance of external & inner beauty for all-round health!
But please remember, before making any diet/lifestyle changes do contact your Ayurvedic doctor/Ayurvedic Nutritionist for best-fit, customized plans.