The Ayurvedic Approach To Perfect Skin
Did you know that Ayurveda has skin care remedies to match any commercially available cosmetics from the 21st century? These natural treatments are gentle on the skin and nourish the body, helping skin heal and replenish itself, keeping it looking supple and youthful, and slowing aging. So why not rustle up a homemade exfoliating powder or a nourishing fruit cream or face pack instead of using something out of a jar?
Well before big name cosmetic and pharma brands came out with age-defying skin care solutions, Ayurveda used natural herbal remedies to keep skin looking youthful. Did you know that Ayurveda views skin care from multiple fronts just like the modern holistic approach to health?
By addressing elements such as varnya (brightening skin ), sandhaniya (regenerating cells), shothahara (fighting inflammation), vranaropana (healing), and tvagrasayana (slowing aging), Ayurvedic remedies can keep your skin looking and feeling great.1
An Ayurvedic regimen for skin care involves eating right (according to your body type or dosha), using an appropriate ubtan or mix of flours, legumes, and herbal remedies, and moisturizing with organic oils. Here is a closer look at the treatments, herbal formulations, and remedies you could explore.
Simple Ayurvedic Tips For Healthy Skin
Certain herbs like gotu-kola are used in Ayurveda to keep skin looking youthful and defy aging – in an activity called vayasthapana which allows all the three doshas of the body to be held in balance.2 A facepack that helps more mature skin is made from a combination of clay, honey, aloe vera juice or spring water, evening primrose oil, and rosa mosquita.3
That ever-elusive “naturally radiant,” glowing skin that we all covet is something Ayurveda addresses through varnya herbal remedies. Homemade sandalwood paste-based remedies or those that use Indian madder, Indian sarsaparilla, or vetiver can work well.4
Face packs can be made from a variety of fruit and vegetables, depending on your skin type. A simple home-made facepack of lemon, which has varnya properties, and papaya, a natural face cream which softens the skin and removes blemishes, can do wonders for your complexion.5
Herbal cleansing powders made from powdered herbs of aloe vera, manjistha, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, lemon peel, vetiver, comfrey, tulsi, nutmeg, and sandalwood mixed with clay/chickpea flour can be used for a variety of skin types. Simply change the base you mix it with for different effects.
If you have dry skin, try mixing it with aloe vera juice or fresh cream or milk; if you have oily skin use yogurt or a lemon juice base; and for normal skin you could use spring water or any herbal tea.6
Moisturize And Nurture
You already know that moisturizing skin is an important step to keep it looking good and retaining that youthfulness for longer. Ayurvedic remedies use this same principle to treat skin naturally.
Nurture your body from within with the right foods rich in antioxidants and, on the outside, with ingredients like rose petal, gotu kola, costus, grapefruit extract, and bombax.7
Traditional face masks make use of goat’s milk or even buttermilk for their ability to soothe and soften the skin and enrich the skin with vitamins A, E, B6, and B12. Sesame oil is a popular base due to its biologically active compounds that act as antioxidants and moisturize as well.8
Use anti-inflammatory Ayurvedic ingredients to protect your body from the relentless assault of chemicals, allergens, stress, and other inflammatory substances. Shothahara herbs like aloe vera, rose petal, and bombax are effective remedies and preventive agents.9
Aloe vera can be used easily, by pulping the leaves or using its juice, to soothe sunburn and heal and smoothen skin. For skin that is irritated, red sandalwood paste combined with powdered paste of the root of khas is useful in treating allergic reactions on the skin or other skin irritations.10
Repair Damaged Skin
Rebuild tissue, heal your skin, and repair it using sandhaniya herbs such as shameplant. If that healing needs to be deeper, you should turn to vranaropana herbs such as gotu-kola.11 Honey has both properties and can be used in topical applications as well as internally to heal wounds to the skin and enhance the activity of medication.12
Ayurveda Therapies For Skin Care
A range of specially designed therapies and massages in Ayurveda can help nourish your skin. A nourishing warm oil massage conditions your skin from the outside and helps improve circulation. Herbal exfoliants are used in gharshana, an Ayurvedic dry massage, to help slough away dry, old skin and reveal fresh, glowing skin beneath.
The ksheera sekam therapy, where a medicated milk bath is used to allow your skin to soak up nutrients directly, and the navarakizhi, where rice-herb bundles dipped in milk are applied to your skin, both help tone up your skin and nourish it. And if you thought a relaxing facial was something you would not find in Ayurveda books and treatment centers, think again!
Ayurveda looks at your skin type and suggests a natural face pack for you in a therapy called mukhalepam or lepa.13A skin-nourishing facepack can be made from clay, aloe vera juice, egg white (or water), and honey for those with dry or normal skin; or clay, aloe vera juice, honey, and lemon juice or fennel tea if the skin is oily.14
Look After Your Skin From Within
Avoid rich oily or heavily spiced foods that can overload your digestive system, causing breakouts on your skin. Light food that you can digest easily eases this load. Think leafy greens, cauliflower, zucchini, apples, melons, and pears. You can also turn to cooling vata-normalizing and pitta-pacifying herbs like coriander seed, cardamom, or fennel to keep your skin glowing.15
Eat more vitamin and antioxidant-rich foods like the amla or Indian gooseberry as well as spices like turmeric, which can help fight free radical damage and photodamage, and give it the nourishment it needs to replenish and heal itself. Antioxidants can also help you avoid wrinkles and inflammation or breakouts.16
Amla, when taken with neem, can help stave off pimples caused by blood impurities.17Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial remedy that can help you from the outside and within. It has been used historically to make skin look fresh and glowing and to keep off bacteria.18
References [ + ]
|1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 11.||↑||Datta, Hema, and Rangesh Paramesh. “Trends in aging and skin care: Ayurvedic concepts.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 1, no. 2 (2010): 110.|
|3, 6, 14.||↑||Sachs, Melanie. Ayurvedic beauty care: ageless techniques to invoke natural beauty. Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 2002.|
|5, 8.||↑||Hazra, Jayram, and Ashok Kumar Panda. “Concept of beauty and ayurveda medicine.” Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research 2013 (2013).|
|10.||↑||Kapoor, V. P. “Herbal cosmetics for skin and hair care.” Nat Prod Radiance 4, no. 4 (2005): 306-314.|
|12.||↑||Dudhamal, Tukaram, S. Gupta, and C. Bhuyan. “Role of honey (Madhu) in the management of wounds (Dushta Vrana).” International journal of Ayurveda research 1, no. 4 (2010): 271.|
|13.||↑||Ramchandra, Shinde Kalyani, and V. R. Borakhade. “ACNE AND ITS AYURVEDIC MANAGEMENT.”|
|15.||↑||Kshirsagar, Manisha, and Ana Cristina Magno. Ayurveda: A Quick Reference Handbook. Lotus Press, 2012.|
|16.||↑||Nguyen, G., and A. Torres. “Systemic antioxidants and skin health.” Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD 11, no. 9 (2012): e1-4.|
|17.||↑||Mirunalini, Sankaran, Velusamy Vaithiyanathan, and Mani Krishnaveni. “AMLA: A novel Ayurvedic herb as a functional food for health benefits”-A mini review.” International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 5, no. Suppl 1 (2013).|
|18.||↑||Prasad, Sahdeo, and Bharat B. Aggarwal. “Turmeric, the golden spice.” (2011).|