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7 Ayurvedic Tips For Healthy Skin And A Natural Glow

Ayurvedic tips for healthy skin

Ayurvedic tips for healthy skin

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.

1. Use Herbal Face Packs To Slow Down Aging

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 face pack that helps more mature skin is made from a combination of clay, honey, aloe vera juice or spring water, evening primrose oil, and rosa mosqueta.3

2. Use Lemon And Papaya To Look Radiant

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

3. Use Sesame Oil Or Buttermilk To Moisturize Your Skin

You already know that moisturizing the 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

4. Use Aloe Vera To Cut Inflammation And Sunburn

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

5. Use Gotu Kola Or Honey To 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

6. Try Ksheera Sekam And Navarakizhi Therapies To Nourish Skin

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.13 A skin-nourishing face pack 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

7. Eat Amla And Turmeric To Keep Your Skin Healthy 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 (Indian gooseberry) as well as spices like turmeric, which can help fight free radical damage and photodamage. They can give your skin 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.17 Turmeric 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

Your Doubts Answered

1. A Simple Ayurvedic Diy Face Pack To Treat Hyperpigmentation?

Expert Opinion

Turmeric is highly regarded in treating the skin lesions and is also an easily available herb. Just take a pinch of turmeric, mix it with a spoon of milk cream and apply it on the hyperpigmentation marks. Leave it to dry on the skin and then wash it after 15 mins. Regular use will lighten the skin and also clears the skin of blemishes and marks.

Ayurvedic Doctor & Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher

2. Will Using Sesame Oil On My Face Cause A Breakout?

Expert Opinion

Ordinarily Sesame oil is mild on skin, however, if you have an oily skin type then it may result into breakout or acne, a good workaround would be to exfoliate the skin with gram flour and turmeric to clear the pores off dirt and oil.

Ayurvedic Doctor & Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher

3. What Is A Good Ayurvedic DIY Face Pack I Can Use Before Sleeping?

Expert Opinion

Ayurvedic face packs are meant to be applied and left on the skin till it dry from the body heat and then wash it off, the entire ritual takes not more than 20mins. Overnight face pack is not recommended as it blocks the pores and leaves the skin dry and lusterless. Plain Rosewater or fresh milk could be dabbed on the skin and left overnight for toning the skin.

Ayurvedic Doctor & Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher

4. When Do You Start Seeing Results After Following An Ayurvedic Skincare Routine?

Expert Opinion

Ayurvedic skin care routine ideally involves internal as well as external food and nutrition. Healthy tissue formation in Ayurveda (Dhatu saarta) is said to first reflect on the skin hence a good regimen would begin to show up in as less as 3 days of following it religiously.

Ayurvedic Doctor & Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher

5. What Is A Good Ayurvedic DIY Face Pack I Can Use In The Morning?

Expert Opinion

Mix turmeric in fresh aloe vera gel and apply it on the face. Let it dry off, this would ideally take 15 to 20 mins. It's an all in one treatment to cleanse, lighten the complexion, tone and tighten the skin.

Ayurvedic Doctor & Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher

6. I’m Interested To Use Turmeric On My Face But I’m Worried About It Leaving A Yellow Stain. Any Tips?

Expert Opinion

Use of turmeric with milk-cream reduces the yellowish stain, moreover, milk-cream is the ideal adjuvant for its skin applications considering their individual properties. If the yellowish tint on the face persists and is of concern then it can be gently washed with a paste made out of chickpea powder and luke-warm water. Using soaps and facewash to get rid-off the yellow stain is discouraged.

Ayurvedic Doctor & Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher

7. Do I Need To Make A Fresh Batch Of An Ayurvedic Face Pack Every Time? Or Can I Make It In Bulk And Store It?

Expert Opinion

Ayurvedic face pack in powdered form can be prepared in bulk and used within a couple of months, whereas, sealed and unopened packs can last even for a year. It's best to prepare a fresh herbal paste and apply it immediately for good results. However, considering the time constraints, preparing small portions and refrigerating in an airtight container could be an option.

Ayurvedic Doctor & Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher

8. People Say Papaya Will Help Treat Hyperpigmentation. Is It True?

Expert Opinion

Papaya with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action aids to combat the effects of imbalanced doshas that presents on the skin in the form of rashes, pigmentation, and pruritis. With its properties to pacify Pitta (Fire element) and enhance the formation of Rakta Dhatu (Blood forming tissue) Papaya is recommended. Ripe fruit can be consumed as well as a paste could be applied externally to feel the effect.

Ayurvedic Doctor & Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher

Expert Opinion

Horrible Sunburn! What Natural Ingredients Can I Use to Soothe My Inflamed Skin?

Apply fresh milk or milk cream as a coolant and moisturizer directly on the sore skin. A gauze soaked in rosewater is cooling and will reduce the burning sensation instantaneously. Cucumber peel or potato peels could be applied on the face for the refreshing feeling. Coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil or castor oil could be applied individually or mixed in equal proportion after a shower or even as you step outdoors. Regular application of a thin film nourishes the skin due to its sun protection factors as well as its moisturizing properties. Fresh aloe vera gel or egg white can be gently massaged and allowed to dry on the skin for approximately 15 mins and is then washed off. This mask helps to get rid of sun-tan and also provides a healthy and glowing skin. A face-mask made of sandalwood powder (1part), green gram powder (2 parts) and rose water is healing and nourishing to the skin.

Ayurvedic Doctor & Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher

Expert Opinion

Can I Make The Same Ayurvedic Face Pack For Winter That I Used for Summer? Or Do the Ingredients Need To Change With Seasons?

The ingredients, their proportions or the adjuvant used to mix this face-packs may differ slightly based on the weather conditions or even on the skin type. Ideally, the ingredients with high acidic content or hot potency would not be preferred in summer vice-versa, ingredients with a strong cooling action would be proportionally reduced to suit the cold weather. However, if there is a skin condition like acne, eczema etc or in case of doubt it's best to consult your Ayurvedic doctor, who will analyze your skin type and formulate the pack considering all the factors to suit the best.

Ayurvedic Doctor & Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher

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).

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.