What Is Ayurvedic Skincare?
November 8th, 2011
Envision unearthed stone tablets of flourished Sanskrit prescribing naturopathic remedies for all manner of health conditions. Ayurveda is a holistic approach to medicine that originated in India some 5,000 years ago. This path to healing and maintaining overall health uses natural ingredients from numerous botanicals that span the globe at this point. Oftentimes we use any number of herbs, fruits, and nuts in the form of powders, oils and pastes without realizing that these treatments are encompassed in the Ayurvedic path towards improved health for the body, mind and spirit.
Skin types have been identified by complexion, thickness, tone and hue to help source the best Ayurvedic care for healthy radiant appearance long ago. Keep in mind that these general categories blend into varied ethnicities and sometimes are difficult to isolate. You know your skin best and can be confident in using these categories as a simple guide in choosing the most effective natural organic ingredients for desired results. The work begins, as always, from within by maintaining a balanced diet of organic foods that often double as effective topical skincare.
If you are Vata then you may have fine pores in your thin skin of a dark complexion that is climate sensitive and cool to the touch. This type has a whitish or grayish hue and can be prone to dryness with rough patches. When the balance is off, the dryness leads to chapped skin that cracks and flakes. At its most extreme, imbalanced Vata skin has calluses, corns and eczema.
Vegetables high in water content are recommended for this dry cool skin type. Choose cucumber, radish, and jicama for their hydrating benefits. Asian pear and watermelon are also beneficial to your skin type. Nuts are Vata-balancing as they offer Omega-3 that will permeate the body with nutrient-rich moisture from these essential fatty acids for youthful skin with total vitality.
This visually lustrous skin type is often fair and freckled that can also be bronzed in appearance. Your skin is chemical sensitive and warm when grazed. Imbalance of this type results in itchiness, rashes and inflammation. If unattended the infamous oily T-zone makes an appearance with acne following close behind and ultimately, pigment discoloration and premature wrinkles.
Pitta-balancing sweet and bitter flavored foods to try are leafy greens, asparagus, carrots, celery, and summer squash. In the fruit department treat yourself to servings of grapes, mango, watermelon and pear. Basil, ginger, cilantro and mint are some herbs that boost the health of this skin type. It is best to avoid salty, sour and spicy foods that upset balance Pitta especially if you’re out in the hot summer sun. Add a tall glass of milk to fully enhance the robust appearance of and cool your warm skin.
Thick, moist and pale sums this skin type up best. Soft and cool in feeling your skin tones and ages well. In its most troubled times Kapha skin secretes oils liberally that may be prone to forming cysts and pustules.
For Kapha skin you want lighter food with less sugar that balance out the appearance of your skin. Choose apples and pears over bananas, pineapple or oranges. Honey is a perfect alternative to sugar for your skin type. Light dairy is best to reduce the look of pudginess in your skin. Other foods that throw off balance for your skin type are coconut, sweet potatoes, tofu, avocado, nuts, dates and figs. Beans, grains, all veggies and spices enhance the health of Kapha skin.
The list of natural remedies are guiding principles to balance your dosha and to promote the healthiest vibrant skin using the Ayurvedic approach is exhaustive, but here are a few final tips that may be applied topically to all three skin types:
1) Bean curd for skin cleansing.
2) Ghee (butter) or almond oil for nourishing skin.
3) Crushed candlenut for exfoliating on a weekly basis.
4) Aloe Vera for soothing burns after sun exposure.
5) Coconut Milk for moisturizing used in the bath.