Super Simple All Natural Beauty TipsDr. Surya Bhagwati
If you’ve been struggling to get flawless glowing skin, there’s a good chance you’ve already received the same tired advice. Drink more water, ditch the chemicals, sleep well, stress less, and so on. But, what are the alternatives to chemical cosmetics and what else can you do to get glowing skin? With an emphasis on nourishment of the mind, body, soul, and harmony with nature, Ayurveda recognizes the importance of skin care in the context of health and also as a physical attribute of beauty. There are plenty of Ayurvedic tips for beauty, but we’ll just focus on the most important and effective ones.
Simple Ayurvedic Tips for Glowing Skin
1. Understand Your Dosha Type
The concept of doshas is unique to Ayurveda and it’s just one of many features that makes Ayurveda so unique and effective. Dosha refers to the universal energy within all of us and nature, and comprises of 3 types – vata, pitta, and kapha. All of us have a different balance of doshas, giving us a unique constitution or prakriti. Depending on your dominant dosha, you may be vulnerable to different skin conditions. Vata types tend to have dry, thin, and cool skin that is easily dehydrated and vulnerable to windy or dry climatic conditions. Pitta skin types on the other hand tend to suffer from acne, moles, and heat disorders like heat boils and prickly heat, as well as photosensitivity. Kapha type skin is usually greasy or oily and thick, which increases the risk of blocked pores and problems like blackheads and whiteheads.
While knowing these risks is in itself helpful, Ayurveda recommends very specific lifestyle and dietary practices for each dosha type, which can help to maintain the natural balance and prevent aggravation of doshas. This minimizes the risk of toxicity buildup and other disorders, including skin conditions that you are vulnerable too. Identifying your dosha type and following recommendations is the most important step you can take towards achieving healthy glowing skin.
2. Skin Cleansing with Organic Powders
You just can’t have clean glowing skin if it’s dirty and grimy. Unfortunately, most cosmetic cleaners contain harsh chemicals, so what’s the alternative? Aritha or soapnut powder has been widely used in Ayurveda since ancient times, along with fuller’s earth (also known as multanni mutti). Aritha is a powerful natural cleanser that is rich in triterpenoid saponins. The saponin is recognized as a powerful natural cleanser that can be used as an alternative to detergents for hair and skin care. In recent years, research has found that saponins in aritha also have antimicrobial effects and can even help in the treatment of common skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that promote wound healing and reduce skin damage. Fuller’s earth also has a powerful cleansing effect, helping to detoxify the skin and reducing the buildup of ama or toxins. It is so effective that some studies regard it as a useful natural decontaminant to safeguard against exposure to chemical toxic agents.
3. Ayurvedic Herbs and Herbal Formulations
The use of natural herbal ingredients is a hallmark of Ayurveda and herbs are used in the treatment of all health conditions. Ayurvedic herbs for skin care are particularly effective, including the likes of tulsi, amla, aloe, turmeric, munakka, neem, sandalwood, and so on. Sandalwood and turmeric are highly revered for their proven anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. They can help fight acne-causing bacteria, reduce inflammation, and tighten the pores to give you glowing skin.
Aloe is useful in both topical application and dietary products, with numerous studies documenting its potential to treat skin wounds, heal burns, reduce sun damage, and increase collagen production. These benefits are linked to the presence of numerous vitamins, minerals, saponins, enzymes, and amino acids in the herb. Similarly, amla contains a variety of nutrients, including ascorbic acid and polyphenols like gallic acid. It has been found to improve collagen metabolism, which likely helps reduce skin damage from aging and sun exposure. Instead of using individual herbs, you can also use pre-packaged polyherbal Ayurvedic medications for skin care that contain many of these herbs. In fact, some of these herbal combinations and blend can improve the efficacy through their interactions.
4. Nourishing Oil Massages
Herbal oils are widely used in Ayurveda, with many therapeutic applications. They are particularly useful at balancing the body’s natural oil production, even helping counter problems like acne that are linked to excessive sebum production. When choosing an Ayurvedic oil for skin care, it helps to consider your dosha type too. Sesame, coconut, and sunflower oils are most widely used and are recommended for vata, pitta, and kapha skin types respectively. Abhyanga or body massage is an important therapy in Ayurveda that can be used to nourish the skin, improve circulation, and boost immunity. If you can’t visit an Ayurvedic spa, you can even try a self-massage at home, as this is one of the best ways to improve skin texture and general health.
5. Complete Detoxification
When we talk of detoxification today, most of us just think of fad diets and juice cleanses to flush out the digestive system. In Ayurveda, detoxification is a lot more complex and is achieved through the therapy of panchakarma. This ancient purification and detoxification program has five components that help to pacify any aggravated or vitiated dosha, while destroying ama or toxicity, and improving the flow of prana in the body. Studies have shown the therapy to be effective in the treatment and management of a wide range of lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart disease, but it benefits every aspect of health, skin health included.
In addition to using these Ayurvedic practices to promote healthy glowing skin, you should also restrict your use of conventional treatments and cosmetics for common skin problems and infections. Ayurvedic remedies for skin disorders are extremely effective and can work without causing side effects that damage skin. You can get relief while still having soft, healthy, glowing skin, no matter your skin or dosha type.
- Chen, Chang-Chih et al. “Effects of Sapindus mukorossi Seed Oil on Skin Wound Healing: In Vivo and in Vitro Testing.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 20,10 2579. 26 May. 2019, doi:10.3390/ijms20102579.
- Roul, Annick, et al. “Comparison of Four Different Fullers Earth Formulations in Skin Decontamination.” Journal of Applied Toxicology, vol. 37, no. 12, 2017, pp. 1527–1536., doi:10.1002/jat.3506.
- Cho, Soyun et al. “Dietary Aloe Vera Supplementation Improves Facial Wrinkles and Elasticity and It Increases the Type I Procollagen Gene Expression in Human Skin in vivo.” Annals of dermatology vol. 21,1 (2009): 6-11. doi:10.5021/ad.2009.21.1.6
- Fujii, Takashi, et al. “Amla (Emblica Officinalis Gaertn.) Extract Promotes Procollagen Production and Inhibits Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 in Human Skin Fibroblasts.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 119, no. 1, 2008, pp. 53–57., doi:10.1016/j.jep.2008.05.039.
- Rawal, Mukesh et al. “Effect of Vasantic Vaman and other Panchakarma procedures on disorders of various systems.” Ayu vol. 31,3 (2010): 319-24. doi:10.4103/0974-8520.77160.
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