The desire for beauty is deep-rooted in our soul. Every civilization has had some standard of beauty which is why Ayurveda and skin care go back thousands of years.
Here we'll look at what the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda has to say about the care of each of the skin types to have a clear, radiant complexion.
Ayurveda emphasizes three ways to healthy skin – nourish, cleanse and moisturize. It may seem like a regular standard operating procedure for a beauty regimen, but the typical western method is not the Ayurveda way!
Instead of using commercial beauty products made with synthetic and chemical ingredients like dyes, fragrances, and preservatives, Ayurveda sets higher standards with natural ingredients.
What is pure and natural by Ayurvedic standards, and what ingredients go into Ayurvedic formulations?
In this previous post, you can find simple recipes for making Ayurvedic skin care products at home. If you prefer to buy the products, you can find many in health food stores, or you can order them here.
Ayurvedic beauty is not just superficial. You need to cultivate an inner balance for that genuinely beautiful skin inside and out. One way to do this is to first determine your skin type.
Let's take a look at the three different skin types and how to care for each of them.
Ayurveda and Skin Care
Three Different Types of Skin
Vata Skin Type
Characterized by dry, delicate, thin and cool to the touch. This skin type is easily dehydrated and dry, windy weather can make it worse. Vata type skin is the most prone to aging.
If Vata is out of balance, the skin will have a tendency to towards rough, flaky and dry qualities. This skin type is highly sensitive to weather conditions.
Vata Skin Care
- People with Vata skin type must use skincare products that are highly nurturing. Examples of these are skin care products that contain essential oils and herbs.
- The natural nourishing elements found in essential oils and herbs work best in rehydrating the Vata skin. They also have active compounds that help delay wrinkles and other signs of aging.
- Do not forget the importance of sticking to your daily sleep and wake schedule. Avoid skipping meals and exercise regularly. These are crucial lifestyle habits that promote a holistic approach to radiant skin.
- Follow a Vata pacifying diet and lifestyle, especially in fall and early winter.
- Eat more leafy greens, whole grains and drink organic milk or milk alternatives.
- Make sure to keep your body well hydrated by drinking warm lemon water
- Use olive oil or ghee in your daily cooking for improved lubrication.
- Bathe with colloidal oatmeal
- A warm-oil massage or abhyanga with Vata pacifying essential oils or an herbal Vata reducing oil is key to hydrating Vata skin type.
I have Vata type skin and along with following the Vata skin-care routines outlined above, my Ayurvedic doctor once suggested I also use Humic Fulvic Minerals on my skin for hydration.
Humic/Fulvic acid mineral is a naturally occurring plant nutrient mineral found 30+ feet below ground. It has over 70 trace minerals to nourish and moisturize the skin. It has really boosted the hydration level as well as texture and tone of my Vata type skin!
Pitta Skin Type
Characterized by soft, fair and warm skin. It is a bit thicker than Vata skin. Pitta skin type is more vulnerable to freckles and has plenty of moles, too.
When imbalanced, Pitta skin will have acne, sun spots or rashes.
Pitta Skin Care
- Pitta skin needs to be taken care of by the use of cooling and nurturing skin care products. This skin type needs to be well-protected against the rays of the sun. Skin care treatments that need tanning or steaming for a longer period must be avoided.
- Protect your skin from photosensitivity with natural products like shea butter.
- The use of synthetic skin care cosmetics must be avoided. Pitta’s sensitive skin can be easily damaged by the chemicals found in synthetic skin care products.
- Since Pitta skin already has a hot constitution, it must steer clear of hot and spicy foods. Otherwise, it will worsen the fiery constitution and cause skin breakouts.
- Follow a Pitta reducing diet and lifestyle, especially in summer and early fall.
- Use cooling oils for body massages such as coconut oil, or a Pitta reducing herbal formula
- When cooking, use coriander, cumin, fennel spice mix and also drink coriander, cumin and fennel tea to balance licorice the hot qualities of Pitta.
- Don’t forget your protective clothing when exposing yourself to the sun.
Kapha Skin Care
- Since Kapha skin is more oily and thick when out-of-balance it tends to be dull due to poor circulation. This is why a detox regime is suggested on a regular basis. Also, Internal detoxification is needed at least once a year for skin health.
- Use skin care products tailor-made for oily clogged Kapha skin type
- Externally detox the skin by using bentonite clay.
- Follow a Kapha reducing diet and lifestyle, especially in spring months.
- Avoid deep fried, sugar-laden foods and beverages.
- Give yourself a warm oil massage with sesame or an herbal Kapha reducing formula 2-3 times per week for improved circulation.
- Always choose organic fruits and vegetables if you can. You want to minimize non-organic produce because of the pesticides.
- Exfoliating with a mud mask at least once a week.
- Use warming spices when cooking. They help stoke your digestive fire, helping to prevent accumulation of toxins in the body.
Your diet heavily influences the health of your skin and your entire body and there are certain superfoods that can improve skin health naturally. The things you eat and drink just naturally have a direct impact on how your skin looks, feels and how healthy it is.
Since your skin is your largest organ and the first layer of defense in your immune system, it makes sense to take care of it.
In addition to the Dosha specific guidelines outlined above, follow these 7 Ancient Wisdom Tips for a Radiant Complexion and healthy, resilient skin.
7 Ayurvedic Tips for a Radiant Skin
1. Eat More Vegetables
Your body is predominantly made up of water. When you eat lots of vegetables with a high water content, you stay hydrated and healthy. These foods are easier to digest than some other foods. This means better absorption of minerals and nutrients into your bloodstream for healthy, glowing skin.
The purifying properties of daikon radishes are well-known by Ayurvedic practitioners. Also, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, asparagus tips and fennel also promote healthy skin for all 3 doshas.
2. Get Moving
Ayurveda understands the many benefits of exercise. Moderate to intense physical activity helps remove toxins and poisons from your body through your sweat.
This means they don't accumulate and influence poor skin health. When you exercise regularly, you not only keep your muscles and joints healthy and strong, you improve blood circulation. Physical activity promotes high levels of oxygen in your blood. And when it moves throughout your body, it promotes skin health.
3. Add Nuts
Do you enjoy watching birds feast from your birdfeeder? Your winged friends are doing more than just providing entertainment when you watch them eat. They are giving you a lesson about what to eat in an Ayurvedic diet to promote healthy skin.
Adding nuts and seeds to your diet means you reward your skin with healthy fats, fiber and omega-3 essential acids it needs to repair itself.
Vata energy is what does damage to your skin when it accumulates. It is most prevalent in the afternoon, so enjoy some almonds, flaxseeds, nuts or sunflower seeds at that time.
4. Drink More Herbal Tea
Herbal tea is the perfect candidate to keep you hydrated throughout the day, while also promoting skin health.
5. Give Yourself an Anti-aging Oil Massage
Give yourself an abhyanga massage with an herbal oil at least 2 or 3 times a week to promote healthy blood circulation and deeply nourishe your skin. For centuries, ancient Ayurvedic wisdom as recommended abhyanga along with the Kansa Healing wand to give you a youthful face, stress-relief and total skin and mind-body rejuvenation.
6. Stay Away From Junk Food
It is highly recommended you eat whole, healthy foods whatever their skin type may be. Stay away from fried foods, refined sugar, salt, seafood, red meat, fatty and processed foods.
Sleep is another indispensable factor for having healthy skin. Keeping a regular sleep schedule is very important for all health, including the skin. Here are some Ayurvedic suggestions on how to get a good night of sleep.
Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to skin-care not only treats the skin but treats the whole body and the whole person. In Ayurveda radiant skin and beauty can only be achieved when one is in balance or healthy. Our skin is a reflection of what is going on inside, and we can’t expect to have had beautiful glowing skin unless our diet and lifestyle are in harmony with our constitution. What goes in our bodies shows on our skin.
All skin types need to follow certain guidelines for beautiful, radiant skin. From an Ayurvedic perspective, glowing skin is a result of good diet, digestion, getting to bed on time, eating regular meals and following a regular daily routine. Also, skin is an organ that breathes and absorbs, so think of body products as food. If you cannot eat it, Ayurveda suggests not to use it on your skin. Skin eats and whatever you feed it is ingested into the bloodstream to become raw material for tissue building.
In general, look for products free of synthetic perfumes or colorants, alcohol, petroleum, petrochemicals, mineral oil, not tested on animals…or make your own products! And never, never go to bed without washing your face and removing makeup.