If you are concerned about the health and appearance of your skin, you can very well depend on Ayurveda. Ayurveda gives you the answers for all your skin care problems. Healthy glowing skin is part of your general health. The food you eat, your daily routines and the kind of materials you use as cosmetics also play an important role in the health and radiance of your skin. Ayurveda skin care primarily takes into account one’s prakriti (constitution) in determining the appropriate skin care procedures and products.
Recognizing Your Skin Type
Listed below are the basic guidelines that help you determine the type of skin you have.
Vata – Healthy Vata skin is soft, delicate and with a clear radiance. When imbalanced, it is dry, lined and flaky. At times, skin appears too thin and transparent. Vata type skin is also characterized by smaller pores when compared to other skin types. You can occasionally find grayish or bluish hue for the skin. This can be attributed to the presence of minimal number of capillaries in the skin. Skin below eye area, forehead and ears are particularly vulnerable for skin conditions like darkening and discoloration, wrinkles, etc. The discoloration below eye areas is mainly due to accumulation of hemoglobin in the soft tissues there. Forehead and ears are also considered to be Vata dominant areas, as the skin there tends to be of Vata type.
Pitta – Skin is primarily a Pitta organ. Pitta skin is healthy glowing and rosy. When exposed to sunlight, it can become bloodshot. External factors can also cause inflammations and wrinkles. The central areas of the face including nose, the back of neck and scalp and predominantly are predominantly Pitta areas. Pitta skin type persons are susceptible to pimples, acne and lesions.
Kapha – Kapha skin is smooth, oily and mostly free from wrinkles and dryness. Excess Kapha can cause problems like cystic acne, which can leave scars. Excessively oily skin is the most common type of vitiated Kapha skin. The Kapha areas of skin are chin and neck. This skin type is also at higher risk of edema than the other two skin types.
Ayurvedic Principles of Healthy Skin Care
Once you know the type of skin you have, you can take appropriate measures to keep it healthy. Dry Vata type skin benefits from application of oils, while dry cleansers will be needed to balance the excessive oil of Kapha type skin. Appropriate type of herbs and minerals help in maintaining the balance of skin and to keeping it healthy and glowing, while safeguarding against the effects of excess of dosha.
Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Skin Problems
Different skin types require different treatments, which are briefly described below.
Vata Remedies – Vata type skin requires nourishment to keep it warm and moisturized. Fat content of ghee is beneficial for such persons and they can include food items prepared with ghee in their diet. They can also use moisturizing products that contain olive oil, almond oil, etc, which can nourish the
skin and keep it moisturized.
Take 4 oz. of milk, 1 oz. of water, 2 tsp. each of Shatavari root, Hibiscus flowers, and Vithari root powder and boil them together for a few minutes. Mix it with 3 parts of plain yogurt. You can use this as a face pack. Leave the pack on your face and neck for 10 minutes in the morning and in the evening.
Pitta Remedies – Cooling oils and herbs are ideal choices for Pitta skin types. It is easy to regain the natural luster and radiance. Neem, turmeric, manjistha, cucumber, ghee, coconut, khus, rose, and sandalwood etc are all herbs that can help. The skin care products with these herbs as ingredients are best choice for predominantly Pitta type skins. Pitta is hot and the diet should be cooling. Avoid acidic and heavily spicy food items.
Combine in a glass jar 8 oz. coconut oil, 2oz. ghee, 2 tsp. each of the powders of neem leaf, turmeric root, haritaki fruit, sandalwood, and rose petal, and 1 small grated cucumber. Mix well, cover, and allow it to stay for 7 days in a cool place. Transfer the jar outdoors under the moonlight in the evening and replace in a cool area during the day. Strain and store in another clean glass jar. Apply oil to skin morning and evening for 5-10 minutes or longer.
Kapha Remedies – Kapha skin is largely oil and supple, the regular problems are usually of acne and pimples associated with oily skin. Toners and cleansers give good care to the skin. Aloe vera, sage leaf, lotus petals, rose petals, etc are good herbs for Kapha type skin.