In today’s fast-paced world, where stress, pollution, and the use of harsh chemicals have become the norm, taking care of our skin has never been more important. While countless modern skincare products and treatments are available, many people are turning to Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, for a holistic approach to skincare. Ayurvedic skincare focuses on maintaining balance within the body to achieve healthy, radiant skin. By incorporating natural ingredients, mindful practices, and personalized routines, Ayurveda offers a refreshing alternative to conventional skincare methods.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda, which translates to “science of life,” is a 5,000-year-old traditional system of medicine rooted in India. According to Ayurvedic principles, the body comprises three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each dosha represents different elements and energies within the body and contributes to our physical and mental constitution. Imbalances in these doshas can manifest as skin issues, among other health problems.
Ayurvedic Skin Types
Ayurveda categorizes skin types based on the dominant dosha:
- Vata Skin: Vata-dominant individuals typically have dry, thin, and delicate skin prone to wrinkles and fine lines.
- Pitta Skin: Pitta-dominant individuals tend to have sensitive, combination, and acne-prone skin prone to inflammation and redness.
- Kapha Skin: Kapha-dominant individuals often have oily, thick, and congested skin that is prone to blackheads, whiteheads, and dullness.
Ayurvedic Principles for Healthy Skin
- Cleansing: Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of gentle cleansing using natural ingredients like chickpea flour, turmeric, and rose water to remove impurities without stripping the skin’s natural oils.
- Nourishing: Herbal oils, such as coconut, almond, or sesame oil, moisturize and nourish the skin. These oils penetrate deep into the layers, rejuvenating and hydrating the skin.
- Exfoliation: Natural exfoliants like rice flour, oatmeal, or powdered herbs remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and promote a healthy glow.
- Herbal Face Masks: Ayurvedic face masks made from ingredients like sandalwood, neem, turmeric, or aloe vera can address specific skin concerns and restore balance.
- Lifestyle and Diet: Ayurvedic skincare goes beyond topical treatments. A healthy & balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep are vital in maintaining healthy skin.
- Stress Reduction: Ayurveda recognizes the mind-skin connection, and stress is believed to impact skin health significantly. Practices like meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises can help manage stress levels and promote overall well-being.
Ayurvedic Ingredients for Skincare
Ayurveda relies heavily on natural ingredients with healing properties. Here are some commonly used ingredients in Ayurvedic skincare:
Turmeric, popular as the “golden spice,” has been a staple in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it a popular ingredient for skincare. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, helps reduce inflammation, soothe irritated skin, and combat free radicals that contribute to premature aging.
Including turmeric in your skincare routine can help address various skin concerns. It aids in treating acne and acne scars by hampering the growth of acne-causing bacteria and reducing excess oil production. Turmeric also helps improve skin elasticity, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
You can create a simple face mask by mixing turmeric powder with honey or yogurt to incorporate turmeric into your skincare routine. Apply it to the face, leave it on for approximately 15-20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Be cautious, as turmeric can stain fabrics and temporarily tint the skin.
2. Neem :
Neem, often called the “village pharmacy,” is prominent in Ayurveda due to its powerful healing properties. It is popular for its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects, making it a valuable ingredient for skincare.
Neem effectively treats skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Its antibacterial properties combat acne-causing bacteria, while its anti-inflammatory nature reduces redness and irritation. Neem also helps purify the blood, promoting clearer skin from within.
You can use neem oil or neem leaf powder to incorporate neem into your skincare routine. Mix little drops of neem oil with coconut oil and apply it to the face as a moisturizer or spot treatment. Alternatively, apply a paste with neem leaf powder and water to the affected area, and rinse off after 15 minutes.
3. Aloe Vera:
Aloe vera is a versatile Ayurvedic ingredient widely recognized for its soothing and hydrating properties. It is high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that nourish and rejuvenate the skin. Aloe vera helps heal sunburns, reduce inflammation, and promote a healthy complexion.
This succulent plant has a gel-like substance that can be applied directly to the skin or used in various skincare formulations. Its moisturizing properties make it suitable for all skin types, including dry and sensitive skin. Aloe vera also helps reduce acne and fade scars thanks to its antimicrobial and wound-healing abilities.
You can use fresh aloe vera gel extracted from the leaf to incorporate aloe vera into your skincare routine. Apply it to your face as a moisturizer. Mix it with natural ingredients like honey or cucumber juice for a refreshing face mask. Aloe vera-based skincare products, such as cleansers, toners, and moisturizers, are also readily available in the market.
Sandalwood powder is known for its cooling effect and ability to rejuvenate the skin. It helps reduce acne, inflammation, and pigmentation.
Rosewater and rose oil are commonly used in Ayurvedic skincare for their toning and moisturizing properties. They help balance the skin’s pH and provide a refreshing aroma.
Triphala, a mixture of 3 fruits (amla, haritaki, and bibhitaki), is a potent antioxidant that promotes skin rejuvenation and supports overall skin health.
7. Gotu Kola:
This herb helps stimulate collagen production, reduce scars and stretch marks, and improve skin elasticity.
Manjistha is known for its blood-purifying properties. It detoxifies the skin, reduces pigmentation, and enhances the complexion.
9. Kumkumadi Oil:
This Ayurvedic facial oil is made from a blend of herbs and oils. It is prized for improving skin texture, reducing fine lines, and promoting a radiant complexion.
Personalized Ayurvedic Skincare Routine
To create a personalized Ayurvedic skincare routine, it’s essential to identify your dosha and select products and practices that suit your skin type. Here’s a general guideline for each dosha:
- Vata Skin: Vata skin requires extra hydration and nourishment. Opt for gentle cleansers, rich moisturizers, and facial oils like almond or sesame. Avoid harsh chemicals and natural products with hydrating ingredients like rose, sandalwood, or aloe vera.
- Pitta Skin: Pitta skin benefits from soothing and cooling ingredients. Look for gentle cleansers, non-comedogenic moisturizers, and natural ingredients like cucumber, neem, or chamomile. Avoid hot water and harsh exfoliation, as it may aggravate the skin.
- Kapha Skin: Kapha skin benefits from deep cleansing and balancing ingredients. Choose oil-free cleansers, light moisturizers, and exfoliants with tea tree oil, turmeric, or lemon. Avoid heavy oils and rich creams that may clog the pores.
Ayurvedic skincare offers a holistic approach to achieving and maintaining healthy, radiant skin. You can effectively restore balance and address specific skin concerns by understanding your dosha and incorporating natural ingredients, mindful practices, and personalized routines. Ayurvedic skincare goes beyond the superficial level, focusing on overall well-being and internal harmony. This results in a glowing complexion that reflects a healthy body and mind. While it’s important to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized advice, adopting some of these principles can help you embark on a transformative journey towards beautiful and radiant skin the natural way.
NourishDoc: Hello, everyone. Well, summer will almost be here, and we want to ensure we don’t overburn ourselves. Well, what is Ayurveda talking about regarding skin care and hair care? I know my hair is going fizzy already. So, anyway, that’s why we have Dr. Patil. Doctor Patil is an Ayurveda physician. She is joining me live from India, where she practices Ayurveda beauty regimens and has a product line. Thank you so much for joining me.
Dr. Meghna: My pleasure; thank you.
Skin & Hair from Ayurvedic View
NourishDoc: Okay, so educate us; we are all trying to understand how natural products or natural beauty care for skin and hair and what Ayurveda talks about.
Dr. Meghna: Thank you for introducing me on this platform first, and you have introduced me very well over here. So, I am practicing Ayurveda, and I love skin and hair a lot. It is a thing that we present to everyone, right? And everyone wanted naturally and organically. So, Ayurveda has all of the things in that. Just have to approach it very correctly. Now, talking about what Ayurveda has. So, all the problems if you see that.
We always know our skin type as an oily combination next, right? But it happens that in Ayurveda, we distinguish in seven patterns of our skin type. So that is very important for us what our skin and hairs are. That is the thing when we work out in the Ayurveda way in organic things are what we are using all the herbal powders, an herbal mixture of the decantation of the oil. They are transforming into a cream, like a face pack, hair pack, or anything. So that what we have for ourselves is our talent. We work out that way. This is actually how we treat Ayurveda.
Seasonal Care Routines Of Skin & Hair
NourishDoc: Okay, so let’s go into a little more detail, right? For example, summer, right? We all understand that Ayurveda has different doshas. So, on a higher level, we want to understand that we must care for our skin and hair according to our dosha. That’s number one. Or can we just all go through whatever, according to the seasons? So, is it according to dosha, or is it according to season, and then give us a few tips on what we should do, right?
Dr. Meghna: Okay. According to the season every season has its peculiarity. In winter, we feel more dry skin. In summer, we feel more sweating, oily, or tanning. So, there is a change in our body dosha. So skin doshas or hair. So that thing is like what I will say: we must balance it according to the season. Now if I talk about the summer season that how summer can especially think about what we have to do for our summers. In the summer, we are very much exposed to the sun.
The main thing we are prone to is the sun, and then the main protection we should give to our sun is sunscreen. I always tell you to use sunscreen whenever you are comfortable because that is a natural blockage. Now most of them don’t know Ayurveda is a natural thing. What can we use at sunset? It is okay. I will tell you about it. But the main protection that our skin needs is sunscreen and even our hair.
If I talk as you told me about the season and the dosha as that is the thing that if I am exposed to the sun If my scalp exposed to the sun a lot the temperature of my scalp will increase, which will lead to hair fall; in Ayurveda, there is a therapy called Shirodhara, or we use hair oil. So why are we doing all this therapy? To level up our sky temperature nature because if you want to have good hair growth or to stop hair fall, you should always keep your scalp temperature lower.
That’s why we always recommend that whenever you are exposed to the sun, cover your hair with scarves, something else, or a cap. It’s not only for the ladies; it’s for all of them, right from the small children because that is the thing. Now talking about the dosha, it is called the pitta dosha, which increases our scalp and leads to hair fall and thinning; then we feel our hair color start changing like it starts to look like grain.
So, these are the natural things, natural remedies; what I will say is that keep oiling your hair, cover your hair with a scarf or something if you are traveling like by bike or two-wheeler, you maintain hygiene for your helmet and everything so that there will be no cross infection. Of course, so everyone knows that we should not use others also because if you have some infection. It may not be; you should always maintain your hair care separately.
This is also very important, and the same goes for the skin. Your skin starts getting tan if you are exposed to most UV or UVB rays. In India, it is very hot. So we always tell them to keep protection with sunscreen. Everyone thinks about sunscreen. I want to say one fact about whichever SPF you use. It does not matter. The application should be there should be reapplication of the sunscreen then only it works out. It is different from when you use it only once a day.
It is like you have to apply it after three hours every time because the SPF shows how many hours your protection will be there, which is the main thing. The natural, if I talk about Ayurveda, is what we can use as sunscreen. Hence, there are many oils over there, like Kumkumadi oil, then Mal Pramadi, which you can use as sun protection. We can use many face packs twice to thrive in a week so that we should not be affected by the tanning; our skin should be very clear.
Then there are some home remedies that you can do after coming home and, of course, keep yourself hydrated. When we are not hydrated, when we are dehydrated, our skin feels dry. So there is an increase in Vata dosha. Vata dosha increases our skin dryness and aging signs, making our skin tan very black like that.
So, if I talk about the season and dosha, we should always keep these things in mind; you should consider mobility. We should be; we can keep hydrated ourselves by one. We know we can drink water and fresh fruit juices. Then you can go for electrolyte water also something because that will keep your body hydration balanced.
When your body is very much hydrated, it gives you a natural glow on your face. So yes, these are some of the natural things for the summer weekend that you can use and, of course, cover your hair and face with a scarf, and you have too much exposure in the middle of the noon. These are natural things; apply your sunscreen, that’s all. That is the most important thing, which does not require any medication. Yes, you have everything on your plate to make your skin very glow; skin and hair naturally can maintain skin and hair.
Some Home Remedies For Skin & Hair Care
NourishDoc: Okay, so you mentioned a little bit about some home remedies. You could share a couple of home remedies with our viewers today one could be for the hair; the other could be for the skin.
Dr. Meghna: Yes, sure, why not? First of all, these are the basic remedies. I am saying that we can try it out. But of course, if I get a proper consultation about, if I know the skin, the hair, then it goes in the result comes very nicely. But one of the natural remedies that I will say is that everyone has potatoes in the house, right? Potato and tomatoes at the house.
These are the natural thing that we have in our kitchen cupboard. We have to take it; we have to scrap it, remove the juice from it, both tomato and potato. Mix it very nicely. If you have warm milk, now the summer is there. So, warm milk is there. There are two ways you can do this. As it is, if you are, as you are talking specifically about summer, we like something cool.
So we can remove the juice and put it in an ice tray. Put some milk also, keep an ice tray, and start using the cubes one by one; you can rotate it on your face, giving a good effect and cooling. Please don’t keep it for long days; keep it a set of three or four. Repeat it again and again. I tell them to use it fresh, apply it, and then wash their face; keep it for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash off their face because it contains what potatoes and tomatoes have, which is the natural anti-tanning effect they give and specifically if I tell about potato should be used for this skin and but now as I am telling it is a basic remedy you can use it both at a time in an equal quantity. No need to worry about it.
So even if you feel my skin is oily, I should not use it. This is basic for everyone, and this is the thing that we can think so in India; it is very common to get potatoes and tomatoes at home. However, so it’s your place also it will be quiet to get everything. So this is one of the natural things. We always like hair and skin; we always want vitamins C and E, which should be in fruits or vegetables.
So vitamin E in avocado is one of the good things that are good internally and for application on the face and the hair. So if you remove it, grind it, and put some coconut milk in that. Coconut milk can be too fresh, or new packs are also available, or powder foams are also available. Make it in a paste form like a batter. Apply it to your hair, keep it for thirty to 40 minutes, and wash it off with your normal mild shampoo.
This also gives a very nice shine to our hair. So this is the thing that we can do at our home. Oiling is very much important. Mostly everyone thinks that we should not oil our hair. As I told you earlier, our scalp temperature should not be high. It should not be hot. That’s why we should apply oil, as oil lowers our hair temperature and our scalp temperature. So if you are uncomfortable keeping it overnight, at least keep it two hours before your hair wash or before you go bathing.
The main application should be for the roots. Mostly we applied it on the hair and left it. But we should apply it from the roots. What I always tell my patients is that the main thing because as we see we give water to the roots, not to the leaves, because when we give water to the roots, it eventually cooks oil to the plant, flowers, and everything, so the same thing is with our hair follicles also. If you are strengthening your hair follicles, your hair will grow well, and I always feel, we always want long hair or very shiny hair, unmanageable hair.
However, it should always be healthy hair. We should have healthy hair; its strength should be very nice. So, we should always look out for the quality of the hair rather than the quantity we have. Sorry, I have a bit of a bad throat, but I understand. So, this is the thing that I will suggest to everyone, a simple remedy for face and hair which can be done to everyone and which is available at every place.
NourishDoc: All right, I’m going to wrap up the session. This is a quick 10-minute session that we do daily, not meant for any medical advice. Thank you so much, Dr. Patil, for being with us and everyone; look at all the little things she has talked about and try applying them and let us know if it works. With that, have a great day, everyone, and namaste. Thank you so much.