In the past few years, the beauty market has seen a new player – Ayurveda. Although this alternative medicine system has recently become trendy, it has been around for centuries. With its roots in Indian culture, Ayurvedic treatments have helped people not only with medical issues but also with their overall wellness. The beauty industry is constantly bombarding its customers with new products and it can be hard to know who to trust amongst thousands. We have prepared a quick and easy guide for you all to help you get started on your Ayurvedic journey. From skin care treatments to products, we are going to delve into the world of Ayurvedic skin care.
What is Ayurveda?
Before we get on with the article, let us understand what exactly Ayurveda is and how it is beneficial for our health and wellness. It is a natural system of medicine meaning that it helps people understand themselves and achieve vitality within the laws of nature. Ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit words Ayur (life) and veda (science/knowledge). So, Ayurveda means the knowledge of life. It is believed in the Ayurvedic culture that diseases of any kind are a consequence of an imbalance within our consciousness. And to treat this imbalance, we are encouraged to practice natural therapies.
The Ayurvedic treatment begins with purification process that cleanses you from the inside. Then, there is a special diet, a few herbal remedies, massage therapy, and finally a form of meditation such as yoga. The foundation of this practice lies in prakriti (body’s constitution) and doshas (life forces). Here are some of the main goals of Ayurvedic treatment:
- Eliminate impurities
- Increase resistance to diseases
- Reduce stress and depression
- Improve mental, spiritual, and physical health
- Build harmony
Ayurveda believes that everyone is composed of the five natural elements: Vayu (air), Teja (fire), Prithvi (earth), Jala (water), and Aakash (space). When these elements combine with us in their own unique forms, they create a distinct blueprint which is known as our dosha. There are three main ones: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each are responsible for our mental, spiritual, and physiological balance.
This dosha is known as the force of mobility. It is composed of mostly the elements air and space. People who have the vata dosha are often energetic and creative. They think outside the box, but they can be distracted quite easily. When it comes to their mood, it really depends on their environment, who they are around, and what they eat. To achieve and maintain optimal health as a vata-fominated individual, you can do a few things like stick to a regular routine, practice mediation/yoga to keep your emotions in control, and keep your body at a warm temperature.
- Strengths – Creative, multitasker, flexible, quick learner, and kind-hearted.
- Weaknesses – Anxious, forgetful, easily overwhelmed, trouble sleeping, irregular appetite, susceptible to digestive issues, and poor blood circulation.
This dosha is composed of the elements fire and water. People with the pitta dosha are often described as powerful and sharp. They are great leaders, goal-oriented, and aggressive. For optimal health as a pitta-dominated person, you can improve your work-life balance, keep your mental health in check, and avoid extreme heat.
- Strengths – Intelligent, quick learner, self-determined, ambitious, powerful, quick metabolism, and have naturally good skin and hair.
- Weaknesses – Prone to mood swings, impatient, aggressive, prone to acne and skin inflammations, constantly hungry, and sensitive to extremely hot temperatures.
This dosha is based on the elements water and earth. If you have the kapha dosha, then are you strong and caring. You function as a support system for others and you try to maintain a balance amongst people. For optimal health as a kapha-dominated person, some things you can practice are regular physical activity, a balanced diet, establishing a good sleep schedule, and maintaining a good body temperature.
- Strengths – Trusting, caring, empathetic, patient, wise, romantic, and a healthy immune system.
- Weaknesses – Slow metabolism, oversleeping, susceptible to weight gain, high risk for heart diseases, easily depressed/anxious, and constantly requires encouragement.
To find out what dosha you are, you can speak to an Ayurvedic practitioner or take a test online from reliable.
Before you begin any sort of Ayurvedic treatment, you need to first determine your skin type which is based on the doshas.
- Vata – Dry, rough skin that needs to be moisturized on a regular basis. If you have this dosha, it is recommended to use oil-based moisturizers and include warm spices, like ginger, in your diet. Ashwagandha is another great herb that helps reduce dryness. you can add this to face masks or drink it as a solution.
“Vata type skin has fewer fat deposits and needs more moisturizing, both externally and internally.”Varalakshmi Yanamandra, Ayurvedic health coach and director of Ayur Wellness & Pain Centre
- Pitta – Oily, greasy skin that is prone to many skin irritations and inflammations like rosacea and acne. It is best to treat and nourish your skin with cool ingredients.
“This type of skin needs more cooling elements like aloe vera, turmeric (which is anti-inflammatory), and sandalwood (which reduces pimples and redness),” says Yanamandra.
- Kapha – Cold, oily, and susceptible to water retention, pimples, and whiteheads. Dry brushing is a great solution to this as it removes dead skin cells, exfoliates, and stimulates your lymphatic system. Try to avoid any oil-based cleansers and creams and use hydrating face masks.
At Home Ayurvedic Facials & Face Masks
Any form of Ayurvedic facial is a herbal treatment that works to treat any skin related issues that you may have. These are often performed with oils that are known to have specific benefits for your skin. For example, sesame oil is great for all three doshas. Almond oil is best for vata and pitta skin types. Another commonly used oil in Ayurvedic massages, specifically facial massages, is manjistha oil as it is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Face masks are another great skin treatment to nurture and rejuvenate your skin cells. Here are some easy recipes you can make at home:
Vata Face Mask
- 1 tablespoon of chickpea/gram flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/4 cup of yogurt, cold milk, or rose water
Mix all the ingredients together until you create a smooth paste. Apply it to your face evenly and leave it on for about 10-15 minutes. Once it dries a bit, wash it off with lukewarm water. Make sure to apply an oil-based moisturizer, or sesame oil, afterwards. Repeat once a week.
Pitta Face Mask
First cleanse your skin by soaking a cotton boll in rose water and applying it to your skin. Then, apply some Aloe Vera Gel to your face and leave it one for 10-15 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water. Pat your face dry and lather on a gentle moisturizer. You can apply this mask to your face 2-3 times per week.
Kapha Face Mask
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
Mix the two ingredients together and leave it on your skin for about 10 minutes. Wash of with lukewarm water and moisturize.
Face Mask for All Skin Types
- 2 teaspoons of almond flour
- 2 teaspoons of fine oat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
- 2-5 drops of any oil
Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add in the oil. Apply a thick even coat to your skin and leave on for 15 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water and moisturize. You can also use this mask on other parts of your body.
The purpose of Ayurvedic medicine is to keep your whole body in check. Once you are aware of your dosha, make sure to keep it balanced otherwise it can lead to many health issues. The Ayurvedic practice is simple and natural. It only has one purpose – to take care of you. Try out theses Ayurvedic skin care tricks and let us know in the comments how your Ayurvedic journey went.
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