Tips for glowing skin
Healthy skin is a two-pronged approach: an internal routine, and an external routine.
According to the wisdom of Ayurveda, true beauty is what naturally arises from simple acts of daily self-care. Ayurveda’s self-care practices are designed to support the healthy functioning of mind and body, and leave you feeling nourished and radiant from head to toe.
Ayurvedic philosophy says that our bodies are made up of the elements of water, fire, earth, air and ether. An imbalance of one of these can affect the health of the body. Treatment is based on the idea that by adjusting the imbalance through herbs internally and externally, diet, and gentle exercise, the body is capable of balancing itself to perfect harmony.
Ayurvedic skincare follows this philosophy. So first step in healthy, glowing skin, starts with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Eating healthy foods are important for several reasons. First of all they provide the building blocks to build collagen, promote skin integrity and skin cell regeneration. Fresh, organic, whole foods are best for this. Eating foods that are old, frozen, canned or processed are devoid of nutrient value and can create impurities that show up in your skin. Aging skin, wrinkles, and a dull, grey look is the result of ama (impurities) in the physiology. Eating foods laden with chemicals, synthetic preservatives and additives can create the more reactive toxins, and result in breakouts, rashes and other skin problems.
In general, the best foods for skin health are:
1- Fresh, sweet, juicy in season fruit – including stewed apples, pears, grapes. Fruit creates suppleness in the skin.
2- Wholegrains – contain essential vitamins and minerals to build skin elasticity and healthy tissue. Beneficial grains are Basmati rice, quinoa, millet, barley, and rye.
3- Fresh vegetables – important for vitamins and fibre for digestive health. Vegetables that support liver function and blood purification are best – green leafy vegetables, beetroot, broccoli and cauliflower (all cook in ghee and spices for your constitution). Herbal teas such as Dandelion Root and Red Clover.
4- Good quality oils – needed to maintain moisture balance, and keep the skin hydrated and protected to give it that radiant glow. Ghee, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds are great for this.
5- Water – Dehydration causes skin to become dull, dry and lack lustre. Drink 1 cup of warm water every hour to ensure optimal hydration.
Fatty, fried, refined, and processed foods, salt, sugar, seafood, and red meat can cause skin problems—so avoid them when you can.
Externally, Ayurveda outlines three steps to beautiful skin: cleanse, nourish, and moisturise.
The key to this is figuring out your skin type to customise your skin care routine. By analysing the body type or dosha, you can then determine what products will be appropriate to balance the skin of your unique constitution. The three basic skin types are – Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Vata Skin Type
Vata is light, dry and cool. Vata skin is thin, cool to touch, fine pores, and delicate. Vata skin is prone to become excessively dry, rough and flaky and suffer eczema. The greatest challenge for Vata type skin is its tendency to early wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Vatas are sensitive to mental stress which shows up as tired, dull, stressed looking skin.
Keeping your skin moisturised both internally and externally is the key for this skin. Doing a daily self-oil massage with black sesame oil is best for this. Also apply a light oil like rose hip or jojoba oil at night as a regular treatment. Make sure you are getting a healthy fats in your diet for internal oleation and lubrication. Ghee and olive oil are good choices. Managing stress is also very important and regular Veda meditation will assist with this.
Pitta Skin Type
Pitta skin is warm to touch, medium thickness and prone to freckles, moles and usually ruddy, pink or fair in colour. Pitta skin is very sensitive and sunburns easily.
As Pitta is mostly the fire element, is tends to experience skin rashes, acne breakouts, liver spots and rosacea. When under stress, Pitta skin can break out in rashes, and emotional stress can cause blushing easily.
To balance pitta skin, the focus should be on calming the sensitive skin. Avoid the sun and heat. Take a Pitta pacifying diet that is not too spicy, hot, sour or salty. Avoid meat and alcohol which are both heating. Steamed vegetables that focus on leafy greens are best.
Cooling essential oils are recommended, so a great remedy is to spray the face with rose or lavender water after washing. Aloe Vera is very cooling and healing to Pitta skin so should be used regularly as part of your skin care.
Kapha Skin Type
Kapha type skin tends to have all the qualities of water and earth which are oily, smooth and strong. If you have Kapha type skin, it is pale, thick, oily, soft and cool to the touch. Kapha type skin ages well and doesn’t wrinkle much.
Kapha skin is prone to greasiness, enlarge pores, blackheads, pimples and water retention when out of balance.
The key to balancing Kapha skin is frequent deep cleansing. Using gentle scrubs, clay masks and natural facials help remove impurities that tend to clog the skin. A weekly treatment for Kapha skin is a clay mask with a pinch of turmeric and 1 tsp of raw honey.
Avoid foods that are excessively oil and heavy such as dairy, wheat, and refined sugar. Daily exercise that produces a sweat is important to stimulate the lymphatic system.
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