Perfect skin brings a certain confidence to an individual that nothing else can beat. If you have had healthy skin most of your life, you know what it feels like when you start to notice changes like adult acne and sudden skin sensitivities. It feels horrible, and knowing what to do to correct skin care issues can just get very confusing.
Whether you all of a sudden have problem skin or have suffered your whole life, don’t despair just yet. Here are 7 simple Ayurvedic tips that can help turn your skin from a hot mess to smooth, perfect skin that people compliment you on.
Tip #1: Start right now
Don’t even hesitate. Don’t start next month. Don’t start tomorrow. Start today by making a plan. How will you start implementing these tips from day one? Timing is everything in Ayurveda. If you are talking about balancing your skin in the next month or so then you have to address some seasonal issues that may be affecting your skin now.
Winter is Kapha season (think cold and wet). Kapha problems include breakouts and an increase of oil. In some cases you may have oil trapped below a layer of dry skin. Also, the effect of fall or Vata season may be in play and having an effect on your skin. Vata’s qualities include cold and dryness, which creates problems such as dullness, dryness and sensitivities. Pitta skin problems like rash, redness or rosacea, occur with unresolved emotional issues and an imbalance of heat (pitta) in the body.
If you have an imbalance in your body it needs to be addressed now rather than later. If your skin is affected by too much Kapha, Pitta or Vata then one way to balance your doshas is through a dosha pacifying diet.
Tip #2: It’s all about the routine
Healthy skin starts with a simple skincare routine to keep it on track. Here is a sample DIY Ayurveda skincare routine for any skin type:
Rinse skin with water in the morning and apply a few drops of oil to moisturize the skin. At night use a cleansing oil to remove any makeup or dirt. Apply a few drops to the face and massage in. Remove with a wet cotton pad and repeat until the cotton pad is clean. Apply a few drops of an oil to moisturize the skin if your skin feels dry. If your skin does not feel dry you can skip this step.
Here is a quick list of oils you can use by dosha:
Vata Dosha: sesame, almond, olive or ghee Pitta Dosha: coconut, sesame, sunflower or olive Kapha Dosha: sesame, sunflower or corn
Once a week add a natural exfoliator or scrub to your nighttime routine such as a fine sea salt (rub gently into wet skin). If your skin is not sensitive a natural mask such as avocado, once a week, is also beneficial. Make sure to follow your routine every day. There are also other important routines that may impact your skin. In Ayurveda your skin may also be affected by your eating, elimination and sleep routines.
Tip #3: Stop drinking cold water
Although drinking water is good for the skin, the temperature of the water is very important. Cold water slows down digestion. Slowed down, or digestive problems means that there might be some food that is left undigested. A buildup of undigested food can causes toxins in the body which can contribute to skin issues. Also, make sure that you are not drinking water with your meals for the very same reason. Cold water is just like putting out the heat and fire that the body needs to digest food. Instead drink your water at room temperature or hot. It is nice to drink a cup of warm water before a meal with a slice of fresh ginger.
Tip #4: Ask your Ayurveda Professional if they would recommend you use triphala
Triphala is a popular Ayurveda herb used to detoxify and cleanse the body. It has many uses, one of which is to help with constipation and other digestive issues. If you have a less than healthy digestive system as mentioned in tip #3, and/or constipation, then you most likely have skin issues. Skin often reflects problems with your general health. Correct these issues and your skin will improve significantly.
Triphala can ease constipation and improves the quality and frequency of stool. It is worth having a consultation with an Ayurveda professional if you think you need to use this herb. It is usually used for a few months, or as directed by your Ayurveda professional. As with any herb, make sure to inform and check with your primary medical provider before using. Learn more about Triphala.
Tip #5: Book an appointment with an Ayurveda Professional now
Is your body balanced? In tip #1 I talked a little about dosha imbalances. Other questions to ask include: Are you eating the right foods for your body? Are you healthy? Do you have problems with your digestion? These are all questions that your Ayurveda professional can help you answer. Often if there are problems with your skin it could be caused by an imbalance in your body.
Here are some examples of how imbalances cause skin issues. Too much pitta can result in rashes and sensitive skin issues like rosacea. Too much Vata can result in rough, dry skin and dullness. Too much Kapha can result in excessive oil and acne type problems. If you want to get results you need to address all possible factors that can be contributing to the problem. It is not uncommon to focus on the cosmetic aspects of curing problems in the skin and ignoring the health causes. If we address both, the change in our skin can be long lasting.
Talk to a professional to get started on the right path. Find an Ayurvedic practitioner in your area or consider a consultation via the phone or skype.
Tip #6: Add a natural oil to your skincare routine
Mostly skin is dry in fall and winter and needs an oil to trap moisture. It is best not to totally dry your skin after a bath or shower and to apply the oil on moist skin versus dry skin. This will trap the oil in your skin. Using a natural oil ensures that you are really moisturizing your skin. Oil is preferred over a lotion or cream.
A quick check of a label on your favorite lotion or cream will probably list alcohol as a top three ingredient. If it is listed as a top three ingredient that means that there is more of it than the other non-top three ingredients. Alcohol is drying, so when you apply that lotion or cream you are really not adding moisture to your skin.
If you are already using oil as part of a self Abhyanga (massage) routine then you are already on the healthy skin path. You might want to adjust your Abhyanga massage by bathing first then doing your massage. Traditionally the Massage is done and then you bathe. But, when it is winter and you have dry skin then it might be best to break a little bit from tradition and bathe first.
Tip #7: Add meditation to your daily routine
I know that you are probably asking what meditation has to do with beautiful skin. Meditation is often done to remove negative thoughts, stress and reduce anxiety. Stress in the body can cause problems on the skin like breakouts. On the same lines a good Yoga practice can also be beneficial to your whole body, including the skin. Make sure to add mediation, yoga or both to your skin care routines for healthy and beautiful skin.
So now you know what to do to get beautiful, healthy and glowing skin this spring. Remember to start right now!