As the leaves turn golden and the air turns crisp, it is time to leave the summer days behind and step into the cozy, colorful embrace of autumn. While you're sipping on pumpkin spice lattes and donning your favorite snug sweaters, don't forget that your skin needs a little extra love and care too during this transitional season. As the weather shifts and the humidity drops, your skin can undergo some noticeable changes. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that our skin may feel dry, itchy, tight, and flaky in this season. If you want to keep that radiant, healthy complexion all season long, you've come to the right place.
Ayurveda believes that seasonal changes in our routine - in accordance with our doshas and the changing seasons - are an important aspect of maintaining our skin and overall health. Most importantly, listening to our body is often the first step in realizing the need for change. Keeping this in focus, let’s look at some skincare tips to maintain glowing skin during this beautiful fall season.
Here's what we’ll cover in this article:
According to Ayurveda, the transition period during any seasonal change is known as ritu-sandhi. The Ashtanga Hridayam, one of the key texts in the ancient science of Ayurveda, further elaborates that “during the period of ritu-sandhi, the preceding season’s regimen should be gradually discontinued and, in its place, that of the succeeding season should be gradually adopted; sudden discontinuance or sudden adaption will cause asatmya (non-habituation) which in turn will create imbalances.”
Ayurveda also emphasizes the fact that individuals must pay attention to the concept of cyclical self-care in accordance with seasonal changes for optimal environmental adaptation. Vata dosha, characterized by vayu (air) and akasha (ether), is dominant during this season1. The external changes during the season can prompt Vata to increase its constitution within our bodies, prompting an increase in exceedingly dry skin, signs of aging, and other dosha-specific skin conditions. With this in context, it becomes all the more essential to pause and reset our skin and lifestyle to adapt to these changes and balance our doshas for glowing skin this fall.
The skin is the mirror to your inner health, and radiant, glowing skin is achieved when your doshas are in a state of perfect balance. An individual's prakriti (harmonious state owing to balanced doshas) or vikriti (imbalanced doshas) are therefore an indication of one’s skin conditions and clinical issues alike. Here’s a glimpse of how the Vata-dominated fall season reacts to different doshas.
Vata: An increase in Vata dosha in our natural environment prompts the body’s Vata to steer off balance. As a result, the delicate nature of the Vata skin type can cause weakness within the lipid or moisture barrier of the skin. Primary skincare concerns include uncomfortably dry and uneven-toned skin in the fall. In conjunction with increasingly dry weather, this also results in issues such as skin dehydration, flaking, and signs of premature aging, including fine lines and wrinkles.
Pitta: As summer changes to fall, there is also a transition of Pitta energy to Vata. As such, those with a fiery Pitta have sensitive skin that is more prone to irritation. In the transition from summer to fall, the main skin concerns for this type include tanning, acne, and sudden flare-ups, along with sunspots.
Kapha: By its very nature, Kapha-dominated skin types deal with excess oil production, dullness, cystic acne, and enlarged pores. The dry season dominated by Vata usually brings relief and reduces the disposition for excess sebum production. As such, this seasonal relief brings with it the perfect opportunity to brighten dull skin and tackle uneven skin tone caused by acne scars.
With the onset of fall, here’s an overview of tips and tricks for glowing skin this season:
Research2 emphasizes that internal and external moisturization is key to achieving healthy, glowing skin. Most people remember to drink plenty of fluids during summer. However, maintaining this practice is essential as the seasons change to help keep your skin feeling rejuvenated and secrete excess accumulated toxins.
More so, it is essential to switch to hydrating moisturizers and oils during fall to keep the skin hydrated. Oils and fatty substances contain lipids to keep the skin nourished.
2. Focus on "good" fats
The Vata-dominant season recommends the incorporation of healthy fats in the diet to counter the adverse effects of excess Vata. Ayurveda has long considered ghee1 to be grounding and warming in nature, which means it can help regulate the body temperature during seasonal transitions. It is excellent for all three doshas and is a good source of healthy fats that can easily become a part of the season’s diet. Moreover, regular consumption helps improve bowel and gut health, which further helps in dispelling toxins from the body while nourishing skin cells from within to keep the skin looking hydrated.
The gel-like substance found within the juicy leaves of the aloe vera (ghrit kumari) plant is extremely hydrating in nature and can be incorporated into the daily skin care regimen in the fall. Being a natural humectant, it lends the skin a rich dose of much-required moisture during the change in season. Aloe also soothes and heals Pitta-type skin, which is affected by the summer’s heat.
Ayurveda3 has long emphasized the importance of exfoliation for younger, healthy-looking skin. Powdered oats act as an excellent yet gentle exfoliant for Vata-dominated skin. Simply mix a tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of oatmeal with a few drops of rose water for a simple yet effective face mask. Manjistha's and neem’s antibacterial qualities help cool irritated Pitta skin while also encouraging cell rejuvenation. Drops of these could be combined with a neutral carrier oil and applied to the affected areas. Chickpea flour has Kapha-pacifying qualities that draw out excess oil and remove embedded dirt, thus revealing clear and radiant skin. Mix a tablespoon of chickpea flour with a quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder and a few drops of rose water to make a balancing face mask and scrub.
5. Practice abhyanga1
The practice of abhyanga or massaging oil into the skin, when incorporated into our daily morning routine before showering, helps the skin retain moisture during the transition of seasons. Abhyanga helps stimulate the muscles and improve circulation, which in turn keeps the skin soft and supple. Moreover, choosing the correct massage oil for your specific dosha type further helps maintain and improve the health of your skin.
For instance, sesame oil contains linoleic acid and has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. This makes it ideal for Vata skin. Sunflower oil enriched with neem oil is excellent, as its antibacterial and coolant properties can soothe inflamed Pitta skin. For those with Kapha dosha, castor oil enriched with eucalyptus boosts the breakdown of toxins and prevents stubborn build-up in the pores that causes pore enlargement and blemishes.
6. Incorporate vitamin C
The Vata energy of autumn tends to impart a cold, dull, and lifeless look to the skin. Incorporating vitamin C into your diet and regimen is beneficial for all dosha types, as vitamin C4 is a powerful antioxidant that brightens the skin, reduces redness and inflammation, increases collagen synthesis, and evens out the skin tone. Even the consumption of herbs such as amla and triphala can help as they are tridoshik in nature and enriched in vitamin C.
7. All about diets6
Food and our diets playan important role in balancing our body’s doshas, especially as the seasons transition. For fall, incorporating lubricating foods like olive oil in the diet will help those with Vata dosha maintain skin strength and buoyancy. Those with Pitta dosha should avoid hot and spicy foods because they tend to increase heat and swelling in the body. People with Kapha dosha should avoid heavy foods like sugar, cheese, and fatty meats as these foods encourage the accumulation of ama (toxins) within the body.
8. Breathe in, breathe out
Pranayam5 has long been considered Ayurveda's secret to good health and wellness owing to its countless benefits. Those with excess Vata should practice nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) to calm the body and mind and encourage the skin to expel toxins. Pitta-dominant people can benefit from the practice of sheetali pranayama (cooling breath) to soothe and calm sunburnt and irritated skin while also relaxing the mind. People with excess Kapha benefit from bhastrika pranayama (bellows breath), which supports digestion and encourages the dispelling of toxins to reveal glowing, radiant skin.
9. Dry brushing
Garshana or dry brushing involves a dry lymphatic massage to detoxify the system, refresh the skin, and also revive the mind. The resultant friction also helps in the dispelling of toxins and warming of the body during transitional weather. Ayurveda recommends that people with Vata dosha perform this 1-2 times a week, while those with Pitta dosha are recommended to perform garshana 3-5 times per week to help detoxify the system. Those with Kapha dosha benefit from daily dry brushing.
Embracing the autumn season with Ayurvedic wisdom can help you stay balanced and healthy as the weather turns cooler and drier. Here are some delightful and accessible lifestyle tips tailored for fall:
Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before trying any of the remedies or treatments mentioned in this article.
The changing colors of fall signify the season’s transition. They act as a reminder to pause, soak in the wonders of nature, and revisit our daily routines to maintain the healthiest versions of ourselves. Ayurveda has always recommended the concept of self-care and balancing our doshas for good health and well-being, which ultimately results in glowing skin.
Comments will be approved before showing up.