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  • Understanding Saggy Skin And What Ayurveda Recommends

    Understanding Saggy Skin And What Ayurveda Recommends

    The Ayurveda Experience July 23, 2022

    Every year, people spend thousands of dollars on skin care products, skin treatment, surgeries, and therapies to achieve good skin. But this pursuit of keeping saggy skin and other signs of aging at bay comes at a cost. The cost for a temporary glow is numerous harmful chemicals induced in your bloodstream. Is it worth risking disease with harmful chemicals when it can be achieved naturally? Why spend big sums of money on artificial treatments that only last a while.  

    Did you know that the skin is the most significant external organ? Being the largest organ needs more care and attention to keep it youthful. Staying and looking young has been sought since times immemorial. For over 5000 years, the science of life — Ayurveda — has provided a solution for almost every disease. The ancient medical science of Ayurveda(1) has several solutions for saggy skin initial signs, fine lines, and wrinkles. It provides a secure and long-lasting aid for skin care and reduces the signs of aging. Ayurveda opens up new spheres of wellbeing, health, and beauty. 

    This post discusses age and saggy skin and the role of Ayurveda in managing it. Discover what Ayurveda has in its treasure trove to age gracefully while looking young and radiant. 

    Basics of Ayurveda and Saggy Skin 

    According to Ayurveda, every entity in this world is made up of energy. The universal energy comprises five primary elements(2) - Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Space.  

    The body embodies these elements in the form of three doshas - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These doshas are energies that are said to be present throughout the body. Each dosha represents two natural elements and their corresponding qualities. 

    The Sanskrit word "Saptadhatus"(3) (Sapta=seven, dhatus=tissues) implies "seven component constituents." These seven Dhatus govern the entire body's structure. The Dhatus play a vital role in the growth and sustenance of the body by maintaining the function of many systems, organs, and essential body components(4).  

    Vata: The Vata represents space and air components that control communication and movement. Vata balances blood circulation and nutrition in the body. 

    Pitta: The Pitta is a combination of the elements fire and water, which control transformation and digestion. Pitta denotes the balance of metabolic activities leading to the manifestation of keeping the skin warm. Pitta may also be responsible for how your skin reacts to the slightest stimuli like - touch, pain, etc. 

    Kapha: The Kapha symbolizes other elements, earth, and water, including cohesion, structure, and lubrication. Kapha is the moisture balance in the body. The hydration and measure of overall water content in the body are Kapha. Learn more about doshas here

    So, when there is an imbalance in the three doshas concerning the Sapta Dhatus(5) (the seven tissues of your body), it shows up on the skin. The Sapta Dhatus include Ras (plasma), Rakta (blood), Masa (muscle), Meda (fat), Asthi (bone), Majja (bone marrow), and Shukra (reproductive tissue and neuroendocrine system). 

    In light of keeping the skin youthful and firm and delaying/dodging the skin sagging process, doshas play a crucial role. They need to be balanced to maintain skin health. 

    Sagging Skin: What Ayurvedic Scriptures Say 

    According to Ayurveda, the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas(7) fundamentally impact the cells' health and the skin's look. The dosha imbalance affects skin health and increases its sagging process. However, being aware of the dosha may help to take precautions to stop saggy and droopy skin in the first place.

    Know your dosha here.

    Vata imbalance can result in poor blood and nutrient circulation to the various layers of the skin. In addition, Pitta imbalance can affect the metabolic functioning that regulates the skin's different chemical and hormonal reactions. For example, the skin has many sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands have receptors on them that respond to hormones. Thus, pitta imbalance affects skin aging. Finally, Kapha imbalance can affect the moisture balance, ultimately causing skin sagginess and elasticity. 

    Other causes include 

    • Kala Parinama (Changes with Time) (6) 

    The term "Kala Parinama" describes the physical and mental changes that occur throughout time and as we age. Given that it encompasses all creation, Kala Parinama (time and change) is one of the most influential variables affecting Jara or aging.  

    • Prakruti (Nature) (7) 

    The term "prakruti" refers to a person's biological makeup, which includes their physical, physiological, and psychological makeup. Each person has a unique Prakruti(8), representing the person's fundamental traits contributing to skin changes. 

    • Ahara (Food)(9) 

    Another significant component that affects skin aging and Jara is ahara (diet). The vitiation of any one or all three Doshas is brought on by poor or faulty food (Gramya Ahara)(10) combined with an unbalanced lifestyle, which results in pathological alterations. 

    • Achara (Routine and Regimen)(11) 

    Another element that plays a significant part in the aging process is Achara (routines). To retain and maintain the synchrony of the circadian rhythm, Ayurveda advocates healthy and harmonious living patterns. Maintaining harmonious living patterns results in excellent health, vigor, and immunity, all of which postpone biological aging. 

    • Jatharagni (Digestive system)(12) 

    In addition to controlling food digestion, absorption, and assimilation, jatharagni (digestive fire) also significantly impacts a person's aging, and level of health. Jatharagni can degenerate tissues if it is excessively potent and burn off the surrounding tissues. (13) 

    Sagging skin, according to modern science. 

    Generally, the skin happens to experience laxity (saggy skin) in the mid-30s to early-40s. Age-induced skin loosening(14) occurs due to the breakdown of elastin fibers, hyaluronic acid, and collagen(15). Elastin, as the name suggests, offers resilience and elasticity to your tissues, hyaluronic acid keeps your skin well-hydrated, and collagen holds the skin tightly.  

    Due to advancing age, the collagen protein tends to deteriorate along with decreasing layers of fat tissues under the skin, leaving a gap underneath. (16) This gap leads to mature and saggy skin.  

    Read about Ayurvedic remedies for sagging skin in the next blog

    1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3151377/
    2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215408/
    3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/224897856_The_concept_of_aging_in_Ayurveda
    4. http://www.ccras.nic.in/sites/default/files/viewpdf/jimh/BIIHM_2001/161%20to%20180.pdf
    5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4649578/
    6. https://jaims.in/jaims/article/view/14
    7. http://www.iamj.in/posts/2017/images/upload/262_268.pdf
    8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22529643/
    9. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00057/full
    10. https://www.irjponline.com/admin/php/uploads/1070_pdf.pdf
    11. http://www.iamj.in/posts/2017/images/upload/262_268.pdf
    12. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/CONCEPT-OF-JATHARAGNI-IN-AYURVEDA-WITH-SPECIAL-TO-Bijita-Basumatary/2dbca358fd0ca59c150820b57e5dc41dbbf73fc8
    13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6148064/
    14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6047276/
    15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6047276/
    16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6047276/

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