Having healthy and attractive skin is the dream of many people, especially youngsters. Food habits, lifestyle, pollutants, hormonal changes, hereditary factors etc. affect the skin health and lead to many skin related problems like acne, decreased complexion, black marks, wrinkles etc.
When people face skin issues, they resort to varieties of chemically formulated cosmetics, which yield more side effects than desired results. So, the need for safer cosmetic products leads them to try Ayurvedic products.
Ayurveda mentions many herbs which are cosmetically beneficial.
People with different body constitution will have different types of skin and complexions.
Some people naturally have dry and scaly skin. It causes irritation of the skin and itching. Cracking of the skin, wrinkles, dark circles are also seen. As per Ayurveda, such a skin type is influenced by Vata Dosha.
Some people experience excess warmth and burning sensation in the skin. Due to excess heat, they have more acne and red coloured skin rashes. As per Ayurveda, such a skin type is influenced by Pitta Dosha.
Some people have excess oily skin often associated with itchiness. They usually get whiteheads and blackheads. Ayurveda explains such a skin type as influenced by Kapha Dosha.
Pita Dosha can be attributed to excess wrinkles in the skin. Important qualities of Pitta are hotness, slight unctuousness and lightness. Excess of hotness of Pitta can cause lack of moisture in the skin leading to wrinkling of skin.
Concept of face pack - lepa in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, we can get references of many cosmetic formulations like face pack, classically called ‘Mukha lepa’. They are skin quality boosting natural herbal; pastes, which improve the overall skin health. Usually, herbs used in preparation of face packs are very mild, soothing and cooling in nature.
How to prepare lepa:
Dry herbs should be taken in powder form. Suitable binding agents like water, milk, oil, honey, juices of herbs etc. should be added and paste should be prepared. This paste can be used as a facepack application. Wet herbs such as aloevera are made into paste and directly applied.
Preparation of face pack for wrinkle free skin:
Take Aloe vera leaf. Take out the pulp and crush it in a mortar and pestle. Add the dry powders of the rest of the ingredients. If fresh fruits of amla are available, you can add the de-seeded pulps afresh. Mix water and grind them together to prepare a semi solid paste. Next, add Kumkumadi tailam and continue grinding till the whole mass becomes a homogeneous paste.
If you have an excessive oiliness problem, you can add half a teaspoon of honey, in place of Kumkumadi tailam and grind.
It improves skin tone, glow and keeps the skin hydrated. It is indicated in freckles and melasma.
It is useful in a wide variety of skin diseases, allergic skin conditions. It detoxifies blood and skin
It has rich antioxidants, it has anti-aging effects which improves skin health, treats acne and skin pigmentation and keeps skin without wrinkles even during old age.
It Enhances skin nourishment, quality, glow and hydration. It is a good blood detoxifier.
Manjishta – Rubia cordifolia
It is one of the most commonly used herbs in the Ayurvedic skincare treatment. It is a very good blood detoxifier, used to treat eczema, acne, oily skin etc. It balances Pitta at the level of skin.
Khadira - Acacia catechu
Like Manjishta, it is also widely used in skincare treatment. It is useful in allergy, psoriasis, dermatitis and is used in treating blood tissue related disorders.
Aloe vera -
It is useful in skin disorders, it has anti-aging effects, causes cell and tissue rejuvenation. Aloe vera keeps the skin well hydrated.
Kumkumadi taila is a famous Ayurvedic herbal oil which is very helpful in improving skin health. Main ingredient of this oil is Kumkuma or saffron, hence the name.
Main ingredients of this oil are - saffron, sesame oil, sandalwood, goat milk, Indian madder, stamens of lotus, lac etc.
Benefits as per the classical texts: Improves texture of the skin, reduces blemishes, acne. Acne scar, wrinkles, has anti-aging action, improves complexion and makes the skin beautiful. People with oily skin, especially persons with Kapha body constitution should use this oil carefully. Being an oil, it can increase the oiliness of the skin if used in excessive quantity. So, it should be used in small quantities, not more than once a day.
Method of application:
Before applying, test the paste on your forearm skin by applying a small quantity. If you do not develop any rashes, then the facepack is safe for your skin.
If you develop any skin rashes (very rare), then avoid it and consult your doctor immediately.
The paste should be applied all over the face in equal thickness. Avoid exposure to the eyes. Thickness of the face pack applied should be 1/2 cm. Paste should be applied against the direction of hair follicles, in the upward direction. Once the paste gets dried (5-15 minutes), it should be immediately removed by washing with water.
Do not wait till the paste completely dries up.
Purpose of face pack:
Face pack or mukha lepa is an external treatment, which has localized action of the herb. Face pack enables the active principles present in the herb to get absorbed into the skin.
Benefits of face pack:
Indications: Wrinkles, blemishes, acne, acne scar, freckles, hyper-pigmentation, melasma, reduced complexion, white and black heads etc.
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