✿ The Ayurvedic Answer you’ve been looking for! ✿
Ayurveda's knowledge of skincare and wellness revolves mostly around the appearance of signs of aging. But why's that? Is there more to it than what meets the eye?
Yes! It’s most certainly not a coincidence!
At the core of Ayurvedic philosophy lies the truth that life is not merely to be alive but to be well. Ayurvedic practices simply don’t promote health alone but does so with a view to provide a better-quality life no matter how old you are.
At the core of Ayurvedic philosophy lies the truth that life is not merely to be alive but to be well. Ayurvedic practices don’t simply promote health alone, but do so with a view to provide a better quality of life, no matter how old you are.
In today's article, you'll get to learn:
Contrary to most Western sciences, in Ayurveda, the process of 'Jara’ or aging is viewed not as an ailment but as a natural phenomenon that occurs due to the continuation of life. Therefore, what Ayurveda helps to achieve is a state of ‘Sukhayu Vriddhavastha’ or healthy aging.
Now, when it comes to this state of balanced living, there are a number of factors that affect our bodies, both internally and externally, which are responsible for the disharmonious impressions of old age. These, in turn, lead to the appearance of mature skin with pronounced wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and such which are identified as characteristics of ‘Akala Jara’ or ‘premature aging’.
Ayurveda maintains those factors as follows:
Over time, our bodies undergo physical and mental transformation that decreases the efficiency of various systems. As a result, the skin cells too lose their strength, elasticity and capacity to produce oils. This leads to saggy-looking skin, appearance of wrinkles and fine lines where the skin folds and dehydrated-looking patches.
That’s because according to Western medicine systems, this is often described as loss of collagen and elasticity of the skin cells that makes them more fragile. But the centuries-old study and practices in Ayurveda prove that wrinkles and aging skin can be caused by EVEN MORE potent factors. Let’s have a look at those too!
Uninformed choices when it comes to eating is also a significant factor that causes premature aging. Poor dietary practices such as irregular timings when it comes to eating, improper combinations of food (for example, did you know that you shouldn’t combine fruits with dairy? Yes! The properties of these foods don’t go together and can cause indigestion and over time, snowball into signs of premature aging. Bye-bye banana splits!🙁 The pain is real, we know!), consuming too much or too little food and not including a well-balanced nutritional diet can also aggravate signs of aging on the skin. Ayurveda insists that at least half your plate be filled with whole food such as fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables and grains for a nutritional diet.
This takes into account the primary physiological system that maintains the flow of life such as the cardiovascular system and the respiratory system. Practices that imbalance this delicate rhythm such as irregular sleep patterns and exercise routines, stress and anxiety and lack of other self-care pursuits also tend to contribute to wrinkles and lines. For a better health routine, try to wake up, go to sleep and eat at the same time every day so that your circadian rhythms don't get disturbed. The body is a creature of habit and thrives when it knows its routine!
Ayurveda believes that every person is born with a unique balance of the 3 Doshas and that any change or imbalance to this original composition can have adversary effects. This central biological makeup is a direct reflection of the status of Jara or aging which is easily visible as dullness and wrinkly looks on the skin.
Besides these, the effect of the external environment that surrounds us such as pollution and our lifestyle choices like smoking and alcohol consumption also accelerate Jara and its visible signs.
In Ayurveda, any changes to the skin or the body are identified as an imbalance of the 5 fundamental elements of nature: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. According to Ayurvedic ideology, these 5 elements are found in a unique combination in each human body that manifests itself in the form of 3 Doshas or causes: Vata (Space + Air), Pitta (Fire + Water) and Kapha (Water + Earth).
Any increase or decrease in this original combination, that is specific to one person, can result in ailments, diseases and other visible symptoms.
It is important to know your Dosha-specific skin type as it regulates how you care for skin!
Ayurvedic philosophy holds that human life in itself holds the energy of these three doshas at various stages. As babies, we move through the stage of Kapha infused with smooth, oily skin and unctuousness, in general. Following this period, as adolescents walking through puberty, we show more Pitta elements such as excitement and vibrance. This fieriness gets reflected on our skin too as acne, pimples and frequent breakouts. As we get older, more Vata elements show up such as dryness, wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. The three phases are like the spring, summer and winter seasons of our lives.
And while most people experience all three stages at different points in their lives, your underlying specific dosha type still remains an important factor when it comes to caring for the skin, to prevent premature aging and to age with grace.
Read on to find out how you should care for your specific skin type for healthy aging no matter what stage you’re in life currently!
Anti-aging medicine is only an evolving branch in most Western medicine systems, but it has always been a part of Ayurvedic study and practice for 5000 years because Ayurveda prioritizes ‘Aayush and Arogyam’ or longevity with good health.
Now comes the best part!
Ayurveda not only explains the process of aging but also gives significant recommendations for each skin type to prevent premature aging, reduce the look of deep wrinkles and maintain a youthful, active and livelier life - everything required for ‘Sukhayu Vriddhavastha’ or healthy aging.
Of all skin types, Vata skin is most prone to aging as it comprises the space and air elements. As a result, a Vata imbalance causes the skin to age faster and thereby increases the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and age spots.
Vata types require the most simple and easy-to-digest meal plans such as foods that are of soft, moist texture like soups and stews. Vata imbalance can greatly aggravate ‘Jatharagni’ or digestive fire and hence needs gentle care. Cold, frozen drinks and excessive intake of dry eatables like popcorn and crackers should be avoided for the Vata body.
‘Abhyanga’ or regular oil massage is the perfect practice to include in your daily skincare routine to care for Vata imbalance. Ghee, sesame oil and almond oil are the best oils suitable for practicing Abhyanga on Vata skin. It not only helps balance the Doshas but also delay the age-related changes or signs of Jara as it promotes hydration and nourishment which are crucial for Vata skin type, especially in the colder months.
Abhyanga for Vata skin can also be done using lukewarm milk as the high level of protein found in milk promotes elasticity of the skin and supports the delicate Vata skin.
Oleation or oil massage is one of the important steps in the ancient Ayurvedic ‘Panchakarma’ healing treatment catered towards rejuvenation of tissues and boosting body immunity that naturally contributes to healthy aging.
Mix 1 teaspoon of oatmeal and 1 teaspoon of milk or cream to make a paste. Sprinkle a bit of powdered rose petals to this mixture. Gently massage it onto your face and rinse off when dry. Using a natural cleanser will avoid the look of aged skin in Vata skin to a great extent.
Or, if you’re not much of a DIYer, check out Ajara’s Coconut Rose Softening Wash and Oatmeal Nutmeg Smoothifying Exfoliator - the perfect 100% natural cleanser specifically formulated for Vata skin!
For a more luxurious, yet natural and accessible skincare routine, you can also try iYURA’s Yauvari Amplified Youth Spring – an Ayurvedic Vegan Serum catered towards tightening and firming the skin for a glowy, youthful appearance!
Perfect for Vata skin, this formula contains the goodness of Black Gram in a nurturing base of Sesame Oil, as it provides optimum moisturization while it also cares for the delicate Vata skin.
After cleansing your face with an Ayurvedic gentle face cleanser, use no more than 1 pump of iYURA’s Yauvari Amplified Youth Spring to reduce the look of wrinkles, fine lines and dry skin for a smoother, vibrant appearance.
As Pitta skin is thicker than Vata skin, signs of aging don’t show that easily. However, this type of skin is vulnerable to damage caused by the sun which is also an important external factor that contributes to premature aging! If not given proper care, Pitta skin can easily flare up and cause an uneven skin tone, sun spots, and also lead to age spots.
Pitta skin, because of its fiery element, needs a lot of cool, soothing and calming care to prevent premature aging. Pitta diet should therefore include cool, energizing and hearty food. Besides, spices such as cumin, fennel and turmeric also work well for Pitta body. However, excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol can aggravate Pitta.
For Pitta skin, Abhyanga or massage should be done using cool oils such as Coconut oil or Sunflower oil.
Coconut oil is revered as a natural age-revitalizing serum when used topically. When absorbed into the skin, Coconut oil keeps the layers of the skin looking strong and thereby keeps the Pitta skin supple by significantly reducing the appearance of fine lines. Further, it is also associated with boosting the health of skin fibers that might have been otherwise damaged due to sun exposure in the Pitta skin.
For a simple and easy Pitta skincare routine, apply a mask of pure raw honey over your face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wash off gently with cool water. Repeat once a week. Honey is rich in probiotics that nourish Pitta skin and reverses the look of wrinkles and helps with other age-related damages.
Mix the juice of 1 cucumber along with 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel and 1 tablespoon rosewater in a small bowl. Blend until you get a smooth mixture. Use this as a natural face mist to cool down the Pitta skin and to protect it from photodamage and signs of premature aging.
Or, check out Ajara’s Sweetgrass Aloe Refreshing Toner – a formulation with benefits galore for Pitta skin!
To get a more refreshed look and an upgraded spa-like care for Pitta skin, you can also try iYURA’s Manjish Glow Elixir.
This formula contains the cooling properties of Lemon or Jambheer prepared with Licorice, the Ayurvedic herb that is not only naturally rich in properties that help uplift the degenerated look of skin but is also specifically used to help with the effects of intense sun on skin - a heavenly combo for Pitta skin that’s going through the Vata stage of life!
Owing to its thicker and juicier texture, Kapha skin tends to show signs of aging far less than Vata or Pitta skin. It ages slower and therefore the appearance of wrinkles also occurs much slower. But, Kapha skin tends to struggle with large pores that are often accumulated with blackheads.
This blockage also reduces the circulation of nutrients to the skin and therefore contributes to visible signs of Jara or aging.
Caring for Kapha skin should be all about maintaining a balance in bodily activity. Light, warm food that are dry or astringent but clarifying at the same time such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be included in the diet for the Kapha type. Also, remember to avoid too much oily food as it’ll increase oil production from the inside-out.
What works best for Kapha skin is a routine that cleanses and clarifies the skin properly using gentle, natural and non-toxic scrubs or exfoliators.
For Kapha skin, Ayurveda recommends a combination of ‘Garshana’ massage followed by a warm steam bath to prevent premature aging. Garshana or Ayurvedic dry brushing is a technique developed specifically for Kapha skin to expel ‘ama’ or the excess chemical waste produced lest it may get accumulated.
Use 100% raw silk Garshana gloves to practice this method of dry brushing all over the body. This not only stimulates the blood flow and improves energy but also helps the lymphatic system work better, which is crucial for Kapha skin’s care.
Mix 1 tablespoon organic sugar and ½ teaspoon ginger powder with enough water to make a paste. Use as a gentle scrub and massage it in circles. Natural exfoliators reduce the look of dullness in Kapha skin and also prevents build-up of toxins.
For easier, hassle-free and an affordable skincare routine for Kapha skin, try iYURA’s Varanya Pure Black Seed Even-Toning Facial Potion – a Vegan Ayurvedic elixir for a clarified glow and livelier skin.
iYURA’s Varanya Pure Black Seed Even-Toning Facial Potion contains Nigella Sativa, the MIRACLE-seed to clear Kapha skin’s enlarged pores and to help with excessive oil while it also provides the much-needed delicate support for the Kapha skin.
In order to equip yourself to combat Jara and its visible signs on skin in full-Ayurvedic style, it’s also important to be mindful about what you’re applying on your skin. A healthy and conscious approach to restoring youthfulness includes choosing 100% all-natural, organic and herbal ingredients that are safe not just for your skin, but also for the environment.
Follow this table to make sure that you treat your skin in the best possible way by including these natural substitutes that Ayurveda recommends for revitalizing your skin instead of the commonly found chemical compounds in most skin-renewing and repairing products:
Indian Ginseng or Ashwagandha - has many beneficial effects including reducing dull and puffy-looking skin for a healthy shine as it revitalizes the very quality of your skin so much so that it is known as the ‘root of immortality’!
Found in iYURA’s Rujahari Oil that specifically helps feel rejuvenated and relaxed as it promotes liveliness in all respect!
Velvet Bean – is known to give luxuriously soft, velvety texture to your skin. Besides, it soothes and purifies skin while, keeping your skin looking clear. Velvet Bean is also known to nourish, rejuvenate and provide with nurturing unctuousness for the perfect youthful-looking skin.
Found in iYURA’s Balaayah Body Booster that sweeps away aged and dehydrated-looking skin for a rich, vibrant and energized look!
Black Gram - naturally contains enough minerals to keep your skin looking ultra-smooth, hydrated and supple as it regenerates and restores vibrance by improving both the tone and texture of your lusterless and tired-looking skin.
Found in iYURA’s Yauvari Amplified Youth Spring for smooth, supple and bouncy-looking skin that is free from the look of wrinkles, spots and lines!
Triphala – is a power-packed Ayurvedic ingredient containing 3 different herbs – Amla or Indian Gooseberry, Vibhitaki and Haritaki that work together to help delay visible signs of aging. In fact, in Ayurveda, Triphala is considered to be so good for the body and mind that it’s classified as a ‘Rasayana’ or that which invigorates the body.
Found in iYURA’s Paraania Oil to enhance your dry, dull-looking and tired skin for an even-toned, silky-smooth glow!
Black Plum – is held to be the richest source of naturally occurring nutrients that actively help fight signs of premature aging on skin. It clears up your skin for a smooth, rosy and lively glow by means of its intense moisturization and nourishment.
Found in iYURA’s Prinourish Skin Enriching Superfood Serum - strengthens your skin from the inside for a never-before-seen exuberant-looking skin!
You might have noticed, by now, that Ayurveda doesn’t support anti-aging just because THERE IS NO ANTI-AGING! Aging is a natural and beautiful journey in itself. What Ayurveda recommends, instead, are holistic practices that will equip you to care for yourself in the best way possible to live mindfully and to experience life with serenity.
Know more about what else can be done to experience aging in a healthy way, here!