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Ayurvedic principles for lasting beauty

Ayurveda defines the three pillars of beauty, and the secret to beauty is mastering these three pillars. They are outer beauty (roopam), inner beauty (gunam), and the beauty that lasts (vayastyag). Outer beauty is personified by radiance, energy, and immunity; inner beauty by a pure, clear, and calm mind; and everlasting beauty by the feeling that age is only a number. Ayurveda’s approach to beautiful skin doesn’t rely on products or treatments for temporary results, but instead focuses on habits to maintain these pillars.

 

In this article, we’ll introduce you to Ayurvedic beauty as an aspect of the Vedic lifestyle, starting with an overview of Ayuveda’s Skin Care Theory, and then moving on to specific diet and lifestyle practices for generating beauty from within.

 

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest forms of holistic medicine, developed thousands of years ago by ancient scientists who observed and learned the healing powers of nature. Ayurveda sees each individual as the healer and guides everyone toward a state of health and wellbeing by suggesting a unique path formed by diet and lifestyle behaviors. There is no “one size fits all” approach in Ayurveda. Nature created a “unique,” balanced you, and if you follow her laws, health and beauty are sure to follow!

Ayurveda skin care theory

Ayurveda takes a two-prong approach to mindfully managing and reversing both the effects of time and external factors on the skin. The approach is holistic (body, mind, and spirit) in nature, and consists of a number of diet and lifestyle recommendations.

Feeding beauty from within – the Inputs (Ahara)

Skin is nourished from the inside out through the concept of Ahara which includes intake of food, water, breath, and perceptions.

Food

Food feeds skin from within with appropriate foods such as cooked, leafy greens and fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Rich in natural antioxidants, these help protect the skin (twak) from damage by free radicals, reactive oxygen-based chemicals, which are widely linked to disease and aging.

Water

Drinking plenty of water helps maintain skin’s elasticity and flushes out impurities while helping to minimize wrinkles and soft lines. Water should be warm and sipped continuously throughout the day for optimal hydration and plumpness of skin.

Breath

The practice of pranayama or breathing techniques, such as Alternate Nostril Breath, helps calm the parasympathetic nervous system and reduce stress which causes chemical reactions in the body making skin more reactive and sensitive.

Perceptions

Spending time in nature and/or meditation brings deep relaxation and a heightened state of awareness allowing you to be mindful of stressors and make adjustments to avoid bodily reactions manifesting on the skin.

 

Rear view of woman applying oil to body in darkroom at home

Live life beautifully through your actions (Vihara)

Vihara are the activities that influence your daily lifestyle and include proper exercise, adequate sleep, and components of your daily routine like washing your face and abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage. 

Proper exercise 

In moderation, exercise increases circulation, improves metabolism, releases toxins and impurities and keeps the skin soft, supple, and clear. It also helps to firm the skin and keep the body toned while strengthening the dhatus or deeper tissues.  Healthy tissues provide bountiful Ojas which gives the skin a healthy glow.

Sleep

Sleep is the time when your body repairs itself. During sleep, your skin’s blood flow increases, and collagen production is initiated to help repair sun damage, wrinkles, and age spots. Ideally, you should sleep and rise with the cycles of the sun, resulting in the optimal 7-8 hours of sleep needed each day.  

Daily routine 

Begin each morning by washing your face to remove secretions produced during the night. Next, a full-body massage (abhyanga), with an oil suitable for your skin type, to increase circulation, flush out toxins, and keep the skin looking soft, smooth, and supple.  

Determining the proper components and amounts of Ahara and Vihara for your specific body and skin type is dependent on your body composition (prakriti). To learn more about your body constitution, check out our blog article, Ten Ways Knowing Your Individual Constitution or Prakriti Can Empower You.  

 

Study Ayurvedic beauty with us!

True beauty begins within and the secret to finding it is simply making a few adjustments to your diet and daily lifestyle. Would you like to learn more about Ayurveda’s approach to beautiful skin and hair? Join us for our 2-day workshop on Ayurvedic Skin and Beauty, June 24-25, 2023. Click here to learn more and register for the workshop.

Revitalize your skin with an Ayurvedic DIY facial

Portrait of beautiful woman in rainforest
In our prior blog, Ayurvedic principles for lasting beauty, we introduced you to Ayurvedic skin care theory and discussed how to begin building beautiful skin from the inside out with diet and lifestyle practices. In this article, we dive deeper into skincare practices with tips on identifying your unique Ayurvedic skin type, plus some simple DIY facial pack recipes made with everyday items from your kitchen.

 

Your unique Ayurvedic body and skin constitution

Prakriti is your natural, in-born body constitution, which is composed of a combination of three energy principals: Vata, Pitta, Kapha, called Doshas. Everyone has all three Doshas present within them, but in different quantities. The quantity of each determines many things about you, including (but not limited to): your personality, perceptions, emotions and physical appearance including the characteristics of your skin. Understanding your skin type can help you choose the best ingredients for supporting its health and radiance.

Vata skin qualities

  •  Dry and quickly uses up any external lubrication
  • Thin, finely pored and delicate
  • Cool to the touch
  • Chaps easily and may be rough and/or flaky

 

Pitta skin qualities

  •  Fair, soft, warm and medium in thickness
  • Complexion is likely pink or reddish in nature
  • Freckles and/or moles present
  • Photosensitive, does not tolerate the sun well
  • Conducive to breakouts and rashes
  • Easily aggravated by emotional stress

 

Kapha skin qualities

  • Thick, oily, soft and cool to the touch
  • Complexion tends to be lighter in nature
  • Collagen is more plentiful
  • Enlarged pores, excessively oily and prone to blackheads, pimples, and fungal infections

 

You may have a combination of Vata, Pitta and Kapha skin qualities, though you will likely tend towards one or two that dominates. You can use those Doshas as your guide to selecting which recipe below is right for you.

Do it yourself Ayurvedic facial recipes

Now onto the “Do It Yourself” Ayurvedic Facial recipes! For optimal results, set aside some time to enjoy the process. Mix up and apply your facial pack, then find a quiet room where you can lie down and enjoy a peaceful meditation while your skin soaks it in. The recipes should make enough for two applications, so invite a friend or family member to join you, or store the leftover in your refrigerator for a second application. (Use within one week).

Note: Apply all packs to the face using upward strokes. Leave on for 10-20 minutes while you relax, then wipe off with a warm, moist towel, again using upward strokes.

Jar with white face cream (moisturizer, mask, ointment) and lavender flower. Natural skin care concept. Top view, copy space.

Sesame Pack for Vata: dry, undernourished skin

1 tbsp of room temperature yogurt (avocado can be substituted as a vegan option)
1-2 drops of sesame oil
¼ tsp of triphala powder
1-2 drops of lavender essential oil

Mix ingredients together until smooth.  Sesame’s slightly warming nature nourishes and penetrates dry skin, triphala provides toning and lavender calming for the skin and mind.

Henna, turmeric and neem powder in bowls on a grey background

Turmeric and Neem Pack for Pitta: combination skin or breakouts 

1 tbsp chickpea flour
¼ tsp neem powder
¼ tsp ground turmeric powder
1 tbsp water, aloe juice or almond milk

Combine dry ingredients first and then slowly add liquid of choice until a paste forms. Neem and turmeric calm and cool aggravated skin while chickpea flour dries and exfoliates the skin.

Directly Above Shot Of Ingredients

Honey and Chickpea Flour Pack for Kapha: oily or dull skin

1 tbsp of room temperature yogurt (avocado can be substituted as a vegan option)
1 tsp organic raw honey
1 tbsp chickpea flour
¼ tsp of triphala powder
¼ tsp of turmeric or a pinch of saffron threads

Thoroughly mix yogurt/avocado with honey. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then slowly begin to incorporate the wet mixture to form a paste. Honey stimulates and rejuvenates the skin by stimulating blood flow while turmeric and saffron give it a healthy glow.

Study Ayurvedic beauty with us!

Ayurveda offers a variety of lifestyle and natural approaches for beautiful skin. Would you like to learn more DIY recipes for your skin and hair? Join us for our 2-day workshop on Ayurvedic Skin and Beauty, June 25-26, 2022. Click here to learn more or register for the workshop.