Beautiful skin is the result of your whole body being healthy from living in harmony with nature, practicing nourishing habits, and eating wholesome foods. We can determine a great deal about our health just by looking at the skin on our face.
In addition to a healthy lifestyle and diet, choosing organic, wholesome ingredients to put on your skin will go a long way in creating radiant skin and, in the long term, help with your overall health. Ayurveda provides us with a simple adage, “If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.” This is important to remember when choosing skin care products and deciding how to care for our skin.
Ayurveda recognizes that we all have unique needs, and this philosophy allows us to customize which ingredients and routines would most benefit our skin type. Ayurvedic principles revolve around three doshas or energies that define a person’s physical and mental makeup. The three doshas, which are derived from the five elements, are vata, pitta and kapha.
- Vata refers to qualities reflecting space and air. Comparing a vata dosha to a customary Western skincare category, this skin type will generally be the dry, sensitive skin category.
- Pitta involves fire and water attributes and generally is susceptible to quick burns and highly sensitive. This skin type generally falls in the combination skin category and finds relief with cooling formulas.
- Kapha indicates water and earth characteristics which makes it prone to congested pores and need detoxifying skincare remedies. This skin type most likely will be oily.
To best determine your skin type, go beyond the physical texture and characteristics of your skin and evaluate factors such as environment, level of anxiety, seasonal changes, weight gain, anger, etc. How does your skin react in spring vs summer? Do you get easily flushed when angry or frustrated? How does your skin react in times of high stress? Once you have a observed your skin’s reaction over a period of time, then you can focus on the Ayurveda recommended skincare routine of cleansing, exfoliating, and nourishing.
Based on your skin type you can incorporate key ayurvedic herbs and fruits such as turmeric, neem, ashwagandha, coconut, amla or Indian gooseberry, and tulsi. While picking skincare, focus on potency of formula, combination of herbs and delivery systems of skincare. Certain herbs don’t work well together despite their individual benefits; look for complimentary properties when picking skincare ingredients (e.g. an antiseptic herb with an anti-inflammatory herb will provider much greater benefit than a combination of two anti-septic herbs).
In addition to properly combining the herbs, delivery systems are critical to get right in Ayurvedic skincare blends. Look for skincare formulas that are closest to the natural form of herbs and fruits such as gel matrices, natural gels and gums along with encapsulation so there is a slower release of the herbs over time.