Ayurveda is an ancient form of traditional medicine that originated in India around 3000-2500 BCE. It follows a holistic approach by considering the body, mind and spirit while treating health issues. Ayurveda is gaining importance in the beauty and skincare industry and is used in beautification and treatment of various skin ailments. You may come across a multitude of Ayurvedic skincare products and treatments in the market, however, it is important to understand your skin type and the ingredients used in them for getting the best results.
Ayurvedic Ways of Understanding Your Skin Type and Caring for it
The first step in an Ayurvedic approach to skincare is knowing your skin type.
According to Ayurveda, there are three skin types based on a person’s mind-body principles known as Doshas, they are:
A Vata person tends to have dry, lined and flaky skin that causes wrinkles if not moisturized regularly. This skin type is characterized by smaller pores when compared to other skin types. A Vata skincare routine should include essential oils or herbs such as Ashwagandha which has great anti-inflammatory properties that nourishes the skin and keeps it hydrated.
People with Pitta skin type tend to have oily skin and are susceptible to acne, pimples, and Rosacea. Pitta skin requires natural formulations made of aloe vera, turmeric, sandalwood or peppermint with anti-inflammatory and emollient properties.
Kapha (Water and Earth)
Due to its thickness and oiliness, Kapha skin is prone to accumulate toxins under the skin leading to whiteheads and cystic acne, leaving scars. Aloe vera and rose petals have excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties that are suitable for Kapha type skin.
As time passes, your skin type can also change due to external factors such as climate, environmental pollution, diet and lifestyle patterns. These factors should also be taken into consideration before choosing a skin-care routine.
Panchakarma Treatment for Skin Diseases
Ayurveda follows the principle of treating the disease at its root, not just symptomatic treatment. Panchakarma often referred to as the soul of Ayurveda is a treatment that eliminates toxins from the body, prevents and treats skin diseases at its root. This form of treatment consists of five actions:
- Virechan: Cleansing the skin with powders, pastes, or heated medicinal plants
- Vaman: Forced vomiting or cleansing with herbal medicine intakes
- Basti: Massaging or enemas using warm oils
- Rakta moksha: Blood cleaning, ideal for treating skin diseases such as eczema and pigmentation
- Nasya: Nasal clearance with herbal remedies, oils, and scents
To perform a Panchakarma treatment, you need to visit a professional Ayurvedic clinic for an overnight stay.
Few Ayurvedic Skin Care Home Remedies
- Spot treatment with neem oil: Apply some neem oil with a cotton swab to your pimples or spots of minor inflammation. Neem oil has a great anti-inflammatory effect that work wonders for your skin.
- Sandalwood and turmeric face pack: Mix 1 tablespoon of sandalwood powder, ½ tablespoon turmeric, and 2-3 tablespoons of honey. Apply this mask to your face and keep until it dries and wash with cold water. Sandalwood and turmeric are antimicrobial agents that help remove tan and bring a radiant glow to your face.
- Besan for spotless skin: Gram flour or Besan has great skin cleansing and antimicrobial properties. It is ideal for removing dark spots, tans, and pigmentation. Mix 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour, ½ teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of milk. Apply this pack to your face, allow it to dry completely, and wash with lukewarm water.
All the above listed formulations and treatments are effective for the treatment of a wide variety of skin ailments and problems. They are also backed by scientific research owing to the several beneficial ingredients and properties found in them. You can take advantage of these Ayurveda skincare routines and treatments to improve your skin health or treat existing conditions.
This article is reviewed by Dr. Ashwini Konnur