Ayurveda and Skincare
Hello my melanin queens! Long gone are days of hiding our roti and curry under the lunch table, wearing foundation 5 shades too light, and running from our moms while they chased us with coconut oil in one hand and a brush in the other. Ok, maybe that last part was just me. Anyway, we are entering a new journey of self love and expression by fully embracing the beauty that radiates from the motherland, specifically through Ayurveda.
Ayurvedic care stems from ancient India and prioritizes holistic care and prevention through an emphasis on the connection between your mind and body. In other words, what goes into your body will reflect itself on the outside. It's more than skin deep. Here are some ways of incorporating Ayurvedic beauty practices to enhance your skin care.
1. Exfoliation- Udvartana
A key practice in an Ayurvedic lifestyle is detoxing from impurities that build up. In life, this means removing toxic people or leaving the job you hate. In skincare, it means removing toxic buildup through exfoliation, or Udvarthana, which is the process of dry brushing your skin to get rid of dead skin cells. Lymph fluid circulates through your body carrying proteins and buildup. Exfoliation activates lymphatic drainage and opens your pores to help release buildup toxins. This helps boost your immune system and allows your new skin cells to start fresh and absorb essential nutrients.
**Make sure to exfoliate in the direction towards your heart to align with the lymph flow!**
Ingredients to use in exfoliation include:
- Honey: It contains antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, so it is great for fighting bacteria. It helps open up clogged pores, promotes collagen production, and balances skin pH.
- Turmeric: This bright yellow powder has curcumin which contains anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is used to calm and heal the skin. It can significantly benefit acne prone skin.
- Himalayan salt: Also known as pink salt, it works to absorb dirt that clogs your skin. While salt typically makes you thirstier, it has a complete opposite effect on the skin. This salt has an affinity to water and infuses your skin with essential minerals that hydrate your skin and fortify your skin barrier. It is recommended to those with acne and aim for pimple prevention.
2. Oil Massage- Abhyanga
Oils are a great way to replenish your skin because they allow your skin and bloodstream to absorb essential nutrients, polyphenols, and antioxidants. A gentle oil massage can stimulate circulation, improve metabolism and overall just relax your nervous system. Some of our favorite oils include:
- Neem oil: Contains fatty acids, vitamin E, antioxidants, liminoids. This is great for dry skin and can also help treat eczema or psoriasis. Be sure to dilute this with a carrier oil like grapeseed oil or fractionated coconut oil.
- Coconut oil: Contains vitamin E and contains lauric acid, which kills acne scarring bacteria. It is great for reducing acne scarring, but it is NOT advisable for those with oily skin.
- Sesame seed oil: Power packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This has been widely used for centuries because of its antibacterial properties that help fight acne without heavily clogging pores. Massage a few drops of your favorite oil onto your skin and it will leave your skin feeling moisturized and healthy!
3. Consistency- Dinacharya
Dinacharya refers to synchronizing your day with a consistent routine. A daily routine is essential to maintaining a balance in your energy and anxiety levels. It stabilizes your biological clock by regulating your digestion, sleep, anxiety, and discipline.
- Open your windows and make your bed. Feel groggy in the morning? Getting natural light into your room will trigger your brain and signal it to be alert. Once you get up, make it a habit to at least lay out your sheets. You’ll get a good stretch in, declutter your space, and mentally prepare yourself for the day!
- Drink a tall glass of water in the morning to jump start your digestive system. Drinking water on an empty stomach will help your body release toxins and regulate blood flow. Your skin and digestive system will thank you!
- Meditate or listen to calming music. Don't underestimate the power of a motivational podcast or your favorite appy tunes to stimulate your mind! This will lower cortisol levels and increase dopamine, which work to elevate your mood.
We hope you enjoyed this first installation of Ayurveda and Skincare! More to come soon.
Written by Gloris Sajan