Beauty Care has been an integral part of Ayurveda since time immemorial. According to the wisdom of Ayurveda, beauty can lies in simple acts of reverent self-care. Putting in place a regular health and hygiene routine using simple ingredients and methods is what make Ayurvedic remedies are very effective.
There are several Ayurvedic self-care practices designed to support the healthy functioning of one’s skin, hair, eyes, and feet will kindle your radiance from head to toe. According to Ayurveda, skin, blood and Pitta dosha are inter-related. Many of the skin problems are caused due to impaired Pitta. Ayurveda uses natural ingredients which address the problems internally and externally, but make sure the ingredients used match your dosha imbalance along with some seasonal adjustments.
The body mostly needs three kinds of treatments: Cleansers, Moisturizers and Scrubs.
Cleansers: This treatment cleans the skin and opens up the pores. It is recommended to use appropriate oil suited to one’s body type and gently massage the face. Excess oil must be removed with a cotton pad. It is best to apply the oil at night and wash it away in the morning. The oil appropriate for each dosha:
Vata: Almond, Olive or Sesame Oil
Pitta: Sunflower, Coconut or Olive
Kapha: Safflower, Corn or Grapeseed
Neem leaves are also very effective in treating acne and other skin problems. The leaves are ground to make a paste/face mask or neem oil is used as a cleanser.
Moisturizers: These treatments lubricate and moisturize the skin, thus imparting a shiny glow. Use appropriate oil suited to your body type and dip your finger-tips lightly in it. Gently massage the face (preferably on a damp face). Any excess oil can be wiped off with a cotton pad.
Kapha: Safflower or Grapeseed
Face Scrub: Face scrub is usually a combination of a dry ingredient and a binding liquid. The scrub can be used to exfoliate the skin multiple times a week, depending on the season. Take teo teaspoons of the dry ingredient and add just enough binding liquid to make a paste. This paste is applied on the skin in a circular motion. Let it stand for a few minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
Vata: Sea Salt + Oil
Pitta: Powdered Milk/Oatmeal + Water
Kapha: Cornmeal + Honey
Face Masks: Face masks are used to relax and tone your face skin. Relax your face once the mask is applied and place cucumber/potato slices on the eyes to cool them simultaneously.
Vata: Banana or Honey
Mashed up banana or a thin layer of honey acts as a good mask. Leave it for 10 minutes and then wipe off with a cotton pad or cloth.
Pitta: Avocado + Fresh Cream
A mixture of mashed up avocado and fresh cream serves as a refreshing mask. Leave it for 10 minutes and then wipe off with a cotton pad or cloth.
For Kapha dominant body, applesauce can be used as a mask. Leave it for 5 minutes and wipe off with a cotton pad or cloth.
Turmeric and sandalwood powder mixed with curd/yogurt is also an effective face mask for acne prone skin. These ingredients have anti-septic properties, and the mask makes your skin smooth, soft, acne-free and even toned. Mix the ingredients to make a thin paste and apply it on the face. Leave it for 10-15 minutes and then wash the face.
Ayurveda advocates Amla, shikakai, coconut oil and henna as the main ingredients for hair care. Apart from these, medicated oils like Kunthala kanthi oil, Neelibhringadi oil, Kanjunnyadi oil are very useful.
Coconut Hot Oil treatment: Warm half a cup of extra virgin coconut oil and add brahmi powder to it. Either drizzle the oil directly or use a small cotton swab to apply the oil evenly on the scalp. Massage with your fingers through the hair and the scalp. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave it overnight.
Hair Pack: Make a thick paste with henna, gooseberry powder and brahmi powder along with curd. Apply the pack on the hair and leave it for 1-2 hours. Wash the hair with clean water.
Dandruff Treatment: A mixture of brahmi oil and lemon juice can be applied evenly on the scalp with fingertips or using cotton swabs. Leave it for some time and then wash the hair with clean water. Brahmi oil energizes the hair follicles and increases blood circulation in the head region.
Natural Shampoo: Shikakai powder is a natural cleanser and fenugreek powder fights hair loss. Mix both these ingredients in equal amounts and add enough water to make a thin paste. Apply this paste on the hair and scalp just like a normal shampoo and wash it away with water. The shikakai powder will lather just like any other shampoo.
Every morning wash your eyes with cold water. Splash the cold water on eyes three or four times. This refreshes the eyes and adds a sparkle to them. This can be done twice a day, in the morning and evening. Avoid using hot or ice cold water for the eyes.
Kajal: Indian women use kajal- a homemade natural eye liner to beautify their eyes. It is prepared at home with castor oil, coconut oil, almond oil and black mustard seeds. It is believed to make the eyes brighter, improves vision and encourages the growth of eyelashes.
Wrinkle treatment: Turmeric and honey can be added to pure rosewater to make a thin paste. This paste should be applied around the eyes and even on the whole face if there are wrinkles. Leave it for some time and then wash away. Use this pack two or three times a week for best results.
Avoid using harsh chemicals and makeup around the eyes as the area is quite sensitive. Getting enough sleep helps reduce the dark circles and tiredness in eyes; thus, revitalizing them and making them fresh and lively.
Body Scrub: Red lentil or moong dal powder serves as an excellent body scrub. Mix this with about one-fourth amount of rice flour, a teaspoon of turmeric and milk to make a smooth paste. Apply this paste all over the body and leave it for a few minutes. Wash off with clean water (there is no need to use soap!). A paste of chickpea flour with water/milk can be used as a body scrub for a glowing and blemish-free skin.
Foot Scrub: Mix the juice of half a lemon with two tablespoons of brown sugar and two tablespoons of oil (olive/ coconut oil) and massage your feet thoroughly with this paste. Leave it for 15 minutes and then wash off and pat dry. This treatment helps moisturize the feet and also remove the dead skin, making the feet soft and supple. Pamper your feet with this treatment once in a week for best results.
Hand Scrub: Add sea salt and oil to prepare the scrub with enough oil to mellow down the harshness of sea salt. The oil can be coconut, olive or almond oil depending upon one’s dosha type. Apply this scrub thoroughly on the hands and rinse it off with clean water.