What is Ayurveda Skin Care?
Ayurveda says that the body is made of three doshas, seven dhatus, and three malas. The delicate balance of the same depends on the state of your Agni or metabolism i.e., happy Agni = happy body = happy you.
Starting with the star of the show: RASA DHATU.
One of the first things formed in the body after digestion that performs several vital functions within it. There is not a particular tissue that can be termed the "Rasa Dhatu".
If we attempt translating it into modern scientific language, instead it’s a mix of liquid secretions and concoctions of the body. Some Vaidya's consider it to be plasma some intercellular fluid and others something else.
The important thing is that Rasa Dhatu is a water element dominant dhaatu. Good Rasa Dhaatu means good skin, a healthy mind, and a better foundation for the rest of your body to build upon.
How to Understand Our Skin?
Healthy skin reflects the lifestyle that we are living and the food we eat, there are some measures to understand the skin and the problem which our body is facing.
Our skin is in resonance with our physical fitness and mental response to external stimuli i.e. It is glowing and radiant when we are physically well and fairly at peace with the world.
Or dull and rather drawn when we have been ill, feeling off par, or suffering from stress, and anxiety.
To understand the skin at a deeper level, there are 3 major doshas (disbalancing factors) that affect the human body.
- Imbalance of Vata – Cause Drying and Pain
- Imbalance of Pitta – Cause Redness and Burning Sensation
- Imbalance of Kapha – Cause itching and excess oiliness
This is the golden rule that is implied everywhere (Of course with exception), same is with skin.
There are guidelines to decide which current dosha predominance of your skin.
According to Tone and Undertones
- Pitta - Red, Orange, Yellow.
- Kapha - Blue, Green
- Vata - Blue, Grey
According to Texture
- Pitta – Soft
- Kapha – Smooth
- Vata – Rough
According to Temperature
- Pitta – Warm
- Kapha – Cold
- Vata – Hor or Cold
These conditions of the skin are nothing but the response to the condition of rasa dhatu and rasa dhatu is nothing but the body’s response to your diet and mental status.
What are the Ayurvedic Skincare Treatments for Home?
Ayurvedic skin treatment depends upon various factors like Dhatu, and doshas, let’s talk about them one by one.
First, we need to work on Rasa Dhatu which is important for healthy skin, but the question is how do you improve your Rasa Dhatu and ultimately achieve healthy, supple, and radiant skin?
There are two ways or paths to keep the Rasa Dhatu on track that are internal and external, you can take either the internal, external, or integrated path to the solution.
Let's talk about the internal path first, use Ayurveda plant-based herbs or powders for internal path.
You can take Ayurveda herbs by using methods like boiling herbs with water, mixing with honey, or mixing with butter, ghee, or oil, it depends upon which method suits you or you like.
Here is the list of Ayurveda herbs with their uses.
- Pomegranate peel – For Cleansing and Helps in Discoloration.
- Triphala – for Aids Overall Revitalization of the Body.
- Hemidesmus Indicus – For Cooling and Blood Purification.
- Neem (Azadirachta Indica) – For Cleansing and Drying.
- Pipal chal (Ficus Religiosa) – For Blood Cleaning, Drying, and Color Correction.
- Bargad chal (Ficus Bengalensis) – For Purification of Rasa.
- Terminalia Arjuna – For Blood Purification
- Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) – For Nourishing and Cooling.
Method of taking these herbs according to the skin type.
- For Oily Skin - mix the above powders with honey and lick.
- For Normal Skin - mix with hot water.
- For Dry Skin - mix with fats like:
- For Hot body type - with butter/coconut oil
- For Cool body type - with sesame oil
Vaidya Tip - if you have low metabolism, try having them with ghee *
For External Path
Externally, permutations and combinations of the same powders can be used with additions like orange peel, bitter almond, rice flour, red lentil flour, etc.
Method of Application of these herbs
- Oily skin - mix the above-mentioned powders with honey and little water for proper consistency
- Normal - mix with water
- Sensitive skin - cucumber juice / organic rose water
Dry skin - mix with fats like:
Hot body type - with butter/coconut oil
Cool body type- with sesame oil/mustard oil.
All of these improve the Rasa and Rakta (blood) quality thereby improving overall skin health and appearance. Choose the path that suits you (it might be an integrated mix of both types and either one.)
Vaidya Tip - While these tips work phenomenally on their own, they're deeply improved by also having a good diet and disciplined sleep schedule.
Now the second factor is doshas, as we discussed earlier there are three doshas that help to maintain the skin and body healthy and fit.
Here is the skin treatment according to the doshas.
For Kapha Doshas
Kapha being oily and heavy dry powder message is your best. Just take some rice flour/lentil flour roast it a little and rub it all over the body (the above-mentioned powders can be added too).
Oils can cause further heaviness to your system so use them as less as possible.
For Pitta Doshas
Pitta being hot and sensitive a lot of cooling and anti-inflammatory remedies like cucumbers, coconuts, milk, cool water (not iced), and aloe vera, are very useful both internally and externally.
Stimulating remedies like coffee, tea, ginger, chilies, onion, garlic, and pickles are best to be avoided.
For Vata Doshas
Vatta being dry and mobile, oils are your best friend whatever the kind your skin will love them inside and out, anything that dries you out can be harmful e.g., Roasted nuts, cereals, and pulses.
(Vaidya tip!) Even if all this is too much, taking simple steps to improve your overall health like routine sleeping and eating schedules with more whole foods will improve your body a lot.
I, Vd. Dr. Mohika Gupta (BAMS) has taken this ancient wisdom and applied it not only to myself but also to my patients to significantly improve their overall skin health.
Hope they help you too.
* Disclaimer - These are general guidelines for people considered generally healthy, please consult an ayurvedic doctor before consumption and patch test every new type of application.