Ayurveda Beauty Tips for All Skin Types

According to Ayurveda, the dosha Vata predominates in the fall and early winter. Vata also increases in people over the age of 50 and in those who are under a lot of stress. One of the results of an imbalance of Vata is that our skin can become dry, irritated and rough. One of the best tools for keeping a youthful complexion is to avoid excess Vata.

Here are some Ayurvedic tips that will not only help to slow down Vata accumulation in the body, but will also help nourish the body, supporting soft, radiant skin from the inside out.

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  1. Hydrate

Drinking water (either plain or in the form of other fluids or foods) is essential to your health. Fluid losses occurs naturally due to skin evaporation, breathing, and normal elimination, and these losses must be replaced daily for good health. Your body is composed of about 60% water and depends on fluids for proper digestion, absorption, circulation, the transportation of nutrients and the regulation of body temperature.

During the cold months of the year, heating systems, especially forced air heat, cause additional loss of fluids. So putting attention on staying hydrated in the winter is as important as during the hot months of summer.

Skin needs moisture to stay flexible. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. Drink plenty of plain water throughout the day: hot water is best for Vata and Kapha types, while room temperature is best for Pittas. Don’t drink iced beverages. Avoid carbonated beverages. Remember that caffeinated drinks are diuretic, ultimately reducing the amount of water in your system.

  1. Keep a Good Routine

Eat a light, cooked meal at night. When the body does not have to work hard at night digesting food, it can turn its attention to self-repair and rejuvenation. You’ll wake up feeling fresh and light and you will see an immediate difference in your skin, energy levels and general immunity.

Go to bed early. The evening Pitta time is meant for self-repair. By staying up past 10:00 p.m., your body misses out on the opportunity to recover from wear and tear of the day. Over time, this can take a real toll on your health. Going to bed late and getting up late does not make up for missing the critical 10:00 pm to 2:00 am window for sleeping. This kind of deep fatigue shows up immediately on your face.

  1. Eat Fresh, Nourishing Foods

Favor fresh cooked foods that can provide your body with the vitamins and minerals that you need to stay at your best. A variety of chemicals from plants (known as phytochemicals) can protect cells from harmful compounds in the environment. Fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help to protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals. Beta-carotene, found in pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes, and lutein, found in kale, papaya and spinach are potent antioxidants, important for normal skin cell development and healthy skin tone

Green leafy vegetables, coconut, carrots and sweet juicy fruits provide an abundance of vitamins A, C, and E. and help to nourish the outer level of the skin. Research has shown that people who eat foods rich in vitamin C have fewer wrinkles and less age-related dry skin than those who don’t. Vitamin C fights free radicals, which damage cells and break down collagen, leading to fine lines

Phyto-estrogens are natural chemicals found in plant foods (phyto meaning plant). They have a similar structure to the female sex hormone estrogen and have been found to help keep our natural hormones in balance. There are different types, some are found in soya bean products, whereas others are found in the fiber of whole grains, fruit, vegetables and flax seeds. Include phyto-estrogen rich soya, whole grains, fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet.

Avoid canned and processed foods and foods with preservatives. Some research suggests that a diet high in processed or refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats promotes skin aging.

Don’t be afraid of fat: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (the types found in avocados, fish, nuts and seeds) provide essential fatty acids, which act as a natural moisturizer for your skin, keeping it supple. These fats also contain vitamin E, which can help protect against free radical damage.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fats are essential fatty acids, which mean they cannot be made in the body and must be obtained through the diet. Omega-3s can be found in oily fish and plant sources such as flaxseed oil, linseeds, walnut and rapeseed oil. Omega-3 fats encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help skin, particularly inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Remember, many of the best foods for healthy skin also promote good health overall. Rather than focusing on specific foods for healthy skin, concentrate on a healthy diet in general. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Include nuts, seeds and beans in your favorite meals. Opt for whole-grain breads and pasta. Limit sweets. Strive for variety as you’re making healthy choices.

  1. Keep a Good Routine

Eat a light, cooked meal at night. When the body does not have to work hard at night digesting food, it can turn its attention to self-repair and rejuvenation. You’ll wake up feeling fresh and light and you will see an immediate difference in your skin, energy levels and general immunity.

Go to bed early. The evening Pitta time is meant for self-repair. By staying up past 10:00 p.m., your body misses out on the opportunity to recover from wear and tear of the day. Over time, this can take a real toll on your health. Going to bed late and getting up late does not make up for missing the critical 10:00 pm to 2:00 am window for sleeping. This kind of deep fatigue shows up immediately on your face.

  1. Take Steps to Avoid Stress

Stress is a major factor in the aging process. Daily meditation quiets the mind, releases stress and allows the body to produce anti-aging biochemicals. At The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa, we recommend the Transcendental Meditation program, which is the only meditation recommended by the American Heart Association, based on over 600 research studies that prove its effectiveness. Studies have shown that Transcendental Meditation helps alleviate stress, reduce blood pressure, anxiety, depression and anger.

Ayurveda recommends that women minimize activity during their days of menstrual flow. If it is possible, take steps to adopt a slower pace to reduce stress and fatigue. This is a time of natural purification. If you are active during this time, the body is not able to effectively eliminate wastes and impurities. It can also cause imbalances in Vata.

6. Protect your Skin

You can help “lock” moisture into your skin by using moisturizer, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in. An oil massage in the morning before your shower also helps in this way.

Sweet almond oil is a good moisturizer for almost everyone. Pat on after washing the face, then blot with a soft tissue. (Whenever using anything new on your face, try a small amount on the neck area first to check for sensitivity.)

For a gentle, natural cleanser you can make at home, grind masala dal (check out your local health food store of Indian grocery store) into a powder and soak in milk for 1/2 hour. Make a think mixture to wash with or make a thicker paste to use as a facial mask. Rinse off with water at the appropriate temperature for your skin type. Pitta types may want to use cooler water, for example. Never use extremely hot water on your face!

Nourish your skin with milk. Once a day dip a cotton ball into a small bowl of organic milk and wipe your face thoroughly with it to remove dirt from your pores. Because of its fats and lactic acid, milk has tremendous moisturizing, softening properties. Adding milk to your bath will also soothe and nourish your skin.

Enjoy daily oil massage Daily oil massage pacifies Vata, helps remove toxins from the skin and leaves a protective barrier on the skin against environmental toxins. The skin is the largest organ in the body and one of the body’s main means of detoxifying. Daily oil massage helps support the detoxification process and helps protect the skin. If you don’t have time for a massage before your morning bath, try a massage at night before a long tub soak. Those with more Pitta constitutions may prefer olive oil or coconut oil. For Vata and Kapha types, the heating and penetrating quality of sesame oil makes it the number one choice.

Protect your skin from the elements. Take a seasonal approach to skin care. Even if someone has a Vata constitution, they will have to balance Pitta during the heat of the summer” In the winter, all skin types need to take steps to avoid Vata aggravating weather. This means avoiding extreme cold and harsh winds.

An Ayurveda expert can give you more specific details on your specific body type and imbalances than may require more individualized recommendations. For information on consultations and/or Ayurveda skin and beauty treatments, contact The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa:

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Ayurveda Beauty Tips

For many of us who are braving the harsh winter weather, keeping skin soft and glowing can be a challenge. Here are some year-round Ayurvedic beauty tips for all skin types.

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AYURVEDA TIPS FOR HEALTHY SKIN

Vata

Vata types have dry, thin, delicate skin that in prone to wrinkles and can become rough or flakey.

Vata-types should bathe in water at body temperature. Water that is too hot or too cold can be harmful to delicate Vata skin. Do not use harsh cleansers of cleansers with chemicals

Morning massage with warm sesame oil sooths Vata and protects the skin

Avoid extreme cold. Protect the face and head in cold and windy weather. Hats and earmuffs are a must!

Go to bed before 10:00. Fatigue aggravates Vata. A late night will show on a Vata face the next morning.

Light exercise brings out the best in a Vata type. Too much exercise can cause premature aging. Listen to your body and stop if you are straining

Avoid caffeine.

Pitta

Pitta types have reddish skin with freckles. Their skin is sensitive to the skin and prone to rashes or breakouts.

Bathe with water a little cooler than body temperature.

A pre-shower massage with olive oil or sweet almond oil will help cool Pitta and moisturize the skin.

Avoid spending time in the sun, especially between noon and 2:00 p.m. Pittas are more prone to skin cancer than others.

Follow a moderate exercise program. Never exercise at mid-day. Early morning exercise is ideal for Pitta-types.

Avoid spicy and fried foods. These aggravate Pitta and increase redness and breakouts.

Minimize intake of caffeine.

A few drops of rose oil in an aroma pot will help Pittas sooth both body and emotions.

Kapha

Kapha types have smooth, pale skin that is prone to oiliness

Bathe in water a little warmer than body temperature.

Don’t use heavy moisturizers, which can clog pores.

Morning massage with sesame oil is beneficial for Kaphas.

Once a week massage with raw silk gloves to enliven the circulation and reduce excess Kapha.

Kaphas need exercise. Develop a regular workout program. Kapha gives strength and stamina when balanced but can lean to lethargy and weight gain when imbalanced. Find a Pitta friend to help motivate you.

Get up early! Kaphas can go to bed a bit later than Vata and Pitta types but getting up at 6:00 is a must!

BEAUTY TIPS FOR ALL SKIN TYPES

Eat lots of green leafy vegetables, coconut, carrots and sweet juicy fruits. These fruits nourish the outer level of the skin and provide an abundance of vitamins A, C, and E.

Drink lots of water! This is very important in the winter, because of the drying effects of most heating systems. Hot water is best for Vata and Kapha types. Pitta types may do better with room temperature water. Don’t drink iced drinks and avoid carbonated beverages.

Sweet almond oil is a good moisturizer for almost all skin types. Pat on after washing the face, then blot with a soft tissue. (Whenever using anything new on your face, try a small amount on the neck area first to check for sensitivity.)

For a gentle, nourishing natural cleanser you can make at home, grind masala dal (check out your local health food store or Indian grocery store) in a powder and soak in milk for 1/2 hour. Make a thin mixture to wash with or make a thicker paste to use as a facemask. Rinse off with water at the appropriate temperature for your skin type. Never use hot water on your face.

Stress is a major factor in the aging process. Daily meditation quiets the mind, releases stress and allows the body to produce anti-aging biochemicals.

An Ayurveda expert can give you more specific details on your specific body type and imbalances than may require more individualized recommendations. For information on consultations and/or Ayurveda skin and beauty treatments, contact The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa:

www.theraj.com

Winter Skin Care: Ayurveda Tips for a Glowing Complexion

This week we are reposting one of our most-read posts. Happy holidays from The Raj!

If you are familiar with Ayurveda, you are familiar with the concept that everything in life — including our bodies, the food that we eat, and the environment around us — is composed of the three “doshas”; vata, pitta and kapha.  These qualities, or principles of nature, each have their own fundamental traits. Vata, the principle of movement, is the ruling dosha for the late fall and winter seasons. These months are marked by the same qualities that characterize vata: coldness, dryness, lightness, and movement.

During the winter many notice a tendency toward dryness, constipation, anxiety and insomnia — all imbalances that can take their toll on our skin.  Luckily, through the understanding of Ayurvedic principles, we can take steps to pacify vata and keep our skin balanced and glowing throughout the winter months.

Washing the Face

At any time of the year it is important to be gentle when washing the face, as it is easy to aggravate vata, which can promote dryness and wrinkles. Favor body-temperature water over hot, hot water. Avoid using soaps with chemical additives. For most skin types, sweet almond oil is a good lubricant to use after washing to help protect the skin. Sweet almond oil is also healthy way to remove make-up before washing. A luxurious option for keeping skin lubricated in the winter is to bathe the face with milk. Whole, organic milk is ideal. The tiny, nutritious molecules of milk can be easily be absorbed by our skin without clogging the pores. Heat the milk to body temperature (not too hot) before applying.6263072078_fe556c5a27_b

Ten Vata-Reducing Tips to Promote Glowing Skin

1. Drink plenty of warm, pure water throughout the day to both purify the body and stay well hydrated.

2. Ideally, enjoy organic, freshly cooked meals, using healthy oils such as olive oil and ghee. Remember, you want to counter the influence of vata, which is characterized as light, dry and cold. Healthy oils in winter are our friends.

3. Eat your main meal at noon.

4. Avoid packaged, frozen, canned and processed foods, which are difficult to digest and often include harmful additives.

5. Favor vata-pacifying foods such as avocados, pumpkins, carrots, beets, asparagus, bananas, lemons, mangoes, peaches, quinoa, basmati rice, wheat, almonds, sesame seeds, boiled milk, and ghee. Nuts and seeds provide healthy oils that are good for skin and hair. Eat more foods with sweet, sour, and salty tastes and less of those with bitter, astringent, and pungent tastes.  Don’t forget that Ayurveda recommends having some amounts of all six tastes with every meal. Otherwise the body can develop food cravings. Ayurvedic spice mixes or “churnas” can help you make sure that you get all six tastes.

6. Avoid dry, raw foods, especially salads and raw vegetables.

7. Use a humidifier at night, especially if you have forced air heating.

8. Before your morning bath, give yourself a gentle self-massage with sesame oil. Those who tend toward pitta imbalances may prefer sweet almond oil or olive oil or coconut oil. The oil helps to pull out toxins from the skin and also leaves a protective layer between your skin and the harsh winter environment. Don’t feel like you have to remove the oil with soap. Soap is essentially oil and fat combined with salt. A good scrub with a luffa or body brush after your morning oil massage is really all you need.

9. Go to bed early and try to get eight hours of sleep. As vata is the principle of movement, the most effective means of pacifying vata is to get enough sleep.

10. Learn to meditate.  The Raj Ayurveda Health Center recommends the Transcendental Meditation program (TM) to complement their in-residence Ayurvedic treatment packages. An imbalance of vata can lead to an overactive mind, worry, anxiety and insomnia. Over 350 published research studies on the TM technique have documented a wide range of benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved health and brain function, and increased self-actualization.

For more information on vata-pacifying skin care products, herbal formulas to improve skin or digestion please contact the herb room at The Raj. Ideally a visit to an Ayurvedic expert in your area will help to more precisely determine which supplements, diet recommendations and life-style tips would benefit your individual mind/body make-up.

Learn more at:

www.theraj.com

Winter Skin Care: Ayurveda Tips for a Glowing Complexion

If you are familiar with Ayurveda, you are familiar with the concept that everything in life — including our bodies, the food that we eat, and the environment around us — is composed of the three “doshas”; vata, pitta and kapha.  These qualities, or principles of nature, each have their own fundamental traits. Vata, the principle of movement, is the ruling dosha for the late fall and winter seasons. These months are marked by the same qualities that characterize vata: coldness, dryness, lightness, and movement.

During the winter many notice a tendency toward dryness, constipation, anxiety and insomnia — all imbalances that can take their toll on our skin.  Luckily, through the understanding of Ayurvedic principles, we can take steps to pacify vata and keep our skin balanced and glowing throughout the winter months.

Washing the Face

At any time of the year it is important to be gentle when washing the face, as it is easy to aggravate vata, which can promote dryness and wrinkles. Favor body-temperature water over hot, hot water. Avoid using soaps with chemical additives. For most skin types, sweet almond oil is a good lubricant to use after washing to help protect the skin. Sweet almond oil is also healthy way to remove make-up before washing. A luxurious option for keeping skin lubricated in the winter is to bathe the face with milk. Whole, organic milk is ideal. The tiny, nutritious molecules of milk can be easily be absorbed by our skin without clogging the pores. Heat the milk to body temperature (not too hot) before applying.

Ten Vata-Reducing Tips to Promote Glowing Skin

1. Drink plenty of warm, pure water throughout the day to both purify the body and stay well hydrated.

2. Ideally, enjoy organic, freshly cooked meals, using healthy oils such as olive oil and ghee. Remember, you want to counter the influence of vata, which is characterized as light, dry and cold. Healthy oils in winter are our friends.

3. Eat your main meal at noon.

4. Avoid packaged, frozen, canned and processed foods, which are difficult to digest and often include harmful additives.

5. Favor vata-pacifying foods such as avocados, pumpkins, carrots, beets, asparagus, bananas, lemons, mangoes, peaches, quinoa, basmati rice, wheat, almonds, sesame seeds, boiled milk, and ghee. Nuts and seeds provide healthy oils that are good for skin and hair. Eat more foods with sweet, sour, and salty tastes and less of those with bitter, astringent, and pungent tastes.  Don’t forget that Ayurveda recommends having some amounts of all six tastes with every meal. Otherwise the body can develop food cravings. Ayurvedic spice mixes or “churnas” can help you make sure that you get all six tastes.

6. Avoid dry, raw foods, especially salads and raw vegetables.

7. Use a humidifier at night, especially if you have forced air heating.

8. Before your morning bath, give yourself a gentle self-massage with sesame oil. Those who tend toward pitta imbalances may prefer sweet almond oil or olive oil or coconut oil. The oil helps to pull out toxins from the skin and also leaves a protective layer between your skin and the harsh winter environment. Don’t feel like you have to remove the oil with soap. Soap is essentially oil and fat combined with salt. A good scrub with a luffa or body brush after your morning oil massage is really all you need.

9. Go to bed early and try to get eight hours of sleep. As vata is the principle of movement, the most effective means of pacifying vata is to get enough sleep.

10. Learn to meditate.  The Raj Ayurveda Health Center recommends the Transcendental Meditation program (TM) to complement their in-residence Ayurvedic treatment packages. An imbalance of vata can lead to an overactive mind, worry, anxiety and insomnia. Over 350 published research studies on the TM technique have documented a wide range of benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved health and brain function, and increased self-actualization.

For more information on vata-pacifying skin care products, herbal formulas to improve skin or digestion please contact the herb room at The Raj. Ideally a visit to an Ayurvedic expert in your area will help to more precisely determine which supplements, diet recommendations and life-style tips would benefit your individual mind/body make-up.

Learn more at:

www.theraj.com