Winter Skin Care With Ayurveda
One fundamental of Ayurveda is that everything in life – from our physiology to our physical environment – is composed of the three "doshas": "vata", "pitta" and "kapha". Each of these fundamental principles of nature has it's own specific nature. The dosha that dominates in the late fall and winter is vata, the principle of movement. These months display same qualities that characterize vata: dryness, coldness, and movement.
Winter months bring with them a tendency towards dry skin, insomnia, constipation, and anxiety – all factors that can wreak havoc on our skin. By understanding some basic Ayurvedic principals, however, we can address vata imbalances and maintain glowing skin through the chilly months of winter.
Washing the Face
It is always important to be gentle when washing the face so as not to aggravate vata. Vata is what makes the skin dry and Promotes wrinkles. Avoid using soaps with chemical additives. Sweet almond oil is a good lubricant for most skin types. Apply after washing to help protect the skin. (It also works wonders in removing make-up, including mascara and eye-liner.) There is no reason to buy fancy products that many contain harmful chemicals.)
Bathing the face with milk is a great winter luxury. Milk's tiny nutritious molecules will lubricate the skin and can be easily absorbed without clogging the pores. Use whole, organic milk and heat the milk to body temperature (not too hot) before applying with a cotton ball.
Ayurveda Skin Care Tips to Reduce Vata and Promote Healthy Skin
1. Stay hydrated! During the winter drink warm, pure water through the day. Warm or hot water is preferred to cold water, as any cold food or drink will aggrivate vata.
2. Enjoy fresh, cooked meals. Eat your main meal at noon.
3. Fill your kitchen with vata pacifying foods: such as avocados, bananas, carrots, beets, asparagus, squash, bananas, peaches, mangoes, all nuts, grains such as quinoa, rice and wheat, boiled milk, and ghee. Favor foods with sweet, salty and sour tastes and eat less of foods with astringent, bitter, and pungent tastes. One important Ayurvedic principle is to eat some amount of all six tastes with every meal. This helps cut down on food cravings. Ayurvedic spice mixes or "churnas" help assures that you get the tastes in each meal.
4. Try to avoid dry foods and raw foods like salads and raw vegetables.
5. Use a humidifier, especially if you have forced air heating.
6. Before your morning shower give yourself a gentle self-massage with sesame oil. Those with sensitive skin may prefer olive oil or sweet almond oil.
7. Get at least eight hours of sleep. Because vata is the principle of movement, the single most effective means of pacifying vata is to get enough sleep.
8. Stay warm! Keep your head and ears covered when you are outside.
9. Learn to meditate. An imbalance of vata can lead to an overly active mind, anxiety and insomnia. Look for a technique with proven results and published research studies.