Natural Beauty Ayurvedic Way
Natural Beauty Ayurvedic Way
There is a popular saying that “beauty is skin deep”. There is some truth in that as skin is a very important aspect of beauty but it is only a small piece of the puzzle. You need all the other pieces and then fix them in the right place to get the full picture and achieve true and lasting beauty.
So what makes a person beautiful? Apart from genetic contributors like good facial features, there are 5 components that make a person beautiful, which are –
1. Healthy Skin and a good complexion
2. Long and lustrous Hair
3. Sparkling Eyes
4. Radiance and glow on face
5. Happy Expression
According to Ayurveda, all these 5 components form the External beauty. There are 2 more aspects of Beauty: Internal beauty and a Secret component. Internal beauty refers to the good qualities of a person which also reflect on how a person is perceived by others. The secret component refers to the spiritual side of a person, which gives the energy, insight and inspiration to balance the external and internal beauty.
Let us focus on how to enhance our external beauty in this article. Just because it is external in appearance, will it suffice to use external treatments?
You need a balance of External and Internal treatments which encompass our physical, mental and emotional sides of existence. This basically boils down to the 3 pillars of health which are – Diet, Lifestyle and Medication. Medication in this case, being the external treatments like cleansers, scrubs, massage oils, Masks, Moisturizers, etc., and internal treatments like detox and dosha balancing herbal supplements.
Let me give a simple example of how a multitude of factors affect our skin. Skin is the largest organ of the body and requires proper nutrition and toxin removal to be healthy. It can absorb this nutrition from inside through the blood vessels or from the outside through the external applications. For the skin to get good nutrition from inside we should consume a balanced diet, our digestion should be good, our excretion should be effective, our circulation should be proper. When these requirements are not met, an imbalance is created which leads to deterioration of the skin.
The external influences like the wind, sun, dust, pollutants and chemicals harm the skin by clogging the pores, hardening the outer skin layer, causing dryness & sun burns and disturbing the moisture balance in the skin. Add to this, a lifestyle where work is mostly sedentary, there is no fixed routine for when to eat, when to sleep, how much to sleep, no exercise, etc. This results in improper digestion, poor circulation, hormonal imbalance and improper excretion of toxins leading to toxin build-up. To top it all, everyday we face “mental and emotional stress” like deadlines, multi-tasking, money matters, anxiety, fear, frustration, depression and relationship issues which are the final nail in the coffin for the skin. Whenever a thought or emotion arises in our mind, there is a messenger molecule created in the body which acts on specific tissues and leaves a lasting impression on our skin.
Can such a skin look good?
Suprisingly, the answer is YES, but only if we prepare our bodies for these challenges. Our bodies have a natural intelligence and healing capability and Ayurveda provides ways to strengthen them.
1. Healthy Skin and a good complexion : Natural Beauty Ayurvedic Way
For a healthy skin 3 processes have to be balanced which are –
– Regeneration of new cells from inside : Herbal Facial Massage Oils, Masks and Skin nourishers
– Removal of dead cells from the outer layer : Herbal Exfoliators and Cleansers
– Proper nutrition to the dermis, which makes the tissue healthy, aids in absorption and toxin elimination : Herbal Facial Massage Oils, Masks, Skin nourishers and Detox Supplements
A proper skin care routine would focus on Cleansing, Nourishing and Protecting. Natural Cleansers which do not contain detergents are advisable for daily use. Exfoliate skin with a mild scrub like an Orange Scrub 2-3 times a week. Massage skin with a saffron based massage oil everyday after cleansing. It will not only nourish the skin and improve complexion but also improve the blood circulation which will help balance the processes mentioned above. Use a Facial mask which is right for your skin 1-2 times a month. Always use a natural Moisturizer, preferably one with essential oils. This will nourish and protect the skin. Use a high SPF sun screen whenever exposing to the sun.
Ayurveda classifies skin type as – Vata type (Dry), Pitta type (Sensistive) and Kapha type (Oily). Combination skin type falls under sensitive. There is an excellent quiz on the Herbal Mystique website to identify your skin type – www.herbalmystique.ca/skin-type-dosha-quiz-t22.aspx . Use the products which are right for your skin type.
Apart from general skin health, there are special treatments for problems like acne, pigmentation, sagging, premature wrinkling, dryness, etc., which you can read in detail on the Herbal Mystique Forums – www.herbalmystique.ca/herbalmystique/Boards
2. Long and lustrous Hair :
For healthy, long, strong and lustrous hair, one has to care for the health of the scalp. Based on your scalp type, i.e., whether you have a Cool scalp (Vata or Kapha) or Warm scalp (Pitta). Ayurveda has simple recommendations for Hair Care.
Massaging the scalp with the right Herbal Oil as per your scalp type, at least once a week is recommended. Use a mild herbal shampoo like a Neem Tulsi shampoo. Apply a Jaswand and Aloe based gel to the scalp after a shower. This will nourish the hair follicles, strengthen them and stimulate new growth. Apply Neem gel once or twice a month to keep the scalp dandruff free.
– Do not oil hair late at night. Best time is before sunset
– Wash hair with water falling on the back of the head, not directly on the top
– Avoid the use of blow dryers as far as possible. Dry with an absorbent towel.
3. Sparkling Eyes :
According to Ayurveda, eyes are the only visible sign of life in the body and the sparkle in the eyes is an indicator of the fire one has within.
Here are some recommendations for good eye care :
– in the morning after brushing the teeth, fill your mouth with cool water and simultaneously, splash cool water in your eyes. This helps to cool the eyes.
– Apply medicated triphala ghee at least 2-3 times a week to the eyes
– Good quality sleep is very essential for healthy eyes. Sleep no later than 10.30 pm and wake up at 5.30 am.
– Rub the soles of your feet with a Cooling oil with Chandan (sandalwood) at bedtime. Very useful for good sleep too.
– Massage head with herbal oil as per your body type at least twice a week.
– Practice the Ayurvedic Head Detox technique of ‘Nasya’
4. Radiance and glow on face :
According to Ayurveda, the radiance on the face comes from the “ojas” within us. Ojas is the essence or vigor which sustains and protects the body. It is the result of proper digestion of not just the food but also the mental diet we take in every minute.
So how does one increase the “ojas’? Simply by balancing the various energies in our body which in Ayuvedic terms are called as “doshas” and the recommended procedure to achieve this balance is called “Panchakarma or Detoxification”. To maintain this balanced state one has to follow a proper diet as per the body constitution, lead a suitable lifestyle and carry out maintenance body massages and supplement intake. Yoga techniques such as Pranayama and meditation are very useful in achieving this balance.
Read the article on Meditation to understand how meditation helps.
5. Happy Expression :
Does beauty make one happy? Maybe, but we know for sure that happiness definitely makes one beautiful. This is the secret of mind – body connection that Ayurveda expounded 4000 years ago, that modern medicine is just beginning to understand in the past 3 decades.
A happy smiling face is the result of the inner peace or bliss which one experiences when the body and mind become balanced and healthy. Ayurveda recommends Dinacharya or daily routine, Panchakarma or Detox, Yoga and Meditation to achieve this balance.
The Mind – Body connection :
The Mind is the all powerful lord of the body. Whenever a thought arises in our mind, there is a messenger molecule created in the body which acts on specific tissues and leaves a lasting impression on our body and skin. Our thoughts and emotions have a significant impact on our skin and that is why stress can lead to problems such as acne break outs, pigmentation, under eye circles or premature aging.
Let me explain by giving a small example – when we are afraid due to, say, a stressful thought of losing something, a message is sent to the adrenal gland to secrete adrenaline. Adrenaline acts on the kidneys resulting in dehydration and also causes the heart to beat faster to pump blood to the limbs, thereby preparing the body for a fight or flight reaction. In such a situation I am sure we all have experienced a drying of the mouth and whitening of the skin. In healthy balanced individuals, the body bounces back to normalcy pretty quickly, but when one is exposed to “stress” frequently and when one is not healthy and balanced, these reactions stay on and become chronic problems like anxiety, fear, pain, bowel disorders or dry skin.
In conclusion, I would stress on following a holistic approach to beauty care. True beauty will shine only when we address our physical, mental and spiritual sides.
If you have any questions about any treatments or techniques mentioned in this article please contact Shail Guggali – firstname.lastname@example.org