12 Ayurvedic beauty tips that will make you look great
Ayurveda was a very early adopter of the mantra that “beauty comes from within.” The 5,000 year-old-science is known for extolling the benefits of balancing the whole body, supporting digestive health, optimizing energy, and treating each individual according to her specific dosha (constitution)—and not just finding the right facial cleanser or aesthetician.
But that doesn’t mean you should ignore skin and hair. In fact, Ayurveda’s got more beauty practices than Estee Lauder—and they all do double duty, boosting your overall wellness while they give you a glow.
Some of them might not sound all that intuitive—traditionally there’s a lot more oil used than lotions or creams, and exfoliation is part of the drill for detoxing purposes—so we asked top Ayurvedic practitioners to share some of their favorite holistic beauty tips that you can do easily. Put them in your routine now for that inner-outer beauty balance.
Originally posted May 11, 2014. Updated July 14, 2017.
Scroll down for 12 Ayurvedic beauty secrets for great skin
Photo: Stocksy/Studio Firma
Your Ayurvedic constitution also points to your skin type, says Lisa Amechazurra, marketing manager for skin-care line VPK at Maharishi Ayurveda. (The VPK line stands for the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, Kapha.
) Vata is thin, dry, fine-pored, delicate and wrinkle-prone; Pitta is susceptible to rashes, breakouts, and rosacea if balance; and Kapha is thicker and oilier, prone to enlarged pores, blackheads, pimples, and eczema.
Her company’s website provides great information about treating each one, as well as other Ayurvedic beauty secrets.
Siva Mohan, an Ayurvedic doctor at Svastha Health in Long Beach, California, says constitution-based skin care has it’s place, “there are seasonal approaches that are even more important.
Even if someone has a Vata constitution, they will have to balance Pitta during the heat of the summer. Our climate is a significant energetic input.
All approaches to summer beauty from an Ayurvedic standpoint are about balancing Pitta dosha, or bringing in the opposite qualities of Pitta.”
Dr. Mohan s coconut oil for daily use because it’s cooling in nature, and not too heavy. Some women swear by ghee (clarified butter), which you could also try. Dr.
Mohan says masks are your go-to: dry and irritated skin will bounce back with an organic castor oil mask. And if you suffer from the opposite, you absorb excess oil with chickpea flour.
Use it as base for masks to absorb excess oil from the face, chest and back, she says.
Photo: Stocksy/Trinette Reed
Sugar helps boost cell turnover and retains moisture, and it’s considered cooling (not heating), which makes it good for summer. Svastha recommends mixing it with cooling, rejuvenating herbs and botanicals such as rose petals, slippery elm, and bhringraj, for a facial scrub. (She stocks them—your local drugstore probably won’t.)
Photo: Stocksy/Daring Wanderer
“Full-fat milk or cream-based masks are wonderful for soothing and cooling irritated or inflamed skin,” says Dr. Mohan. Once a day dip a cotton ball into a small bowl of raw milk and wipe your face thoroughly with it to remove dirt from your pores.
Thanks to its fats and lactic acid, “it has tremendous moisturizing, softening properties,” says Ritu Srivastava, spa manager at the Ayurvedic spa, Ananda in the Himalayas in India. Adding milk or cream to your bath will also soothe and nourish your skin.
And if you’re vegan, coconut milk has similar properties, says Dr. Mohan.
Dr. Mohan s rosewater spray because “it smells good and feels great” and can be used several times a day. “Roses are cooling and support soft, supple skin.”
Use a cotton swab to apply it directly to pimples or spots of minor inflammation and “let it do its magic overnight,” says Dr. Mohan. “It’s drying and similar to tea tree oil but more cooling and better suited for the summer.”
Photo: Usman Asif via Flickr
Srivastava says the plant isn’t just for sunburns. It makes the skin smooth, supple and younger looking. Some women apply it topically, a toner or treatment. Others swear by a daily swig or sipping it in a juice.
Photo: Vera Lair/Stocksy
Swishing sesame or coconut oil instead of Listerine has become a super popular practice of late. And while you’d think its immediate benefits would be related to oral hygiene, the idea is that a healthy mouth boosts your overall wellness (healthy gums are related to healthy heart) and that it aids in all-over detoxification.
It’s key to toned and firm skin, great for places that retain fluid, and helps cellulite, says Dr. Pratima Raichur, author of Ayurvedic beauty bible, Absolute Beauty.
For Vata and Pitta skin types (dry or sensitive skin), use a raw silk gharshana glove for an effective but less abrasive form of exfoliation. For Kapha skin type (thicker, oily skin), use a natural bristle brush.
Starting with your feet, massage in upward, circular motions toward the heart. Then rinse off.
Photo: Stocksy/Liliya Rodnikova
In addition to imparting sheen, it provides strengthening nourishment to the hair, says Srivastava. Take your time massaging it in (add essential oils of geranium, lavender, and rosemary, at the spa, if you can) to improve circulation and slough off dead skin cells, which is said to help hair growth.
Jenoa Navarrete, product development manager for VPK, says massage is as important to boosting radiance as it is to helping manage stress.
“For example, Abhyanga, an Ayurvedic massage done with warm massage oil, not only deeply moisturizes but afterward, you’ll look and feel more radiant. It offers many health benefits when done regularly, as well.
” Can’t slip away to the spa? Use an Ayurvedic oil and work from your face down to the soles of your feet. And good news—even two minutes before bed helps.
No matter what your dosha is, sunscreen is a must. Here are the best all-natural ones to try. Plus, six Ayurvedic beauty brands, so you can accentuate your fave features.
An Amazing DIY Brown Sugar and Avocado Scrub to Cure Dry Skin
I’m pleased to bring you a special guest post from Michelle Pino, Spa Manager at Skana, a spa in upstate New York at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY.
I love spas and spa treatments, so when Michelle contacted me about an easy DIY avocado scrub I thought I would share it with all of you.
Michelle enjoys DIY projects, healthy recipes, exercise, and all things related to skin care…just me!
Guest Blogger: Michelle Pino is from a Spa in Upstate N.Y.
Here are some DIY beauty tips from Michelle
With summer winding down, the last thing that any of us want is to be plagued with dry and flaky skin.
Not only is it unattractive in shorts or dresses, but chronically dry skin can make it difficult to shave and self-tan as well.
If you’re struggling with dry skin, you don’t need to run out and spend a fortune on expensive scrubs and body butters. There are actually several easy DIY recipes for scrubs and lotions that are easy and cheap to make.
One of the best cures for chronic dry skin is the DIY brown sugar and avocado scrub.
It will slough away flakes and dry patches thanks to the gritty brown sugar and the avocado will act as a powerful moisturizer thanks to its natural fatty acids.
Containing only three ingredients, this scrub is a simple solution for just about any busy boomer girl who wants to be smooth for summer or all year long.
Brown Sugar and Avocado Scrub Recipe
1 Cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 Avocado, Chopped and Mashed
1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
This DIY beauty scrub is made with avocados.
What To Do: Empty the cup of brown sugar into a bowl. Take your mashed avocado and begin combining it with the sugar, mashing it all together with a fork. Pour in the olive oil and continue mixing the ingredients together until you have a gritty but smoothly mixed body scrub.
To use this scrub, take it into the shower with you. After dampening your skin, step away from the stream of water and begin rubbing this scrub into your skin in slow circular motions. For maximum results, let the scrub sit on your skin for five minutes to act as a moisturizing mask after you’ve exfoliated.
When you rinse off, don’t try to wash off the minimal residue that will be left behind. The avocado and olive oil residue will basically act a moisturizer, locking in the moisture from your shower and leaving you with incredibly hydrated skin.
When you get the shower, towel off by blotting instead of rubbing – this is the best way to really keep in the moisture from your shower.
For optimal results, apply a thick body butter to your skin after you’ve dried off to really seal in moisture and leave you with skin that is glowing.
I tried the DIY Brown Sugar Avocado Scrub on my legs. It left them silky smooth.
Testing the Scrub
Scrub – a – Dub, Dub: I did go out and buy an avocado today to try out the scrub. I will admit it was a bit messy, but it really worked. I halved the recipe and mixed up the scrub in my kitchen.
Then I went upstairs to the bathroom and soaked my legs, one at a time, in the sink, then rubbed the scrub over each leg. After about five minutes, I removed the scrub with some tissues and washed off the rest of the mixture in the sink.
I’m going to use the other half of the avocado in my salad for tonight’s dinner.
If you have any comments or questions feel free to contact Michelle via email at email@example.com.
My favorite spa treatment is a facial. What’s your favorite? If you’re looking for a good at home spa treatment, you should try the Spa Sonic! It includes 4 attachments: a small brush for the face, a large brush for the body, pumice for rough areas, and a facial sponge for micro-dermabrasion and reduction of fine lines.
More good news – last week my blog was featured in the The Jewish Voice of Southern New Jersey. Check it out and let me know what you think. The writer did a nice feature titled “Marlton Blogger Offers Advice to Boomer Generation.”