How to Keep Your Skin Hydrated Through the Winter
As the weather turns dry and cold in the winter, our skin also becomes dry and dull. Vata dosha is responsible for both, so the way to keep our skin soft is through rehydrating it from the inside and the outside, and by balancing Vata dosha. Later in the winter, due to accumulated heat in the body, some people experience breakouts. Then, along with Vata dosha, we also need to keep Pitta dosha in balance.
The cold of the winter freezes our pores. This causes poor circulation in the skin. Our face and hands, which are exposed more to the conditions of the weather, are especially affected. Since the pores shrink, the skin is not able to absorb conventional petroleum-based products. As a result, they will not have a hydrating effect on the deeper layers of the skin. Plus, chemical products can actually damage your skin, and your health. A warm ayurvedic oil massage (abhyanga), on the other hand, is an excellent method of rehydrating the skin and improving circulation. Almond oil is a good choice, because it can go into the deeper layers of the skin and is suitable for all skin types.
Rehydrate from the Outside
A couple of times a week in the evening, do a whole body massage with 20% Youthful Skin Massage Oil and 80% Moisturizing Herbal Massage Oil. Leave the oil on for 20 minutes, then take a warm (not hot) bath for at least three minutes. Use natural bath salts to soften your skin.
To cleanse your body, use natural and gentle soaps such as Maharishi Ayurveda Herbal Soaps. For a special treat, try an oatmeal soap substitute which gently exfoliates and nourishes the skin (see recipe below).
The face is another area sensitive to the environment. To take special care of the facial skin, use the Youthful Skin line, which is made with all-natural ingredients and absorbs into the skin easily. In the winter, you can steam your face once a week to open up the pores and deep clean your skin. Or try an exfoliating and nourishing facial you can administer yourself (see instructions below).
Rehydrate from Within
In addition to moisturizing your skin from the outside, it is just as important to hydrate it from the inside. A Vata-pacifying diet rich in heavy, warm and moist foods helps counteract the drying effects of the season. Leafy green vegetables, squashes, sweet juicy fruits, and lots of water are essential for rehydrating your skin. Add Organic Vata Churna sautéed in ghee to your meals. For a balancing and nourishing snack, mix equal amounts of raisins, dates, sunflower seeds, toasted sesame seeds and almonds. Soak a handful overnight and eat them the next day when you feel hungry between meals.
Your routine also has to be regular in order to keep Vata in balance. Don't skip or delay meals, get enough rest, and make sure your elimination is regular. Practice yoga asanas and the Transcendental Meditation® technique, both of which relax the nervous system and pacify Vata. Yoga also enhances the detoxification process and opens the channels of the body.
To nourish your body and your skin from the inside, take Maharishi Amrit Kalash regularly. The Rejuvenation for Men or Ladies formulas also strengthen and balance the entire system from the cell up. Premium Amla Berry, among other things, supports skin health and appearance.
How to do an Ayurvedic Facial
- Cleanse face and neck with Youthful Skin Cleansing Gel to remove makeup and impurities.
- Apply several drops of Youthful Skin Oil on fingers and gently massage the face and neck. Repeat three times.
- Massage milk foam onto the face and neck. Repeat three times. (Slowly bring organic milk to a boil, add a few drops of Organic Rose Water and beat until thick layer of foam appears.)
- Use a facial steamer for 5 minutes or until the skin perspires. Make a tent for yourself using a towel or sheet.
- Apply a thin layer of bentonite clay to the face and neck. Leave on for 3-5 minutes or until the skin begins to feel tight.
- Remove clay with remaining organic milk and then rinse milk off with warm water. Use natural sponges for removal of clay.
- Apply a thin layer of Youthful Skin Oil to the face and neck. Dab off excess with a tissue.
- After one hour, apply a thin layer of Youthful Skin Cream to the face and neck.
Soap Substitute Recipe
- For Vata skin, mix a large quantity of 80 percent rolled oats, 10 percent marshmallow root, 5 percent jasmine flowers and 5 percent lavender flowers. For Pitta skin, mix a large quantity of 80 percent rolled oats, 5 percent rose buds, 5 percent lavender flowers, 5 percent Indian Sarsaparilla and 5 percent dried orange peel.
- Place two tablespoons of the appropriate mixture in the middle of a small square of cheesecloth, gather up the ends of the cloth into a ball and tie with a string. Make enough balls for a month and store them in an airtight container.
- Every night dip one ball into warm milk and pat your face to cleanse and moisturize your skin. Rinse with warm water.
Moisturizing Herbal Water
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.