Ayurvedic Skin Care: Your Guide To Healthy Skin


by Ravi Teja Tadimalla

Long before modern skincare companies were born, people in India depended on nature-based self-beautification concepts to maintain their beauty and appearance. Today, thousands of years later, the world is rediscovering these concepts of natural skincare. Yes, we are talking about the Ayurvedic skincare system prevalent in India since ancient times. What makes Ayurveda skincare relevant even today is its emphasis on a healthy lifestyle and holistic well-being to maintain your beauty.

Are you keen to know more about Ayurveda for skin and how you can use it to achieve great benefits? Read on to find out.

What Is Ayurvedic Skincare?

The term Ayurveda is the combination of two Sanskrit words: ayur, which means life, and veda, which means knowledge or science. Hence, Ayurveda means the knowledge of life or the science of life. It is based on the concept that an ailment is caused by a disturbance or imbalance in an individual’s consciousness. Ayurveda suggests the use of natural therapies and lifestyle changes to restore the balance between the mind, spirit, body, and the environment (1). Ayurvedic skincare stems from this concept.

This system involves the use of herbal formulations, essential oils, fruit extracts, and other organic ingredients to reveal your glowing natural skin. But this self-beautification practice is not limited to Ayurveda skin care products and procedures alone. It is a holistic approach that involves an internal purification process through a healthy diet and lifestyle changes. The idea is to eliminate impurities and cleanse the whole system to ensure an attractive external appearance along with good health (1), (2).

But before you can begin your Ayurvedic treatment for skin, you need to know your Ayurvedic skin type. We will explore more in the next section.

Understanding Your Ayurvedic Skin Type

In Ayurveda, Prakriti, or the constitution of the mind and body, plays an important role. Each individual is born with a unique mind-body constitution. This constitution is determined by the influence and dominance of physical, psychological, and physiological characteristics in an individual. In simple words, Prakriti refers to the overall nature of a person (3).

According to Ayurveda, the entire human population can be classified into three major constitutions – known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha (4). This classification is done based on the predominance of a Dosha in an individual (3).

Dosha refers to an important concept of Ayurveda that specifies that everything on earth, including all living beings, is made of five elements in different ratios. These elements are Akash (space or ether), Vayu (air), Tejas or Agni (fire), Ap or Jal (water), and Prithvi (earth). It is the combination of these elements that results in the formation of the three doshas (5).

The skin characteristics of human beings also vary based on the Prakriti or constitution and the predominant dosha (the dosha that dominates the characteristics of the individual) (3).

In Ayurveda, we have the following skin types:

  • Vata

Vata dosha is composed of air and ether (5). A person with vata skin or dominant vata dosha has thin, delicate skin that tends to be fine-pored, dry, dull, and rough. The vata skin type also tends to form wrinkles and age prematurely as compared to the other skin types (6).

How To Balance Vata Skin Type

Any person with the vata skin type should pay attention to nourishing and hydrating their body so that their vata skin remains youthful. If this dosha is imbalanced, the skin can become dehydrated and flaky. You can balance your vata dosha by following these tips:

  • Massage warm oil on your skin to combat the dryness (2)
  • Apply moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and nourished (2)
  • Pitta

Pitta dosha is composed of fire (5). A person with pitta skin or dominant pitta dosha has soft, fair, warm, sensitive skin of medium thickness. This skin type tends to be photosensitive and can be easily irritated when exposed to the sun. People having pitta skin type tend to suffer from sun damage over time (6).

How To Balance Pitta Skin Type

If you have the pitta skin type, you need to avoid direct sunlight. It is also a good idea to avoid tanning therapies and treatments. Such treatments can expose your skin to heat or steam for long periods of time and may cause damage (2). You can balance your pitta dosha by following these tips:

  • Protect your skin by applying a good sunscreen to minimize the chances of sun damage (2)
  • Use good-quality facial skin oils every day to protect your skin (2)
  • Kapha

Kapha dosha is composed of earth and water (5). An individual with kapha skin or dominant kapha dosha has oily, smooth, soft, and thick skin that is cool to touch. The kapha skin type is less prone to dryness and wrinkles. But due to the oiliness and thickness, this skin may easily accumulate toxins beneath the skin (6).

How To Balance Kapha Skin Type

If a person has kapha skin type, it is important to maintain the skin by cleansing, exfoliating, and detoxifying it regularly. These Ayurvedic skincare tips can help you balance your kapha dosha:

  • Give your skin a warm oil massage every day (2)
  • Cleanse your skin by gently exfoliating it daily (2)

Combination Skin

Apart from these three ayurvedic skin types, an individual may also have combination skin. This happens when a person is under the influence of a dominant dosha as well as a less dominant one. There are 4 types of combination skin in Ayurveda. They are based on the following combination of doshas (5):

  • Dominant Vata-Pitta dosha combination (5)
  • Dominant Vata-Kapha dosha combination (5)
  • Dominant Pitta-Kapha dosha combination (5)
  • Balanced doshas with Vata-Pitta-Kapha combination (5)

If you want to follow an Ayurvedic skincare routine for combination skin, note that you will have to take into account the relevant doshas.

You now must have got an idea about what your Ayurvedic skin type is. In the following section, we have listed a few skincare recipes based on your specific skin type. Try these out for lasting results.

DIY Ayurvedic Face Mask Recipes

Your Ayurvedic skin care routine depends on your skin type as per Ayurveda. You will have to use a face mask suitable for your skin type. You can also select your face mask based on your other requirements – you may want to fade your dark spots, remove suntan, treat acne, or reduce wrinkles.

Ayurveda has different types of recipes and masks to cleanse, scrub, and nourish each skin type. Here are a few easy DIY Ayurvedic skin care recipes you can try at home:

Vata Skincare Recipes

  • Vata Cleanser

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon chickpea flour or oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon milk or cream
  • Powdered rose petals

Directions

  • Mix all three ingredients to make a paste.
  • Gently apply the paste to your face and massage.
  • Rinse your face with water and pat dry.
  • Vata Scrub

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon ground oatmeal
  • ½ a cup ground rose petals or ground lavender flower
  • 1 teaspoon organic sugar
  • Water, as needed

Directions

  • Mix the ground oatmeal, ground rose petals or lavender, and sugar.
  • Add enough water to this mixture to make a paste.
  • Apply the paste to your face in a circular motion.
  • Rinse your face with lukewarm water and pat dry gently.
  • Vata Face Mask 1

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana or raw honey

Directions

  • Mash half of the banana and apply it to your skin. You can also use raw honey in its place.
  • Allow it to remain on your face for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove it from your face using a warm, clean, damp cloth.
  • Vata Face Mask 2

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons ripe avocado, mashed

Directions

  • Mix the chickpea flour and avocado.
  • Apply to your face and let it remain there for about 15 minutes.
  • Rinse your face with warm water.

Pitta Skincare Recipes

  • Pitta Cleanser

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon chickpea flour
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered rose petals or triphala or neem leaves
  • Water, as needed

Directions

  • Mix the chickpea flour with the powdered rose petals or triphala or neem leaves.
  • Make a paste by adding just enough water.
  • Apply the mixture to your face.
  • Rinse your face with cool water and pat dry.
  • Pitta Scrub

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons oatmeal, finely ground
  • Water, as needed

Directions

  • Take the oatmeal in a small bowl and add sufficient water to make a paste.
  • Allow the paste to stand for about a minute so that it becomes a little thick in texture.
  • Apply the paste to your face in a circular motion.
  • Rinse your face with lukewarm water and pat dry.
  • Pitta Face Mask 1

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • Fresh cream, as needed

Directions

  • Mash the avocado and mix it with some fresh cream.
  • Apply the mixture to your face.
  • Let it remain on your face for about 10 minutes.
  • Wipe the mixture from your face using a warm, clean, damp piece of cloth.
  • Pitta Face Mask 2

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons organic yogurt
  • ¼ portion of a small avocado

Directions

  • Mash and mix the avocado with the yogurt until smooth.
  • Apply the mixture to your face.
  • Allow it to stand on your face for about 15 minutes.
  • Rinse your face with tepid water.

Kapha Skincare Recipes

  • Kapha Cleanser

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  • Mix the honey and lemon juice to make a paste.
  • Gently apply the paste to your face.
  • Rinse your face with warm water and pat dry.
  • Kapha Scrub

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Water, as needed

Directions

  • Combine the cornmeal with honey and mix to form a paste.
  • Apply the paste to your face in a circular motion.
  • Rinse your face with lukewarm water and pat dry gently.
  • Kapha Face Mask 1

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons plain applesauce with no added sugar

Directions

  • Apply the applesauce to your face.
  • Let it remain on your face for about 5 minutes.
  • Wipe it using a warm, clean, damp cloth.
  • Kapha Face Mask 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt

Directions

  • Mix honey and yogurt to form a paste.
  • Apply this paste to your face and allow it to remain for about 15 minutes.
  • Rinse your face with warm water.

We saw the different Ayurvedic skincare masks for specific skin types. In addition to those, we have listed certain masks that help treat certain skin conditions. Keep reading.

Ayurvedic Face Masks For Treating Different Skin Conditions

Several factors can impact the beauty and glow of your skin, including pollution, stress, poor diet, etc. As a result, you may experience skin issues like acne, dullness, blemishes, dark spots, or wrinkles. Here are a few simple DIY Ayurvedic face masks that help treat certain such skin issues.

  • Ayurvedic Skin Care Mask For Acne Prone Skin

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sandalwood powder
  • 1 tablespoon neem leaves, powdered
  • ¼ tablespoon camphor powder
  • Aloe vera juice, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon multani mitti or Fuller’s Earth (if you have active acne)

Directions

  • Mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Apply this mixture to your face and leave it on for about 15 minutes.
  • Wash your face with normal water.
  • Ayurvedic Skin Care Mask For Suntan

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons multani mitti or Fuller’s Earth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato juice or coconut water
  • ½ teaspoon sandalwood powder
  • Rosewater, as needed

Directions

  • Mix all the ingredients (excluding rose water) in a small bowl.
  • Add just enough rose water to make a smooth paste of medium consistency.
  • Apply the paste to your face and allow it to dry.
  • Wash your face once the mask becomes dry.
  • You may use this mask once or twice a week.
  • Anti-Aging Ayurvedic Skin Care Mask

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ tablespoon pomegranate seed oil

Directions

  • Combine both the oils and apply them to your face.
  • Allow the mixture to stay on your face for about an hour.
  • Wash your face with plain water.
  • You can use this mask every day.

In addition to these masks, you may also check the following tips for improving your skin health.

Ayurvedic Skincare Tips For Healthy Skin

Ayurveda emphasizes following a holistic approach and eating a good diet along with using suitable face masks to promote skin health and glow. Here are a few Ayurvedic skin care tips to help you out:

  • Follow the routine of cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and nourishing your skin regularly.
  • Drink enough water every day to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Make it a habit to sleep early and rise early.
  • Exercise at least thrice a week and go for walks regularly.
  • Reduce intake of food high in sugar, salt, and oils.
  • Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • If you use Ayurvedic oils for skin, make sure they are suitable for your Ayurveda skin type.
  • Stay calm and relaxed. Reduce stress through meditation.

Choosing The Right Ayurvedic Skincare Products

Ayurvedic skin care products are available as medicines, formulations, facials, etc. These days, several brands offer these products. Hence, selecting the best of the lot can be an overwhelming task. These tips can come to your rescue:

  • Remember that Ayurvedic products are herbal treatments. They are supposed to be used to treat issues related to your skin. Hence, select the product based on the issue you are facing.
  • If a product has been effective for your friend, it does not mean the same product will be effective for you. Even if both of you are dealing with the same skin issue, the same solution may not work. Hence, you must consider your Ayurveda skin type before selecting a product.
  • Even the best ayurvedic skincare products will not give results if you do not align your lifestyle and diet based on your requirements. Adopt the right diet and lifestyle habits.

Among the many skincare brands offering Ayurvedic products, these are the more popular ones:

  • Forest Essentials
  • Samaya Ayurveda
  • PRATIMA Skincare

In Conclusion

Ayurveda is an ancient healing science you can apply to treat your skin problems and restore your lost charm. This skincare system is based on three doshas or energies. Keeping the doshas balanced is the key to keeping your skin glowing and healthy.

We believe this post has given you enough information to make an informed decision. Try out the recipes and pick the right Ayurvedic product for yourself. With regular use, you should see the results you wanted.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Do Ayurvedic skincare products cause any side effects?

Ayurvedic skin care products are generally safe and are not known to cause any side effects. However, if you are sensitive to any particular ingredient, in the product, consult your doctor before use. You also may want to consult your doctor before using any of these products if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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Ravi Teja Tadimalla is an editor and a published author. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has been in the digital media field for over six years. He has a Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition & Research from Wageningen University. He considers himself a sculptor born to chip away at content and reveal its dormant splendor. He started his career as a research writer, primarily focusing on health and wellness, and has over 250 articles to his credit. Ravi believes in the great possibilities of abundant health with natural foods and organic supplements. Reading and theater are his other interests.
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