Our complexion can tell a lot about us, about our emotions and our health. Whether we are living in harmony with ourselves and our surroundings, whether we are successful in balancing work and rest, and whether we suffer from chronic stress — all this is reflected in our skin.
We will share with you what Ayurveda believes is the secret of healthy skin, and what you yourself can do to have radiantly beautiful skin.
Beautiful skin – it’s not just aesthetics
Is your skin rosy and fresh and youthful? Or grey, tired and sagging? How other people perceive us depends to a great extent on our skin. Our skin influences our appearance and our radiance.
At the same time, healthy skin plays a big role in our overall health. The skin is our largest organ and envelops and protects our entire body. It is the first barrier against bacteria, viruses, and allergens. Ayurveda distinguishes among six layers of skin, of which the outermost, Avabhasini, is the strongest.
The skin also acts as a “mirror of the soul“. It reflects our inner health and our emotions. We express this verbally when we talk about something “getting under our skin,” or when certain feelings making us “turn pale” or “blush”. We also talk about “feeling comfortable in our own skin,” or “lighting up”.
What makes skin healthy and radiant?
What characterizes healthy, radiant skin above all is good viscosity. Healthy, radiant skin is neither dry nor too oily.
According to Ayurveda, the skin is a manifestation of the Pitta dosha in our body. One of the five Pitta subdoshas, “Brhajaka,” is responsible for a person’s “glow,” the blood circulation of the skin, and the skin’s metabolism. “Bhrajaka“ governs colour, radiance, metabolic activity, blood circulation, heat regulation, oil absorption, and it processes all external stimuli (massage, bath, etc.).
The centre of the Pitta dosha in our physiology is the liver area. Therefore, if we are to have healthy, strong, and beautiful skin, our liver and duodenum must function well. Imbalances in these organs and in hormone regulation will sooner or later leave their traces on the skin. Ayurvedic doctors know this and will closely examine the skin to see what it looks and feels like.
Ojas – the secret to positive radiance
What gives us radiance and charisma? According to Ayurveda, it is our ojas, the most subtle product of our metabolism, which is closely connected with our life energy, a light, joyful feeling in the body, and glow and aura. If our digestive power is strong, plenty of ojas is produced giving us a glow from within.
The skin as mirror of dosha balance
Our skin reflects the individual quality and the relationship between the three doshas — Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. For example, dry skin, which many people have, indicates primarily an imbalance of Vata (and Pitta). Vata types generally have dry skin, while the skin of Pitta types is both dry and viscous. Kapha types, on the other hand, often have particularly beautiful skin. However, it tends to be rather oily and can, therefore, be prone to allergies and infections.
Healthy and beautiful skin needs care
To stay fresh and healthy, your skin needs good care, both externally and internally. Our 10 recommendations will guide you on this path:
|10 recommendations for healthy and radiant skin|
1. Skin care from within – with the proper diet
The key to ayurvedic skin care from within is a diet tailored to the strength of the individual digestive fire (agni) and to the dosha type. Beyond that, the following applies to all body constitutions:
- Wholesome and warm foods are especially important for the skin. Preferably foods of good organic quality.
- As far as possible, eat at regular and favourable times. It is best if you eat breakfast by 8:00 am (at the latest by 9:00 am), eat your main meal between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm, and have a light dinner between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
- Never combine anything sweet, such as milk, with salty foods.
- Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables. These vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins, which strengthen your skin and make it glow.
- Make sure to get sufficient vitamin C – for example, in the form of citrus fruits. Vitamin C protects against oxidative stress and plays a role in collagen production.
- With the right high-quality fats and oils you give your skin a natural glow and moisture. A good fat that is particularly beneficial for the skin is organic ghee. It balances Pitta and Vata and strengthens agni. All you need are 10 to 15 ml per day. You can also have a little milk and cream now and then.
Your skin will thank you!
If you want to do more for yourself and your skin, you can round out your skin-friendly diet with supplements, such as turmeric. In Ayurveda this popular spice is valued not only for its mildly spicy flavour but also because of its Pitta-balancing properties.
In addition, we want to introduce you to several other valuable supplements that are produced in accordance with ancient recipes:
2. Liver care
In Ayurveda, the liver is considered the key to perfect skin! The liver is the central starting point for improving complexion or alleviating skin disorders. If the liver is overburdened or is out of balance, Ayurveda experts generally advise the following:
- flushing and cleansing – to ease the burden on the liver, our detoxifying organ
- targeted intake of nutrients – to nourish and strengthen the liver
3. Abhyanga – self-massage with oil
Give your skin the attention it deserves every day – with abhyanga. There is a good reason why self-massage with oil is an integral part of the ayurvedic daily routine. You will be surprised at how good it feels to give your skin 15 minutes of attention in the morning and to pamper it with precious oils. The gentle motion of the massage supports the cleansing of the tissues and gives your skin a new strength, glow, and elasticity.
4. Daily cleansing
In Ayurveda we have various rituals you can use to thoroughly cleanse your skin and prepare it for absorption of your skin care products. A nice warm bath after morning abhyanga cleanses and relaxes your body. Alternatively, you can take a warm shower.
Thorough cleansing is especially important for Kapha types because bacteria and allergens tend to adhere easily to their more oily skin. Kapha types can wash their face several times a day with warm water and in this way reduce the likelihood of developing infections and allergies.
In addition, we recommend gently cleansing the delicate skin on your face and throat every morning and evening, using our Cleansing Milk. This cleansing milk with its fresh scent is suitable for every skin type and contains moisturizing aloe vera, nourishing shea butter, natural vitamin E, and precious omega fatty acids, as well as pure lemon grass oil.
5. Best natural cosmetics for wonderfully cared for skin
For skin to remain smooth and supple for as long as possible, it needs external protection and care. Our unique ayurvedic skin care series offered by Maharishi Ayurveda gives your skin precisely the care it needs. Whether you decide to use the Cleansing Milk, the refreshing Skin Tonic, or a facial care cream tailored to your skin type — by choosing our skin care regimen, you are opting for the best natural cosmetics as illustrated by their BDIH/COSMOS seal, one of the highest standards in all of Europe! All products are carefully produced based on authentic ayurvedic formulas and using selected herbs, pure, fragrant aroma oils, and pure water from the Himalayas.
6. Sufficient sleep
Sleep is the time for regeneration. This is also true for our skin; skin cells regenerate significantly faster while we are asleep than during the day. This is due to the release of a growth hormone particularly during deep sleep. A persistent lack of sleep leads to thinner and more wrinkled skin. Conversely, sufficient restorative sleep can counteract skin aging. Ayurveda experts recommend that we go to bed before 10:00 pm and get up early the next morning.
Sleep yourself beautiful.
Make sure you relax regularly. From experience we know that it helps to schedule set times for relaxation in your daily routine; for example, time for yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation.
Exercise regularly. Every time you exercise you stimulate blood flow to your skin. Exercise also supplies the skin with nutrients and fresh oxygen and helps remove cellular waste products. Ayurveda recommends exercising preferably between 6 and 10 am and to match duration, intensity and type of activity to one’s dosha type.
9. Relaxing facial mask to pamper your skin
Pamper yourself and your skin with a weekly facial mask. The 3 in 1 skin care creams in our natural cosmetics series are ideal for this and can be used for day and night care and also as a treatment mask:
- Vata Skin Care Cream for normal to dry and combination skin
- Pitta Skin Care Cream for normal to sensitive skin
- Revital Cream for normal, mature and demanding skin
10. Mindfulness & Love of life
Giving your skin the attention it deserves will not only benefit your body but also your outlook on life. Try it, and you will see your positive outlook on life reflected in how you look. When you feel good all around and enjoy life, your skin will also be radiant.
Tip: Face yoga
You want to do more for your skin and look younger?
Scientific studies (published, for example, in JAMA Dermatology) confirm the anti-aging effect of “face yoga.” In face yoga you train various facial muscles separately or in groups; the strengthened muscles fill existing wrinkles from the inside.
Usually, we use only a few of our more than 40 facial muscles, and most of the time we are not aware of how we move our facial muscles when we are worried, anxious or concentrating on something.
Over time this causes the dreaded worry lines and other expression wrinkles to develop. Face yoga helps to counteract the effects of gravity and leads to improved blood circulation, firmer skin, defined face lines and improved facial metabolism.
Try it if you like.
Not just for Kapha types – 100 splashes
The recommendation for Kapha skin is to wash the face several times a day.
Tip: Try the “100 times face splash“. This method helps to clean and tighten facial pores, reduces acne and blackheads and stimulates blood circulation.
Important: Always use water that is no more than lukewarm.
And this is how it’s done:
After cleansing your face, fill a (glass) bowl with lukewarm water, and, with quick upward hand movements, splash your face with water – about 80 times. At the end, you can use cold water for another 20 splashes to close the pores.
With best wishes for beautiful skin all around and a wonderful radiance
Your Maharishi Ayurveda Europe team
Many of the tips listed above are taken from the webinar “Beautiful, Radiant and Healthy Skin with Ayurveda“, in which our Indian Ayurveda experts Dr. Richa Shrivastava and Vaidya Dr. Saurabh Sharma share their extensive knowledge about skin with people interested in Ayurveda.