Winter is almost here. While most of us eagerly look forward to the cold season, it's not particularly the best time for your skin. The drop in temperature and humidity could lead to various skin issues, one of the most common winter skincare problems being excessive dryness and chapped lips. At times like this, what can help you naturally is resorting to Ayurvedic remedies to look after your skin and keep it beautiful and radiant in winter. Ayurveda is an ancient treasure trove of secrets using natural ingredients to benefit your health and beauty.
The ingredients used in Ayurvedic formulations are mainly plants, herbs and natural essences. These formulations or remedies, which have been thoughtfully laid down by our ancestors, make use of the amazing benefits of the ingredients that have been tested over time.
During winter, chilly wind can play havoc for your skin if proper care is not taken. It can sap its moisture and sheen, making it dull and dehydrated. As per Ayurveda, the earth is in the dakshinayana phase, which is the feminine phase of the universe, the season of regeneration. It is the time of receptivity; the thirsty plants and creatures soak and drink the elixir of life to regain vitality, and that's exactly what our skin needs. So a must-do for winter skincare is to pamper your skin with nourishing plant elixirs to regenerate and revive its lost glory.
Winter is that time of the year for everybody to pay close attention to their skincare needs since the body is drier and lacks hydration. One should be very careful to keep their dosha in balance as vata (a combination of space and air elements) dominates during winters making the body dry. Here are some winter skincare tips that can help you look after your skin:
Use products that are natural, extra nourishing as they provide intense moisturisation. Look for ingredients such as natural butters like shea, kokum, coconut and almond butter. Other ingredients like honey, rose, glycerin, natural cold-pressed oils like almond, apricot, jojoba and sesame are beneficial too.
Ayurveda recommends abhyanga before bath to replenish the lost moisture and impart sheen. Self-oil massage will keep the skin plump and supple throughout the day. During this dry season, it is also recommended that you either use sesame or coconut oil before your daily morning shower. Natural shower oils effectively tackle dryness by sealing in moisture that gets wiped off during towel drying.
Take care of your feet by pada abhyanga, using foot oils. Regular massage restores and balances the body's innate energy or prana. The simple act of rubbing oil on the soles of the feet before a good night's sleep is highly recommended in Ayurveda. It will help in deep absorption of oils used during massage, thus rendering the foot soft, supple and nourished.
Shiro abhyanga or head massage is simple and highly essential in winters. Charak Samhita, a Sanskrit text on Ayurveda quotes, "One who applies oil on his head regularly does not suffer from headaches, baldness or greying of hair. Nor does his hair fall. The strength of his head and forehead is specially enhanced; his hair becomes black, long, and deep-rooted. His sense organs work effectively. The skin on his face brightens. Applying oil on the head produces sound sleep and happiness."
Apply night serums with emollient butter to replenish and renew the skin overnight. Using a mix of rose water, glycerine and lemon juice is the best age-old remedy for dry skin. Moisturise your skin after a bath with chemical-free lotions that are extra hydrating yet do not block the pores.
The increased cold commonly leads to chapped lips. Protect your lips against drying and flaking with a non-shiny and highly moisturised lip balm.
Your skin truly reflects what you eat, so eat food as per Ayurveda to save your skin from drying. In this vata season, Ayurveda recommends warm and moist food to keep the body supple from the inside. Take warm soups, warming spices like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, etc., warm cereal or porridge with nuts and seeds. Avoid foods like fizzy drinks, caffeine and cold dishes. Drink plenty of water and immunity boosting tea made of tulsi, ginger, cinnamon, ajwain, turmeric and honey.
Include healthy fats and omega 3 abundant food in your diet like green leafy vegetables, nuts and pure cow's ghee. Chyawanprash serves additional benefits when consumed in winter as it an immunity booster. Have fruits rich in vitamin C such as amla.
Other than the above mentioned tips, also make sure to stay active and exercise regularly. Practice yogic stretching postures to avoid stiffness and improve blood circulation. Pranayam can help keep the lungs healthy and the skin pumped with fresh oxygen.
So bloom this winter season with these simple and easy Ayurvedic skincare tips. May this season bring out a nourished and renewed you.
About the author: Rajni Ohri is passionate about natural skincare. It was her love for nature that made her inquisitive about Ayurveda. As her parents visited Rishikesh each year for their religious trips, Rajni would spend her time there learning Ayurveda. Under her acharya's guidance, she gained experience in preparing various Ayurvedic hair oils, body butters, etc. and acquired holistic knowledge of Ayurveda. Rajni was just 12-years old when she experimented with making her own cream. Though it did not turn out to be perfect, she loved it for it was 100% natural. Years later, she now runs her own Ayurvedic skincare brand called Ohria Ayurveda.
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