One of the many things I love about the 5,000-year old science of Ayurveda it that it promotes -- and celebrates -- that a woman’s most divine beauty comes from within. Some key characteristics of this ancient lifestyle include nourishing your body from the inside-out with seasonal meals made from whole foods that are rich in essential nutrients and natural antioxidants, as well as a strong focus on digestive health and optimizing the balance of energies in the mind and body.
Today however, we’re going to focus on that glorious skin of yours and how to make its natural beauty shine through with my top four Ayurvedic beauty tips. My skin and beauty-care regimen are largely holistic, and I always try to choose organic products at their most natural state possible. My primary goal is to always protect, nourish, and enhance what I have… for the long-term!
Try incorporating some of the techniques below in your regular routines to bring out the absolute best in your skin and unique beauty.
Best time to use: First thing in the morning, before drinking any fluids or brushing your teeth.
Recommended: Stainless Steel Tongue Scraper
One of the most direct ways of clearing your skin is to remove excess toxins from the internal body. Our outer body and skin usually show the first signs of something off-balance internally, as your body works to expel it from your system. One of the fastest Ayurvedic methods for detox is a daily oral hygiene practice called “tongue scraping”. This technique has been used for thousands of years to remove toxins from the tongue, which tends to be a collection zone of bacterial build-up; especially as we sleep when the body does its deepest detox and restoration work. If your taste buds are covered with “ama” (bacteria and plaque), it also makes it harder to taste your food as you’re eating. When your tongue is desensitized and food isn’t registering to the brain as being tasty or satisfying, it can also lead to going overboard with salt and sweets. This added salt and sugar intake may even lead to overeating, weight gain, other health problems and/or further skin issues. Instead, fall in love with tongue brushing! I now can’t live without it.
How to use: The best time to scrape your tongue is first thing in the morning to remove any coating and other debris that may have accumulated overnight as a result of cleansing the respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems. I recommend a well-designed tongue scraper made from stainless steel or copper. Place the rounded end of the scraper far back on the tongue and gently pull forward. Repeat until you’ve covered the whole surface of your tongue and it feels clean. It may be a bit strange at first, but I promise you’ll quickly become addicted to how fresh your entire mouth feels.
Best time to use: First thing in the morning, before taking a bath or shower, for an extra energizing boost.
This ancient beauty and health ritual take mere minutes of your time, and feels like a mini-massage! Dry brushing can boost circulation, support the lymph system in detox, and promote overall skin health. I always recommend using a brush made from natural materials. This practice is believed to significantly increase blood flow to the skin and contribute to the breakup of toxins, exfoliate dead skin cells, clear the pores, and even reduces the appearance of cellulite. The stimulated nervous system also activates muscle fibers and improves muscle tone - it’s an overall drastic improvement in the outer appearance of your skin.
How to use: To perform skin brushing, make sure your skin is completely clean and dry, preferably before a shower or a bath. Any time of day is fine, but I prefer to do this in the morning for an added energizing boost as it gets the blood flowing. Always begin at your feet, moving in long sweeping, circular motions upwards, toward your heart. Allow yourself to be mindful while you do it, tuning into the act of loving and caring for your body.
Best time to use: Immediately after a bath or shower on fresh skin.
Recommended: Rose Water with Real Rose Petals
Since I first started using rose water as a toner during my travels through India and Nepal in 2011, I became enchanted with the scent of roses and how clean and soft it makes my skin feel. With each use, I felt like I was treating myself to something special, perhaps because roses are associated with elegance and romance!
I did some research and discovered the rose was used in many of the most ancient skincare techniques in cultures around the world to soothe, nourish, and brighten the skin. Rose water is cooling with cleansing, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties that help clear impurities, maintain a healthy Ph balance in your skin, as well as reduce redness and irritation. The aroma of roses is also said to be a powerful mood enhancer, ridding you of feelings of anxiety and promoting well-being.
How to use: While it’s recommended to be used right after a bath or shower on fresh skin, you can use it in the middle of the day to keep skin hydrated, use it was a form of makeup setting spray, or on hair to add shine and healthiness!
Best time to use: Any time you would typically moisturize, preferably on fresh skin after toning.
Recommended: Raw Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut oil makes the perfect moisturizer (especially after dry skin brushing) and adds natural oils back into the skin. Some women swear by olive oil or ghee (clarified butter), which you could also try, though coconut oil is a cooling, non-greasy oil that doesn’t stain your clothes and actually promotes healthy hydration with no breakouts. It can also reduce age spots, wrinkles, breakouts, and more, as it restores natural balance to your skin. It is especially calming for anyone with a pitta dosha.
How to use: I like to scoop some coconut oil into a separate sealed container mixed with a few drops of lavender or citrus essential oils and apply to my face, neck, and entire body once a day. You can take extra care to do a little Ayurvedic self-massage and mindfully pay attention to each area as you rub it in, using vigorous strokes to improve circulation.
Coconut oil can also be used as a mouthwash to clean and whiten teeth.
It’s important to remember that when making any sort of changes to your daily routines, don’t try to shift everything at once. A great place to begin is by simply being more mindful of the products you use on your skin and their ingredients. Then find a few holistic practices that work for you as well, and slowly increase the ratio of natural-to-commercial products and wellness rituals. As the body starts to return to its ideal internal balance and flush toxins, it will need to release everything through your body and skin first. Remember to stay hydrated and keep flushing your body with fluids! You may have no issues at all, but don’t fret if you do experience minor skin changes as you transition to a cleaner lifestyle.
Above all, love YOU and celebrate the skin and body you have! It is beautifully and perfectly unique.
Always remember: you are powerful!
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