Ayurveda for Natural Skin Care
Skin: - Ayurveda describes the skin as one among the “PANCHANHANENDRIYAS”. We feel with our skin. The skin is the most exposed part of our body and is hence the most affected area of our body. It is more prone to diseases since the dirt, grime, polluted air and exhaust from the vehicles all gets accumulated here. Hence skin is to be given proper care.
The things that affect the skin: -
Changes in weather: - Often we have to go out. The summer takes the toll on the exposed part of the skin and heat tends to darken the skin. Tan is often good. But overexposure to sun can cause even small-scale burns and blackening. Hence the part that is more often exposed to sun becomes dark whereas that part of the skin, which remains under the dress, retains the original color. People often complain about this change in color especially on the face. Lot of sunscreen lotions is available in the market and is prescribed for this problem. Winter poses another problem- dryness of the skin. The skin becomes dry during the winter season, which often leads to the ageing. The skin looks old due to the dryness. Companies manufacture and market lot of lotions specially made for this purpose.
Atmospheric pollution: - Since we are living in an era of pollution, many diseases which were not heard of earlier are very common nowadays. As mentioned in the introduction, the exhaust fumes coming out from the vehicles and dirt and grime affect the skin. The skin loses its glow after some time. It is a very difficult task to preserve the glow and texture of the skin.
Ailments: - Various skin ailments are on the rise these days. Of these the most common ones are Luekoderma and Psoriasis. Both were very rare earlier but are quite common now days. In Luekoderma , the body is not able to produce a pigment called “MELANIN” which gives the skin its characteristic colour and thus certain parts shows white patches which is prominently seen. It looks like disfigurement in some cases especially when it is seen in the face. This has become common irrespective of the climatic conditions or the places we live in. Equally seen is Psoriasis. The number of patients suffering from these diseases is on the high. People suffering from psoriasis often develop allergy like itching and blemishes on the skin. These are often seen as small spots, which gradually spread to other parts of the body. Treatment would be more effective if started in the initial stages. These have no effective cure in Modern Medicine other than intake of steroids. Ayurveda relates these to the vitiation of humors like “VATA” , “PITTA” and “KAPHA”. Treatments such as “VAMANA” or emesis, “VIRECHANA” or purgation are recommended. These treatments help in detoxifying the body.
The changes in lifestyle: - The changes in the lifestyle and the use of chemicals affect the skin a lot. Extensive use of soaps, shampoos and the like causes dryness. The skin of some people is extremely sensitive and bleaching and other beauty therapies cause blemishes on the skin. We do not have the time to take care of the skin these days and hence the skin looks old very easily due to the lack of proper care. Extensive use of makeups results in premature ageing. Our grandmothers knew how to take good care of the skin with oils and other natural herbs
Food: - Use of fried food is on the increase now days. People have no time for a regular meal and they often end up eating junk food from the roadside. Often children take these fries, which comes in packet for their snacks to school daily. The use of these may cause eruptions on the skin. To have a good skin one must include a lot of leafy vegetables, fruits etc in their menu.
Tension: - Stress and tension has become a part of our modern day life. Hypertension is the most common disease. This leads to numerous ailments, which can also affect the skin.
Ayurveda recommends “ABHYANGA” or oil bath. Oil bath is the most effective medicine. It acts as a tonic for the skin. Massaging the body with oil and then washing it off with herbs like gram flour, besan, rita, amla etc can work wonders on the skin. This will help to have a glowing skin and also acts as a precaution for skin ailments. From childhood itself it is recommended to use oil on the baby and have a herbal wash. Including leafy vegetables is essential for good skin. Drink lot of water and wash the face with water as many times as possible. Fruits like pappaya, cucumber etc can be pulped and applied to get a glowing skin. Honey prevents ageing of the skin and it also helps in easy healing of wounds. Turmeric is an antiseptic and also enhances skin colour. Henna leaves pasted with a little turmeric and betel leaves were used for applying mehendi on the hands and feet before. Apart from beautifying purpose, this also was good for the skin. This paste when applied on the feet helped to control fungus infection during rainy seasons.
There are numerous remedies mentioned in Ayurveda for skin care but above all, a healthy mind is necessary for a healthy skin.
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