My Ayurvedic Beauty Regime
How I keep my skin poppin' with the power of Ayurveda, herbs and magic
I have been a skin care enthusiast and advocate pretty much since I learned to wash my face without my moms help. So while most of my friends growing up were using bar soap and thought I was crazy when I asked them for toner and moisturizer at sleepovers, I was off spending most of my teenage earnings on skin care products and facials.
My obsession with healthy skin has only progressed over time, the only difference is I now ensure my products are as natural, high quality and Ayurvedic as possible. I often hear from people that I look “sooooo young” for my age and while I fully credit yoga, meditation, breathing, Ayurveda and not drinking in my 20’s to having great skin, it also make me kind of sad that people assume you should be crusty at 30. I get it, we live in a time where anti-aging products, cosmetic procedures and surgeries are readily available, promoted and more encouraged than ever at a very young age and while I support people's decision to take alternative routes to feel their best, in Ayurveda we believe in holistic care and prevention first.
1- Get your head on straight
When our mental, physical and emotional well-being is optimal, it creates an aura of energy that is clear, radiant and vibrant. So for me, the first steps to great skin start on the inside with a daily sadhana practice. I am so grateful to have had Sudarshan Kriya in my life for the last 11 years and through breath I was able to cultivate a meditation practice, integrate prayer and chanting and yoga. The first signs of stress generally show up physically in the digestive system after the nervous system overloads, often resulting in various skin challenges like breakouts, irritation, rashes, dehydrated/ lacklustre skin, premature wrinkles and under eye bags / puffiness to name a few.
The quickest way to alleviate toxins from our body is the breath, I suggest doing Ujjai breathing (also known as Ocean Breath) 20-25 times upon rising and before bed to relax the mind and release physical and emotional toxicity. You can learn more about the power of pranayama (breathing techniques) here.
Chanting works on a deep vibrational level, in Sikhi we call it Naam or Simran and in the Vedas we do jaapa of mantras. These ancient sound vibrations carry the power to uplift our consciousness and increase the prana in our bodies. Try it for yourself either by listening or following along with this Om Nama Shivaya mantra and observe the state of your body and mind once you finish!
Having a meditation and yoga practice is the key to being vibrant, grounded and connected. I don’t mean only looking hot upside down kind of yoga but true union of breath, mind and body yoga. I am eternally grateful to be able to share yoga with people for the last 5 years but also practice daily for my own well being. If you haven't tried it, please do and please don’t think you need to look a certain way or dress a certain way, go to a fancy big studio and speak sanskrit to be able to do yoga. If you have a body, you can do yoga; as a teacher it’s my mission to make yoga inclusive and accessible to all people, if you haven't found a practice or place that works for you hit me up and we’ll work together to find it.
2- You are what you digest
You’ve heard this a million times- “ You are what you eat/drink” and you probably don’t want to hear it again but it’s true, sort of. In Ayurveda, health starts in the mind, then the gut, which means you can be eating all the best food, with the most incredible supplements but if you have a poor digestive system, all you have is some very expensive poop. The key is to have a balanced and properly functioning digestive system which can be supported by drinking lots of fresh water, agni tea before meals and CCF Tea after meals , taking triphala / amla supplements daily to clear the digestive system and eating freshly prepared vegetarian food as often as possible. I have finally found some plant based collagen from Anima Mundi Herbals which I am currently testing out so I’ll get back to you on the results.
3- Detox your drawers
Every 6 months or so I like to go through my products and donate or dispose of anything that I am not using because I can easily accumulate a ton of stuff which is not only wasteful but clutter induces stress and anxiety.
Whatever products you use on a daily basis : deodorant, cleanser, moisturizer, toner, exfoliant, toothpaste etc. should be toxin free because you are absorbing those products through the skin repeatedly each day. On average women absorb approximately 168 synthetic chemicals from just their morning routine and cosmetics alone and with all the shit we are exposed to outside our homes, we do not need any extras. You can check out the Dirty Dozen to see which chemicals to avoid when purchasing your skincare and cosmetics.
4- Oil + Massage
Oil is one of the primary carriers of medicine in Ayurveda, the right oil for the right dosha helps to helps to to ground and balance Vata dosha, pacify and cool Pitta dosha, or stimulate Kapha dosha. A daily abhyanga including face massage with a cold pressed, organic oil will help keep skin hydrated and radiant while increasing elasticity and reducing appearance of fine lines and cellulite. More often than not I opt for using oil (rosehip, coconut, sunflower) or beauty balm as my moisturizer especially during Winter when Vata is more elevated and skin has a tendency to be dry and tight. When I am in India I always make sure I stock up on the Kama Eladi Hydrating Rose cream (and basically every Kama product) because the smell is so divine, the texture is light and it leaves my face radiating.
5- Make your own stuff
I don’t believe in paying for something I can make better myself so at least once a week I get in my kitchen and mix up a batch of ubtan and I always make sure I have my aloe rose water on hand. As we grow together I will share more of my favourite recipes and remedies, for now here are my two favourite skin savers:
Turmeric & lemon helps to brightens skin, act as an antibacterial and antiseptic while helping create an even skin tone. Fresh curd helps to smooth and hydrate the skin by dissolving dead skin cells.
- 1 - 1 ½ tbsp gram flour / black gram flour (also known as besan or chickpea flour. I prefer black gram because the peels are exfoliating)
- ½ tsp organic turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp fresh curd / plain yogurt
- ¼ - ½ tsp lemon juice depending on how juicy your lemon is
- Optional: sandalwood powder
In a clean glass bowl combine the gram flour with turmeric powder, add fresh curd and lemon juice, mix until you have a paste consistency. If ubtan is too dry, add more curd and if it is too runny add more flour. Apply to your face and leave on until paste dries then gently wash off with warm water, end with a splash of cold water to close pores and if you have fair skin be cautious of the amount of turmeric you add and how long you leave it on because it will leave a golden hue which has always come off for me with an extra wash.
Aloe Rose Water
Aloe is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti fungal, antimicrobial and helps to refresh, strengthen and nourish the skin. Rose has been used in beauty rituals since ancient times in many cultures but especially in ancient India. It is connected to the heart chakra, it is sattvic in nature, helps cool, tone and smoothen the skin as well as calm the nervous system by pacifying Pitta and Vata.
- Small clean glass spray bottle
- George’s always active aloe juice
- Pure organic Rose oil or food grade rose water- I prefer this one
If you are using rose water then mix half and half of the aloe and rose water, if you are using rose oil it will be concentrated so fill your bottle with aloe juice and add 2-3 drops of your oil depending on the quality and strength. My rose aloe water is my lifesaver and has gone all over the world with me, I use it as a hydrating mist while flying, to cool down after sun exposure, to soothe skin irritation from breakouts or post-waxing and as a makeup setting spray.
Your body and skin are an investment so what you put on and into it should also be an investment. I choose to spend money on quality oils, herbs and whole products where a little will go a long way. One device that I swear by and would hands down invest in is the Clarisonic, this exfoliating brush helps to smoothen my skin texture, get rid of dry, dull and dead skin, helps with fine lines and discolouration, removes left over makeup and I feel the vibration helps generate collagen to keep my skin plump. If your investment budget isn't ready for Clarisonic yet, a great affordable alternative is the Olay regenerist brush and for a more gentle exfoliation and authentic Ayurvedic beauty treatment I also use raw silk Garshana gloves that are typically used for dry brushing the body.
Invest in yourself, there's only one of you in this lifetime.
Be Well xo