How to Care for your Skin Type
1. Vata Skin Type:
For Vata skin abhyanga, or massaging the skin all over the body daily with sesame or olive oil for 20 minutes and then taking a bath with luke warm water helps to reduce dryness and flaking.
As per season, apply raw milk (in summers) or luke warm milk (in winters) with the a cotton swab all over the face and/or body with gentle circular motions. See the pores getting cleansed and rinse with luke warm water. It reduces the dryness and wrinkles and patchy skin.
Use natural, herbal cleansers or scrubs when bathing to avoid excessive dryness and early wrinkling.
Recipe of bathing scrub: To 1 cup of wheat or barley flour add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 4 teaspoons of sesame oil or melted ghee. Add some water to make a paste. Apply liberally on face and body and after 10 minutes rub it off with your hands and bathe with luke warm water.
A mixture of chickpea flour and milk can also be used as an alternative to soap.
2. Pitta Skin Type:
Pitta skins are more oily, prone to blemishes, acne and black heads and sunburn. Excessive sweating can also be a problem in some individuals.
Aloe vera is good for Pitta skin as it is cooling and healing. Cucumber juice and rose water are also soothing and refreshing to the skin.
To reduce oiliness of the Pitta skin, make a face pack with ¼ cup of Fuller’s earth, 1 teaspoon of red sandal wood powder, and 1/4th tea spoon of turmeric powder. Mix into a paste using rose water and apply on the affected part with a brush. Rinse with cold water when dry.
Blemishes – Aloe vera gel 2 table spoon of aloe vera gel can be mixed with a pinch of turmeric and 1 teaspoon of red sandalwood powder to make a paste. Apply to the skin for 15 minutes every day to gradually remove blemishes.
To remove sun spots – Mix together 1 ounce of Cucumber juice,1/2 teaspoon each of lemon juice and rose water and apply with a cotton swab. Allow to sit on the affected parts of the skin for ½ to 1 hour. Rinse first with luke warm water followed by cool water.
For bad sweat odour, Mix 1 part ‘Trifla Powder, 1 part Fuller’s and 1/4th part sandal wood powder. Mix with rose water as needed to make a paste and apply on sweaty areas of the body. Rub the mixture off when it is almost dry. Take a bath with room temperature water or luke warm water.
To treat acne, Ayurveda recommends taking blood purifying herbs internally and applying medicated pastes externally. The recommended herbs for internal use in acne are Chirayta (Swertia Chirata) and Neem bark powder (Azadirachta indica). Either can be taken in powder form ½ teaspoons twice a day before meals twice a day with plain water .
For external application: In the early stage when the acne has just appeared – Apply a paste of nutmeg powder in rose water over the affected area overnight and rinse with cold water in the morning. Make a paste of turmeric powder and water and apply to the blemishes with a cotton ball. Turmeric has both antibiotic and antibacterial properties so it will help calm the eruptions.
3. Kapha Skin Type:
Kapha skin types need to use herbs that increase circulation and need to get regular steam bath.
For a dull complexion use a combination of massage, steam bath and body scrub. Massage the skin gently with mustard oil (warmed in winter) for two minutes to each body part. Take steam bath. Make a paste of Triphala powder, turmeric powder, licorice root powder and red sandalwood powder (equal proportions) in water and apply all over the body for 10 minutes. Remove the paste by rubbing it off. Take a bath with warm water.
For black heads apply mixture of lemon juice and rose water on the affected area overnight or cut lemon into halves and rub over the skin. Leave overnight and rinse in the morning. Continue this treatment for 2-3 weeks.
For large pores, massage the skin with the paste of powder mixed with water. Rinse the area and apply paste of red sandalwood and Lodhra powder mixed in in rose water. Rinse after 10 minutes.