Spring has come to a close and the sun has melted kapha away. It's summer and trying to keep pitta in balance quickly becomes an issue. With the summer season, skin will often react by becoming irritated with dryness or excessive oiliness, rashes, insect bites and, of course, sunburn. Ayurveda has solutions to each of these problems using all natural remedies. Follow these easy tips to keep pitta in check all summer long.
Keep cool. Wear loose fitting clothing made of cotton or silk in light or cool colors such as white, blue, green, or purple. These colors do not absorb heat as easily as black or red.
Prevent overexposure. Always protect the skin with a natural sunscreen. Avoid prolonged sunbathing and never lie out during the sun's hottest time, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. If you must be outside during these times, wear a wide brimmed hat and a good pair of sunglasses.
Treat sunburn. If sunburn does occur, add 10 drops of jasmine, khus, or rose essential oil to a cool bath and soak for twenty minutes. After patting the skin dry, apply cooling oil such as coconut or sunflower. For an added benefit, put a few drops of raw honey into the oil before rubbing it into your skin. Honey has natural humectants to draw in moisture and healing enzymes.
Easy on the soap. At any time of year, soap's foaming action lifts up and carries away the oils necessary to lubricate the skin. This can cause the skin to become dry or can lead to overproduction of oil, either of which is bothersome. Therefore, it is only necessary to use soap on the underarms and private areas, or if one's skin is really dirty from work or play.
For rashes, hives, and bites. The best way to support calming any of these pitta reactions is with fresh cilantro. First wash a handful of cilantro and put it in a blender. Add ½ cup of water and blend to a watery pulp. Strain the liquid into a cup, drink the juice, and apply the pulp to the affected area. The problem will begin to subside within minutes. Repeat this procedure as often as necessary.
For Great Skin Year Round:
A healthy diet. In order for the skin to be healthy, the inside of the body must be healthy as well. Always follow a seasonal diet and include many fresh fruits and vegetables. Bright colored foods contain more vitamins, which are the best bet for you and your skin.
A clean inside. Ama, or toxins, on the inside means problem skin on the outside. Prevent this problem by taking triphala to help regulate digestive function and to clean the small intestine and colon. To help ease allergies (skin or otherwise), support with herbs like manjistha, burdock, and aloe vera or simply by taking Healthy Skin or Blood Cleanse formula.
A sound skincare routine. All the skin asks is to be clean and nourished. Wash your face and body every day with an all natural cleanser that you purchase or make your own using the recipe below. After washing, gently massage the face in an upward direction with Brahmi Oil. For problem skin, add some Neem Oil. For the body, use Daily Massage Oil or Sesame Oil for vata and kapha and Sunflower or Coconut for pitta.
One special herb. Ayurvedic texts say that turmeric taken daily will support beautiful skin. Use it liberally for cooking or take ¼ teaspoon every morning.
All Natural Skin Cleanser
Everyday when you wake up and before you go to bed, it is essential to wash your face. Do it naturally with these five ingredients:
- ¼ tsp brahmi powder
- ½ tsp colloidal oatmeal (or finely ground oats)
- A small pinch of turmeric powder
- Two drops of honey
- Enough milk to make a creamy paste
Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and apply to wet skin. Wait a minute or two before rinsing thoroughly with warm water. To use this recipe for cleansing the body, quadruple it and add enough milk for a thinner paste.
Great skin is possible with Ayurveda. Above all, take care of yourself by reducing stress in your life, getting enough sleep, drinking clean water, and exercising properly. Do these things and your skin will thank you!