Why Ayurveda Prefers Oil over Lotion

Why Ayurveda Prefers Oil over Lotion

An Ayurvedic Perspective

One of the best ways to have great skin health is to simply keep your skin moisturized. In addition to your skin benefiting from being hydrated, your overall health benefits as well.

Recent studies show that dry or damaged skin can create imbalances throughout the body and mind.1 By keeping your skin healthy, you can support your overall state of balance, health, and happiness throughout your lifetime.

“Don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat.”— Dr. Vasant Lad

Choosing what you use to hydrate and moisturize your skin is important. You see, your skin is your largest organ and although it acts as a protective barrier, much of what you apply to it is absorbed into your blood stream.

Parabens, for example, which are found in over 90 percent of the lotions and potions available, easily penetrate the skin.2 Studies have shown that parabens can have a negative impact on the body’s overall health.3 This is only one worrisome ingredient that is often added to lotions.

There are good lotions out there that can certainly offer soft, smooth, well-hydrated skin—just be sure to read the ingredients!

Ayurveda’s Approach to Hydrated, Balanced Skin

Ayurveda’s approach can be captured in one word: oil. Our skin naturally produces an oily, waxy substance that keeps it hydrated and acts as a natural barrier that protects the skin from environmental factors. When this oil protection is out of balance, creating dryness or too much oiliness, our skin becomes imbalanced.

Oil is a close match to the skin’s outer layer and complements our natural oiliness. It helps draw out impurities and balances our skin’s hydration—even overly oily skin can come back to balance by using oil. The result? Beautiful, balanced, hydrated skin.

Another option is to incorporate Ayurveda’s delicious practice of abhyanga, or self-massage with oil. Ayurveda has recommended the practice of applying nourishing herbal oils to the skin for thousands of years.

Abhyanga not only hydrates the skin, but also loosens toxins, improves skin health, improves sleep, and increases circulation. That’s a lot of benefits for a very pleasurable practice. (If you are unfamiliar with this practice, read about how to do self-massage, which also details the many benefits of an oil massage.)

“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to injuries or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.”— Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, 88-89

Which Oil to Use?

Because there are so many different ways that the act of massaging with oil can support your health, Banyan offers an entire line of specialized herbal oils you can choose from. Using a plain carrier oil is also an option, but using an herbal oil created for a specific dosha-balancing intention, like Vata Massage Oil, Pitta Massage Oil, or Kapha Massage Oil, or a tridoshic oil like Daily Massage Oil, is an especially good choice for abhyanga.

Nourishing Your Skin Through Your Lifestyle

Since we are talking about healthy, hydrated skin, don’t forget to also tune in to what you eat and drink. The food on your plate will build and nourish your skin, so the more you reach for clean, organic, fresh foods, the better! In particular, veggies and berries can offer vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that will feed and support your skin. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate with water!

Love Your Skin

Love yourself by loving your skin. Whether you choose to use lotion that has safe, trusted ingredients or you incorporate abhyanga into your daily routine, you will be taking steps that will truly nourish your skin so it feels hydrated and well-loved.