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Skincare in summer using Ayurvedic principles

Last updated on: May 4, 2012 14:12 IST

Skincare in summer using Ayurvedic principles

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Courtesy LifeMojo.com

Follow these easy tips to look and feel beautiful this summer!

Summer can prove a bad time for your skin. These warm days can bring about a host of skincare issues you need to know how to deal with. From UVA rays to pool chlorine, it's important that you are ready and prepared to keep your complexion healthy and protected from the elements of summer. Excessive heat disturbs the critical oil-water balance of the body. Too much perspiration clogs the pores and exposure to the UV rays results in premature aging, wrinkles and sagging skin.

According to Ayurveda, every individual is a unique combination of the three doshas or psycho-physiological principles Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata is mainly air and space, Pitta fire and water and Kapha water and earth. These doshas also govern the seasons of the year, with Pitta, the fire element, ruling the hot summer months. During the summer, even if you do not have a lot of Pitta in your constitution, you may find that you need to take steps to placate Pitta to stay healthy and balanced. This goes not only for your overall health but skin and hair health as well.

So move on to the following pages to learn how you can beat the heat keeping these principles in mind!

LifeMojo is one of the most trusted sources of information about good health and wellness. To those who want to manage their health themselves, LifeMojo provides necessary information, tips, tracking tools and support to help them stay informed and motivated.


Photographs: Courtesy LifeMojo.com

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Cod liver oil

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A teaspoon of cod liver oil supplies you with the daily requirement of essential fats (including Omega-3 fatty acids), as well as Vitamins D and A, which are crucial for rejuvenating cells and keeping skin moist and smooth.


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Water and herbal teas

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Drink lots of water throughout the day, not only to replenish moisture lost to the heat and sweat but also to help flush toxins out of the body and keep skin looking clear and lustrous.

Herb or spice teas, made with skin-enhancing ingredients, offer added therapeutic benefit. To balance Pitta, choose cooling herbs and spices such as mint (pudina), cardamom (elaichi) and fennel (saunf).


Image: Herbal tea
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Pitta-balancing fruits, vegetables and herbs

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Eat Pitta-balancing fruits, vegetables and herbs, which supply the skin with essential nutrients and come with free-radical fighting antioxidant properties while they help keep your skin cool.

Carrots (gajar), lettuce (salad patta), and leafy greens are good vegetable choices. Sweet juicy fruits such as pears, grapes, watermelon and mangoes both nourish and cleanse.

Go easy on spicy or sour foods, especially if you plan to go out and enjoy the sun for the day, to keep your skin from breaking out or getting inflamed. Milk is a cooling, Pitta-pacifying beverage that also supplies nutrients to your skin and helps keep it from drying out.


Image: Lettuce
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Establish a good skincare routine

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Makeup should be used sparingly and thoroughly removed at bedtime.

Establish a good cleansing routine, morning and night, using a gentle facial cleanser. Your skin will be more oily and breakout-prone in the summer than in the winter, but don't succumb to the temptation of scrubbing your face clean with harsh soap.

Pamper your skin in the summer with a liberal application of moisturisers to restore suppleness and prevent wrinkles from forming.


Image: Pamper your skin in the summer with a liberal application of moisturisers
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Exfoliate

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Exfoliate regularly using a chemical exfoliant such as glycolic acid or microderm-abrasion scrub to rid of dead skin cells, promote new cell growth and prevent acne outbreaks, which occur way too frequently during the hot summer months.


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Sleep well

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Get plenty of quality rest each night. Keep your bedroom cool, dark and comfortable and sleep on cotton or linen sheets. Get to bed early and awaken early for clear healthy skin and sparkling eyes.


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Manage stress

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Pitta dosha governs the heart and emotions. When you feel stressed, angry or frustrated, your skin will show it over time as furrows and small lines and breakouts. Practice calming yoga poses or meditation to stay serene and help your body and mind manage stress.


Image: Practice calming yoga poses or meditation
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Tags: Pitta

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Fruit or vegetable masks

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Keep your skin nourished with an herbal moisturiser. Look for ayurvedic formulations that contain skin-friendly herbs such as sandalwood (chandan), turmeric (haldi), brahmi, gooseberry (amla) and aloe vera (gwar patha).

At least once a week, treat yourself to a fruit or vegetable mask appropriate for your skin type. Cucumbers (kheera), avocados (makhanphal), apricots (khubani) and papayas (papita) lend themselves well to homemade masks.

Puree the fruit or vegetable and blend with some yogurt, honey, oatmeal and lemon juice (for oily skin) or rosewater (for dry skin) and apply evenly to the face. Let it stay for 15-20 minutes and then rinse off with lukewarm water.


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Protect yourself from the sun

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Do not go out during the hottest parts of the day, between 10 am and 4 pm. If you exercise outdoors, do it early in the morning. Wear sunscreen, lip protection, sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat when you go out -- exposure to the sun can age skin very rapidly.

While this all may seem depressing and dire, the truth of the matter is summer is a great time to give your body positive benefits as well. Exercise that comes with being outside is ideal for a healthy glow and proper circulation, which can help your skin look fresh and vibrant.


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