Ageing is a normal human experience but almost every one of us wants to delay it for as long as possible. The demand for anti-ageing and similar beauty products has been rising in the beauty and cosmetics industry.
People are now more aware and are showing inclination towards Ayurveda as it is an ancient practice that uses natural ingredients and ways for maintaining overall health.
It is based upon the principle that good health is the result of balances of various elements in our body. If there is some imbalance, that reflects through different symptoms in the body and behavior.
It is all about adopting a lifestyle and routine that works for overall health and well being.
For me, it is easier to make small lifestyle changes than to invest loads of money, time and effort in make-up products and routine.
Ayurveda says that you should not use any such thing on your skin that you can not eat. Whatever we apply on our skin, may get absorbed by it. Beauty products that we use on our skin may contain harmful ingredients.
Skin is the largest organ of our body. Keeping it healthy would help you look and feel great.
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There are many things that you can do to keep your skin in good condition but you need to do it regularly.
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Steaming opens up the pores on your skin, hydrates and helps in deep cleansing.
Steam your face once a week. You can do this in the comfort of your home with just hot water and a towel. Boil 4 to 6 cups of water, cover it and simmer for a few minutes.
Transfer it into a bowl.
Drape the towel over your head and keep your face close to steam but maintain a distance of around 6 inches above the water.
Just be careful that it is not too hot for your skin. Limit the steam session for up to 10 minutes in total and take breaks in between according to your comfort.
After steam, apply homemade facepack of mashed banana or grated apple. You can also take herbal baths that help in relaxing your body. Use rose petals or rose water or neem leaves for this.
Scrubbing helps in getting rid of dead skin cells and in increasing blood circulation.
You can make DIY Face Scrub at home with mixing oats, yoghurt and honey.
Apply this on your skin for 10-15 minutes and then remove it scrubbing gently. Use water for rinsing. Similarly, you can make scrub for your lips using sugar and milk cream.
If your skin is sensitive or dry like mine, be very gentle and don’t overdo it.
Pollution, stress and irregular work routine take a toll on the skin, especially face and neck.
Regular care and pampering of skin is necessary to keep it looking youthful.
For removing skin tan, you can make your own face pack with 2 teaspoons of chickpea flour, yoghurt, and a pinch of turmeric.
Mix all to make a paste and apply on your skin.
Alternatively, you can simply rub a slice of tomato on your face.
Let it stay for 15 minutes and then wash it off. This is very useful for people like me who tend to spend a lot of time in the sun during winters.
Face-pack made up of fuller’s earth (Multani Mitti), Sandalwood powder or chickpea flour work good on oily skin as they absorb the excess oil and make skin look cleaner.
There are many ingredients that work amazing for skin and can be found right in your home or kitchen.
Milk, honey and yogurt are a few of them. They act as hyderating agents and moisturize the skin.
For skin brightness 2 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 teaspoon cucumber juice and 1 teaspoon milk. Apply this on your face and keep it for 10-15 minutes. Wash with normal water. Milk or Aloe vera gel are great for sensitive skin. Find which one works best for you.
Once or twice a week, I apply Aloe Vera gel on my face and let it stay for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile I listen to some good music.
It helps in relaxation and also in keeping my skin hydrated.
Cleansing & detoxing
Always remove make-up before going to bed.
I use coconut oil as a natural makeup remover and for massage. If your skin is oily, raw milk or rose water work better.
Cleansing should not be limited to skin only. Detox your body by increasing your fluid intake.
I start my day with a big glass of warm water and ensure that I take at 2 to 3 litres of water every day. It helps in flushing the toxins out of the body.
Fasting is followed in Ayurveda to give the digestive system a break and to cleanse the body internally. You need not stay hungry throughout fasting, rather switch to fruits or vegetable diet.
Though Oil Pulling is an old practice, Shilpa Shetty made it popular through her videos.
Benefits of oil pulling include healthier gums, reduction in inflammation and bad breath.
It is usually done using coconut oil but other oils like organic sesame and sunflower oils can also be used. 1 or 2 teaspoons of oil is put into the mouth and swished around teeth for about 10-20 minutes. Then you just spit it out.
Garshan or dry brushing is a traditional ayurvedic dry body massage.
Gently brushing your skin with a natural bristle brush or loofah glove stimulates the skin and lymphatic system. It helps in blood circulation and gives a glow to your skin. This may be followed by an oil massage if your body feels dry after this.
Monitor your meals
Eat wholesome food.
Your meals must include raw fruits and vegetables, simple ingredients with less processing. Eating meals in small portions helps in digestion.
Orange, apple, berries, tomato, carrot, pulses, amla (indian gooseberries) are a rich source of the nutrients needed for a great skin and hair.
It is not necessary to starve yourself or be on a strict diet all the time. Keep your diet balanced and include all flavours in your meals in moderation.
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Herbs are your friends
Make herbs a part of your daily diet. It may be in the form of milk with a pinch of turmeric (also popular as Turmeric Latte) or hot ginger tea or fenugreek tea. Similarly basil, cinnamon can be consumed.
Turmeric and sandal is still used as a beauty product in Indian culture especially for the bride as face and body scrub. My favourite is ginger tea and coriander(seeds) tea.
Ginger helps in digestion and strengthens the immune system. Coriander helps in thyroid imbalance.
Fenugreek is a lifesaver in digestive issues and nausea. Just keep half a teaspoon in your mouth for around ten minutes. You don’t need to chew or eat them if it is too bitter for you.
I always keep it stocked in my kitchen as I avoid popping pills for every small issue.
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Oil to the rescue
A nice full body massage would not only help you in relaxing but will also improve blood circulation and skin texture. If your skin is oily, you can massage first and have a bath afterwards.
My skin gets dry and patchy during winters. In order to keep it moisturized, I religiously use mustard oil or coconut oil everyday for body massage.
A good head massage helps in blood circulation and relaxation. You can use any oil like coconut, castor, apricot etc.
Gently massaging my face and neck with coconut oil before I go to sleep, makes my skin soft and feel supple in the morning.
Water for Weight loss
Sipping warm water empty stomach in the morning and throughout the day helps in speeding up the metabolism. This in turn helps in burning more calories and reducing weight.
Also, avoid water along with meals. Have it at least an hour before or after meals.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are a rich source of healthy fat, proteins and minerals. Good fat helps in keeping your body flexible and youthful. You can keep some nuts with you throughout the day and munch on these when you feel hungry.
I like to munch on some almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds in the morning. But remember to keep a limit on the intake.
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Get that beauty sleep
Try to get at 6 to 8 hours of good quality sleep. Our screen time has increased a lot in the last few years. It includes time you spend on work, social media, netflix etc. Give some well deserved rest to your eyes, mind and body.
Off late, I have been sleeping for at least 8 hours everyday which extends up to 9 hours occasionally.
Earlier I used to feel guilty about this but now I think that you know it when you are just being lazy and when your body actually needs some extra rest.
In addition to all the things mentioned above, some lifestyle changes can do you a lot good.
Keep your mind peaceful and stress free with meditation, yoga or some good music, whatever works for you. Beauty is not just skin deep. There is a lot to beauty beyond what can be seen outside.
A positive approach towards life, healthy relationships and active lifestyle contribute a lot towards a good, healthy mind and body. Take a step towards ancient and trusted practice of Ayurveda and be ready to look and feel great!