Ayurveda and Healthy Skin
The skin is the largest organ of the body and covers the body’s entire external surface. In 2018, the global skincare products market was valued at over $134.8 billion due to the rapid expansion of the global cosmetics industry. Today, skincare is the second largest branch of the beauty industry accounting for over 23% of its revenue. Nearly 60% of male consumers use some form of make-up and about 70% of consumers prefer natural and organic cosmetics.
If the skin is such a vital part of the human body, have we ever thought about the contents of the skincare products we use? A lot of the perfumed creams used today have certain chemicals in them which may be harmful to the skin. Therefore a lot of people are switching to using Ayurvedic creams in order to enhance the tone, texture and complexion of their skin.
In an interview with Dr. Chetan Vedpathak, an Ayurvedic doctor from India, I was able to gather some very interesting information on Ayurveda and its practices for healthy skin.
Question: What does Ayurveda advocate about healthy skin?
Answer: Ayurveda speaks about the tone, look and appearance of the skin. Naturally, healthy skin should have a supple tone appearance and should have a pinkish look to it. The skin must have an even surface, with a soft texture without any cracks.
Question: What are some natural remedies to improve the skin quality?
Answer: All Ayurvedic medicines are made from natural resources and are considered to cleanse the blood. If the blood is clean and purified, the skin looks healthy and any impurities that exist are cleansed out from all layers of the skin. The skin must be kept healthy not only through proper cleaning, but also through proper diet as the health of our internal organs affects the health of our skin as well.
Question: What are the advantages of Ayurvedic medicines in improving health of the skin?
Answer: The Ayurvedic medicines such as ‘kadhas’(decoction) prescribed by certified practitioners cleanse the body, externally and internally as well. To have healthy skin one must not only maintain proper external hygiene but also ensure that our internal blood and body is cleansed as that too reflects on our skin. These Ayurvedic medicines are made from all-natural ingredients due to which they help clean the body from within and improve the skin quality.
Question: What are some of the harmful effects of using chemical or cosmetic creams on the health of the skin?
Answer: Not all cosmetic creams are harmful but there are some chemicals in creams which may be too harsh on the skin have detrimental effects on the tone, quality, and texture of the skin. To ensure we have healthy skin, we must maintain it well, treat it with respect and consult certified practitioners before any kinds of treatment.
Question: What role does one’s diet play on the health of our skin?
Answer: Our diet affects our internal organs and blood which then in turn affects the skin. To have healthy skin, we must ensure we maintain a proper balanced diet of freshly cooked food so that the skin gets all the nutrients required to be healthy. Additionally, we must have fruits and vegetables that are grown locally as some nutrients can get lost when preservatives are added to transport them and maintain freshness. The body type of people around the world differs varying with regions, due to which different seasons may affect their skin differently. Each season has certain ‘doshas’( each of three energies, (vata, pitta, kapha) believed to circulate in the body and govern physiological activity, their differing proportions determining individual temperament and physical constitution, and when unbalanced causing a disposition to particular physical and mental disorders known as doshas)which need to be equaled through the consumption of seasonal produce. Therefore it is important to have seasonal fruits and vegetables to have healthy skin.
Question: What effects do tattoos have on the skin?
Answer: Tattoo practices in themselves are not harmful as even 5000 years ago tattoo practices existed. However, the ink used in tattoos today may damage the skin quality, especially during removal of tattoos using lasers. Mehandi and Henna Tattoo designs made from the henna paste from the leave of the henna plant, have a lot of medicinal properties and has been used in Ayurvedic healing treatments. The oil and paste extracted from henna plants exhibits anti-fungal and ani-bacterial properties. Henna paste when applies to burns can naturally cool the affected areas. It also possesses natural antiseptic properties. Henna paste applied to feet can reduce fevers by cooling the body and feet naturally.