How Ayurvedic Beauty Trends Can Reshape Your Beauty Routine
Many people already have habits rooted in Ayurvedic medicine (or Ayurveda, for short). Everything from meditating and deep breathing during yoga to using herbal medicine or… Samantha Davis - May 5, 2022
Many people already have habits rooted in Ayurvedic medicine (or Ayurveda, for short). Everything from meditating and deep breathing during yoga to using herbal medicine or a jade roller as part of your beauty routine falls under Ayurveda. But what is it? Ayurveda is the practice of medicine dating back thousands of years in India. It looks at the body as a whole rather than as individual parts, working toward the goal of unifying the mind, body, and spirit. While herbal remedies and natural medicine are nothing new, their revival in the beauty industry is.
2020 inspired greater interest in self-care, including more wholesome, relaxing beauty routines. Market research shows this trend isn’t going anywhere soon- with estimates showing that Ayurvedic medicine revenues will climb to 14.9 billion by 2026. Adding Ayurveda to your beauty routine has a plethora of benefits for the body and mind and it will take your self-care to a whole new level. Let’s take a closer look at some Ayurvedic beauty trends and their benefits that can make your perfect beauty routine a reality.
1. Start By Understanding Your Dosha
Ayurveda focuses on bringing about balance in the Doshas, which are basically different types of energy in your body. The three Doshas are Pitta, which is responsible for skin and hormonal metabolism, Kapha, which is responsible for proper moisture balance, and Vata, which circulates nutrients to the skin. When Pitta is out of balance, skin is sensitive and photosensitive. It may also be prone to acne, blemishes, discoloration, and inflammation. Kapha being unbalanced causes excessive oiliness and problems like blackheads, pimples, and edema. Unbalanced Vata energy makes skin dry and thin, resulting in issues like dark circles, wrinkles, and chapped skin.
It’s also very possible for more than one channel of energy to be unbalanced. Pitta-Kapha skin is oily and sensitive, Vata-Pitta skin is dry and sensitive, and Vata-Kapha is dry with oily zones. Once you understand your skin type and what energies are off, it’s easier to customize a beauty routine that will actually work for your face. Every person is different and their beauty regimen should be too for the best results. Below, we’ll provide some points for each skin type, as well as some general Ayurvedic principles that have benefits for everyone.
Developing a healthy, simple skin routine involves paying attention to what your skin needs most. Pitta skin is especially sensitive, so it’s important that you take steps to nourish it and protect it. Rather than using harsh scrubs, lean toward gentle exfoliators and cleansers. Protecting your skin with sunscreen is also important. People with Pitta skin should also avoid things that damage the skin, such as prolonged sun exposure, tanning, excessive heat (like when steaming), or harsh cosmetics. For Kapha skin, which is often oily and full of toxins, detoxification and exfoliant scrubs are often useful. Be cautious with overdrying the skin, though.
Since Vata skin is thin and dry, extra moisturization is important. Your routine should nourish your skin, provide extra hydration, and involve using gentle cleansers that won’t cause additional thinning to the skin. Be extra vigilant with moisturization during dry seasons and if it’s humid where you live, you may notice you need to use less moisturizer in the summer. It’s common and practical to change your skincare regimen with the season, just try to pay attention to what your skin needs. Meeting your skin’s needs will help with acne and inflammation, blemishes, dryness, wrinkles, discoloration, and other skin ailments.
3. Add a Mantra, Mindfulness, or Meditation to Your Beauty Routine
One of the best Ayurvedic beauty trends you can adopt during your daily routine is being present and aware. Today’s world is generally fast-paced. People are busy juggling work, family, household chores, and other obligations, all while trying to manage relaxation, a social life, and getting enough sleep. Staying busy makes it easy to just go through the motions and feel generally disconnected. Once you’ve already committed to a daily beauty routine, however, it’s easy to make this the time that you deepen the connection between body and mind and be present in your actual life.
Meditation is something that isn’t easy for everyone, particularly if your focus is just on clearing your mind. When you choose a mantra, which is a word or a short phrase that you resonate with, it serves as a type of anchor to bring you back to the present moment. Try deep breathing as you repeat a mantra, letting go of worries and being connected to the present moment. Being mindful and aware of how different parts of your beauty routine feel, paired with deep breathing, is another way to strengthen the mind-body connection.
4. Treat Your Beauty Routine as a Time for Pampering and Indulgence
Ayurvedic medicine is all about using rituals for healing. Rather than feeling like your beauty routine is a chore, it’s important that it relaxes you. Your beauty routine should be all about pampering yourself in a way that connects the mind, body, and soul. This is closely related to the idea that all these things are connected, which is an important principle at the heart of Ayurvedic medicine. As your routine becomes habit, the relaxation and pampering during this time offer benefits for the other parts of your life as well.
Now, don’t think that this means your beauty routine needs to be a big production. It simply means that you should indulge in the process instead of rushing through it. Often, you only need the basics- a cleanser, a moisturizer, and some sunscreen. Take time to deep breathe while you’re massaging oils into your hair or skin. Breathe in the aroma from your favorite beauty products if you like the way they smell. Pampering is all about the experience, not just what you are doing or the products you are using. This will leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and connected as you go about your day.
The Ayurvedic practice of hair oiling involves massaging a small amount of warm oil into your scalp. The nutrients in the oil moisturize hair strands deeply and form a protective layer around the shaft, making it stronger and softer. Furthermore, as you massage your scalp, it stimulates blood flow to the area and encourages new growth. All you need to do is massage the oil in, making small circles with your fingers. Cover your hair it and let it sit overnight, or oil about 30 minutes before you get in the shower for the quicker version. You can also add herbs like bhringaraj, rose petals, or hibiscus for additional benefits.
Some of the best oils for hair oiling are coconut oil, argon oil, castor oil, avocado oil, and shea butter. Coconut oil help reduce protein loss from hair and penetrates deeply, moisturizing the hair shaft at its core. Argon oil protects from styling damage and is rich in Vitamin A and E, while castor oil contains ricnoleic acid that reduces damage. Avocado oil has nutrients that mimic our natural sebum production. Shea butter helps with inflammation because of its antioxidant properties, as well as deep moisturization. You should also avoid certain mineral and vegetable oils though, because they stop hair strands from absorbing water and can be over-drying.
6. Create Facial Masks with Chickpea Flour or Castor Oil
When skin is severely dry or too oily, sometimes, intervention is needed to bring skin back to a more neutral state. Facial masks are one of the best ways to do that. Adding chickpea flour to your homemade mask works well for areas of oily skin because it helps absorb oils. Chickpea flour is also full of nutrients including antioxidants like Vitamin E that fight inflammation that causes premature aging. Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory and pH-balancing properties help regulate the body’s production of sebum. Some other good additives for these masks include essential oils, turmeric powder, or lemon juice.
For people who have dry or damaged skin, castor oil provides deep moisturization and promotes healing. It’s full of fatty acids and works as a humectant, which traps moisture in the skin. Research also shows the high level of nutrients and antioxidants target inflammation and promote healing. Additionally, when skin is moisturized, it has a healthy glow and wrinkles become less apparent. Castor oil works well to heal the lips on its own and you can also thin it with coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, or another carrier oil that doesn’t clog the pores and apply it to the face.
7. Add Ayurvedic Herbs and Spice to Your Beauty Routine for Extra Benefits
Herbs and spices are something else at the heart of Ayurvedic medicine. One popular choice is turmeric, a spice known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. The benefits of turmeric come from curcumin, which gives it the bright, yellow color. Even Western dermatological research shows benefits, including improving the symptoms of acne, male hair loss, gum inflammation, and atopic dermatitis. Adding a pinch of turmeric to your face mask has plenty of benefits, though it isn’t the only Ayurvedic skincare herb that gets attention. Of course, there are plenty of other botanicals like rosewater, lemon, and aloe that are great for the skin, too.
Drinking herbs like dandelion, ginger, chamomile, and lemon in a tea also promotes healthy skin by promoting healthy digestion. You can even stir raw honey in it for a little bit of sweetness and a boost of antioxidants. In addition to spices like turmeric or cinnamon targeting inflammation, the herbs promote digestion that helps detoxify the body (and the skin). Some of the best drinks are herbal teas, with plenty of water in between to keep your lymphatic system working as it should. By staying hydrated, your lymphatic system removes toxins from the body more efficiently, promoting both skin health and overall health and wellness.
8. Try Sugar Scrubs for Cooling Exfoliation in the Summer
Another Ayurvedic beauty trend related to the Doshas is the idea that certain ingredients or foods have heating or cooling effects. While routines are adapted to the individual, these can change with the season. During the summertime, sugar scrubs are often used for their cooling properties. Not only does sugar benefit from an Ayurvedic perspective, but it’s also commonly used in Western beauty. Dermatologists recommend sugar scrubs for removing dead skin cells, evening the skin, and helping remove dirt and oils from the pores. Sugar scrubs also leave skin brighter and ready to absorb nutrients from moisturizers you apply afterward.
While sugar scrubs have clear benefits, you should be cautious about using sugar scrub on dry or especially thin areas of skin. Sugar scrub uses abrasion to remove dead cells from the skin. It’s considered mechanical exfoliation, which can do more harm than good if the skin cannot tolerate it. Additionally, sugar scrubs are not something that should be used every day. It takes time to build up layers of dead skin cells and exfoliating too much leaves skin unprotected, vulnerable, and more susceptible to damage. Add rejuvenating herbs, cooling essential oils, or botanicals like rose petals or slippery elm for extra benefits.
Before it has been pasteurized, milk is full of protein, lactic acid, healthy fats, and beneficial nutrients. It’s also a gentle cleanser, which makes raw milk incredibly restorative and cleansing. As an added benefit, raw milk cools the skin and works well for people with inflammation or acne. Full-fat raw milk has the most benefits. You can use it daily by applying it to a cotton ball and wiping your skin. It removes dirt and oil from the pores. Raw milk or cream can also be added to your bath, or you can try a cream-based mask.
Some other nutrients you’ll find in raw milk are Vitamins A and D, as well as several B vitamins. It’s also full of antioxidants and healthy fats that target inflammation and leave the skin feeling cool. Plus, you’ll notice that protein and calcium strengthen skin, leaving it looking healthy, glowing, and moisturized. For an added antioxidant boost, try adding a pinch of turmeric to raw milk before applying it to your face or adding it to your bathwater. It also helps with inflammation and is a very popular ingredient in Ayurvedic skin care. Don’t worry if you’re vegan — coconut milk can be used with the same benefits.
Even when you’ve found that perfect skincare routine, the occasional pimple or blemish is going to happen. Neem oil works great for spot treatments because it is full of antioxidants that target redness and inflammation. It’s also an anti-fungal and anti-microbial, offering many of the same benefits as tea tree oil. Unlike tea tree oil, however, neem oil has cooler properties under the principles of Ayurveda. This makes it better for spot treatment during the summer, while people who need warming ingredients during the summer months should use tea tree oil.
In addition to working as an astringent to clean the skin and bacteria that cause acne and pimples, neem oil is full of healthy fats and Vitamin E to nourish the skin. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps with inflammation. It also plays several critical roles in skin health, including helping with the production of collagen that helps plump skin and depletes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Dab a little oil using a cotton swab on small areas of ance or inflammation before bed. You can rest and the neem oil will do its magic overnight.
11. Do Yoga for Your Face to Reduce Signs of Aging and Promote Relaxation
One of the major benefits of yoga for your face is that you can do it literally anywhere. Start with Lion’s Breath, which releases tension in the face that causes fine lines and wrinkles. Lion’s Breath involves taking a deep breath and filling your belly with air. Then, stick your tongue out as you exhale and sigh. Do it about five times to relax tension in the jaw, temples, and face. Forward fold is another position to try. Fold over at the waist, use your hands to grab your opposite elbows, and shake your head like you’re saying yes to promote blood flow to the head and face.
You can also do a spinal twist. Sit in a chair with arms and use them as leverage to twist your spine, imagining that you’re wringing the toxins out of your body to increase blood flow. Yoga benefits the skin because as you breathe in deeply, everything relaxes and flows more freely through the body. Blood flow increases and brings oxygen and nutrients to your skin’s surface. This is why practicing yoga long-term has been proven to give people a healthy glow. As an added benefit, regular yoga practice makes you more aware of your breathing during the day. This makes it much easier to practice mindfulness.
12. Try Dry Brushing to Exfoliate Skin and Boost the Lymphatic System
Dry brushing is one of the best habits that you can do for both your skin and your lymphatic system. When you dry brush, it opens up the pores and stimulates the surface of the skin. As the skin is stimulated, it encourages the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients. Research shows that in addition to exfoliating and unclogging the pores, it also helps plump skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and even cellulite. Furthermore, the flow helps stimulate the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for removing toxins from the body, which stops them from clogging pores and leaving blemishes on your skin.
Dry brushing is best done with a brush that has short, rough bristles. However, if you have more sensitive skin, a raw silk glove will give the same benefits without causing further damage the to skin. With dry brushing, start at the feet and move up the body, making short brushstrokes that go in the direction of the heart. After doing the legs, dry brush your arms (moving up from the hands and toward the heart), as well as your belly and back. You’ll want to make short strokes on the arms and legs and use a small circular motion on the back and stomach.
You’ve probably noticed the trend of natural ingredients as you’ve read down this list. One common theme that you’ll notice in Ayurvedic beauty trends is the use of herbs, spices, oils, and extracts that have been used for centuries. Even though Western medicine hasn’t quite caught up to the science behind why these works, you only have to look at the long history of use to know that alternative medicine really works. The disaster that was 2020 brought about a new interest in self-care, as well as caring about what you are putting on your skin.
This has led to a shift in the beauty industry and there’s greater availability of natural products without parabens, sulfates, and other not-so-good ingredients. There’s also the option of creating some of your own beauty products to pamper yourself. It’s really easy to make yourself a DIY face mask or hair mask from ingredients you already have in the kitchen! Some of the best ingredients include aloe, avocado, various oils, sandalwood, turmeric, oatmeal, tomatoes, and more. You’ll want to choose organic ingredients when possible since any toxins in produce can be absorbed by the skin.
In contrast to Western medicine, where symptoms are treated as they arise, Eastern medicine like Ayurveda focuses on the body as a whole. For example, a person suffering from dermatitis doesn’t necessarily need a topical cream or steroid. Instead, an Eastern doctor might recommend dietary changes, reducing stress, or other techniques that reduce inflammation in the body that causes flare-ups in the first place. You’ll notice that adding Ayurveda rituals to your body routine may be just what the doctor ordered- not only for your beauty, but also for your mental health and general well-being.
Stress wreaks havoc on the body. When you experience stress, it triggers certain responses and the production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline in the body. While this is a survival mechanism that once served us, in today’s fast-paced environment, stress triggers inflammation. This inflammation worsens conditions of the skin like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. It also causes cardiovascular problems, affects the digestive system, and depletes immune health. With stress having so many negative effects on your skin and your health, using Ayurvedic beauty techniques and relaxing during your beauty routine really helps.
All things are connected under Ayurvedic principles, and that includes your diet. In the past few decades, researchers have taken a closer look at the modern diet and how it affects all types of health. Diet has been identified as one of the reasons that those who follow a more Western lifestyle have a higher rate of diabetes, heart attack, obesity, cancers, and other conditions. Eating the wrong foods also causes inflammation, which makes inflammatory conditions like IBS, arthritis, eczema, and psoriasis worse. The foods you eat can even cause premature aging and wrinkles, acne, and other problems with your skin’s appearance.
For some people, eating certain foods triggers inflammation. Scientists believe this is from all the advancements that humans have made, including those related to the modification of food. Our ancestors did not have the equipment or knowledge to pasteurize dairy products, add preservatives to food, or process and turn grains into bread, pasta, and cereals. Instead, they ate a natural diet heavily based on where they lived and what could be hunted, gathered, or farmed. When people eat heavily processed foods, the body doesn’t digest them well and it causes inflammation. Some people also have a sensitivity to gluten (from processed wheat) and dairy for this same reason.
Even though self-care means pampering and taking care of yourself, there’s no reason you can’t get other people involved. Self-care with friends could mean indulging in avocado masks or other Ayurvedic beauty trends while you catch up or taking a yoga class together. All that matters is that you are doing something you enjoy and that you are present in the moment. Make it a habit to put aside the phone when you’re with your friends and be present. Being present deepens your connection to the moment you’re living in and lets you really experience the positive benefits of being with someone you care about.
If you don’t have a lot of friends who indulge in self-care, you still don’t have to go it alone. There are podcasts that focus on guided meditation and other Ayurvedic principles. Guided meditation is a lot easier for some people than regular meditation since it gives the mind something to focus on. Taking a class with an instructor, whether for yoga, guided meditation, or another practice, is also a great option. You can look around town for classes or find one online. Many people say that the spiritual connectedness they feel between themselves and other people in class after deep breathing together is a unique, positive experience.