Ayurveda beauty tips
Use these natural ingredients for great beauty benefits.
Benefits It regenerates and soothes the epithelial layer (top skin). Aloe vera contains a naturally-produced antibacterial and antifungal chemical. Application Apply aloe vera gel to acne scars.
Benefits Lemon juice is an acid and astringent that’s great for acne-prone skin. Application Equal parts of lemon juice and rose water make a nice facial mask. A pinch of turmeric can also be added.
Benefits It’s very cooling and is great for inflammation on the skin. It’s used to treat many types of dermatitis and is excellent for rosacea. But Ayurveda emphasises that the underlying cause of inflammation in the gut must also be addressed for long-term results. Application Apply directly to inflamed areas with cotton wool.
Benefits Cucumber has cooling properties. It’s great for reducing swelling and puffiness, especially under the eyes. Application Thin cucumber slices can be placed for 10-15 minutes on the eyes. Otherwise, a puree of cucumber can be used as a face scrub.
Dhania (leaves of the coriander plant)
Benefits These leaves have a lovely cooling effect. Application The seeds are often ground and used in cooking or soaked overnight and drunk the following morning. Once the leaves are grated and pressed, the juice can be applied to pimples that are red and swollen.
Benefits This is an effective cooling agent. It has some properties of milk, but really more properties of the alcohol and fire produced by the fermentation of the bacteria lactobacillus. These alcohols are mildly alkaline and cause a reflex of acidification of the skin. Application Yoghurt is generally mixed with cucumber or rose water and left on for only 10-15 minutes. It has a skin-tightening and moisturising effect.
Ghee (clarified butter)
Benefits Pure, well-made ghee, from the milk of a healthy cow, is an effective moisturiser and common carrier of many Ayurvedic medicines. Only a few companies make proper ghee, not just organic, but according to the ancient recipe for ghee. Application Rub the eyelids and eyelashes with ghee to rejuvenate the eyes and cool them (only if there is no lurking infection).
Eranda (castor oil)
Benefits Castor oil makes eyebrows and eyelashes grow thicker. It’s commonly also used as a laxative. The oil is also combined with other digestive herbs into a formulation designed for vata anulomana (sending inharmonious energy in and out). Vata controls blood flow, drainage and breathing. Application Apply it to the eyebrows and near eyelashes at night. In the morning, remove it with some yoghurt and lemon rind. As a laxative, ingest a teaspoon before going to sleep. Bhaswati’s bestselling book Everyday Ayurveda (Random House; R179) can be found at major online bookstores, or contact Pramila Vassen at email@example.com to order a copy.