5 Ayurvedic Skin-Balancing Tips for the Cold and Dry Autumn Weather

5 Ayurvedic Skin-Balancing Tips for the Cold and Dry Autumn Weather

A healthy skin care regimen that changes with the seasons will offset seasonal imbalances caused by exposure to the elements. Ayurveda tells us that the vata dosha—characterized by air and space—dominates during the autumn season, which explains why so many people experience dull, dry, itchy, and even irritated skin.

Lucky for you, there’s no need to adopt some intricate skin care regimen that takes too much time and money to put into place. In fact, a little more awareness and a few simple strategies are all that you need to bring balance back to your skin.

Here are five things to focus on this autumn and winter to help you combat the skin-drying effects of vata.


1. Drink Plenty of Warm Fluids

It’s important to know that healthy skin starts from the inside. Staying hydrated will not only help your mind and entire body—but your skin, too.

Drink beverages that are warm (like herbal teas) and avoid anything refrigerated or ice-cold, which has a tendency to aggravate vata. If you’re going to drink a glass of water, make it no colder than room temperature.

And don’t forget, hydrating foods count too! Think hearty soups, stews, chillies, slow cooker meals and other dishes that contain lots of veggies, broth, sauce, and overall nutrient-dense moisture.


2. Favor Healthy Fats in Your Diet

Now is the time to embrace foods naturally high in healthy fats in your diet and all your autumn cooking. Just like good hydration, healthy fats work from inside out, helping to keep your skin moisturized, healthy, and glowing.

Aim to eat more foods like oily fish (such as wild salmon), nuts and seeds, avocados, and ghee. And make sure to cook regularly with healthy oils like olive oil, sesame oil, or coconut oil.


3. Massage Yourself With Sesame Oil

Ayurveda recommends starting your day off with a full-body massage using organic sesame oil to help bring warmth to the body while improving circulation. This will help improve your skin’s soft and moisturization levels while keeping your body feeling warm all day.

Sesame oil has powerful antioxidant properties that can penetrate the layers of the skin fast and enter the bloodstream. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as an added bonus to help protect your skin from the harsh elements during the colder seasons.


4. Shower After Your Massage

You may be tempted to massage yourself with sesame oil after showering or bathing, but Ayurveda advises us all to do so beforehand. The steam will help to preserve moisture throughout the deeper layers your skin.

Rub your hands in a slow, circular motion starting from the bottom of your feet moving upwards. Let it soak into your skin for about 15 minutes before stepping into the shower or bath and avoid scrubbing the skin too vigorously (or at all) so as to allow a thin coating of oil to remain on your skin throughout the day.


5. Keep a Nourishing Oil-Based Lotion on Hand

Whether you need to stand outside in the wind to wait for public transit or need to keep up a morning running routine, the harsh elements can still take its toll even when you’re trying to do everything right with your skin care regimen. And that’s exactly why it can be so helpful to regularly use some good-quality lotion throughout the day on those areas that need a little extra attention (like your hands, forearms, elbows, legs, knees, and feet.)

Go for a lotion made with natural ingredients and a nourishing oil base like avocado, jojoba, sesame, olive, almond, or coconut. Shea butter (organic and unrefined) is also a good choice for its naturally soothing and moisturizing properties.

5 All Natural Ways to Detox Your Skin

5 All Natural Ways to Detox Your Skin

There are countless cosmetic skin care products and therapies out there that claim to have major detoxification and rejuvenation effects on the skin. But for those yogis who don’t have the time or money to indulge in expensive skin care treatments, some faster and simpler alternatives will suffice.

The truth is that you don’t need a fancy, expensive treatment to detox and improve the look of your skin. With just a few lifestyle changes you can do at home, at your yoga studio, or even when you’re on the road, you’ll be on your way to healthier skin sooner than you might think!


1. Refine Your Diet

When it comes to your skin, the phrase “you are what you eat” rings true. Start by cutting back on all processed foods, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and possibly even dairy and gluten if you think you might be particularly sensitive to them. Seasonal vegetables like red cabbage, watercress, and beets are known to have a antioxidant properties that your skin craves. so stock up on them while they’re in season and get creative with some recipes!


2. Drink More Liquids

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all amount of water to aim for, but it never hurts to be more conscious about hydration since it will help rid the body and skin of toxins. Try herbal teas with antioxidant properties (like ginger) and anti-inflammatory properties (like chamomile). A squeeze of fresh lemon juice in your tea or in some warm water will also give your skin a healthy boost thanks to the high vitamin C content.


3. Practice Bikram Yoga

As the temperature continues to drop throughout the colder months, that hot yoga class will probably seem a lot more enticing—and that’s great news for your skin! Similar to the way sitting in a sauna helps the body detoxify itself through sweat, hot yoga offers the same effect. In fact, hot yoga may even enhance detoxification if there are certain twists and other detox-related poses integrated into the class session.


4. Try Ayurvedic Dry Brushing

Dry brushing the skin is an Ayurvedic practice that helps facilitate lymphatic cleansing and rids the body of cellular waste. As you brush away the dead skin skills, your skin will start to look brighter and healthier. Look for a body brushes with firm bristles online or in stores and plan to do your brushing in the morning before you jump in the shower—starting from your feet and working your way up your body using a gentle, circular motion.


5. Take More Baths With Epsom Salts

You may already know that an epsom salt bath can help soothe sore muscles, but the benefits actually extend beyond that to include detoxification. Epsom salts act as a toxin repellent, essentially flushing toxins out of your skin cells. Best of all, you can purchase epsom salts at almost any drugstore and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a relaxing aromatherapy effect. A full body epsom bath a few times a week throughout the autumn and winter months could do wonders for your skin!

Healthy Foods to Favor for Staying Grounded

5 Healthy Foods to Favor for Staying Grounded

Ayurveda states that we feel the changes of the season in our bodies. In the midst of the autumn season, you’re much more likely to feel restless, anxious, unable to focus, or even out of control due to aggregated vata—the dosha that's at its strongest this time of year, characterized by air and space.

To balance out excess vata in the body, it’s recommended to adopt lifestyle habits that keep you grounded. This means sticking to a daily routine and enjoying foods that are warm, heavy, moist, and nourishing.

To help pacify vata and feel more grounded, start looking toward these healthy foods.


1. Root Vegetables

Root vegetables are great for grounding and stabilizing vata because they grow underground. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, onions, parsnips, turnips, garlic, radishes, rutabagas, and ginger are all ideal examples of root vegetables that can be cooked up in warm dishes throughout the autumn season.


2. Pumpkin and Squashes

Ayurveda recommends going for sweet, sour, and salty flavours rather than bitter, astringent, and pungent ones. Many root vegetables and squashes fall into the sweet category when they’re cooked, so get creative by adding pumpkin to your baked goods, or incorporating squashes into your soups and sides.


3. Lean, High-Quality Meats

Yogis who are not vegetarian or vegan can help themselves feel more grounded by taking advantage of the high protein content in high-quality meat sources like fish, poultry, and beef. Just be sure to select meats that are as cruelty-free and environmentally-friendly as possible by looking for labels like organic, hormone-free, free-range, grass fed, etc.


4. Naturally Red Fruits and Vegetables

The root chakra, located at the base of the spine, is the chakra that governs grounding and is associated with the color red. Root vegetables help to balance this chakra but you can go further with it by incorporating red foots into your diet. Tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, apples, and pomegranates are just a few suggestions to try—especially when they're cooked or stewed.


5. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds offer plenty of protein and healthy fat (in additional to several vitamins and minerals), making them ideal to snack on or add to meals during vata season. Stock up on cashews, almonds, pistachios, and peanuts during this time. Sesame seeds in particular are also good to have this time for their powerful vata-pacifying effect.


Other Foods to Favor

During vata season, ground yourself in warm, nourishing meals that incorporate the above foods plus others like whole grains, some dairy products like milk and homemade cheese, naturally fermented foods (such as sauerkraut), warm spices, and healthy oils. You’ll want to cut back on anything that’s dry, raw, cold, or iced to avoid aggravating vata.

Though many dry and raw foods are healthy in general, now is not the time to be serving yourself a bowl of dry cereal for breakfast or a salad with raw veggies for lunch if you want to keep vata balanced. Liquids including milk and water should also be consumed ideally warm or at room temperature—with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a dash of spice like ginger.

Take this as an opportunity to really hone in on your diet, check out some new recipes, and enjoy the foods that this season has to offer. You’ll get to enjoy new tastes and feel better too.