Ayurvedic beauty traditions
Understanding the ancient science of Ayurveda explains not only what you should eat, but also how to create a personalised beauty plan.
Ayurveda, ‘the science of life’, is an Indian system of preventive medicine and health care that is over 5,000 years old. It is based on five master elements - air, ether, fire, water and earth – which give rise to three doshas, biophysical body forces which govern our styles of thinking and behaving. Vata dosha (ether and air) is responsible for all bodily movement and sensation; pitta dosha (fire and water) governs digestion and metabolism; and kapha dosha (earth and water) provides substance and support.
We are all born with a unique combination of these doshas known as prakruti, which determines what will keep us in harmony with our true nature, and also what will make us unbalanced and unwell. Martina Markus, an Ayurvedic Vaidya-physician from AQ1 Ayurvedic Wellness Centre (www.aq1.com.au), explains: “Prakruti is your genetic composition, a predominant element from the time of conception; however, your vakruti is the presenting imbalance, and the starting point to focus on and heal. Vakruti clearly reflects a person's lifestyle habits, nutritional status, and emotions.” Ayurvedic beauty’s unique premise is skin care customised to fit you – no matter what skin type you have.
Healing with Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, good health is maintained by balancing body and mind, living in accordance with your unique constitution, and following these classic principles:
1. Take time daily to quiet your mind.
2. Eat a colourful, flavourful diet.
3. Engage in exercise that enhances flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular fitness.
4. Sleep soundly at night.
5. Eliminate what is not serving you.
6. Cultivate loving, nurturing relationships.
7. Perform work that awakens your passion.
For more information, www.chopra.com/ayurveda
Beauty from within
Eat more Tridoshic foods, recommended for vata, pitta and kapha types, which include basmati rice, oats, squash, pumpkin, sprouts, organic ghee, buttermilk, mung beans, pomegranate, mango, guava, coconut, stone fruit, berries, and agave syrup.
Eat less Sour food (tomatoes, lime, lemon, vinegar, pickles), fermented food (yoghurt, alcohol, tempeh, miso), ice-cold food and drinks, and ‘heavy’ legumes (chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans,) which reduce digestive ‘fire’, or agni, and create mucus.
What’s your dosha, baby?
We all possess elements of each dosha, and understanding your dominant one is helpful in shaping the beauty regime that will work best for your skin as well as diet and lifestyle choices. Markus adds, “With this incredible science, we can re-educate ourselves in being natural from the inside out, not just from outside in.”
You are … Slim and fine-boned, walk and talk quickly, get restless, love to travel, sleep lightly, and dislike the cold. You often have cold hands and feet, and brittle nails.
Your skin is … Thin, dry, delicate, fine-pored, and cool. When out of balance, it may be excessively dry, rough, dull, or flaky, and wrinkle more easily with age.
To restore balance … Keep to a set routine of sleep and meal times, relaxation and meditation. Eat warming, nourishing foods, use rich, hydrating skincare products, and have regular facials.
You are ... Alert, with an accurate memory, sharp facial features, and a medium, muscular, well-built physique – you may sweat a lot. You sleep easily and soundly.
Your skin is ... Fair and rosy in colour, soft and warm to the touch, and often sensitive – you blush easily. Out of balance, pitta types are prone to rashes, breakouts, acne and rosacea.
To restore balance ... Avoid excessive heat and sun; use cool water to cleanse and bathe, avoid spicy foods, drink pure water, and eat organic cooling sweet, bitter and astringent foods.
You are ... A heavy sleeper who prefers sedentary activities; you may have a deep voice, a large, heavy body that gains weight easily, a slower metabolism, and a patient attitude.
Your skin is ... Cool, pale, smooth, soft and thick-textured, with large open pores and more visible surface oil. Out of balance, kapha skin can be excessively oily, congested, or dull
To restore balance ... Avoid greasy, rich, heavy foods and eat light, astringent or bitter foods. Exercise daily, exfoliate skin regularly, and use deep-cleansing skincare that boosts circulation.
5 to try
Ayurvedic beauty companies use only Ayurvedic-approved herbs and oils to create skincare products that match your constitution perfectly.
Subtle Energies Mogra & Indian Rose Gold Cream, www.subtleenergies.com.au
Omveda Saffron Facial Oil, www.omveda.com.au
Ayurda Sparkle Eye Cream, www.ayurda.com.au
Rasasara Aromatic Hydrating Mist, www.rasasara.com
The Rose and Gold Glow facial at AQ1 Ayurvedic centre (http://www.aq1.com.au/), where your therapist adjusts the crystal clays used to specifically suit your skin type.