Based on principles of ayurveda imbalanced vata dosha causes dry skin. There are many effective ayurvedic treatments and home remedies to normalise vata dosha and make dry skin smooth and soft
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Dry skin looks dull and life less due to lack of moisture. Well hydrated skin glows and exhibits a healthy look. Wrinkles develop at an early age due to prolonged dryness of skin. Dry, rough and wrinkled skin gives an aged appearance. Dry and cracked skin harbor microbes and cause fungal infections. Excess drying of skin leads to dry eczema.
Hence a proper care should be taken to increase the moisture level of skin and prevent drying. Soft, smooth and wrinkle free skin gives young and healthy look.
Causes of dry skin – An Ayurveda View
Our skin is soft and smooth because of oil glands found under our skin. The skin becomes dry when these glands fail to supply sufficient lubrication to keep the skin soft and smooth. Imbalanced and increased vata dosha reduces oil secretion and makes skin dry.
The skin loses its capacity to retain moisture, as we grow old. The extreme climatic conditions to which we get exposed, as we grow old worsen the condition and skin becomes more dry. Vata imbalance is very prominent in old age.
What Ayurveda Says about Dry Skin ?
The type of skin is determined by tridoshas. The Dosha, which is dominant in skin, determines the type and quality of the skin. When vata dosha is dominant ,the skin will be dry, thin, delicate and cool (to touch). When vata dosha becomes imbalanced in body and skin , the skin becomes rough, scaly and wrinkled.
When vata dosha increases in body it reduces kapha and makes skin dry and wrinkled. ( Kapha keeps skin soft and smooth where as vata makes the skin dry and rough. Vata dosha’s qualities are opposite to kapha dosha qualities ).
The causes which increase vata dosha in body
- Exposure to cold and dry climate (winter and Air conditioned Rooms)
- Controlling natural urgeslike urination, defecation, hunger, thirst, etc.
- Staying awake at unearthly hours ( late night).
- Irregular food habits.
- Excess physical and mental exertion.
- Consumption of spicy, dry and foods tasting bitter (Tikta rasa).
The cold and dry weather (Winter)
Vata gets imbalanced in cold and dry weather of winter and takes its own toll on the skin. The cold, dry weather of winter brings about drying of skin making it scaly. Lack of sufficient humidity out doors also leads to dry skin. Indoor heating further removes the traces of moisture and aggravates dryness of skin. Thus in winter the skin becomes extremely dry. Ayurvedic winter care regimen helps to prevent dryness of skin during winters.
Dry skin condition may occur due to genetic factors. Ayurveda acharyas say that this condition is difficult to treat.
Nutritional deficiency or Poor Diet (viruddha ahara)
Dry skin condition may arise from nutritional deficiencies due to poor diet. Diet which has more vata increasing foods like cold, dry, fast foods etc cause dry skin. Diet containing healthy fats, vitamin E, vitamin C , iron and good amount of protein etc help to reduce dryness of skin>
According to ayurveda consumption of opposite foods also lead to dry skin. Foods which are of kashaya rasa (astringent taste), Katu rasa (pungent taste), Tikta rasa (bitter taste) cause vitiation of vata which leads to dry skin. Also including more of dry foods (ruksha ahara) imbalances vata. Vata balancing is very important in skin care regimen.
Unhealthy practices like exposure to extreme weather conditions, bathing for long time in very hot water, using harsh soaps, smoking, swimming in chlorinated water, chemicals and harsh cosmetics.
The skin loses its capacity to retain moisture, as we grow old. The extreme climatic conditions to which we get exposed, as we grow old worsen the condition and skin becomes more dry.
Dry skin may arise as an effect of medications like diuretics, antihistamines and anti spasmodics.
The problems of dry skin as explained in ayurveda:
- Dry and rough skin.
- Development of wrinkles at an early age.
- Scaly and cracked skin
- Aged looks.
- Dull and lifeless appearance.
- More prone to fungal infection and dry eczema.
Natural Ayurvedic Home Remedies and Tips for Dry Skin
Dry Skin looks dull and life less as it lacks moisture. Well hydrated moist skin glows and exhibits a healthy look. Wrinkles develop at an early age due to prolonged dryness of skin. Dry, rough and wrinkled skin gives an aged appearance. Dry and cracked skin harbor microbes and cause fungal infections. Excess drying of skin leads to dry eczema. Dry skin may be present in psoriasis.
Hence a proper care should be taken to increase the moisture level of skin and prevent drying. Soft ,smooth and wrinkle free skin gives young and healthy look.
- Do not use very hot water to cleanse dry skin. Use just warm water
- Use a soft cotton cloth and pat dry your skin. Do not rub the skin with harsh, rough textured towels.
- Instead of repeatedly washing face with water use a clean sprayer to moisten your skin. Use mineral water instead of tap water for spray.
- Lightly pat dry the skin.
- Avoid using harsh soaps and face washes as they remove natural oil that protects your skin.
- Pamper your skin by massaging with moisturizer. Moisturizer increases the moisture of upper layer of skin and makes it soft and smooth.
- Avoid alcohol-based cleansers.
- Keep yourself warm in dry cold climates.
- Do not sit near fire place.
- Apply a thin layer of coconut oil before finishing the bath and pat dry the skin.
- Liberally apply gentle herbal moisturizer all over your body.
- Consume herbal tea which contains vata balancing herbs regularly.
- Sleep for 8 hrs a day. (Preferably from 9 PM to 5 AM).
Natural Ayurvedic Treatment for Dry Skin
- Massage whole body with herbal body massage oil which is infused with vata balancing herbs twice in a week. Pure sesame oil or coconut oil is recommended by ayurveda acharyas.
- Increase the moisture level of skin by applying natural herbal gel which is rich in aloevera and essential oils.
- Regularly massage your body with herbal oil like ksheerabala oil. Herbal oil softens and sooth the dry skin and help to trap the moisture between skin pores.
- Apply ayurvedic cream for dry skin, regularly. This cream should contains herbs like Karanja (Pongamia Pinnata), Durva (Cynodon Dactylon),Neem (Azadirachta Indica), Beeswax and Eranda Taila (castor Oil)
Ayurvedic Diet for Dry Skin
Texts of ayurveda recommend certain diet for people who suffer from skin diseases like dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, acne pimples etc. By following this diet regimen flaring and exaggeration of symptoms can be prevented.
- Diet must be light and easy to digest. It should not lead to constipation, indigestion or bloating.
- Consume a balanced diet which includes foods from all groups like vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates, cereals, milk and milk products.
- Include yellow and orange vegetables like carrot which have rich anti oxidants.
- Avoid stale, over fried, dry foods, junk food like chips, deep fried food etc
- Include bitter vegetables like bitter gourd or Karela in your diet. Bitter vegetables always detoxify liver and help to keep the skin healthy.
- Include tender neem leaves, amla (emblica officinalis), haritaki and vibhitaki in diet.
- Do not use freshly harvested cereals.
- Avoid sour foods like curd.
- Strictly say no to fish, jaggery, and sesame seeds.
- ghee or olive oil.
- Include sour tasting (amla rasa) and salty (lavana rasa ) food in diet.
- Sweet juicy fruits are recommended.
- Drink 7-9 glasses of warm water everyday. (Do not drink cold water as it increases vata)
Ayurvedic Face packs for dry facial skin
- Mix egg yolk, rose water lime juice, olive oil and orange juice (1 tea spoon each) thoroughly. Apply a smooth mixture of this ingredient on your face in morning and wash it off after 20 minutes
- A face mask of honey, egg, olive oil and rose water works very well for dry skin.
- Take ripe papaya and scoop its pulp. Mash it well and mix with honey, milk and rose water. Apply this mask and wash it off after an hour.
- Mash a ripe banana and mix it with rose water. Apply this pack and wash it off with water after 1 hour.
- Take few almonds and soak it over night. Mix it well with little milk and apply this pack. Wash it off after 15 minutes.
Few dos and donts for dry facial skin
1. Take steam to face before applying face pack.
2. Always wash off face packs with warm water.
3. Avoid air conditioned rooms and refrigerated foods and drinks.
4. Drink plenty of water, fresh fruit juice and vegetables.
5. Do not take long showers
Dry skin in diabetes
Diabetes patients usually experience dry skin. Other skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, fungal infections etc exaggerate when diabetes sets in. Dry skin is common in diabetic people due to following reasons
- Poor blood circulation to skin
- High glucose level in blood.
- Renewal of body tissues get stunted or delayed due to high glucose level.
- Activity of sweat glands becomes slow due to poor blood circulation.
The dry skin is more prominent on legs, feet and elbows. This results in cracking, fungal or bacterial infections. These conditions are very difficult to treat. Hence diabetes patients have to take utmost care of their skin.
Precautions to be taken to prevent dry skin in diabetes
- Keep blood glucose level under control.
- Avoid repeated bathing as it washes of natural oils of skin.
- Consume foods which are rich in Vitamin A and B.
- Avoid repeated usage of medicines like antihistamines, antispasmodics, diuretics.
- Regularly apply a good moisturizing lotion which does not contain alcohol.
- Bathe in luke warm water.
- Use mild soaps which contain hydrating agents.
- Use humidifier at home.
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