Winter season makes skin dry, scaly and chapped. Hence a special care has to be taken to keep skin soft smooth and glowing. Here are ayurvedic tips for winter skin care to keep skin healthy in winter.
Skin, the protective covering of our body bears assault of changing climates and seasons. Scorching heat of the summer vexes the skin with sun burns and dehydration. Thus the skin needs rest and rejuvenation in winter. But winter takes its own toll on the skin. The cold and dry weather of winter brings about drying of skin making it scaly. Lack of sufficient humidity out doors leads to cracked skin. Indoor heating further removes the traces of moisture and aggravates dryness of skin. Cracked, chapped and dry skin leads to various skin infections. Hence the skin has to be rejuvenated and care should be taken to keep the skin moist, soft and smooth.
Winter Skin – Ayurveda Causes
The winter season is marked as Hemanta ritu in ayurveda. Hemanta ritu starts from mid November and ends in mid January. This falls in southern solstice which is called as visarga kala or dakshinayana in ayurveda. In winter the agni or body fire (digestive power) increases with the support of vata dosha . The increased body fire even digests heavy foods easily and quickly. When sufficient food is not available for the amplified body fire it affects the nutritive fluids of body leading to vitiation of vata. Thus the vitiated vata assigns its qualities of coldness, dryness and roughness to skin. Hence in winter a great care should be taken to protect the skin with various measures regarding diets and lifestyles.
Ayurvedic Diet for Winter Skin Care
The main aim of diet should be to balance vata dosha and normalise agni. Here are tips to balance vata in winter
- Drink plenty of water to keep the skin hydrated. Drinking warm water in winter prevents vitiation of vata and diseases which arise from it.
- Soups which are warm, sour and salted, balance vata.
- Use Sendha Namak or Rock salt.
- Include honey in the diet.
- Avoid Consumption of junk foods, too much of sweets and oil foods, as these lead to weight gain.
- Your diet must ideally comprise of sugar Cane juice, milk and clarified butter (ghee) during winter.
- Stay away from cold and refrigerated foods like ice creams, milk shakes as they vitiate vata.
- Do not eat raw vegetables.
- Gorge on warm and heavy food to fulfill the requirement of increased body fire.
Ayurveda Lifestyle for Winter
It is always recommended to follow ayurvedic dinacharya (daily routine) for hemanta rutu
- Always wear warm clothes which are made of wool, silk or cotton.
- When you are wearing clothes in layers wear cotton clothes next to your skin as they do not cause skin allergy. Moreover they absorb sweat. Where as synthetic clothes fail to do so. Unabsorbed sweat harbours microorganisms which cause skin infections.
- Avoid long hot showers and bath. Quick three minutes bath is advisable.
- Twenty to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week can give your skin a healthy glow.
- Avoid repeated washing of face. This washes off natural oils from your skin and makes the skin dry, scaly and wrinkled. Use Luke warm water instead of hot water to wash face.
- Make your own ayurvedic body scrub at home and use it instead of soap. This helps to prevent loss of natural oil from skin and also increases glow and radiance. It effortlessly removes dead skin.
- If you are using room heater, use an indoor humidifier to place moisture in the air.
- Wear foot ware or socks when you are at home or outside.
Ayurvedic Body Massage or Abhyanga
Abhyanga is massaging body with warm ayurvedic oils processed with vata balancing herbs. Usually Sesame oil , coconut oil, castor oil or ksheerabala oil (sesame oil processed with bala herb and milk ) is used for body massage. It is better to massage body with oils on alternate days during winter. This keeps skin healthy and soft.
After bath apply moisturizing lotion liberally all over the body.
Foot Care in Winter with Padabhyanga
Foot massage is known as padaabhyanga in ayurveda. This prevents cracking of foot and reduces stress. Soak your feet for 20 minutes in warm water . Add dry ginger powder, little sesame oil to this soaking water. Scrub your foot to remove dead skin. Massage both foot with warm oil and wear socks. Also take a foot massage with lite oils at night before going to bed.
Winter Dry Scalp Care with Shirobhyanga
Massage scalp and hair daily with warm ayurvedic hair oil. This prevents flaking, dryness and dandruff. This conditions hair and prevents weakening of hair strands. This also keeps split ends at bay.
All these above routines are very helpful in other dry skin conditions like psoriasis and dry eczema.
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Enjoy the winter with a glowing skin. I wish you a Happy winter.
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