You can feel the Vata season approaching as the wind begins to bite, and leaves turn hues of orange, before their final disappearing act for the year, when nature goes into a shut-down to repair itself as if sending us humans a message to do the same for our body, mind, and skin!
(Check your Ayurvedic skin type here.)
This time of the year marks a seasonal transition, called Ritu Sandhi in the ancient healing science of Ayurveda, as we enter slightly colder days from the pleasant days with a nip in the air. Now as the air gets drier, and fast-moving vata dosha gains dominance, our skin starts demanding more hydration, and our diet and skincare routine needs to adapt to the seasonal transition. Here’s a quick guide to winning over the winter dryness with aplomb.
How can you tell it is Vata season?
The tell-tale signs of the onset of Vata season are
- The air is dry, rough, chilly, fast-moving and light.
- The weather is similarly cold, earth element starts drying out, gets harder and rougher.
- These qualities reflect in our physiology and mind too.
- The digestive problem, joint and muscular pains, fatigue, common cold, and flu, allergies become more common.
- Immunity is lower.
- You tend to be more restless than usual.
Vata Season-What happens to your skin when Vata is out of balance?
For many people, their skin problems tend to aggravate during winter. People with Vata skin have skin that is thin, dries up quickly, and is often cool to touch. When Vata is out of balance, it could lead to several problems like the skin feels rough and flaky; it appears dull and leads to a frequent build-up of dead cells.
One way Ayurveda recommends balancing a dosha that is in excess during a particular season is by increasing the other two doshas, which is having foods or practices that bring balance by increasing Kapha and Pitta dosha, while reducing Vata. So, in order to reduce Vata dominance, you can imbibe foods and beverages that are warm, moist, unctuous, hydrating, and calming or Kapha balancing.
Yet another important principle in Ayurveda that is worth mention is, it recommends gradual transition of skin or diet regimes, during the seasonal transition, so as to gently prepare the body and mind for the changes in the environment.
Within the traditional three-step, cleanse-exfoliate-moisturize skin routine, here are a few things you can do to protect your delicate, soft skin from the harsh beating of a brutal Vata-led winter.
Bring in a hydrating cleanser
In winters, when the air outside is dry and cold, the skin tends to lose moisture faster. In fact, research says, the skin loses 25% of its ability to keep moisture in, during winter months. So you need to give your skin the loving assurance of a hydrating cleanser, one that allows the skin to stay hydrated longer, naturally.
For example, Shankara’s Hydrating Cleanser is a powerfully soothing, non-irritating cleanser that comes with the richness of chamomile, lavender, neem, and calendula, apart from 25 other exotic herbs endowed with naturally hydrating and calming property to balance Kapha and pitta as well. Washing off the cleanser, leaves your skin feeling soft and supple yet not greasy.
Unlike mass-produced cleansers, Shankara’s hydrating cleanser has been formulated with lot of thought and concern going behind coming up with a natural cleanser that preserves the acid mantle of the skin, and as a result use of the cleanser leaves your skin feeling silky yet moist and healthy.
Exfoliation in Vata season
While it may seem a little out of the place to talk about exfoliating when the skin is already rough and flaky, you need exfoliation in your winter tool kit because it helps to clear our dead cells and replenish these skin cells. It also enhances and deepens the moisturizing effect of crèmes and moisturizers.
Not all exfoliators are harsh and damaging to the skin. Take, for example, Shankara’s Microcrystal Exfoliator, where ultra-fine silica crystals along with aloe gel and five algae extracts help to gently exuviate dry, dead cells that collect on the upper layers during winter, unraveling the healthy, soft, glowing skin underneath. Because of the presence of calming herbs like aloe and turmeric in it, Tte exfoliator is calming and does no damage to the capillaries and pores. It improves and soothes the texture of the skin and makes it look age-less.
Pick a moisturizer that suits your skin dosha type, if it is Vata, kapha or pitta skin, since each skin type has varying moisturizing needs. You can check your Ayurvedic skin type here.
Vata Skin is identified by the quality of dryness and when Vata is vitiated, it begins to look dull and grey. Vata skin also ages faster than other skin types. So the moisturizer you pick, must take that into consideration.
Vata skin is characterized by overall dryness (no combination pattern here) and will not show signs of redness or be sensitive. When out of balance that skin type will look dull and greyish. Vata skin show signs of aging faster because the skin is thin and dry to start with.
For Vata skin
Shankara’s Rich Repair is a beautiful choice of a moisturizer for Vata skin types. Here, science and nature blend elegantly in this lavish, silk-like moisturizer. It comes loaded with antioxidants from the goodness of more than 25 rich, nourishing, exotic herbs like Arjuna, that supports healthy aging with its reinvigorating, hydrating and moisturizing properties; Gotu Kola, also known as Brahmi, that is rich in antioxidants and enhances rejuvenation and oxygenation; and Life Everlasting that soothes the skin moisturizes it and provides the ability to the skin to fight oxidative stress.
This type of skin is warm to touch, relatively thicker and is very sensitive. When out of balance, it can be sensitive, reddish, inflamed, tender, oily to dry.
For such a skin, a good option is Shankara’s Fine Line Moisturizer. It uses herbs like Borage oil and ylang ylang that nourish and pamper your skin and renew it. This one restores the balance of proteins and other nutrients in the skin. It soothes out the sensitivity with the therapeutic benefits of its ingredients including
Rose, which is deeply moisturizing, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and has soothing, calming, regenerative properties;
Borage Oil that rejuvenates and moisturizes the skin; and
Evening Primrose oil helps reduce acne, hot flashes, improves the overall health of the skin. It also has extracts of sunflower seeds, kokam, aspen bark, neem, wheat germ, rice protein, chamae rose, and shave grass.
The moisturizer supports the natural renewal of skin, is moisturizing and warming, for the Vata season. .