With inputs from Dr. Nibin, Sri Sri Ayurveda consultant
Winter is here and so is dryness of the skin. In order to beat the dryness, a lot of us carry moisturizers replete with harmful chemicals including parabens, synthetic colors, phthalates among many others. While these creams may beat the dryness, they fail to nurture and nourish your skin from within. Eventually your skin loses its natural suppleness, softness and glow. So we have a better idea! How about we help you with the 10 most natural and herbal ingredients and blends that you can use to apply to your skin this winter? Your skin will thank you for giving it a break from all the chemicals.
1) Apply milk and let your skin breathe in the steam from the boiling milk
Boil milk with salt in it. Channel the steam from the boiling milk to your face. This serves the dual function of opening up the pores of the skin, so that your skin which has been buried under layers of make-up all day, can breathe and also the steam gives vitality and a softness to the skin. You can also use the boiled milk, after it cools down, to cleanse your face with it. It nourishes and smoothes your skin.
In Ayurveda, cow’s milk is an elixir par excellence. Milk is an excellent moisturizing agent.
2) Apply Aloe Vera gel
No skin treatment for dryness is complete without the use of Aloe. Start with applying the pulp of Aloe Vera. Nothing comes close to the power of Aloe Vera in treating sunburn and/or severe dryness rapidly and effectively without leaving scars. Aloe Vera is an effective moisturizer because of its unctuous properties. It is also widely known for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. You can use also use purely herbal skin moisturizers and lotions rich in Aloe Vera.
Not just for external applications, but consuming a teaspoon of aloe can also increase the vitality of your skin and it also improves the skin tone. Aloe also balances Vata dosha, making it the gift of the winter season to the human body.
3) Milk cream, red sandalwood and white sandalwood
Ayurveda, prescribes a mix of milk cream, extracted fresh after boiling the milk, with red sandalwood powder (Raktha Chandan in Sankrit) and white sandalwood powder (Shweta Chandana). Cream of the milk when applied on the dry skin, helps smooth the skin. But this treatment is exclusively for those with dry skin.
4) Rose petals in water
Keep rose petals in water and let it stay overnight. Use the water from the same bowl for washing your face. The natural oils present in rose water have great moisturizing and skin toning value. You can also apply a mix of rose water and milk cream for wonderful results. The glow and smoothness of your skin will be hard to miss.
5) Apply ripened papaya
Papaya is another magic fruit that you must have in your kitchen beauty cabinet. It has hydrating properties that your skin demands with the onset of winter.
You can blend about half a cup of ripened papaya into a paste without lumps. Apply it evenly on your face and neck. Leave it for about 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with cold water and feel the difference. Your skin will look brighter, softer and nicer to the touch.
6) Mix Tomato paste with milk cream or lemon juice and apply
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces the count of free radicals which is responsible for your skin looking older than it is. If you are someone who is used to sitting in air-conditioned rooms for long hours, this will be especially helpful because of tomatoes’ ability to retain moisture. Tomatoes also have astringent properties to reduce the oiliness of your skin.
Mix a tablespoon of tomato juice with a few drops of fresh lime or milk cream and apply it on your skin evenly with the help of cotton balls. Leave it for 15 minutes to see the magic unfold. Wash it off with cold water. It is generally recommended to use cold water for facial skin to open up the pores and let it breathe.
7) Apply a layer of paste made out of fenugreek seeds boiled in milk
Grind two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds boiled in milk to form a paste. You can apply the paste as an effective exfoliating agent. Modern chemical exfoliating creams contain petroleum products and paraben as the scrubbing agent in them. Fenugreek is a natural scrubbing agent that actually enlivens your skin, removes dirt and opens up the pores.
8) Wash face with curd
Curd is rich in vitamin D, calcium and milk proteins which are essential for a healthy skin. Curd has amazing exfoliating and detoxifying properties. It is an excellent skin toner. The lactic acid present in curd soothes and hydrates your skin.
You can also mix curd and honey and apply it to your face. Leave it on for about 15 minutes. Wash it off in cold water to see the skin radiate. This mix simply cleans off the dirt on your skin and keeps it hydrated.
You can also mix half a cup of curd with tablespoon of lemon juice and leave it overnight in the refrigerator. Apply the mix on your face the following morning.
9) Paste of neem and turmeric
The benefits of turmeric have been widely documented as: antibacterial, rejuvenating agent, blood purifier, skin repair, rich in antioxidants, tone lightening. It adds a glow to your skin and can be easily made an inseparable part of your beauty regimen. Neem is nature’s best moisturizer.
Add a few drops of water to the mix of neem and turmeric powder and apply it to your face. Leave it on for about 15 minutes. Your skin radiates a glow without the dryness of chemical moisturizers.
Based on your Dosha type, among purely herbal and chemical free moisturizers that give you the dreamy supple and moist winter skin, you could own the Hydrating Body Silk(For Pitta), or Balancing Body Silk (For Kapha) or moisturizing treatment oils that give the much needed nutrition to your skin and well deserved relaxation to your body, mind and soul.
Disclaimer: The conditions and illnesses could also be due to a mix of Dosha imbalances. Please do not try to self-diagnose. This article is purely for informational purpose. We strongly recommend you consult a Sri Sri Ayurveda physician for a thorough examination of your constitution and its balances/imbalances.