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Ayurveda is actually one of the world’s oldest medical systems, originating in India over 3,000 years ago and still practiced today. And there’s a good reason why it’s still so revered: Ayurveda’s basis in natural, balanced, holistic care is accessible to all and may just be the perfect antidote to the stressful complexities of our millennial world.
The Sanskrit word, Ayurveda, literally means ‘science of life’ and the system places a strong emphasis on healthy living with a personalised touch. Ayurveda always looks for the root cause of a problem, rather than a band-aid cure. Where a Western doctor may prescribe an antibiotic or a calming cream for a rash, an Ayurvedic doctor would be more likely to ask you about your daily routine, how stressed you are and what you eat for breakfast. In other words, Ayurveda sees skin issues as not just skin deep, and in terms of clean beauty, it’s all about a holistic experience for mind, body and soul.
Ayurvedic beauty is very much an individualised process that is based on skin type. In a nutshell, a person’s skin type or skin condition is based on the three Ayurvedic ‘doshas’. These categories are literally translated as ‘that which can cause problems’, and are broken into the three groups of ‘vata', ‘pitta’ and ‘kapha’. When one of our doshas is aggravated, or out of whack, problems occur. For instance, vata is constituted by the elements of space and air, so a windy day (space and air!) might cause your vata to become aggravated and a nasty dry skin rash could flare up.
Whilst the fundamentals of Ayurveda are naturally simple, the study of it is profoundly deep…it is a complex medical system after all. In terms of beauty though, the main thing is to understand the holistic mind-body connection, the importance of finding balance, and the impact of seasonal disturbances.
Here are our Ayurvedic clean beauty tips and picks:
The crown jewel in Ayurvedic beauty. High-quality Indian Sandalwood oil has long been used in Ayurveda for its relaxing and cooling properties that balance all doshas. The antiseptic, purifying and soothing qualities of Sandalwood are used to treat acne, scarring, pigmentation and dry skin.
We love that Ayurvedic beauty places a real emphasis on massage. It’s easy to consider a massage as an indulgent treat but the holistic basis of Ayurveda considers massage as an important tool in balancing the stresses of the mind and body.
In Ayurveda stress= inflammation, and inflammation= skin flares ups. The Indian sandalwood body products combined with tension-relieving massage used in our Heartwood treatments make for Ayurvedic clean beauty perfection.
Ayurveda treats the heat of pitta issues with cooling products. Rose water, in particular, is suitable for all doshas but especially effective for balancing pitta. Sun care is also vital to keep pitta flare-ups in check, so SPF is a must.
Vata can be counterbalanced with moisturising, warming and nourishing products. Warm oils with a sweet scent such as geranium, sandalwood and jojoba are perfect for vata conditions.
Kapha issues require keeping skin oils in check and stimulating circulation in order to prevent sluggish, fluid-retentive skin. Think invigorating and cleansing herbs and oils such as coriander, black pepper and grapeseed.