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Ayurvedic tips to prevent dry skin during winter

Winter is almost here. Everyone is looking for ways to maintain healthy skin during this season. It is not particularly the best time for your skin. The drop in temperature and humidity could lead to various skin issues, one of the most common winter skincare problems being excessive dryness and chapped lips and foot.

Winter air is often dry and humidity levels are low. When the air outside is cold and dry, the water in your skin evaporates more quickly; this makes your skin feel dry and tight, and makes it look flaky.  Dry skin is due to increased Vatha dosha in skin.  Vatha properties are dry, light, cold and rough. All the above-mentioned winter season peculiarities are same as Vatha dosha. Hence it will generally increase the Vatha dosha in body and especially in the skin.

Ayurveda recommends prevention before treatment- “Nidana parivarjana” that means, causes should be avoided first. As we can not avoid the seasonal difference, Vatha increasing scenarios should be avoided.  Limit exposure to Vata’s qualities and increase exposure to those substances and experiences that are the opposite of Vata.

Avoid extreme weather conditions- Neither extreme heat in the summer nor cold weather in the winter are good for the skin. It is therefore important to avoid exposing the skin to these weather conditions as much as possible.

Warm oil is a natural opposite to Vata. Oil reduces dryness of skin, and when it is used warm, it reduces another Vatha increasing property of cold.

The best oils recommended by Ayurveda for skin is Gingely oil and coconut Oil. Another oil which is recommended is virgin coconut oil taken from coconut milk. Apply warm oil and leave it on skin for atleast 15 min and then take a warm water bath. Avoid very hot water as it will reduce the moisture from the skin again. Use lukewarm water rather than hot water, which can wash away natural oils

Instead of harsh chemical soaps, it is always better to use natural products like green gram powder as soap. Minimize your use of soaps; if necessary, choose moisturizing preparations.

Limit yourself to a one 5- to 10-minute bath or shower daily. If you bathe more than that, you may strip away much of the skin’s oily layer and cause it to lose moisture.

Along with skin nourishing properties, a good warm oil application will revitalize and calm your mind which is good for reducing Vatha in body.

Along with oil application which soothes the Vatha dosha, internal food and other activities should be followed to maintain Vatha under control in the body as well.

When there is dryness, a person should try eating regular warm, moist meals such as thick soups and lightly spiced stews. Use herbs and foods that nourish the skin

Avoid foods like fizzy drinks, caffeine and cold dishes. Drink plenty of water. Dry skin usually responds well to plenty of fat intake. Adding ghee (clarified butter) to meals can really help to reduce dryness from inside.

Other than food, keep Vatha under control with good sleep and less stress

Get enough sleep – The body and mind do not function properly without sleep. That’s why it’s even more important that we sleep for at least seven hours a day.

Reduce stress – Practice pranayama and meditation. This reduces stress, which can also be a trigger for dry skin. In addition, you’ll sleep better after meditation.

Ayurveda is an ancient treasure trove of secrets using natural ingredients to benefit your health and beauty.

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