Sunday, June 14, 2015

What is Summer Skin Care in Ayurveda?

The summer season is known in Ayurveda as the Pitta season.  Pitta is one of the main constitutional doshas (body types) and is made up of the elements of water and fire.  We all are a unique combination of the doshas, and each of the doshas is dominant in certain times and places.  In the body Pitta governs five basic bodily functions.  These areas are called the sub doshas of Pitta and are known as pachaka (stomach/intestines), ranjaka (liver/blood formation), sadhaka (heart/emotions), alokacha (vision/perception) and bharajaka (skin).

Since the summer is a time of heat, care must be taken to keep the five areas governed by Pitta balanced.  Skin (bharajaka) is susceptible to the heat of summer. If the skin is overheated, it can dry out causing the body to become imbalanced by working too hard to compensate for the lack of moisture.  Think of things like premature aging, wrinkling, freckling and age spots of skin that has lost its natural moisture mechanism.  Even if you are not a Pitta type, the summer season of Pitta will still make you more sensitive to skin issues this time of year.

Common sense would dictate limiting exposure to the hot sun and hydrating oneself with water and fluids.  Yet, Ayurveda also looks to balance all of Pitta because each area of Pitta and the body affects the whole body and our well-being.   Try to manage the other Pitta sub doshas too. Pachaka gets off balance with acidic and spicy foods and may manifest as acid reflux or diarrhea.  Ranjaka means the liver needs the ability to function well, so avoid toxins or alcohol which stress the liver.  Sadhaka is the heart and emotions.  Pitta types can get angry quickly so managing stress with meditation or aromatherapy (especially rose or sandalwood oils) can help keep sadhaka balanced.  Alokacha is the eyes and the bright light of the summer sun can cause eyestrain and headaches.  Wear sunglasses and put cool compresses on the eyes.  Finally, bharajaka, the skin, should be moisturized with coconut oil for cooling and hydration.

Your Ayurvedic summer skin care goes deeper than just the skin.  They say beauty is more than skin deep, and with Ayurveda you can understand that firsthand.

Stay healthy & well,

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