Doctor's Blog

Skin Care In Winter Through Ayurveda


Everything the life and world including our bodies, the food that we eat, the environment around us is composed of ‘Tridoshas’- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each has their fundamental properties and qualities. Vata – The principle of movement is the ruling dosha for winter season.

Every change in climate shows effect on skin. The cold and dry weather of winter brings about drying of skin, making it dry and scaly. Lack of sufficient humidity leads cracked skin, which further removes the traces of moisture and aggravates dryness. This dry, cracked skin leads to skin infections.

Hence skin has to be rejuvenated and care should be taken to keep skin moist, soft and smooth.

Winter season is marked as ‘Hemant Rutu’ according to Ayurveda, which falls in southern solstice which is called as Visarga kala or Dakshinayana. This period is from mid November to mid January. In this season vata dosh vrudhi occurs, which increases the digestive power i.e. Agni. Thus increased Agni (digestive power) can even digest heavy food easily and quickly. Food not available for Agni, it starts affecting nutritive fluids of body leading vitiation of vata. Thus vitiated vata dosha assigns its qualities of sheeta (cold), Ruksha (dry), Khara (dry) to skin.

Hence in winter a great care of skin should be taken to protect skin with various measures regarding diet and life style. Few listed for readers of Travancore Ayurveda, Hope that will help you.

  • Drink plenty of warm water to keep skin moist and to prevent vitiation of Vata dosha.
  • Have soups which are Amla (sour ) and Lavan (Salty ) which balance Vata dosha .

    Ayurveda recommends having some amount of all Shadrasatmka (six tastes) with every meal .But season to season we can increase or decrease the quantity of respected food which aggravates particular Dosha in particular season. So in winter avoid Katu (pungent ) Tikta ( bitter ) and Kashaya ( astringent ).
    Reduce Madhura (sweet) as it may leads to weight gain.
  • Include honey in daily diet instead of sugar or jiggery. Better consume with warm liquids, like tea or coffee or warm water.
  • Stay away from chilled food like ice creams, cold drinks, milk shakes etc.
  • Avoid long hot showers and bath-Quick three minutes of bath is advisable.
  • 20 to 30 min of aerobic exercise, three times a week can give your skin healthy glow.
  • Avoid repeated washing of face. This washes off the natural oils from the skin, which leads to dry scaly and wrinkled skin. Use like warm water instead of hot water to wash the face.
  • Do Abhyangam (massage) your skin with oil. ( olive or vata doshahara oil)
  • Smear ghee on lips frequently to prevent chapping of lips.
  • Consume Vata pacifying food such as, Pumpkins, Carrots, Beets, Asparagus, Banana, Lemon, Mangoes, Peaches, Rice, Wheat, Almonds, Sesame Seeds, Boiled Milk, Ghee.
  • Avoid raw food, dry food like salads and raw vegetables.
  • Before morning bath give gentle massage to your skin with Til tailam (sesame oil). Don’t remove oil with soap vigorously.
  • Go to bed early and try to get eight hours of sleep as Vata is the principal of movement and the more effective means of pacifying Vata dosha is to get enough sleep.
  • Learn and practice meditation.
  • Cleanse your skin with raw milk—Milk is the natural cleanser which only cleanses dust without removing natural moisture of skin. It also hydrates the skin. Raw and cold milk is recommended for cleansing of skin.
  • Skin pack — Mix Gram flour, turmeric and yogurt and apply this paste on skin after cleansing. Keep pack for 15 to 20 min (till it dries) and rub gently to remove pack.

    Gram floor helps to remove unwanted dirt, keeps skin moist. Yogurt supplies vit C and bleaches skin naturally. Turmeric prevents skin from infection.
  • Vegetable body pack—this is necessary for skin. In a grinder add a carrot, a cucumber, a tomato to paste. Add two spoons of cream of milk. Mix well. Apply over skin and keep it for 20 min. it makes your skin soft, glower and wrinkle free.
  • Almond and milk pack—Sock some almonds in milk to get soft for few hours. Grind it to paste. Massage this over the skin. It contains vit E which improves the skin texture.
  • Glycerin and rose—Take both in 1:10 ratio respectively. Massage this all over the skin before bed. This helps to keep skin moist, soft and supple.
  • Immune boosting formula—This is wonder to treat and prevent cold , sore throat, cough, seasonal allergies, fatigue, chronic pain due to season change , IBS ( Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and other digestive complaints which generally seen in winter.

    Ingredientsâ€â€
    • One tea spoon grated fresh turmeric root / powder
    • One tea spoon grated fresh ginger root / powder
    • Two to three twists of black paper
    • Juice of half lemon
    • Two tea spoon honey
    • One and half cup filtered water

Add turmeric, ginger, and warm water. Heat it till boiling point in low flame. Then filter it in mug. Add lemon juice and honey. Mix it properly. Consume in hot/warm condition.

Have this formula daily once with empty stomsach. And see the difference.

Hope this information helps you to be fit in this winter. See u soon with some other Ayurvedic discussion. Till then take care of your health, eat healthy and think better.

Dr. Smita, B.A.M.S