Winter tends to naturally increase Vata dosha in the body. This results in dry skin and cracked lips. There are other health repercussions of increased Vata dosha, but the cosmetic effects are most visible, making them a priority. Ayurveda recommends that we take care of the body by changing lifestyle and diet to match the seasonal changes in doshas.
The correct steps are explained in what is collectively known as Ritucharya. The word Ritucharya is made of two words – Ritu (season) and Charya (regimen). The regimen described for winter is known as Shishira Ritucharya. Let us take a look at a few face masks prepared according to Shishira Ritucharya that will pamper and nourish the skin from within!
- Papaya and lemon moisturizer:
Papaya has Ushna (warm) potency which can regulate Vata. Lemon is sour and has Pitta properties which will counter the increased Vata dosha. Lemon is also a natural astringent, which removes dark spots and tanning on the skin. Mash a ripe papaya and squeeze the juice of half a lemon in it and mix well. Apply this to the face and arms for 15 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water to get glowing and moisturized skin.
- Hibiscus, honey and coconut oil anti-Ageing Mask:
Hibiscus flower (gudhal) contains natural Alpha-hydroxy Acids (AHA), which makes the skin fresh and improves flexibility, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the botox plant. Boil a hibiscus flower in 2 cups of water until about half a cup remains. Now add honey and coconut oil to the mixture and apply on face and neck. Wash off with lukewarm water after 10-15 minutes. This mixture is a great moisturizer and exfoliator, which leaves the skin supple, fresh and bright.
- Orange-yogurt peel off mask:
Add 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice to half a cup of yogurt and make a fine paste. Use this as a mask on your face, neck and arms for 20 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water. This has mild bleaching effect which will peel off dead cells, dirt and sebum giving you a radiant skin. Orange juice also tones your skin and removes blemishes.
- Banana face mask for baby soft skin:
Bananas are rich in potassium and vitamins. They improve elasticity, hydrate the skin, and strengthen the connective tissues. Blend half a mashed banana, juice of 1 lemon and 2 teaspoons of milk with 2 cubes of mashed avocado. Once pureed, apply this mask on the face and neck. Let it sit for 20 minutes and wash off with milk.
- Lentil face pack for blemished skin:
Blend 2 tablespoons of finely powdered pink lentil with 2 teaspoons of rice flour, 12 teaspoons of yogurt, 2 teaspoons of oatmeal, and milk. Refrigerate this paste for 10 minutes.
Before applying on face, coat it with cold milk first. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash off with cold water and watch it do wonders for dull and pigmented skin.
By Dr. Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda