5 Ayurveda Skincare Tips For The Winter
Winter has arrived and soon the Ayurvedic clock will change from vata to kapha. To help us with this transition, we asked Katrina Amato, an Ayurvedic Esthetician, to share Ayurveda skincare advice on how we can prepare the body and skin for this upcoming season.
In order for the skin and body to thrive, it must adapt to the environmental shifts. As the days get darker, colder and drier, we need to change our skincare routine to meet the demands of the season. Katrina Amato, an Ayurvedic holistic esthetician and owner of Sea Level Skincare, stresses that balance is key to achieving great health. “Less is more!” Amato cautions. Here she shares her top Ayurveda skincare tips for supporting the mind, body and soul through this winter season.
1. Know your dosha.
When practicing Ayurveda skincare, it’s helpful to know what your Ayurvedic dosha is before you begin. Take this simple online dosha test or consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner near you to learn more about your dosha.
2. Schedule in some tea time.
Bring your body back in balance with CCF tea. A mixture of coriander, cumin, and fennel, this tea is light, warming, and cleansing. Great for all doshas, all year round, this tea can be a supportive tool to lean on these upcoming colder days and nights.
Recipe by Wellness Mama
½ tsp whole dried fennel seeds
½ tsp whole dried coriander seeds
¼-½ tsp whole dried cumin seeds (to taste)
3 cups water
Optional prep step: For the best flavor, roast the seeds on a baking sheet at 350 for about 5-8 minutes until fragrant and golden.
Grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle to create a fine powder.
Place this powder and the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes until fragrant and remove from heat.
Strain through a fine mesh metal strainer.
3. Remember to exfoliate!
Since we are transitioning from the dry vata season, supporting the skin through winter exfoliation will help lift any dead skin cells that are lingering on the surface of the skin. This will help the body to better absorb the supportive serums and creams that you are using. Amato uses an exfoliant made from almond and rose with her Ayurveda skincare clients as it is both gentle and hydrating. Those with sensitive skin can also use a washcloth as a form of exfoliation. “Careful to not strip the skin of its microbiome through harsh exfoliants.” she advises.
4. Practice dry brushing.
“Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system which is great for the immune system during the winter months,” Amato states. And despite popular belief, her teachers recommend doing it after the shower as the hot water will not allow the lymph to move as well. Also known to help exfoliate the skin, dry brushing can help energize the body by increasing circulation and releasing toxins.
5. Give yourself a massage.
Done with warm oil that is supportive to your unique dosha, abhyanga massage “helps lubricate the skin during the cold and dry seasons,” Amato shares. Along with reducing stress and improving blood flow, abhyanga massage can be done every morning to help energize the body for the new day. Check out this DIY video guide on how to do an abhyanga massage.
Abhyanga massage oils for each dosha
Focus on oils that are warming and grounding as theses qualities will help counteract the cold, dry and light tendencies that vata experiences:
- Plain, untoasted sesame oil
- Ashwagandha / bala oil
- Mahanarayan oil
Focus on oils that are warming and energizing, this will help counteract the cold, wet, and heavy qualities that Kapha experiences:
- Unrefined sesame oil
- Almond oil
- Corn oil
Pitta’s focus is on oils that are light and cooling as it will counteract the hot and sharp qualities that are experienced:
- Sunflower oil
- Coconut oil
- Neem oil
Try an Ayurvedic facial
Looking for the ultimate skin care treatment? Try an Ayurvedic skincare facial. At an Ayurvedic esthetician’s clinic, you will find a space that is dedicated to soothing, uplifting, and balancing your skin’s current condition. Your esthetician will use the doshic system to personalize the session and will select wholesome ingredients from the earth to assist deeper balance and harmony throughout your facial. Other practices like massage, lymphatic drainage, gua sha and reflexology may be used in combination.
If you are unable to see an Ayurvedic practitioner, you can find a variety of Ayurvedic skincare ingredients in your kitchen or a local grocery or health foods store and create your own facial. From honey and flowers to nourishing fruits and oils, you can create everything your skin needs directly from home.
Give It a Try!
When the Earth’s seasons shift, so do we and balance is key. Understanding your dosha can create a comprehensive guide to not only your overall health but also the health of your skin, the biggest organ on the body! Adding these simple Ayurvedic practices to your daily routine can be a great tool to lean on during this seasonal transformation.