Let your skin bloom!

Monsoon implies new life, greenery and rejuvenation, as well as skin problems for some. Let your skin experience the positive effects of monsoon by following the wisdom of Ayurveda
By Dr Partap Chauhan

The mere mention of monsoon conjures up images of greenery, raindrops drumming, gurgling streams, kids splashing on puddles and everything wonderful. But not everything is so rosy about the monsoon season – it is bad news for the skin. The monsoon season is notoriously known for aggravating skin problems such as dermatitis, urticaria, ringworm, herpes and eczema.

Why skin problems aggravate during monsoon?
The rainy season is responsible for aggravation of pitta, the functional energy of our body dominant in fire element, and is primarily responsible for metabolism and digestion of food. The imbalance or the aggravation of pitta during this season triggers a variety of skin disorders. In Ayurveda, though skin diseases are caused due to imbalances in all the three doshas, the prime dosha involved is pitta. Pitta symbolizes heat or fire. Therefore all those foods or activities that increase the fire element in the body should be eliminated. This includes hot, spicy, fried, oily and greasy foods. Acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, yogurt and vinegar should be avoided. Exposure to heat and sun, drinking too much tea, coffee, and alcohol, and smoking also aggravate pitta.

10 monsoon skin care tips:

Avoid spicy and oily food
The imbalance or the aggravation of pitta during this season triggers a variety of skin disorders.

Say no to pitta aggravating beverages
We understand that you can’t begin your day without a cuppa but try to reduce your daily intake. Coffee and alcohol is a strict no because it is notoriously known for aggravating pitta and acidity. Replace them with pitta pacifying herbal teas.

Keep Dry!
Getting a little wet or sometimes getting drenched is not uncommon when you are outdoors during the rainy season. However, don’t let your skin remain wet for a long time while enjoying the monsoon showers. It is important to keep your skin folds and feet dry and clean at all times. Damp skin is a breeding ground for fungal infections.

Wheat grass, a tonic for your skin
Wheatgrass is a tonic for your skin. It is helpful in boosting the immune system and helping you in warding off or controlling skin disorders in monsoon. A healthy immune system is reflected in a healthy and glowing skin. Wheatgrass is rich in antioxidants and is instrumental in detoxifying the blood.

Drink a lot!
No, we are not talking about the one that gets you tipsy! Clean and pure water is what we recommend. Drink at least 8-10 glasses daily. Though you need to keep dry outside in this season to prevent skin problems it is important to consume adequate quantities of water to keep your skin hydrated.

Eat Fresh!
Eat fresh and unprocessed food to keep your body and your skin functioning at an optimum level. Don’t rely on packed, refrigerated and processed food. Instead of ordering pizzas, burgers or feasting on chips, relish some fresh homemade food. Eat a lot of fruits and green vegetables.

Avoid alcohol-based skin cleansers
You should avoid any alcohol-based skin cleanser because it irritates and dries your skin. Instead use a herbal soap or cleanser regularly to get rid of excess oil, grime and dust, and of course to keep you skin free of bacterial infections. We recommend Jiva Citrus Lotion, which is a cleanser that contains herbal extracts of lemon and orange.

Use cooling herbs
It is beneficial to use the herbs that have cooling effects on the body (pitta pacifying) such as fennel, coriander seeds and Indian gooseberry (amla) for a glowing skin in monsoon. Amla helps to detoxify the liver and aids digestion – and is also a good source of Vitamin C and other minerals. One of the benefits of taking it regularly is a flawless complexion.
Drink Aloe Vera gel!
Aloe Vera gel is very beneficial for the skin because it purifies the blood. Fresh Aloe Vera gel can be taken in the dose of two or three tablespoons on an empty stomach every day. You can also use fresh Aloe Vera plant gel on your skin – it has anti-aging, anti-tanning, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Take mild laxatives
A clean bowel movement is imperative for a healthy skin. Taking mild laxatives such as Triphala powder or other natural laxatives such as prunes, figs and raisins is beneficial if you don’t have clean bowel movements. A teaspoonful of Triphala powder can be taken at bed time every night, with warm water or milk.

(The author is Ayurvedacharya Director, Jiva Ayurveda, New Delhi)

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