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Spring Skin Care

I came across this interesting article from The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians. I wanted to share:

When you start shedding layers of your winter clothing upon spring’s arrival, you may notice that your skin and scalp are shedding too. While the winter was drying your skin, spring wants to detoxify it. The way to bring your skin back in shape is through cleansing your body internally and exfoliating your skin.

Toxins can accumulate in your body in other seasons but in the spring, these toxins want to come out. The warmth of spring starts to melt these accumulated toxins (ama), which then clog the channels of your body and create a variety of symptoms. You may feel dull, heavy and congested, or your skin may lose its glow and can be itchy and sensitive. When ama becomes charged with Pitta, and your body tries to expel this toxicama through your skin, you get breakouts. Ama also lowers your immunity, which can give rise to skin allergies and infections. If you suffer from many symptoms, see an ayurvedic expert who can devise a personalized detoxification program. You can also benefit from the following advice from The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians.

To help reduce ama, you should increase the consumption of foods that support the detoxification process. Eat lots of leafy green vegetables, Brussels sprouts and white daikon radish. Also increase whole grains like wheat, barley and quinoa and alternate them in your diet. These vegetables and grains contain plenty of water-soluble fibers that aid detoxification. Use the following spice mix to flavor your meals and detox your body:

Make sure you drink lots of pure water. Sip warm water during the day, or if you are Pitta, drink it at room temperature. To help purify your skin, add the following spices to two quarts of boiled water: 2 pinches of Manjistha, 2 pinches of Indian Sarsaparilla and 1/4 teaspoon Fennel seeds. Drink this water during the day, either warm or at room temperature according to your body type.

Since springtime is Kapha by nature, you also need to balance this dosha by avoiding heavy, cold and oily foods and by reducing the sweet, sour and salty tastes. Following a light, warm and nourishing Kapha pacifying diet also helps reduce ama and support the detoxification process.

The release of toxins cannot happen without proper elimination. If you are prone to constipation, add cooked prunes and figs to your diet, and eat lots of sweet, juicy fruits. Deep breathing is also important,” says The Council, “as is regular exercise. A brisk walk can increase your metabolism, enhance the detoxification process and improve circulation to the skin. The fresh air and a little sunshine will also refresh your complexion and uplift your mood.

As you are purifying your body, you should put more emphasis on cleansing and exfoliating your skin as well. 

Support your body’s natural tendencies to detoxify itself, and this spring, you can enjoy a truly clean body and fresh, new skin.