The skin or twacha is considered as the mirror of health both external and within. According to Ayurvedic principles, the external body reflects whatever happens inside and that too includes emotions. Body is made up of seven dhatus: Ras (plasma tissue); rakt (blood); maas (muscles); Med (Body fat, adipose tissues); Asthi (Bones); Majja (Bone marrow); Shukra (Sperms). Skin is an Upadhatu of the Raktadhatu (Blood), as a mirror skin reflects the qualities of the Raktadhatu (blood) and the Rasadhatu (plasma tissue). Hence fair and radiant skin is the result of good quality Rasa and Rakta. The skin is exposed to pollution, dust and dirt present in the atmosphere. These pollutants are responsible for toxication of skin.
Ayurvedic Skin Care Approach
Treatment approach to skin care in ayurveda mainly deals at cleansing, nourishing, detoxification and restoring the harmony of the body with the nature. Ayurveda remedies are mainly of two types: Internal use medicine (tablets, capsules or syrups) and external use medicine (creams, scrubs, oils).Apart from these, some breathing techniques (Pranayam), hydrotherapy and aromatherapy are being used. Treatment protocol is decided based on the dosha avastha (vatta, pitta, kapha) and body type. Bringing back imbalanced doshas to balanced state is a basic Ayurvedic treatment approach. There are many herbs which are recommended for fairness of skin such as Chandan, lodhra, kumkum, turmeric etc.
Pigmentation of Skin
The major reason of the skin losing its fairness is the imbalance in pitta dosha in the body. The aggravation of Bhrajaka pitta can cause pigmentation or darkening the skin. Exposure to sun for long duration, irregular eating habits and sleeping habits and consumption of incompatible foods are the main factors that contribute to the aggravation of pitta leading to skin disorders. The skin color can be restored to normal by nourishing and rebuilding healthy tissues and strengthening the immune system to bring back the right dosha balance.
Herbal Remedies for Fairness of Skin
Saffron has the skin lightening property and helps in improving the complexion of the skin. So it is used in most of the Ayurvedic medicines that are prescribed for fairness.
Apple is useful in giving nourishment to the skin with its rich nutrients. Papaya is known to rejuvenate the skin and makes it young and glowing. Strawberry is another natural ingredient that improves the skin color.
Herbal Face Pack for Fairness of Skin: Application of a mixture of milk, turmeric, rose water and saffron is used as a face pack for achieving a fair and glowing skin. Turmeric works under the skin to nourish the damaged skin to remove pimples and other blemishes while saffron improves the complexion and renders a fair glow to the skin. This cream gets into the skin quickly and makes it soft and radiant.
Orange-Lime Juice Pack: Mix 1 table spoon full of orange juice and 1 table spoon full of lime juice in a cup full of curd and apply it over skin. To remove extra pigmentation, rub a sliced potato on skin surface.
Home Remedies to Protect Fair Skin
1. Fruit Punch: A facial of fresh herbs like fruits, vegetables and gels once in a week is good for maintaining the skin fairness. Papaya, water melon, sandalwood paste, turmeric, cucumber, carrot and honey etc are effective in improving the skin complexion.
2. Cleansing Milk: A piece of cotton wool dipped in milk can be used to wipe the face to remove the hidden dirt under the skin.
3. Detoxifying Water Therapy: Drinking a glass of water to which a spoonful of honey is added on the empty stomach everyday helps in cleansing the impurities in the body.
4. Cucumber Scrub: For a clear complexion a facial scrub made with equal quantities of cucumber juice, rose water and lime juice should be applied on the face and should be left overnight and rinsed off in the morning.
5. Milk, curds and butter milk are good for maintaining healthy skin.
6. Doing Pranayama, the yogic breathing exercise (Anulom vilom) for about 15 minutes on a daily basis helps in making the skin healthy and glowing.
7. Sun Screening: Avoid too much exposure to sunlight.
8. Drink plenty of water to flush out toxic wastes from the body. It also keeps the skin hydrated and supple preserving its elasticity.