Monsoon skincare – Some ayurvedic tips

During rainy season the damp weather invariably leaves its mark on the skin and eyes. However, incorporating some minor changes in your daily skin care routine during monsoon can help keep your skin fresh and glowing. Ayurveda believes that monsoon is also the most unfavourable time for health, as dosha imbalances can leave their manifestation on nails, skin and feet. Here are some simple tips, as recommended by ayurvedic experts, to take care of your skin during monsoon.

Your diet should include warm, unctuous diet (ghee and olive oil recommended). It is better to avoid dry foods like crackers. Also drink plenty of warm water throughout the day and eat sweet, juicy fruits. Have plenty of nuts (particularly almonds, walnuts and their oils), seeds, grape seed oil, whole grains, soy-bean oil, and legumes.

When cleansing, avoid alcohol-based skin cleansers. Instead, try washing your face with a mixture of green gram and channa powders, mixed in equal proportions, made into a paste form with water. Wash your face with this twice a day.

Make a paste of papaya, honey, and milk. Apply on face, leave on for 15 minutes, and wash off.

Make a paste of neem leaves with honey, and they can be used as a face pack. Remove the pack before it dries up on your skin.

A body massage with a mixture of honey and curd is excellent before shower.

Another instant skin cleanser is to make a paste of two tablespoons besan (Gramflour), turmeric powder and enough milk so as to form a paste. Leave on for 15 minutes and wash off.

Ayurveda recommends replacing soap with green gram powder for everyday bath. Also other ayurveda powders such as Nimbadi choornam, Sidharthaka choornam, Mudgadi choornam, can all be used as bath powders mixed with water.

Taking care of your feet is particularly necessary during monsoon. Keep them clean and dry, and moisturize regularly. Foot massages are said to be excellent for balancing vata. Soak your feet in warm water once a week, and scrub with pumice stone for exfoliation. Dry it thoroughly and massage with foot cream containing lemongrass or tea tree oil. To fight fungal infection of the feet, boil some Triphala or Neem leaves in water. Wash your feet with this water after the water cools.

Some ayurvedic oils such as Pindathailam, Dhanwantharam kuzhambu or Balaswagandhadi kuzhambu can be massaged everyday atleast for 15 minutes before shower.