Three Ways to Change your Skincare to fit the Fall
Autumn is here! As the weather cools and dry winds stir, energetic shifts occur within our bodies. In Ayurveda this is known as Vata season - a time of high air, space, and wind, which leads us to feel drier and more dehydrated, especially our skin. However, this increase in Vata can be rebalanced by being proactive and emphasizing preventive and long-term solutions.
Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old East Indian Science of Health. According to this medicinal science, our bodies are made of three energies: Pitta - heat energy, Kapha - water and earth energy, and Vata - air and space energy. An excess or a deficiency of any of these affects our overall health. Our environment is one of the factors that influences these energetic constitutions. Fall is a “joint in time” between the heat of summer and the cold of winter, governed by the Vata air. This airy, windy season creates air within our tissues making them drier, thinner and our skin loses oil and moisture. Our minds also become more air-like, becoming prone to overactivity and scatteredness, which in turn affects our skin and overall wellness.
Through Ayurveda we can learn to listen to our bodies and customize our routines according to the changing weather for truly holistic skincare. Here are three simple ways to start this season.
Exfoliate your face and body to combat dry skin build-up. Sloughing away dead skin cells not only clears pores, but also allows nourishing oils and moisturizers to penetrate, treating Vata dehydration. Manual scrubbing is also excellent for circulation, fat cell mobilization and detoxification.
While all-over exfoliation is beneficial this autumn, methods must be tailored to the needs of each area. The body can tolerate an intense everyday buff through dry brushing, whereas delicate facial skin calls for gentler cream scrubs or non-scrubbing fruit enzyme peels. When in doubt, consult an esthetician for individualized recommendations.
Bring on the Oil
To counteract the dry, light weather, we must lubricate and nourish. Oiling our skin daily from head-to-toe with a rich, warming oil like Sesame is an excellent way to do that. Its heavy texture is said to ground Vata air, and massaging during its application increases circulation, encouraging collagen production and firming the skin. Sesame oil in particular has a heating quality according to Ayurveda that helps protect against this season’s cold.
Another reason you may feel devitalized in the fall is because it’s tiring. Autumn comes with a change in schedule and pace, along with the need to coordinate, prepare, and run errands. Exhausting! This can lead to stress, insomnia, and erratic eating times, which all contribute to tissue loss and irregularity. One way to prevent a Vata state of mind is by practicing mindfulness everyday. Meditation and breathing exercises are good for mitigating stress and help increase mental clarity and perspective; they’re considered spiritual rejuvenators.
Kristen Ma is an Ayurvedic skincare specialist and the co-founder of Pure+Simple, a Canadian spa chain and retailer of natural beauty products.