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September 05, 2020

Ayurveda for skincare. A fair-skinned hand pours drops of oil into a mint-coloured mortar and pestle containing other ingredients, which are blurred out. The mortar and pestle is surrounded by greenery.

At SunButter HQ (aka our cosy bungalow near the beach), we’re all about looking after your skin in the most natural ways possible. 

If you read our recent blog on the basics of Ayurveda, then you might have a sense of your dominant dosha/s, or constitution — and this includes your skin type (if you haven’t had a read, head over there now and check it out. It’s full of all kinds of juicy info. We’ll wait!).

The lovely Jemima Kerr, Ayurvedic practitioner extraordinaire, has kindly put together a guide to some beautiful Ayurvedic skincare practices and recipes that you can make yourself at home from ingredients that won’t harm you or the earth (our favourite kind of ingredients!).

Vata skin 

If you have a high percentage of vata in your constitution, your complexion is probably a little darker, or it tans easily. Your skin tends to be thin, dry and rough with small pores and potentially flaky patches. You’re very sensitive to the climate, and your skin is generally cold to touch — especially your hands and feet.

When vata is out of balance (which happens more easily in vata-dominant people), you might find your skin is chapped, cracking or especially rough; breaks out in dry rashes or dry eczema; lacks lustre or tone and is prone to callouses or corns.

DIY facial for vata

The aim here is to balance the dryness of vata and nourish the skin.

Start by steaming/cleansing the skin by pouring boiling water into a bowl and adding a drop of essential oil (Jemima recommends lavender, bergamont, cinnamon, eucalyptus, sandalwood, rose or jasmine). Soak a facewasher in the water and press it against your face. 

Then, make a face scrub. Combine one teaspoon or chickpea or oat flour (literally just blended-up oats!) with ¼ teaspoon of turmeric and 1 teaspoon of milk (replace with aloe vera juice or gel if vegan). Mix together and rub face in a circular motion to gentle exfoliate.

Next, it’s face mask time. Mix ½ a soft and ripe avocado or ½ a ripe banana (or a mix of both) with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera and 1 teaspoon of sesame or almond oil. Add a small amount of oat flour for a thicker consistency. Leave on for 15 minutes before washing off with a hot face washer or warm water.

Optional: apply rosewater for toning.

To finish, moisturise with sesame oil or almond oil as these have warming qualities that are beneficial for vata. 

Ayurveda for skincare. One hand drops essential oil into the palm of another hand (belonging to the same person). The background is dark.

Pitta skin 

For those with pitta dominance, you tend to have combination-type skin. It’s usually fair with a coppery or red-brown complexion — potentially with freckles and/or moles. When balanced, your skin is soft, radiant and warm to touch. It’s particularly sensitive to both chemicals and the sun (hello, SunButter!).

If pitta is out of balance, this will manifest in the skin as inflammation, rashes, itching, premature wrinkling, an oily t-zone, acne, blackheads, whiteheads and pigment discolouration.

DIY pitta facial

The aim with pitta types is to cool the skin and reduce any inflammation or blemishes. 

To begin, fill a bowl with boiling water and add a drop of essential oil (your best options are sandalwood, rose, peppermint, lemon, ylang ylang or frankincense). Use a face washer to steam and cleanse your face.  

Next, make a face scrub. Combine 1 teaspoon of chickpea or oat flour, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric and 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel/juice or lemon juice. Mix together and rub your face in a circular motion to gently exfoliate. Rinse off with warm water.

To make your face mask, mix 1 tablespoon of oatmeal flour with 1/4 teaspoon dry ginger powder and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder. Mix together with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera and 1 teaspoon coconut oil. Add a little more or less warm water until you reach the desired consistency. Apply to your face and leave for around 15mins. Remove with warm water or face washer.

Optional: apply rosewater for toning (rosewater is tridoshic, but particularly good for balancing pitta as it is cooling and calming). 

Finally, moisturise using coconut oil as it has cooling qualities that are beneficial for pitta. 

Ayurveda for skincare. A close-up shot of a caucasian woman's face showing one blue eye and a nose. Her skin shows slight bumps and oiliness.                                                           

 Kapha skin 

Kapha types tend to have skin that’s thick, oily, moist or clammy and pale. It usually feels soft, supple and cool to touch. Generally, kapha-dominant skin is toned and ages well with fewer wrinkles. 

When out of balance, kapha shows up as excessive oiliness in the skin, large pores that may become blocked, large blackheads and boils or cystic pimples with large whiteheads.

DIY kapha facial

For kapha skin, we want to deeply cleanse the pores, warm the skin and balance oiliness. 

Start by steaming/cleansing. Fill a bowl with boiling water and add a drop of essential oil (your best choices are grapefruit, cinnamon, lavender, rosemary, thyme, ginger or eucalyptus). Use a face washer to steam and cleanse your face. 

Make a face scrub by combining 1 teaspoon of chickpea flour (or french green clay) with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel/ juice or lemon juice. Rub your face in circular motion to gently exfoliate. Rinse off with warm water. 

To make a face mask, mix 1 tablespoon of french green clay with 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, 2 tablespoons of aloe vera and 1 tablespoon of manuka or raw honey. Leave for approx 15mins and remove with warm water or a face washer.

Optional: apply rosewater as a toner.  

Finish by moisturising with a small amount of jojoba, almond or hazelnut oil. Do not over apply oils, as kapha skin usually generates enough oil on its own! 

Ayurveda for skincare. A young woman with olive skin and dark features stands in front of a mirror wearing a white towel on her head, as if she's just come out of the shower, and applies balm to her lips. She is wearing a short-sleeved, dark-coloured t-shirt.

Of course, an essential component of any skincare regime is to apply your daily dose of plant-based zinc sun protection (for more info on why you should wear sunscreen on your face every day, read this). Check out our reef safe, vegan, chemical-free SPF50 here

Ayurveda for skincare. An image of a hand holding a tin of sunscreen open so that you can see the white-coloured cream on the inside, as well as the surface of the tin, which reads, "SunButter Sunscreen".





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