Can Your Dosha Hold The Key to Healing Your Acne?
The root of great skin starts with understanding your body - and your dosha. Turns out that blackheads, whiteheads and acne - can all manifest due to a dosha imbalance within your body. We share insight on how to understand the aggressors, and how to best balance them.
The “stereotypical” acne (cystic, often) tends to be related to ”Pitta” imbalance in the body – and often shows up on cheeks. The throbbing, redness (ask yourself if your pimple feels “angry”; if yes, it’s a pitta pimple) of these pimples if often associated with excessive heat and toxin build up in the body – a classic sign of pitta imbalance. So we start with pitta balancing activities that involve detoxing the liver and blood – including a tea made from cumin, coriander and fennel seeds drunk up to 3 times a day. Foods such as sprouts, green salads, sunflower seeds, mangoes, pears, plums and mushrooms help pacify your body while avoiding tomatoes, garlic, sour fruits, bananas, peanuts and spicy foods will further calm the breakouts. Aloe vera – internally and externally – is excellent for “cooling” pitta acne – drink aloe vera juice in the AM and mix it with a pinch of turmeric, and apply it directly to the skin for quick healing.
Body massages with sunflower or sandalwood oil will be helpful for calming and detox and within your yoga regimen, integrate poses such as shoulder stands, half wheel, hidden lotus and fish poses.
Whiteheads, milia, blackheads tend to manifest more because of a vata imbalance and often come accompanied by dehydration, stress – even constipation (internally your body is very dry when your vata is off balance). Drinking lots of water is great for anybody struggling with acne – but even more important for those experience a vata type blemish. Yoga asanas for each constitution type. Food wise, when experiencing a vata breakout: avoid dry fruits, apples, melons, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, beef and peas as these aggravate vata further. Consumption of avocados, sweet fruits, cherries and oranges will help bring your vata back into balance. You will derive tremendous benefit from head stands, backward bends, ploughs, cobra, locust and lotus poses. Use rice or almond powder as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells, which are often the cause of whiteheads and milia. You may also want to steam your skin with with mint leaves and plain water to open your pores and increase circulation. Avoid hot water for washing your face as it can dry your skin out. Switch out your soapy face wash for natural alternatives such as honey – and if you cannot kick it altogether, make sure to use pH-balanced soaps.
Deep rooted acne on the chin, also the kind that doesn’t show for a while, and when it does is big and full of puss – tends to be kapha acne and can take its time to heal. [Notice if you’re also experiencing bloatedness and excessive water retention in the face when experiencing this acne; if yes – it’s almost certainly a kapha type zit]. Activity and exercise are most helpful for this type of acne in particular; as is starting your day on the earlier side (Ayurveda recommends starting at daybreak for alleviating kapha imbalance!)
Dry fruits, pomegranate, cranberries and basmati rice will help bring Kapha into balance. Coconut, dates, pineapples and dairy products should be avoided by those experiencing a kapha imbalance. This type of acne is helped by the following yoga poses: boat, lion, palm tree, half wheel and spinal twist poses. Topically, try one or all of the following: Gently scrub the face with a mixture of sea salt and honey, then steam it with a combination of water and mint leaves. Massage the face with a solution of aloe vera and turmeric paste, then apply a mask consisting of a good clay, honey and rose water.