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The Ayurvedic Way of Winter Beauty: Balancing Kapha
In order to remain in balance and maintain optimal health, wellness and beauty, it is essential to adapt to the present season by making complementary lifestyle, dietary and ritual shifts. This practice of living seasonally, deemed Ritucharya in Ayurveda, will help you obtain a balance of the doshas and thrive - in every season. For Kapha in particular, the key is to keep the body warm, nourished, and hydrated. Since Kapha season also marks a slowdown and a bit of stagnation - it is also important to detox regularly and prevent a feeling of buildup in the skin, body and scalp.
Kapha qualities are representative of earth and water. Kapha skin tends to be thick, oily, cool and pale. It is prone to oiliness because of its thick, smooth nature. Toxins accumulate under the skin and eventually force their way out, resulting in irritation and eruptions. While this underscores the need for regular exfoliation - it is also important to note that rituals shouldn't be vata-aggravating as this will lead to dryness, fragility and wear on skin and hair. So the key is to approach your skincare and hair rituals with gentle ingredients and a sense of moderation.
Cleansing, Exfoliation & Masking
Ayurveda recommends a combination of nut powders, flours, clays, honey, sea salts and occasional steaming to keep the skin thoroughly cleansed - but never stripped.
Some of our favorite powders and flours for cleansing include chickpea flour, oat flour, orange peel powder, almond flour, and a touch of walnut powder (strictly a "touch" as this can be a strong physical exfoliant). Combine them with water or rosewater or honey and use twice a day in winter season for a beautiful cleansing ritual.
Try this for an at home facial: 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 clay (kaolene preferably), honey and rose water. Some of our favorite DIY exfoliating and masking recipes are here and here. We also love the UMA Ultimate Brightening Cleanser for normal skin types and UMA Deeply Clarifying Cleanser for oilier, more acne-prone skin. Trying to pick from one of our bestselling masks? Find your match here.
Steaming your skin occasionally with mint leaves and a dash of lemon will leave your pores clear and feeling small (pores don't grow or shrink, debris or oil congestion can make them appear bigger than they are). After steaming use a cube of ice all over the face for instant calm and glow. Try cucumber water or rose water as a DIY toner. You can also pick from UMA Ultimate Brightening Rose Toner/Mist for normal skin or UMA Deeply Clarifying Toner Mist for oilier, more acne-prone skin.
Moisturizing and Nourishing
We love non-comedogenic oils for the winter so you can keep your skin hydrated and nourished, but clear of build-up. Jojoba can mimic the skin's natural oil texture and can trick your skin into not overproducing oil (if you're experiencing that) and is a great ally for keeping skin moisturized. Grapeseed oil, with copious quantities of linoleic acid, actually breaks down "stickiness" in sebum to allow skin and pores to remain clear. If you're struggling with clogged pores or blemishes, adding grapeseed to skincare will help! From the UMA line up, we simply adore Deeply Clarifying Face Oil for balancing blemish-prone skin and Deeply Clarifying Spot Treatment for banishing that occasional eruption. You'll also love Total Rejuvenation Face Oil for a deep dose of repair and pore cleansing action, working overtime as you rest!
Detox and Hydrate Body & Hair
Ayurvedic tradition suggests practicing Ayurvedic dry brushing, known as Garshana, during Kapha season. This helps to rid the body of ama (undigested toxins) and increase lymphatic flow. Using silk gloves or a gentle natural bristle body brush, gently massage the body in circular strokes, starting at the shoulders and neck and working downward.
During Kapha season the skin requires additional massage and moisture. From the décolleté down, work UMA's Absolute Anti Aging Body Oil into the skin. The blend of sandalwood, rose, and neroli will deeply soothe and lock in moisture. Follow with UMA's Flawlessly Firming Neck, Chest, and Décolletage Serum for the neck and chest, and lastly add a lustrous glow to the complexion with a face oil, continuing to massage upward.
Both Vata and Kapha seasons can cause hair to become dry and dull. Experiencing buildup in the scalp? Try rubbing lemon juice on the scalp just peior to washing your hair. 3-4 uses will completely clear the scalp. (Please skip if you have psoriasis or aggravated skin/ open wounds on the scalp). Keep strands nourished with UMA's Intensely Nourishing Hair Oil with hydrating moringa and grape seed oils. Looking for some DIY hair care tips and ingredients? We got you right here with our 7 Star Ingredients for Ayurvedic Hair Masks.