In honor of National Healthy Skin Awareness Month, Ayurvedic practitioner Vaidya R.K. Mishra shared these tips with Go Healthy New York.
Use Facial Marma Points
“Marmas are the unique points in our body which receive and deliver nature’s healing power from nature to the body organs and systems,” said Mishra, whose family has a 5,000-year history of healing. Marmas are known as pressure points.
The best advice Mishra said he has is to apply natural products, including creams and oils, to all the facial marma points first – before the product spreads to the rest of the face.
“Immediately it lifts the face. The skin starts to breathe more prana -- divine nurturing energy of nature. The face glows. You can feel that it happens. People feel and look younger, and that way people can get benefits right away.”
Any natural facial cream or oil should be applied to all the marma points first, and then the rest of the face. As the product spreads, try to breathe deeper.
“[The product] has to be all natural because the skin is natural,” said Mishra. “We don’t use artificial color and synthetic,” he said about his line of products.
The best time to apply the products on a clean face is at night.
Apply Oil to Face
In Ayurveda, every individual has his own body type: vatta, kapha, pitta – in general. Depending on the type, Mishra recommended applying the following oils to the face, starting with the facial marmas.
Vatta types are dry. “They get wrinkles very fast. They should use almond oil.”
Kaffa types have very oily skin. “They can use 50 percent avocado oil and 50 percent grape seed oil.”
Pitta types have “skin that is more prone to rash – very sensitive to sun -- pinkish color. There is a more fire element in their skin. And they need cooling nurturing.” Mishra recommended organic coconut oil for the pitta type.
"The fall is a detox season ... This is a good time to exfoliate the body and the face,” said Mishra, who recommends exfoliating with a prebiotic cleansing cream. “The friendly bacteria helps us look younger."
And seasonal detoxification helps destroy the accumulated toxins which trigger aging.
During a detox, Mishra recommended eating “light nurturing food,” such as white daikon radish with asparagus, and drinking more water.
Yet, “taking care of the skin only is not enough. Enhancing the mind, body and spirit coordination brings inner glow out through the skin. And it is necessary to follow some specific protocols to reverse the aging process,” he said.
According to Ayurveda, everything has a definition, including beauty.
Mishra defined beauty as making all the body’s parts, the whole body -- not just outer beauty -- auspicious. “That goes beyond beauty. It’s like more comprehensive,” he said.
This involves “having good nurturing, going to bed on time and not delaying meals,” he said.
Mishra explained that according to the ancient Indian Ayurvedic health system, there are three pillars of beauty: outer, inner and anti-aging.
First Pillar: Outer beauty, or Rupam in Sanskrit
This involves “all the modern concepts about skin and facial care.” One should take care of his skin. Mishra recommended using mild natural makeup and regularly re-hydrating the skin.
Second Pillar: Inner quality, or Gunam in Sanskrit
This includes your behavior and emotional state. You want a “cordial connection between mind, heart and soul, and spirit. That is needed to stay young and look beautiful. Beauty comes with the behavior.”
For mental and emotional health, Mishra said follow the laws of nature.
Meditate, pray and believe in the support of nature. “Try to follow commitments,” and “stay away from contradicting thoughts. Stay in sync with mind, body and spirit,” he suggested.
Third Pillar: Reversal of Aging, or Vasedyag in Sanskrit
Diet or rasayana in Sanskrit is very important to reverse aging, said Mishra.
“Boiled amla [Indian gooseberry] is very good to reverse the aging from inside and outside.”
Mishra recommended staying away from processed cheese and eating good proteins, such as lentils.