7 Summer Tips for Healthy Skin.
By Shannon Sexton
Because the skin on our hands is relatively thin, it’s one of the first places to show signs of aging. Try Ayurvedic beauty expert Pratima Raichur’s all natural treatment:
Bedtime Hand Mask: Make a mixture of 1 tablespoon of almond oil (which is nourishing) and 1 teaspoon of buttermilk (which is an astringent, gentle exfoliant), and massage it into your hands. Cover them with cotton gloves and go to sleep. In the morning, remove the gloves and rinse your hands. “This will help keep your hands soft and young-looking while strengthening the nails,” she explains.
By living indoors and wearing shoes during most of our waking hours, we have become more distanced from our feet than our ancestors, who knew the value of caring for their feet after a hard day’s work. Try these remedies:
Heel Soother: If your heel is dry and callused, Monisha Bharadwaj, author of Beauty Secrets of India, suggests blending 3 tablespoons of coconut milk (which has nourishing properties) with 1 teaspoon of chickpea flour (which acts as a “skin polisher”) into a fine paste and leave it on your heels for 15 minutes.
Foot Bath: For tired, dry feet, mix a handful of sea salt, 5 drops of clove oil, and 1 tablespoon of castor oil in a shallow bowl of warm water and soak the feet until the water is cold. “Salt and clove boost the circulation and castor oil softens hard skin on the heels and soles,” says Bharadwaj.
All purpose treatment: Reenita Malhotra, author of Inner Beauty, recommends rinsing the feet with the juice of 1 lemon diluted in 1 cup of warm water. Dry them off and massage 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream into your feet “to moisturize thoroughly.”
Summer Skin Tips
According to ayurveda, the pitta dosha—a subtle energy that controls metabolism and can cause us to overheat—dominates in the summertime. Pitta-related imbalances include sunburn, rashes, acne, and a hot temper. Try these ayurvedic tips when the temperatures rise.
Try Nature’s Footbath. Melanie Sachs, author of Ayurvedic Beauty Care, suggests walking barefoot in the dew at dawn, in the footsteps of the yogis. The early-morning air, she says, along with the dew, is rich in prana, the life-force that animates our body, breath, and mind. This practice will keep you cool, calm, and connected to the earth all summer long.
Soothe a sunburn. Raichur suggests applying cucumber juice, aloe vera juice, or cold buttermilk to sunburned skin.
Skeeter bites. Vasant Lad, author of The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies, recommends dabbing equal parts tea tree oil and neem oil (available online) to swollen bug bites. You can also use neem oil as a natural bug repellant.
Former Yoga International editor Shannon Sexton writes about food, travel, yoga, and natural health.
Read the companion article Radiant Beauty