You’ve taken everything into account where skin care is concerned. Your skin type, any skin issues that need treating, ingredients to avoid. How about products for your dosha? Yes, Ayurvedic skin care is a thing and it can help your skin.
Ayurveda may be a very old practice but it seems to be gaining in popularity right alongside the other ancient Indian practice of yoga. Vata, pitta, and kapha are the three main energies (doshas) that constitute a person’s physical, mental, and emotional characteristics in Ayurvedic medicine.
Kiera Nachman is an Ayurvedic practitioner who has created her own line of skin care products called Sundara Holistic. And yes, these producst are Ayurvedic and suited to each of the doshas. Organic Authority caught up with Kiera on the details of her skin care line, why Ayurvedic skin care is better, and how you can get in on the goodness. If you are not clear on your own dosha, take Kiera’s quiz.
Liz Thompson: From where does your passion for Ayurveda stem?
Kiera Nachman: I was immediately attracted to Ayurveda because of its ideas like living simply in the rhythms of nature, eating seasonally and locally, the wisdom of plants and herbs, and intuitively listening to the body. Also, that it is a system of prevention and healing, and that it is an individualized science, which brings each person to their own personal state of balance.
I think that in life, it is important that we all pay attention to the things we are naturally drawn to. Those are the things that open us up to our life's mission, and a certain purpose that cannot be ignored. It got to a point where I understood that I had no choice in the matter - it was almost as if this path chose me.
LT: You are an Ayurvedic practitioner as well as a Reiki practitioner, healer, and aromatherapist. How do you fuse these in your work?
KN: From my expertise in all these areas, I am able to treat a client from a holistic standpoint, taking into consideration not only diet, lifestyle, and stress levels in the physical and emotional bodies but also the strength of energy body, the aura, and any imbalances in the chakras. I am looking at health from a total perspective, and addressing with a highly individualized approach, which is what traditional medicines have always practiced.
LT: Ayurvedic principles can be applied to so many lifestyle components (diet, aromatherapy, meditation, yoga). How do you feel Ayurveda plays a role in skincare?
KN: Ayurvedic skincare differs from other beauty lines, and even other natural and organic beauty lines, in that every product is formulated with healing and medicinal qualities, so that it addresses health and beauty from the inside, out. For example, in my hair oil, the key ingredient is Brahmi, an Ayurvedic herb from India. Brahmi is one of the best herbs to rejuvenate the brain (memory and intelligence), and the nervous system. It also happens to be excellent for hair growth. This, combined with rosemary and curry leaves, amla oil, and coconut oil (all the most amazing ingredients for hair growth and hair health, and all 100 percent derived from nature), makes for a hair oil that will not only leave you with lustrous, beautiful hair, but will leave you feeling rejuvenated and more calm and centered (due to the healing, medicinal ingredients seeping right into your brain cells from the crown of the head).
I even have an upcoming eczema oil, to be launched in November 2015 on my website. Clients using this oil report eczema clearing up after 4 days. In Ayurveda, skin flare-ups, even ones that seem incurable - such as eczema - are all expressions of too much Pitta in the body, which represents the fire element. The eczema oil treats the flare-up by cooling the body down, from the surface of the skin to the cellular level.
LT: How are your products formulated to the different doshas?
KN: Vata skin is dry, thin, rough, prone to aging. For Vata skin to stay youthful, you must use nurturing and hydrating skincare products. My Vata products are the thickest and most luxurious out of all the oils - containing hydrating ingredients such as avocado oil and castor oil.
Pitta skin is sensitive, prone to inflammation, redness, acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis. To balance Pitta skin, must use cooling and nurturing products. That is why the Pitta products contain soothing ingredients such as coconut oil, pumpkin seed oil, olive oil, and turmeric and sandalwood.
Kapha skin tends to be thick, oily, prone to cystic acne. Kapha skin needs regular detoxification, as it is the most prone to accumulating ama, or toxins, under the skin. Therefore, all the Kapha skincare products are light, stimulating and detoxifying.
LT: Are your products organic/free from synthetics?
KN: Sundara Holistic Ayurvedic skincare line is 100 percent organic and free from synthetics. It would be against the philosophy of classical Ayurveda if the products weren't made from 100 percent plant extracts, herbs, flowers, essential oils, and minerals. If you are looking for truly pure skincare, I would definitely advise health-conscious consumers to look for "Ayurvedic" on the label, as that is almost a guarantee that it will be the cleanest skincare on the market. The main premise of Ayurvedic skincare is that it is food for the skin - every ingredient is food-grade, meaning that it is edible.
LT: What is one beauty tip you feel all women should know?
KN: I would advise women to use only ingredients derived from nature, specifically plant-based oils, on their skin. Plant-based oils are packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fats, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are alive. Feeding your skin enough fatty acids is crucial for the health of your skin cells, which in turn keep skin looking healthy, supple, and rejuvenated.
Natural plant-based oils are compatible with the sebaceous glands in our skin - in fact, oils mimic the sebaceous glands, balancing the pH level and temperature of the body.
Plant-based oils also assist the body in its natural cleansing process. By giving your body enough fats and oils - through natural plant fats - your fat cells are able to release toxins that become trapped when your skin does not have enough access to fats. (Our fat wraps around toxins). In other words, when your skin is deprived of fats, it is in famine - so it holds on to everything, including toxins and chemicals.
Above all, though, I believe that outer beauty is a symptom of the beauty that comes from living a peaceful, meaningful life, with daily self-care, as well as a peaceful, rich inner life. In my opinion, meditation and other spiritual practices can help keep one beautiful more than the most expensive and high-tech cosmetic products.
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Image courtesy Kiera Nachman/Sundara Holistic