As the air turns crisp and the leaves start to fall, Autumn is a time when your skin could use some extra care and more nourishing moisturisers; not only because it is getting colder, but also because you will have probably been exposed to sun and salt water throughout the summer months. All these elements are drying for the skin and so a little help can bring back a radiant glow.
Autumn is dominated by the dosha ‘Vata’, which is associated with air and ether. As this is a seasonal dominance, it is important to introduce grounding practices to counteract the movement and mobility associated with Vata. Having routines as a daily practice can help to ground you as we move into Autumn.
While it is important to nourish and moisturise your skin with richer products during Autumn and Winter, it is also important to nourish your whole being. We naturally tend to start eating less salads, as we move towards more heavy foods. Start to eat more warming foods with grains such as amaranth, brown rice and quinoa. Eat grounding and nourishing root vegetables… Think of lightly stewed fruits, mild curries, soups and breads. Other foods to reach for include rice, sweet/sour or salty flavours, couscous, pasta, honey, ghee, carrots, asparagus and lots of nuts like almonds, pistachios and cashews.
Try not to drink cold drinks, room temperature water is best, and herbal teas, such as chamomile and valerian root are best for this time of the year. Turmeric in tea can also help to boost your immunity, and reduce inflammation in the body, as the cold and flu season approaches. A bedtime Vata favourite is warm milk with pinch of ginger and a drizzle of honey.
And complement your intake with practicing rituals to nourish yourself from the outside. Ahhyanga is the practice of self-massage and is very helpful in counteracting the aging effects of Vata. Black sesame is a good oil to use as a carrier. The Vata Oil that I use in the Body Ritual is a compound of sesame oil, turmeric, nut grass, mimosa and vetiver, to help nourish the skin maintaining vitality and softness. This oil is lightly scented with Rosewood, Lavender and Ylang Ylang.
Warm baths with some Epsom salts and Himalayan salt can help to alleviate inflammation and are a wonderful way to stay warm this season.
If you already have a facial regime, make sure that you are using products with intense moisturising qualities. Facial masks are ideal to provide intense hydration for the skin, soothing and nourishing at the same time. The Rasadana Hydration Mask, that I use in the Facial Ritual, soothes the skin with organic honey, and replenishes it with papaya ferment extracts. This is also the perfect time to gently exfoliate the skin especially if you suffer from dry skin.
You may also find that your lips start to dry and chap as the air becomes crisp and the wind becomes dryer. Apply a little warmed ghee to counteract this. Or you can make up a paste with rose petals soaked in milk for three hours and then crushed up. This smells completely divine as well!
Vata Facial Ritual Products:
The ‘vimala’ gentle cleanser will remove surface oil, make-up and skin impurities, leaving your skin clean, refreshed and ready to accept the active ingredients in the serum, mask and moisturisers. The Gotu Kola is a traditional Ayurvedic herb used for wound healing and has collagen stimulating properties
The ‘samskrta’ skin polish has potent antioxidants, to gently exfoliate the skin; fragranced with essential oils of rose and jasmine. The Amla (Indian gooseberry) is revered in Ayurveda as an antioxidant and is rejuvenating with its high vitamin C content
The ‘rasadana’ hydrating mask is formulated to alleviate dryness. The organic honey binds water and is a natural wound healer; the Gingko Biloba stimulates circulation and neutralises free radicals, helping protect the skin cells from premature degradation
The ‘indiraa’ age recharge serum and moisturiser have a rich dewy consistency and contain the ultimate anti-ageing peptides to boost the skin texture, preventing signs of ageing and leaving a radiant and youthful complexion. The young coconut water locks away moisture and the Boswellia Serrata (Indian frankincense) is a potent anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory ingredient