The Maharishi Ayurveda Approach to Beauty and Skin Care with Nancy Lonsdorf M.D.
"Every person is born perfect. Inferiority is a mistake of the mind, a cloud covering the light. Dissolve the clouds by observing a balanced life with healthy habits. Nourish your mind and body. Connect with your own inner self. Celebrate your own magnificence and your beauty will always shine through." -Dr. Rama Kant Mishra, renowned Ayurvedic physician and dermatologist
The Three Pillars of Beauty
Maharishi Ayurveda (MAV), the modern, consciousness-based revival of the ancient Ayurvedic medicine tradition, considers true beauty to be supported by three pillars; Outer Beauty, Inner Beauty and Lasting Beauty. Only by enhancing all three can we attain the balanced state of radiant health that makes each of us the most fulfilled and beautiful person we can be.
Outer Beauty: Roopam
The outer signs of beauty - your skin, hair and nails - are more than just superficial measures of beauty. They are direct reflections of your overall health. These outer tissues are created by the inner physiological processes involved in digestion, metabolism and proper tissue development. Outer beauty depends more on the strength of your digestion and metabolism, the quality of your diet, and the purity of your blood, than on external cleansers and conditioners you may apply.
General Recommendations for Outer Beauty
As we will discuss, the key to skin care is matching your diet and skin care routine to the specific skin type you have. Meanwhile, there are some valuable recommendations for lustrous skin, hair and nails that will be helpful to everyone, regardless of skin type.
1. Diet: Without adequate nourishment, your collagen layer thins and a kind of wasting takes place. Over time, your skin can shrivel up like a plant without water from lack of nourishment. To keep your skin plump and glowing:
A. Eat fresh, whole organic foods that are freshly prepared.
Avoid packaged, canned, frozen, processed foods and leftovers. These foods have little nutritional value and also they are often poorly digested which creates impurities that localize in the skin. The resulting buildup of toxins causes irritation and blocks circulation depriving the skin of further nourishment and natural cleansing processes.
B. Favor skin nourishing foods.
Caring for outer beauty through knowledge of skin type
Besides these general recommendations the key to Outer Beauty is to understand the difference in skin types so you can gain the maximum benefit from your individualized skin care regimen. MAV identifies three different skin types based on which of the three main metabolic principles (doshas)- present in everyone, but to different degrees- is most dominant in your body.
* Description: Vata is composed of the elements of air and space. If you have a vata skin type, your skin will be dry, thin, fine pored, delicate and cool to the touch. When balanced, it glows with a delicate lightness and refinement that is elegant and attractive. When vata skin is imbalanced, it will be prone to excessive dryness and may even be rough and flaky.
* Potential problems: The greatest beauty challenge for vata skin is its predisposition to symptoms of early aging. Your skin may tend to develop wrinkles earlier than most due to its tendency to dryness and thinness. If your digestion is not in balance, your skin can begin to look dull and grayish, even in your 20's and 30's. In addition, your skin may have a tendency for disorders such as dry eczema and skin fungus. Mental stress, such as worry, fear and lack of sleep, has a powerful debilitating effect on vata skin leaving it looking tired and lifeless.
* Recommendations for care
With a little knowledge, you can preserve and protect the delicate beauty of your vata type skin. Since your skin does not contain much moisture, preventing it from drying is the major consideration. Eat a warm, unctuous diet (ghee and olive oil are best) and favor sour, salty and sweet tastes (naturally sweet like fruits, not refined sugar) as they balance vata. Avoid drying foods like crackers. Drink 6-8 glasses of warm (not cold for vata types!) water throughout the day and eat plenty of sweet, juicy fruits. Going to bed early (before 10 PM) is very soothing to vata and will have a tremendously positive influence on your skin. Avoid cleansing products that dry the skin (like alcohol-based cleansers) and perform Ayurvedic oil massage to your whole body (abhyanga) in the morning before you shower.
* Description: Pitta dosha is composed of the elements of fire and water. If you have a pitta skin type your skin is fair, soft, warm and of medium thickness. When balanced, your skin has a beautiful, slightly rosy or golden glow, as if illuminated from within. Your hair typically is fine and straight, and is usually red, sandy or blonde in color. Your complexion tends toward the pink or reddish, and there is often a copious amount of freckles or moles.
* Potential problems: Among the many beauty challenges of pitta skin types is your tendency to develop rashes, rosacea, acne, liver spots or pigment disorders. Because of the large proportion of the fire element in your constitution, your skin does not tolerate heat or sun very well. Of all the three skin types, pitta skin has the least tolerance for the sun, is photosensitive, and most likely to accumulate sun damage over the years. Pitta skin is aggravated by emotional stress, especially suppressed anger, frustration, or resentment.
* Recommendations for care
Avoid excessive sunlight, tanning treatments and highly heating therapies like facial or whole body steams. Avoid hot, spicy foods and favor astringent, bitter and sweet foods which balance pitta. (Again, naturally sweet, not chocolate and refined sugar!) Sweet juicy fruits (especially melons and pears), cooked greens and rose petal preserves are especially good. Drinking plenty of water helps wash impurities from sensitive pitta skin. Reduce external or internal contact with synthetic chemicals, to which your skin is especially prone to react, even in a delayed fashion after years of seemingly uneventful use. Avoid skin products that are abrasive, heating or contain artificial colors or preservatives. Most commercial make-up brands should be avoided in favor of strictly 100% natural ingredient cosmetics. And be sure to get your emotional stress under control through plenty of outdoor exercise, yoga and meditation.
* Description: Kapha dosha is composed of the elements of earth and water. If you have a kapha skin type your skin is thick, oily, soft and cool to the touch. Your complexion is a glowing porcelain whitish color, like the moon, and hair characteristically thick, wavy, oily and dark. Kapha skin types, with their more generous collagen and connective tissue, are fortunate to develop wrinkles much later in life than vata or pitta types.
*Potential problems If your skin becomes imbalanced, it can show up as enlarged pores, excessively oily skin, moist types of eczema, blackheads, acne or pimples, and water retention. Kapha skin is also more prone to fungal infections.
* Recommendations for care
Kapha skin is more prone to clogging and needs more cleansing than other skin types. Be careful to avoid greasy, clogging creams. Likewise, avoid heavy, hard to digest foods like fried foods, fatty meats, cheeses and rich desserts. Eat more light, easy to digest, astringent, bitter and pungent (well-spiced) foods as they balance kapha. Olive oil is the best cooking oil and a little ginger and lime juice can be taken before meals to increase your characteristically sluggish digestive fire. Take warm baths often and use gentle cleansers to open the skin pores. Avoid getting constipated and try to get some exercise every day to increase circulation and help purify the skin through the sweating process.
Inner Beauty: Gunam.
Happy, positive, loving, caring individuals have a special beauty that is far more than skin deep. Conversely we all experience the quick and deleterious effect on our skin from fatigue and stress.
Inner beauty is authentic beauty, not the kind that shows on a made-up face, but the kind that shines through from your soul, your consciousness or inner state of being. Inner beauty comes from a mind and heart that are in harmony, not at odds with each other, causing emotional confusion, loss of confidence, stress and worry. Inner peace is the foundation of outer beauty.
Maintain your self-confidence and a warm, loving personality by paying attention to your lifestyle and daily routine and effective management of stress (I highly recommend the TM technique for its scientifically-verified benefits on mental and physical health and reduced aging.) You will also be healthier and feel better through the day if you eat your main meal at midday and make a habit of going to bed early (by 10 PM is ideal.)
Remember, kindness, friendliness and sincerity naturally attract people to you. On the other hand, being uptight or tense makes people want to walk the other way, regardless of your facial structure, body weight, or other outer signs we associate with attractiveness.
Lasting Beauty: Yayastyag
In order to slow the aging process and gain lasting beauty there are two additional key considerations beyond those already discussed,
1. Eliminate toxins and free radicals in the body: The main deteriorating effects of aging come as toxins and impurities (called ama in Ayurveda) accumulate throughout the body. These toxins may begin as free radicals in the body, or over time may become oxidized into free radicals, all of which contribute to premature aging in the body. For lasting health and beauty it is essential to avoid and neutralize free radicals, to prevent impurities of all kinds from accumulating and to remove those that have already become lodged in the body.
The most powerful cleansing therapy in Maharishi Ayurveda is "panchakarma" therapy, a series of natural treatments ideally performed twice yearly, that involves 5-7 days in a row of massage, heat treatments and mild herbal enemas. Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of undergoing this cleansing program once or twice a year to prevent impurities from accumulating, localizing and hardening in the tissues. Just as we change the oil in our cars regularly for optimal performance and lifespan, Ayurveda recommends that we cleanse the "sludge" from our tissues on a regular basis through panchakarma treatments.
Best of all, panchakarma treatments are luxurious, blissful, and make you feel (and look) completely rejuvenated in just a few days time. I have had many a patient who told me that friends asked them afterwards if they had gotten a facelift, they looked so fresh and youthful!
Other free radical busters include: reducing mental stress, eating antioxidant foods like leafy green vegetables, sweet, juicy fruits and cooking on a daily basis with antioxidant, detoxifying spices like turmeric and coriander.
2. Add rejuvenative techniques to daily living:
The daily activities of life in the modern world systematically wear us down and speed up the aging process. Ayurveda maintains it is crucial to practice daily rejuvenative regimens to counteract the stressful wear and tear of everyday life. According to Ayurveda the most important rejuvenative routines for your life are:
Everyone's unique beauty shines forth when they have radiant health and personal happiness. Beauty is a side effect of a balanced, fulfilled life. Supreme personal beauty is accessible to everyone who is willing to take more control of their health in their day-to-day life through time-tested principles of natural living.
For most of us, beauty is not a gift but a choice. Every woman can be radiantly beautiful simply by beginning to lead a healthier life. You will be rewarded by the glowing effects you will see in your mirror each day and the powerful, bliss-producing effect your special beauty has on everyone in your life.
About The Author
Nancy Lonsdorf M.D. received her M.D. from Johns Hopkins and did her postgraduate training at Stanford. She has studied Ayurveda with some of the world's most renowned Ayurvedic physicians in India, Europe and the U.S. Dr. Lonsdorf has 17 years of clinical experience with Ayurveda and is currently the Medical Director of The Raj Ayurveda Health Center in Vedic City Iowa.
Dr. Lonsdorf has authored two books on Ayurveda and women's health:
A Woman's Best Medicine (Penguin/Putnam 1995 ; ISBN 0-87477-785-2) describing the Ayurvedic approach to the major issues in women's health
A Woman's Best Medicine for Menopause (Contemporary/McGraw Hill 2002; ISBN 0-8092-9335-8) describing the Ayurvedic approach to menopause
Doctor Lonsdorf's contact information is:
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On a very chilly winter day last month, San Francisco photographer Spencer Brown set out to find a rare vista of the Bay. With snowy Mount Tamalpais in the ...
You're a beauty, Tomas! NHL.com
Tomas Tatar has played just 72 of his 499 career NHL games in a Canadiens uniform, but he's already a beloved player in Montreal.
Q&A: Golan Heights an area of beauty, strategic value Fox News
President Donald Trump's move to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights turns the tables on decades of U.S. diplomacy and ...
Walgreens Braces For Amazon's Beauty Care Play Forbes
Amazon's plan to open grocery stores with beauty and personal care products comes as Walgreens Boots Alliance steps up its e-commerce in food and beauty.
Amazon launched a beauty line founded by Latvian models CNBC
Amazon is exclusively selling a beauty brand called Fast Beauty Company.
Priceline sale: Cosmetic and beauty retailer has half-price discounts NEWS.com.au
Australian drugstore Priceline has launched a massive 50 per cent off sale â€” selling major cosmetics brands at half price. The huge offer launches today and is ...
What To Buy From Ulta's 21 Days Of Beauty Sale 2019 HuffPost
Get skin care favorites and beauty splurges for 50 percent off.
Shop these 15 K beauty products to get your glow on ABC News
Get your hands on the the trendiest K beauty products out there right now.
8 Best Face Masks for Dry Skin, According to Beauty Experts â€” Top Face Masks - GoodHousekeeping.com
8 Best Face Masks for Dry Skin, According to Beauty Experts â€” Top Face Masks GoodHousekeeping.com
The best face masks for dry skin can be cream-based, sheet masks, or leave-on overnight formulas. Our picks have been tested by experts in Good ...
Motherhood Totally Changed These 3 Celeb Moms' Approach Beauty InStyle
Olivia Wilde, Alicia Silverstone and Karolina Kurkova share how and why they're turning to cleaner, greener beauty products.
Sunless Tanning Information & Methods
Tanning products, both sunless and sun, go to work on the epidermis, or the outside layer of your skin, and not the dermis or inner layer. However, the layer of epidermis that is affected by sunless versus the layer affected by sun tanning products differs.
What Is This Passion for Tanning?
Tanned skin is very popular among gorgeous women. Everybody wants to have attractive bronzed looks.
Cheap Colored Contacts Non Perscription are Fun and Easy to Buy Online
The Internet has provided an ideal forum for discovering cheap colored contacts non perscription. This is an especially promising opportunity for those who know how to exercise caution online, and can distinguish a quality site and a good deal, from those that only appear to be offering something special.
Take Your Children For a Spray Tan!
Have you ever tried to get your teenage son or daughter to stop sun tanning, only to realize after several months/years, that you will not win with peer pressure?The look of a suntanned body is "in" more than ever, and the tanning industry is one of the fastest growing beauty sectors. Do we have to see our children sacrifice their health for sake of fashion?Not necessarily.
There are many vantage points from which to find beauty. The side of the mountains overlooking Lake Louise on the grass of the hotel sipping champagne with your most cherished friend is a memory of beauty that will always overcome my consciousness.
Do You Really Need To Wear A Moisturizer?
You just may be able to get away without using a moisturizer."Not everyone needs or should use a moisturizer, especially women with oily, combination, or acne-prone skin!" Paula Begoun, author of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, writes on her website.
Soft Hair And Skin Au Naturelle
Just picture this, your walking down the beach front, its a warm sunny day, a light breeze in from the sea is gently blowing through your hair gives it more waves than the ocean. People look at you, men admire your hair and the women are jealous, some ask how come your hair is so soft and shiny.
The Exotic Origins of Hyaluronic Acid Treatments
While hyaluronic acid has exploded in popularity among the cosmetics community, most people are unaware of the molecule's exotic history.Hyaluronic acid, also known as HA, naturally plays an important role in tissue hydration and lubrication.
Surgery for the Stars
While plastic surgery might remain for many of us something of a pipe dream, the thing we'd do if we won the lottery, for those in the entertainment industry, it has slowly but surely become akin to an entry pass into Hollywood. While there are still a large percentage of women in the general populace who are quite content to sit around with their girlfriends and talk about what they would have done, there is a certain faction of womankind - though as the pressure to conform to a particular 'look' increases, the male membership of the group increases also - for whom plastic surgery is simply inevitable.
Natural Skin Care Tips: 10 Skin Care Tips Women Must Know (Part 1)
Right eating habits and the right natural care can do wonders for your looks and health. Here are some precious natural skin care tips which will make your skin glow round the clock.
Skin Care: Caring for your Skin in Cold Weather
When temperatures drop it is time to think of how cold weather, chilling winds and dry air will affect your skin. We naturally think of bundling up during those frosty months but there are a few other considerations.
Skin Care, Body Rhythms, and Sleep
Most of us are all too familiar with that "dreaded" internal clock that wakes us at 7:00 AM on the weekend, despite our desire to sleep in. We fail to appreciate that this internal clock is part of a natural body rhythm that can dramatically impact our skin.
What is Spray Tanning?
Spray tanning is a relatively new method of sunless tanning. Technically spray tanning method is something between self-tanning cosmetics and tanning beds.
What You Need To Know About Tanning Beds
Tanning beds and sun lamps provide the ultimate in relaxation and beauty! No more worries about the weather, how crowded the beach is, and if you've got enough time to soak up those rays. You can get that perfect tan when ever it's convenient for you, morning, noon, or night.
Discover Effective Home Remedies to Dandruff
Dandruff is a common problem. You can fall victim to excessive dandruff at any age.
Plastic Surgery - A Risky Business
Choosing to have plastic surgery on any area of your body is likely to be one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, and should not be undertaken lightly. Like any other kind of medical procedure, there are risks involved, and these must be carefully weighed before surgery.
Cosmeceuticals: The New Wave in Skin Care Solutions
Cosmeceuticals are the new wave in skin care. They are topical cosmetic-pharmaceutical hybrids intended to enhance the health and beauty of the skin.
Dry Skin Prevention Tips
If you suffer from dry skin your probably always looking for different ways to help improve your condition. There are some different products that can help keep it under control, many of witch don't help that well.
A Look At Tooth Whiteners
All we see on television in the movies is bright white smiles. With the release of several over the counter teeth whitening products over the past few years, it can be hard to know which one is going to give you the Hollywood smile that you dream about.
Eye Care: Make Your Eyes Look Beautiful and Let It Say Your Hearts Voice
Ralph Waldo Emerson very rightly said, "One of the most wonderful things in nature is a glance of the eye; it transcends speech; it is the bodily symbol of identity". Eye is cosidered to be an integral party of one's beauty and we at times completely ignoring taking care of it.
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