Skin is one of the last expressions of your body’s condition. When you have ignored to address the body’s alarms, the skin will finally reveal to you what is happening inside your body. It is your largest sense organ and it reveals quite a bit about your personality too.

Emotions can change your skin. Love (not lust) makes your skin smooth, soft and tender, while anger makes your skin shiny and dry. Sorrow, grief and unhappiness make your skin lose its lustre, making it rubbery and aged as if its lost its elasticity.

Your indulgence in unhealthy foods also causes your skin to change. Having said this, it is important to note that your mental and emotional state can cause you to indulge in eating certain kinds of foods which again affect or have a unwanted effect on your skin. Smoking and drinking also cause your skin to get affected.

Air and water pollution do have an effect on the skin but these can only be addressed as aggravating factors. An aggravating factor can impact your skin when your skin is already damaged from within and can now get affected by the external influences. For example; When you are angry and frustrated, your skin becomes dry from anger. Your skin temperature rises. In this condition, smoke, dust, harsh sunlight can act as aggravating factors to bring about further changes in your skin which may include, rashes, peeling skin and tanning.

Beautifying your skin must happen from within. Sitting for hours in the parlour and closing your sweat pores by applying various creams and lotions will not stop your skin from being the way it is. Money does not bring the cure. Your skin needs you to care for it. Your skin breathes. It is alive. Be gentle with your skin. 

You need to begin working with yourself inside first and then on the outside.

How can I make my skin look and feel better?

Water: It is one of the best resources to maintain a healthy body and a healthy skin. How much water to drink is in itself a science. Avoid putting a hose in your mouth gulping gallons of water through the day.

This is what you can do - Cup your hands together and fill your cupped hands with water and pour it in a vessel. Repeat this 8 times. Then, measure the quantity of water by pouring them into empty glasses. Drink this quantity of water every morning after brushing your teeth. This practice is called Ushapana in Ayurveda.

And through the day, drink only that much quantity of water which gets you to urinate 6 times. This is the adequate quantity of water for you. Your skin’s health will become much better.

What does Ushapana do?

This practice helps you evacuate your bowels in the morning and hydrates your skin. A healthy intestine is extremely necessary to maintain a healthy skin.

Soap: Never apply soap directly on your skin. Soap contains caustic soda. Applying soap directly on your skin will remove essential oils from your skin making it dry and will make your skin vulnerable to external contaminants.

This is what you can do - Rub soap between your hands to work up lather and apply the lather on your body. Wash the lather off your body with water.

Bathing in water: The temperature of water you bathe in adds equal importance to your skin quality. Water at room temperature to lukewarm water in summer and lukewarm to moderately hot water temperatures in winter are best suited for your skin. Your skin contains essential oils which protect it from various external threats and to maintain your skin health. Bathing in hot to very hot water temperatures can remove this precious defensive coat on your body.

After evacuating your bowels, the next best task you can indulge is in bathing your body. Bathing is followed with eating your breakfast. The action of scrubbing your body while bathing causes the capillaries to pump blood to every part of the body. This action sets the metabolic activity off and hunger sets in. You would have noticed that the quality of your hunger is much better after bathing. And so is digestion. Never bathe after consuming food.

Food: The kinds of food and the times at which you eat can change, not only the texture of your skin, but it can also cause your skin quality to change from good to worrisome.

a. Home food is best food. Whether you are at home or outside, eat the kinds of foods your mother cooked for you. These foods are best suited for you.

b. Some minor dietary changes such as avoiding too much green chillies, too much sweets, and using appropriate cooking oils can help. When in Southern India use coconut, til or double filtered groundnut oil and ghee and when in Northern India, use ghee, or mustard oil.

c. There are a few vegetables and fruits that contain pesticides. Avoid them. You can also avoid certain food types and food combinations that may harm your body and also show on your skin such as; cabbage, cauliflower, too much garlic, raw groundnuts, heavy to digest foods such as rajma, sprouted green gram, and fruits such as apples and grapes.

d. Avoid snacking in between two meals - your body requires enough energy to take care of itself.

e. Avoid eating sweets during and after foods - too many sweets cause acidic indigestion which make your skin oily an dull.

f. Avoid drinking water immediately after foods - span it by half hour.

g. Drink water when you are thirsty.

Finally, having followed clean dietary and mental habits, here is a home remedy: 

Wash your face with cleansing milk. Then, apply a mixture of green gram flour or besan flour with Cream of milk (use cow’s milk instead of packed milk) and apply on your skin and leave it to dry for 5-6 minutes. wash your skin and watch it glow.

To summarise, your skin is just an indicator of your habits. Have clean habits and you will have a clear skin.

-- Mahesh Krishnamurthy