Dry skin, in Ayurvedic science, is seen to occur as a result of an imbalance in Vata or the ‘air’ element. Due to aggravation of Vata, the circulation is affected, leading to drying up of arteries, capillaries, and nerves. Other symptoms of Vata imbalance are anxiety, constipation, insomnia, headaches, undue fatigue, intestinal gas, menstrual cramps, lower back pain, or aching joints.
To counter the drying qualities of excess Vata, Ayurveda suggests adopting farming, moisturizing, and grounding practices.
Self-abhyanga is one of the most effective in curing dry skin as it provides a profound feeling of stability, strength, hydration and well-being. Abhyanga is an age-old Ayurvedic practice of lovingly oiling the body. It helps in bringing balance in the three doshas, moves the lymphatic system, increases circulation, improves skin tone, increases stamina, calms the nerves, moisturizes the skin and counteracts the effects of aging. Massage your body with a moisturizing oil like sesame or almond oil every day before taking a bath.
Use almond milk to moisturize the skin. Powder up about 200 gms of almonds in a food processor or coffee grinder. Store this powder in a jar. In order to use it, add a tbsp of warm water to half a tbsp of powdered almond to make the almond milk. Apply this paste in a gentle circular motion to enhance circulation and exfoliate dead skin cells. Then rinse with warm water and moisturize as you usually do.
The nourishment of the skin does not only depend on the outer regimen but also on what you eat. Nourishing from within is as crucial as a nourishing skincare routine. Try to avoid drying foods such as caffeine as it is a diuretic and purges water from the body. Instead of coffee, one can have frequent servings of warm water or warm spiced milk. Also, try to have warm and moist meals such as thick soups and stews.