This time of year increases heat in the body, therefore increasing Pitta dosha. Cooling, calming & hydrating properties are paramount when looking at Ayurvedic skincare ingredients for the summer months. A few well known Ayurvedic ingredients which are perfect for pacifying pitta are, Aloe vera, Sandalwood, Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry), Rubia cordifolia (Manjistha), Neem, Centella Asiatica (Gotu kola) and Sunflower Oil.
Dehydration of the skin is also common in the summer months, this is also linked to air conditioning which does not allow perspiration. Perspiration allows the skin to remove toxins and also releases pollution and grime which may accumulate in the pores. After sweating, make sure you cleanse your skin to remove these debris.
In addition to the skin benefits, sweating regulates body temperature, may help stress levels and is even thought to improve our immune system. Due to the need for moisture in the summer using a hydrating mask at night can do wonders for your skin, especially if you are in very humid conditions and are only able to wear a light moisturiser during the day.
Make the most of hydrating serums, with ingredients like Hyaluronic acid, to aid in hydrating the skin at a deeper level. Serums are generally concentrated, active formulas which are targeted at specific skin concerns. Do remember that serums are best absorbed on a clean, exfoliated skin! Finally your diet and lifestyle will also impact on your skin health and should be tailored accordingly for each season.
Avoid pitta aggravating foods such as, hot and spicy dishes, sour dairy foods including, yoghurt, sour milk and cottage cheese; fruits should be sweet, not sour or unripe as the sour taste will aggravate pitta.
In general avoid pungent, sour and salty tastes, instead include sweet, bitter and astringent flavours to pacify pitta and keep cool. Work in a cool environment and take time out for leisure activities. Finally, don’t forget the sunscreen!
An effective sunblock of SPF 30+ should be worn during the summer. Remember look for a sunblock which is effective against UVA & UVB rays. You do not need to be outside in the sun to suffer the ageing effects of UVA damage. This wavelength causes premature ageing, even through windows and remains fairly constant year round.
Wishing you all a safe and prosperous New Year! Samaati, love, peace and affection, Rebecca Powne, Founder AWE Cosmeceuticals, B.A., Ayurvedic Studies (Indian Medicine) London, UK, B.H.Sc., Clinical Dermal Therapies, Melbourne, Australia