Regardless of whether you live under the sun of San Diego or in the cold and damp city of London, the winter is unavoidable. It will get chilly and really dry. When it gets cold, majority of us suffer from dry skin.
The winter season is the Vata time of the year. Remember that Vata is comprised of air and space and hence tends to be cool, windy, dry and rough. So, if you have a Vata imbalance, you are more likely to be affected by the Vata season. Dry skin is typically a result of a Vata imbalance.
So what is the best way to prevent and heal dry skin? By countering the dryness. First and foremost, avoid all cold foods and drinks, as well as all dry foods. By consuming anything cold, you will be increasing the dryness in your body and of course, eating dry foods will also take away any moisture that is there.
Next, rather than resorting to moisturizers and chemically filled lotions, doing a daily self-massage with natural oils is recommended. If you must use lotions, use natural, organic moisturizers. In Ayurveda, an oil massage is known as Abhyanga. In the mornings about 20 minutes before you shower, give yourself an oil massage. For Vata and Kapha body types, sesame oil is recommended. For Vata, another option is almond oil and for Pitta types, coconut oil is recommended. How do you know which oil to use? Well, if you tend to have a cool and irregular digestion and if you have a tendency to be sensitive to the cold and often feel cold, then its best to use sesame oil. If you tend to have a strong digestion and are feeling hot more often, then to provide some coolness to the body, it is best to use coconut oil. Olive oil can also be used for all body types. Feel free to contact me if you would like more specifics as to which oil to use.
It is ideal if you can leave the oil on for 20 minutes and either meditate or do some other light activity so that your body has the opportunity to absorb the oil and nourish your skin, joints, and tissues. Be sure to massage all areas of your body, and paying especially close attention to your scalp and soles of your feet. Abhyanga is contraindicated for those who are ill, especially with fevers, and during menstruation. You will begin to notice within the first week that your skin is softer, smooth, and nourished. Your skin will also look healthier and daily abhyanga is a great way to keep the skin looking young and vibrant. It’s also a great way to release stress and relax! Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a nice massage?
Health and happiness,