Ayurvedic Beauty Tips – Is it Best to Trust Ayurveda for Beauty Care?


When it comes to beauty, especially skin and haircare, most people seem to face a paradox. While they do trust science-backed clinical formulations more than natural remedies, the former also brings the fear of using too many chemicals. With the latter, however, there’s the confusion of do they or don’t they work. As a certified yogi with over 15 years ina the beauty business, Vasudha Rai helps clear the air in her debut book, Glow. She goes back to the basics of turmeric and ghee, and turns to Ayurveda to document 38 Indian foods that can give you the best skin and hair of your life. Plus, there’s a scientific and Ayurvedic explanation for each beauty food, along with a recipe on the best way to use it, so there’s no questioning whether it really works. We chatted with the author about all things natural beauty and asked her why we should go back to basics, and also got her to share some of the best beauty tips she’s discovered. Keep reading for all the details.

Eat like your ancestors did

“For [our ancestors], rice and millets were the staple food (not wheat). They ate locally and seasonally. They shopped at the farmers market instead of the supermarket. These basics go a long way in the quest for beautiful skin.” Our traditional ways of eating are actually backed by science too. “For instance, the reason we cook our greens is because there is something called oxalic acid present in leafy vegetables, which blocks the absorption of certain nutrients. Cooking breaks down this oxalic acid, thereby making vitamins and minerals more available for the body. There’s also a reason behind why we smoke mustard oil. It has a compound called erucic acid which is said to bad for heart health. Smoking mustard oil before using it breaks this down.”

Ghee really is as good as everybody says it is

“Ghee is the backbone of beauty—It is the insurance for old age. I like to cook all my meals in ghee and I have been eating copious amounts of this wonder fat ever since I was a child. It gives luminosity to the skin, strength to the bones and flexibility to the joints.”

Swap your iced water for the warm kind

“A simple way to get glowing skin is to drink warm water only, whether it’s summer or winter. It’s an Ayurvedic concept and I find it really works. It improves digestion, detoxifies the body and makes the skin glow.”

Make your mornings count

Rai suggests that you kickstart your day with a healthy boost of antioxidants. Below are the three am concoctions she swears by.

  1. “1 tablespoon each of moringa and wheatgrass powder first thing in the morning. This provides a mega boost in terms of vitamins and minerals, as both moringa and wheatgrass are potent nutraceuticals.”
  2. “You can also drink triphala tea first thing in the morning if you like to detox. Mix half a teaspoon of triphala in a cup of hot water, let it stand for 20 minutes and then drink.”
  3. “A quarter teaspoon of organic turmeric powder with a pinch of pepper and a teaspoon of melted ghee. Drink this on an empty stomach to strengthen and heal. It’s perfect for those recovering from yoga and sports injuries.”

Bitter-tasting foods are the antidote to oily skin

“Anything bitter tasting is great for oily, acne-prone skin. Bitter taste is the most detoxifying so it really helps clarify the complexion. So neem, karela, ghiya, radishes—all of these are a boon for oily, acne prone skin.”

Those with sensitive skin can look to natural beauty too

“If you have sensitive skin, you can use raw honey to cleanse your face in the morning. Honey is anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and works as a humectant. It soothes the skin, calms redness and hydrates. I love to use it as a base for face packs also, especially for clay masks, which, while detoxifying, can be a bit drying. If your skin is angry and inflamed, use aloe vera as a sleeping mask. You will wake up with a calm complexion. Just one caveat—make sure you use freshly-plucked aloe vera and not the store-bought variety.”

But don’t swap hard-working clinical skincare with natural blends

“Ayurvedic and natural concoctions are not a replacement for good skincare. I love an at-home face mask and hair oil, but I would always use a good face serum or cream that has been made by scientists. I would definitely leave a few skincare steps for chemical potions. But yes, keep your diet as clean as possible. It is true that you are what you eat.”

Start and end your day on a healthy note—like with a dose of triphala

“I like to make my own batch of triphala powder. I drink triphala tea every day, whether it is at bedtime or in the morning. It is the best beauty powder because it has amla, which is the best source of Vitamin C; haritaki, a potent detoxifier that is also called the ultimate anti-ager; and bibhitaki to boost immunity with its potent mix of antioxidants. I’m never ever without it. There’s a recipe for the triphala powder in my book too.”

Also read:

What you need to know before jumping on the natural skincare bandwagon

These skincare products are trusted by Bollywood’s best makeup artists

Why acids need to be an essential part of every skincare routine

Your step-by-step skincare guide to clear-as-glass complexion

Why probiotics are making themselves an important part of skincare