Growing up, I had the unique opportunity to embrace herbal wisdom through the ancient Indian philosophy of Ayurveda. For a number of years, my family hosted Ayurvedic physicians who traveled around the world to spread this beautiful knowledge of wellness and balance. It was through this incredible learning experience that I began to understand that the best tools for facial care came from the herbal pantry. Triphala, one of the most common and versatile Ayurvedic herbal formulations, was used for this refreshing facial mask.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is an ancient health philosophy that originated on the Indian subcontinent. Now used worldwide as a form of alternative medicine, the word “Ayurveda” roughly translates to the “knowledge of life.” Its holistic approach to the body, mind, and soul aims to enhance wellness and restore balance through lifestyle changes, herbal remedies, and other treatments. Many people recognize Ayurveda by its classification of the three different body types (vata, pitta, and kapha).
Common Herbs Used for Ayurvedic Facial Care
While each body is unique and will benefit from individualized skin care regimens, there are a few botanicals commonly used by Ayurvedic traditions for the face.
This recipe is both incredibly easy and quick to take effect. After applying the face mask for a few seconds, my face immediately felt cool and refreshed. Don’t be alarmed if the mixture looks like mud—the glamorous skin is revealed only after the mask has been removed!
- 1/2 tsp. organic neem leaf powder
- 1/2 tsp. organic triphala powder
- 1/2 tsp. organic peppermint leaf (optional)
- organic rose hydrosol, organic cucumber hydrosol, or organic peppermint hydrosol
- Mix powders and peppermint leaf together in small bowl.
- Add enough hydrosol to form a soft muddy paste.
- Apply to face (avoid eyes and areas of sensitivity).
- Let sit for five minutes.
- Use lukewarm water to begin removing mask.
- Rub face gently with a washcloth or bare hands to exfoliate skin and remove mask.
- Rinse face several times to remove remaining particles.
- Before using the mixture on your face, try using a bit on your wrist or forearm to see how it feels.
- If the mixture feels too coarse, omit the peppermint leaf and replace the hydrosols with organic yogurt.
- If you feel the need to add moisture back to your face after using the mask, try lightly massaging some oil into the skin. I like organic almond oil or organic coconut oil. People who have a tendency to get cold skin might prefer warmer-feeling oil such as organic sesame oil.
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