The skin is the outermost covering and the largest organ of the human body. It also imparts the first line of defense against the foreign invaders.
In Ayurveda, Aging is known as “Jarā” and very precisely defined as “Jīryati Iti Jarā” which means become old by the act of wearing out.
Aging is a complex process and the most obvious signs of aging reflect on the skin and hairs from outside.
In the skin, aging reflects as atrophy, laxity, and wrinkling, sagging, dryness, an array of pigmented, and other blemishes.
Ayurveda has several treatment options for delaying skin aging and rejuvenation of the damaged skin.
About Skin in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, the skin is known as Twak and Charaka has mentioned there are six layers in the Twak. Latter Sushruta described that there are seven layers in the Twak which are known as Avabhasini, lohita, Shweta, Tamra, Vedini, Rohini, and Mamsadhara from outside to inner side.
Avabhasini is the outermost layer that reflects the complexion and Mamsadhara is the innermost layer that provides the skin’s stability and firmness.
In modern science, the skin is consists of three main layers viz. epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Each layer has a distinctive role in the overall function of the skin.
Skin and Doshas
The different person reflects different types of skin aging depending on their body Dosha’s.
- Vata skin is thin, dry, fine-pored, delicate, and cool to touch. They tend to develop wrinkles earlier than the other skin types.
- Pitta skin is fair, soft, warm, and medium thickness and is more photosensitive and least tolerant to the Sun. They keep on accumulating photodamage with the years.
- Kapha’s skin is thick, oily, soft, and cool to touch. They tend to develop wrinkles much later in life than Vata or Pitta type.
Anti-aging Skin care products and Ayurveda
The formulation of anti-aging (Vayasthapana) cosmetic products and their usage by the ancient Indians were based on the availability of natural resources, seasons, daily routine, and the nature of the body humor i.e Kapha, Pitta, and Vata.
In Ayurveda, Skin care products have several formulae involving Rasayana, herbs, oils, and other natural ingredients.
These Skin care products can be used as external applications in the form of packs, oils, herbal waters, powders, etc.
A skin care product that has an anti-aging effect nourishes different layers of skin and has the potential to stop premature aging by retarding the process of skin aging.
For proper caring of the skin, the following useful tips should use based on the Dosha’s types;
- To keep Vata skin healthy and youthful, skin care products that can nourish and rehydrate the skin can be used.
- To keep Pitta skin healthy and youthful, one should protect skin from the Sun and should apply facial cream which protects the skin from sunlight and facial skin oils should use daily. For Pitta types of skin, tanning treatments and therapy with steam or heat should be avoided.
- To keep Kapha skin healthy and perfect, one should daily massage with warm oil and should keep cleansing the skin with a gentle exfoliant.
Rejuvenation therapy for anti-aging
In Ayurveda, Anti-aging treatment comprises two kinds of therapies such as Urjaskara (promotive) and Vyadhihara (curative).
In Ayurveda, Panchakarma is one of the most popular rejuvenation and detoxification processes. It consists of three stages;
- Purva Karma (pretreatment) – In this Snehana (oleation) and Swedana (sudation) process were used.
- Pradhana Karma (primary treatment) – The four Pradhan Karma are included i.e. Vamana (Medical emesis), Virechana (Purgation), Nasya (Nasal administration), and Basti (enema).
- Paschat Karma (post-treatment) – This mainly includes Ahar (diet), Vihar (exercise), and use of Rasayana and other medicines which can promote healths.
Mechanism of Anti-aging Ayurvedic herbs
Different herbs may work for delaying the process of aging by a different mechanism. Some of the possible mechanisms are mentioned below.
- Vayasthapana (Means to maintain youthfulness or arrest age) – Some selected herbs support the skin by keeping all three doshas in balance. For example, Centella asiatica
- Varnya (Means Youthful Radiance) – Some of the herbs enhances the radiance or bright complexion of the skin. For example, sandalwood, Indian madder, and Indian sarsaparilla.
- Sandhaniya (Meand to protection from normal wear and tear) – Some herbs are very good rejuvenators that heal and regenerative damaged skin.
- Tvachya (Means, to enhance and nurturing) – These herbs support moisture balance and provide overall nourishment to the skin. For example, Rose petals, and Grape seeds.
- Shothahara (Means Anti-inflammatory) – These herbs protect the skin against allergens, inflammatory substances, chemicals, and even stress. Example Rose petal, Silk Cotton Tree, and Aloe Vera.
- Tvachagnivardhani (means to strengthen the skin’s metabolism) – Many of the herbs enhance the shine of the skin by enhancing the skin’s metabolism.
- Datta, Hema Sharma, and Rangesh Paramesh. “Trends in aging and skin care: Ayurvedic concepts.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine vol. 1,2 (2010): 110-3. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.65081
- Datta, Hema Sharma et al. “Theories and management of aging: modern and ayurveda perspectives.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2011 (2011): 528527. doi:10.1093/ecam/nep005
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