Do you experience acne, breakouts, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, burning, redness, and/or inflamed or aggravated skin? According to Ayurveda, your dominant dosha may be Pitta, or you may be experiencing a Pitta imbalance. That’s because the Pitta dosha can be hot and feverish when manifesting in the skin.
If any of these skin conditions sound like something you’ve experienced, you’re likely in the right place! Keep reading to learn tips and treatments from Ayurvedic medicine for clear skin.
(If you have dry skin problems, be sure to read Hydrate and Nourish Your Skin with These Ayurvedic Tips or if you have oily skin, read How to Treat Oily Skin with Ayurvedic Medicine).
Ayurvedic Medicine for Clear Skin
To understand how to achieve clear skin, it’s important to understand what causes Pitta skin-related issues. The Pitta dosha can become aggravated and imbalanced from the simplest of habits:
- Eating too much spicy food
- Not incorporating calming activities
- Sleeping too sporadically
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Getting too much sun
- Engaging in competitive sports and activities
As strong and hearty as Pitta dosha may be, their balance requires extra care. Think of how reactive a fire can be when you add alcohol, wood, or water. Pitta types can react similarly! On top of this, even Vata or Kapha individuals can just as easily find their Pitta dosha off balance.
When a Pitta imbalance occurs, it can show up on the skin in the form of acne, breakouts, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, burning, redness, and/or inflamed or aggravated skin.
So, how can you use Ayurvedic medicine for clear skin?
Clear Skin Starts on the Inside
No matter what skin condition may manifest as a Pitta skin disorder, it’s important to balance Pitta from the source. Incorporating cooling, calming routines into daily life is the first step in balancing skin disorders.
Keep it Cool
Keep the temperature down in the house, avoid overly hot showers, and skip the spicy sausage pizza. Cooling activities like swimming, Yin yoga, and walks outside in the cool morning or evening air (when the sun is set) will all help Pitta dosha stay calm and balanced.
Eat a Pitta Diet
A diet heavy in oily, spicy, acidic, hot foods will only increase Pitta disorders. This includes fried foods, alcohol, and excessive red meat. Instead opt for Pitta foods that are sweet, cooling, and mild. Incorporating things like watermelon, figs, celery, apple, cilantro, coconut, mung beans, avocado, kale, mint, bananas, cucumber, melon, and rice can all have a balancing effect on Pitta dosha.
Incorporate Balancing Herbs
Herbal teas, powders, and formulas can also help balance Pitta dosha and skin disorders. Most importantly, incorporating balancing Pitta teas and herbs like cardamom, Triphala, neem, Brahmi, kava kava, ashwagandha, Bala, coriander, sandalwood, gokshura, and burdock root will help pacify Pitta dosha and reduce the severity of skin disorders.
PIOR Living’s Chyawanprash contains many of these nourishing herbs and formulas which will help balance Pitta dosha. Taking 1 teaspoon each morning, 15 minutes before eating, to regulate organ function and balance all 3 doshas.
For more tips on balancing the Pitta dosha, read A Comprehensive Guide to the Pitta Dosha.
Pitta Beauty Care
The following external treatments help reduce skin conditions like acne, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and redness. They are easy to incorporate into your daily Ayurvedic skincare routine, and help cool and nurture the skin.
Because Pitta skin types have mightier metabolisms and quick cell turnover rates, excessive cleansing is not required. Often times breakouts like acne are mostly due to internal factors (like hormones or organ systems issues), or an imbalance of the skin’s oil. Reducing the amount of product use will often help clear the skin, including replacing washing the face in the morning with simply cool water and toning with rose water.
For cleansing in the evenings, you can create a cleanser at home following this formula:
- 1 teaspoon chickpea flour
- 1 drop of chamomile, rose, or lavender essential oil
Combine all the ingredients in the palm of your hand to create a liquidy paste. After, gently massage the skin of the face and neck, being careful around the eyes. Rinse with cool water.
To balance Pitta skin, you can simply use a cotton pad or wool saturated with rosewater and apply it to the face and neck after cleansing. You can also take a few drops and gently pat it into the skin.
Other hydrosols that are excellent for Pitta skin include chamomile, frankincense, orange blossom, or jasmine.
Masking the skin helps balance Pitta conditions as well. You can make a simple mask at home and incorporate it into your routine 2-3 times a week to alleviate skin conditions and as an effective Ayurvedic formula for clear skin:
- 1 tablespoon of Aloe vera
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 1/2 teaspoon of powdered neem, frankincense, or rose
- Hydrosol of your choosing
Mix all ingredients to make a fine paste, and apply to the skin. Then, let the mask sit for about 10 minutes, then remove with damp cotton wool and cool water.
Pitta skin will benefit from cooling and nourishing oils, like coconut oil, or jojoba oil. If the skin suffers from excessive breakouts, however, it is best to skip the coconut oil and use only the Jojoba oil. You can add 1 drop of chamomile, rose, or lavender essential oil to the oil, mix in your hands, and gently massage in upward strokes all over the neck and face.
If the skin on the body suffers from Pitta disorders, you can use this same formula to massage all over, including the scalp. Pitta skin types benefit greatly from soothing, calming Abhyanga, as it helps to calm and cool their nervous systems.
Aloe vera is an excellent way to soothe Pitta disorders, and naturally balancing the moisture factor of the skin. You can use a dime or quarter size to moisturize the skin after cleansing. For the warmer months, keep your aloe vera in the refrigerator to add a more cooling effect.
Go Low and Slow
Impatient Pitta might be eager for things to happen overnight, but Pitta dosha needs a calming, relaxing, and cooling approach. For skin conditions to get better or show signs of improvement, it is best to allow 28 days for a full skin-renewing cycle to really see results. Remember to keep things at a low and slow frequency when aiming to reduce skin disorders and promote clear skin in Pitta.
Ceanna Saatsaz is a Licensed Master Esthetician, Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, and Certified Professional Herbalist from Seattle, WA.