Tired of the regular zits that keep popping up ever so often? For me, the answer came in the form of Ayurveda – the ancient Indian discipline that believes in treating a problem at its core rather than covering it up with temporary quick fixes. Which means the results stick around for a really long time, sans both harsh chemicals or wallet-busting skincare rituals. And it’s all rooted in some very comprehensive science.
So, time to give some simple Ayurvedic home remedies a try?
Add enough honey (Manuka versions are most potent) to a tablespoon of cinnamon powder to make a paste. Apply a thin layer of this paste on your pimples before going to bed at night. Wash off with warm water in the morning; repeat for a fortnight.
Why does it work? Honey is antibacterial and anti-fungal, thus speeding up the healing process of acne. It also helps detox the skin by literally mopping up impurities from within your pores. Plus, it’s loaded with antioxidants and moisturisers to repair any damage and prevent scarring.
Cinnamon, in the meantime, is anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-microbial. It’s also chockfull with powerful antioxidants that help prevent the premature destruction of healthy skin cells.
Ayurveda and acne #2: The deep cleanse
Grind 10-15 neem leaves (or buy the powdered version) and mix with a pinch of turmeric powder. Add enough raw milk or warm water to make a paste and apply this on your pimples; wash off after 20-30 minutes. Repeat as required.
We already know all about the anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antioxidant and detoxifying benefits of turmeric. Add in neem leaves, which contain quercetin – the power ingredient that reduces inflammation and redness, while cooling the skin, and you have a potent recipe against acne. Plus, neem also contains hefty doses of salicylic acid, which has a strong antibacterial effect against skin infections. So, you can imagine why Ayurveda loves it for tackling breakouts.
Ayurveda and acne #3: Try nutmeg
Take 2-3 pieces of nutmeg (jaiphal in Ayurvedic lingo) and grind into a paste with some raw milk. Apply this paste on the acne spots; wash it off after about two hours. Repeat as required.
Given nutmeg’s potent anti-inflammatory qualities, this paste is particularly good for those under-the-skin pimples that hurt like crazy and just refuse to subside!
Ayurveda and acne #4: Make it minty
Soak a handful of mint leaves for 4-5 hours and then grind them into a paste. Apply this paste on your face for half an hour, before washing off with plain water.
Mint has a cooling, astringent and detoxing effect, which helps your skin counter stubborn acne and steer clear of scars.
Ayurveda and acne #5: Fine with fenugreek
Grind a handful of fenugreek (methi) leaves into a paste. If you can’t find the leaves, two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds, soaked for 4-5 hours and then ground into a paste, will have the same effect. Apply this paste on your acne every night, washing off after 15 minutes.
While some may find fenugreek stinky (I do!), there’s no denying that it’s an excellent skin healer. Not only is it antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, fenugreek also flushes out toxins accumulated underneath the epidermis and tones the outer layers of the skin. Plus, it helps combat free radicals, repairs damaged skin cells and boosts the regeneration of new ones, thus reducing cystic acne and preventing scars.
Ayurveda and acne #6: Heal your digestion
In Ayurveda, what you put into your body is just as important as what you put on it. And every single practitioner I’ve spoken to strongly recommends this simple detox tea to deep cleanse your insides while strengthening your digestion – both of which are vital for healing chronic acne. In fact, drink it regularly for 3 months and you’ll reap the rewards of much more than just beautiful skin!
Making it is simple: Boil 5 cups of water in a covered saucepan and add a half-teaspoon of whole cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds to the liquid. Let the seeds steep for at least 10 minutes in the boiling water, with the lid on. Finally, strain out the seeds and bottle the liquid. Sip small quantities of this liquid through the day and watch your skin begin to glow.
For best results, make a fresh batch of tea every morning.
Have you ever tried Ayurveda? How was your experience?