Adolescents to adults deal with acne in the form of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. In adolescents, acne can be caused by major hormonally shifts going on in the body. However, especially for adults, acne is also caused or aggravated by improper diet and mental imbalances. Acne is formed by high pitta (one of the doshas). Imbalanced pitta can react in the body by spreading acne, rashes, increased anger, and other skin issues like eczema. Ayurveda takes a natural approach to dealing with acne rather than Western doctors with harsh chemicals and hormones. Antibiotics and lotions can often mask the symptoms that acne is caused by. These can often lead to a worsening of the skin or prolonged hormonal issues. Ayurveda teaches us to go deeper than skin level.
Pitta imbalances can be caused by stress, premenstrual hormonal changes, chemicals, bacterial infections, or a poor diet. It is important to find the root of the issues so the symptom of acne can be fully treated.
Important note: With help of an Ayurvedic practioner there can be more in-depth healing and work to find the root of the cause.
1. Ayurveda begins healing acne by following a “pitta-pacifying diet”. This is the most important step for most symptoms that result in acne. The basics of the diet are to avoid any acidic foods, fried foods, citrus foods, dairy, salt, spicy and fermented foods, and alcohol. Eat fresh and unprocessed foods and favor rice, oatmeal, and applesauce. Increase your water intake to about 8-10 glasses a day, if not more. Increase the use of cooling herbs like coriander seeds, fennel, and aloe vera. Increase your turmeric intake to reduce inflammation.
2. Try drinking aloe vera juice or applying it to the skin. Aloe without added sugar can be very bitter, however do not buy the sugary aloe drinks. Try to buy pure aloe vera and blend it with a banana or other fruit to not have processed sugar.
3. Avoid irritant cosmetics. Your skin absorbs most of what you put on it. Harsh chemicals affect you skin and your digestion. Avoid poor makeup and lotions that can clog pores more.
4. Do not squeeze the acne. Try to leave it alone to not make it an open wound. This will make the acne heal faster.
5. If your acne is very inflamed try putting cool water or ice on the acne. The bacteria need heat to reproduce, so cooling the skin down may aid in reducing the acne.
6. Make sure to not have any colon issues. Keeping your colon clean is important to remove toxins from the body. Ask an Ayurvedic practioner how to safely cleanse your colon.
7. Do more yoga that will help deal with stress and help cool the body down physically and mentally.
8. Find natural Ayurvedic healing pastes and facemasks for your skin. Turmeric, charcoal, and Aloe Vera are all great to put of the skin.
9. A great herbal tea is made of cumin, coriander and fennel. After each meal steep 1/3 teaspoon of these in water for a few minutes, strain, and drink.
10. Remember your beauty is from within. Acne can take a great emotional toll on confidence. This emotional stress will aggravate the acne and cause a cycle of more stress and more acne. Relax, meditate, and know that everyone deals with acne.
Lad, Vasant. “The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies.” Three Rivers Press, New York, New York; 1998.114-115.