S P R I N G C L E A N S E & N O U R I S H M E N T
~ Radiant skin requires internal and external regeneration ~
During Spring, the Ayurvedic body/mind type, Kapha, can be seen in our natural surround as climate changes to damp, wet and cool, undertaking a period of renewing itself. As our outer world goes through this process, our internal world does as well. With the onset of Spring we often feel sluggish and heavy. Our mucus membranes tend to produce more fluid, and our skin tends to experience occasional breakouts as waste moves out of our bodies. While our bodies are working hard to cleanse themselves, focusing on exfoliation and cleansing will help our skin to be clear and radiant. Regular herbal steaming, exfoliation, and warm oil massage aids our lymphatic system in releasing waste buildup over the winter months.
Let's first talk about internal cleansing...
- Before eating, begin your day with 16 ounces of warm water with a squeeze of lemon to awaken digestive fire, increase vitamin C intake (which helps us to produce collagen), and hydrate our bodies from in the inside out. *Lemon juice’s structure is similar to our digestive juices. It tricks the liver into producing bile, which helps keep food moving through the body and gastrointestinal tract smoothly.
- Favor a diet rich in (preferably organic) cooked leafy greens and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and juicy fruits. Cooked vegetables are easier to digest which means they are also more easily assimilated by the body. Fully digesting our food is extremely important. All unprocessed foods and (even thoughts) become waste that sits in the body and are the seeds of imbalance. More on importance of digestion in a future post.
- Eat your last meal of the day before sundown. Digestive fire is highest mid-day and reduces significantly after sunset.
- Eat fruits alone. When fruits are eaten with other food groups (especially dairy!), they tend to become putrid in our digestive tract acidifying the body rather than alkalizing it. When fruits are eaten alone, they alkalize our system.
- Add detoxifying spices to your food such as coriander, cumin, fennel and turmeric.
- Drink plenty of warm water or better yet, drink detoxifying teas throughout the day that include Dandelion and Milk Thistle for liver detoxification, Chickweed to help expel fats and flush excess water, and Amla, Rosehip or Hibiscus for their rich Vitamin C content.
- Avoid dairy, fatty meat, deep fried, oily and cold foods. Always avoid processed foods.
- Spend time in nature. **Studies show that 20 minutes per day increases vitality, and energy, and boosts our immune systems.
- Exercise at least 20-30 minutes per day. Moving your body burns excess waste, boosts our immune systems and rids of heaviness and stiffness, improves flexibility, lightness and ease.
The Spring Skin Care Guide
~ Spring is the perfect time to deep cleanse and nourish our largest organ ~
Herbal Facial Steaming
Steaming with herbs is a beautiful and meditative way to detoxify the skin, sinuses and spirit. Start with a cleansed face. Add a few tablespoons of herbs such as holy basil, comfrey, lavender, calendula and rose to a mixing bowl or better yet use a special beautiful bowl. Then add approximately 4-6 cups of boiled water to the bowl. Add 1-2 drops of your favorite essential oil. Create a steam tent over your head with a towel or favorite shawl. Steam for 5-10 minutes inhale deeply and release all burdensome thoughts. Follow with a splash of lukewarm water, then apply a clay mask mixed with raw honey and water, or move directly to your moisturizing routine with facial mist, oil, and balm.
pAra organic and wild harvested facial steams: Holy Basil Steam , Flora Facial Steam
Exfoliation for the Face
Exfoliate the face 1-3 times per week depending on your needs. For all skin types, use a clay mask mixed the Argan and Raw Honey Mask and water or aloe. This is the perfect marriage of skin cleansing, repair and hydration and is gentle enough to be used every day. For skin in need of a more vigorous exfoliation, use the Hibiscus Amla Facial Exfoliator 1-2x per week.
Cleanser/Exfoliator/Mask Mixing Guidelines
Exfoliation for the Body
Massaging the skin with sea salts, sugar, coffee, cinnamon and ginger rev the body’s circulation which in turns helps to drain the lymphatic system riding us of our winter wastes.
Self Massage with Warming Oil
The way in which we love ourselves will unfold upon all who surround us. Performing a warm oil massage or abayangha over your entire body before bathing is nourishing and detoxifying as it liquefies toxins in the body which helps us expel them through our lymphatic system. This can take as little as 3 minutes or as long as you like. Choose a body oil that speaks to you and then thoroughly enjoy the scent and self care massage while focusing on the gift that your body is to you. Note: Before your massage, consider warming your bathroom up enough so as not to catch a chill.
Taking time to nourish yourself inside and out is one of the most profound things you can do. When you are cared for, only then can you care for others.