For far too long, society has conditioned us to believe that aging is to be hidden.
The lines on our skin are one of the most distinct markers of age, and unfortunately, they are not always portrayed in a positive light. Ageism or prejudice based on age, is especially prominent in industries like entertainment, travel and hospitality. The images we consume today are photoshopped to perfection – fine lines are smoothed out, pores are blurred and acne spots are tossed into thin air. It only makes sense then, that we subconsciously impose those misguided standards on ourselves.
Speaking of women in particular, throughout history we have been made to believe that we are defined by our appearance. And even today, that notion lingers on. We worry more and more, and in that process, lose sight of the most important source of youthfulness – inner peace. Ayurveda, our ancient health care system, focuses on a close interaction between the mind and body. While it accepts that it’s only human to desire a younger appearance, it teaches us that the way we feel on the inside largely determines our external appearance.
Vriddhavastha or aging in Ayurveda is broadly classified in two categories –timely (if it begins to show after 60 years) and untimely (if it heavily manifests before that age). Untimely aging is seen as a result of aggravated Vata and Pitta doshas. Genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors together have an enormous impact on our skin. And while some factors are beyond our control, some others we can certainly govern. What’s important to remember is that while we can’t erase our age, we can choose the way we feel about it.
Ayurveda suggests a range of measures to prevent premature aging. Starting with your diet, make sure to consume freshly cooked meals made from natural ingredients. Depending on your individual dosha, put together a meal plan that works for your digestive abilities. Regardless of dosha, certain ingredients like ghee and aloe vera juice are highly respected in Ayurvedic skin care. Additionally, try incorporating these six tastes, as identified by Ayurveda, in your daily diet – sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent. Combined, these ‘rasas’ have a therapeutic impact on our experience of food as well as life.
Next comes establishing a balance between physical activity and rest – both equally important for a healthy, youthful appearance. A brisk walk or yoga early in the morning helps the eyes look bright and rested and imparts a naturally iridescent glow on the skin. Sleep – both in terms of quantity and quality directly impacts the nocturnal rejuvenation of our skin.
As we grow older, the presence of Vatadosha increases in our body. Because of Vata’s dry properties, our skin loses moisture and begins to look dull and dehydrated. The simple solution to that is drinking adequate amount of water to flush out the toxins and replenish the skin. Every morning and night, make sure to moisturize using completely natural hydrators, like the ones created by Forest Essentials. Their Eternal Youth Formula makes for the best night moisturizer for all skin types thanks to the combined goodness of sweet almond oil, fermented date extracts, litchi juice and precious floral and herb infusions.