I am writing from the gorgeous State of Washington. So much has changed, so much has happened since I wrote about dry and mature skin care that I have almost forgotten about my promise to write on sensitive/Pitta skin. I will not bore you with these changes in my own life – honestly, are you not tired of lengthy blog posts? 🙂 Besides, you can find more about those changes, as well as other skincare recommendations, discount codes, and plant-based recipes on Instagram. Instead, I will jump right into Pitta/sensitive skin.
First, Look deep within- dietary changes you can look into
My fellow Pitta folks who tend to be sensitive to bright lights, especially at night; sensitive to the sunlight, even with shades on; whose skin gets irritated, becomes red, or inflamed easily; who might be suffering from rosacea. This post is for you. You might already know that according to Ayurveda, Pitta is one of the main energies or substances, the universal life force manifests itself as. It is composed of water and fire, so it is more likely than not that you prefer cool weather, cool drinks, cool colours. Hot weather, conflicts, drama, and spicy food might have different negative effects on you. The moment you stay clear of these (drama, hot, competitiveness, conflict) you feel “lighter”, clear-minded.
Indeed, the skin as the largest organ, and as one of the places where Pitta resides in the body, is a reflection of what goes around (and within) us. It is an outlet of Pitta imbalance/vitiation. This is not some new-age realization, it’s pretty straightforward: Skin conditions are rarely caused by an issue on the surface of the skin; they are more likely to be the result of a deeper imbalance, which is why we need a more “holistic” approach. Balanced Pitta will mean better skin.
Try to limit the intake of
- like very spicy foods (e.g. cayenne pepper and chilies),
- sour or acidic foods (think vinegar),
Instead, make sure that you have enough healthy fats in your diet; along with hydrating, skin-friendly foods and drinks. Stick to a routine that you know will work for you, instead of stressing yourself out; try to have less competition and more rest in your life; less anger/stress, and more peace. Consume whatever grounds you more, while keeping you cool-headed. Try to go to bed by 10 pm, and have a consistent daily schedule.
Then, Soothe your skin
Even though skin issues typically originate beneath the surface of the skin, from work stress to daily food intake, there are a number of external tools we can use to encourage healthy skin. Pitta skin needs cooling down, soothing, calming, since it tends to get irritated, inflamed, red. Below herbs and products, most of which I regularly use, might be helpful with sensitive skin.
I LOVE and use Gotu Kola so much that I am seriously thinking about planting it in our garden in our new house in our new neighbourhood in our new state. You can find it in many skincare products because of its ability to strengthen the healing process and improve blood circulation. Even though it specifically pacifies pitta, it is tridoshic, meaning, most people, regardless of their doshas, will benefit from it. Finally, it is perfectly fine to consume it orally (I take it every day, either as tea, or powder, or in a tablet form). You can find gotu kola, manjistha, amalaki, neem, and other cooling, calming herbs in various formats on Banyan Website. More specifically, you can find these Healthy Pitta tablets which Pitta folks can use daily to remove excess heat, and help calm and cool the body (and mind!); or this natural cooling and calming soap with neem and aloe. Banyan is highly respected, trusted, and well-known in the Ayurvedic community in the United States.
Naturopathica makes the gentlest scrubs and treatments, but this creme must be one of my favourites for sensitive skin. It has marshmallow which relieves skin irritation and redness; sacha inchi, which is rich in omega-3, for its antioxidant properties; and microalgae to calm and nourish the skin.
Another product with sacha inchi to help skin’s natural defenses. However, the main ingredients are grape seed oil, camellia seed oil, and rosehip oil (all of which are wildcrafted!). Among these, I was only unfamiliar with camellia seed, which, apparently, provides a surge of Vitamins A, B, D, and E.
I like this company a lot, starting with their refund policy: As long as you are within 30 days of you having received this goodie, your purchase is backed with a complete money-back guarantee.
I first discovered this brand through Credo Beauty (one of my go-to online retailers for clean beauty). Now I brag about Graydon on Instagram all the time, especially about their Berry Rich Face and Eye Cream, Skin Stuff Face and Eye Cream, and this soothing cleanser. All of their products are vegan, cruelty-free and free from SLS, sulphates, parabens, synthetic fragrances, petroleum. You can use the code SMT15 for 15% off on the website.
I had talked about Paavani before, in my blog on dry skin and in another blog on favourite Ayurvedic skincare products. Paavani has a Pitta toner, specifically for redness-prone skin types. Formulated with rose, chrysanthemum, neem and geranium, this blend clears blemishes, calms redness, and soothes sensitive complexions. I use their Vata toner during winter months, and the pitta toner during the pitta season- when it’s humid and hot outside. Get a discount when you type Ivy10 at checkout.
Sahajan is one of my favourite brands. Ever. Their velvety creams, rich cleansers, and this antioxidant, brightening mask are wonderful for sensitive skin. My skin is glowing after each use of this product.
When I was younger, for a long time, I found it hard to explain (and even understand!) what I called “burning eye syndrome”. I used to wake up with my eyes really warm, not necessarily dry, but in need of ice, or something icy-cold. When I started to study Ayurveda, I realized how common this problem was among those who had their Pitta vitiated. It is one of the symptoms/signs of aggravated Pitta, so the body is telling you to cool down- to relax, to take it easy with food, drinks, and stress. Besides these broader steps I now know to take, I also use this eye balm from Tula. In fact, this is the only cream I keep in the fridge to make it extra cooling. It is also really, really brightening, and very easy to use.
Obviously, skincare is a personal matter- what works for me might not work for you. That said, none of the products listed here has harsh ingredients that might, for instance, strip away the essential oil in your skin which is necessary for a healthy complexion. If you have especially sensitive and allergic skin, do use caution when you introduce a new product, and try it on a small part of your skin first, and wait a few days to make sure there is no allergic reaction.
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Editor’s note: The information in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programme.
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