I was first introduced to Ayurvedic author and all-around guru Sahara Rose in the middle of a personal health crisis. My stomach had been bloated and aching for what felt like months, my skin was a mess, and nothing–not the advice of my Western doctor, not my newly-healthy diet of juices and smoothies–was helping. A friend suggested I check out Sahara's Instagram, where she posted about something called Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient Indian healing system (yoga is its sister science) that promotes daily maintenance of the mind, body, and spirit as the path to wellness.
I was hooked.
These days, I consider myself "Ayurved-ish." I don't follow the system completely, but I've incorporated a lot of Ayurvedic principles into my daily self-care and skincare routine–and I feel better in my body than I ever have before. Sahara is still one of my favorite resources for Ayurveda info (she's even been endorsed by Deepak Chopra; he calls her “a leading voice for the millennial generation into the new paradigm shift"), so I jumped at the chance to interview her about the intersection of Ayurveda and skincare.
Read on to discover Sahara's daily practices for glowing from within, her guide to Dosha-specific skincare, and how to detox your skin at home.
ILLUUM: How would you describe Ayurvedic skincare in a nutshell?
Sahara: Ayurvedic skincare is to look at skin holistically, from the inside out. Our skin is a reflection of our internal health. When we are dry within, we will have dry skin, which is related to the Vata Dosha, the air energy type. When we are overheated within, we will have inflamed, red skin, which is related to the Pitta Dosha, the fire energy type. When we are lubricated within, we will have well-moisturized skin, which is related to the Kapha Dosha, the Earth energy type.
ILLUUM: Can you talk a little bit more about the three Doshas, and how those energy types are related to the skin?
Sahara: Vata skin [has a] tendency to be thin, dry, flaky, fine lines, wrinkles, dark under eye circles. Generally doesn't have acne. Pitta skin [has a ] tendency to become oily, irritated, red and inflamed. Gets acne easily. Sensitive skin. Often sunburns; may have freckles. Kapha skin [is the] best skin of the Doshas! Generally smooth and moist–ages amazingly! However, sometimes has large/blocked pores, oily t-zone or puffiness.
ILLUUM: We're big fans of Kansa massage, which is an ancient Ayurvedic practice. Do you use Kansa, and what benefits have you seen?
Sahara: A Kansa is an ancient Ayurvedic bronze-capped massage tool for massaging the skin to prevent fine wrinkles and sagging. I use it daily in the morning with a serum. I notice my eyes look bigger, as my eyebrows lift. My jawline looks more defined and my face looks more radiant and full of life, called ojas in Ayurveda.
ILLUUM: Can you tell us about any other skin-healthy practices that Ayurveda recommends?
Sahara: Dry-brushing is excellent for removing dead skin cells from the body, stimulating the lymphatic system and removing toxins. Abhyanga self-oil massage is excellent to replace hydration into your cells post-dry-brushing, reduce cellulite and enhance blood flow. Follow it up with a warm steam bath to help the oil penetrate deeper into your pores and you got yourself a little Panchakarma (Ayurvedic detox treatment) right at home!