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Ayurvedic herbs for healthy skin

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

Beauty from the inside out

I love all things beauty & skincare. I worked closely with major makeup brands in my last job. However, I struggled to find a truly non-toxic, minimalist, ayurvedic and conscious beauty brand that was also reasonably priced. And so I decided to create my own skincare line.

However, as an Ayurvedic consultant, I also know that topical products are not the only solution. Skincare conditions often reflect deeper imbalances which need to be treated from the root.

This approach may be harder and time consuming but this is the best way to have sustainable results.

In Ayurveda, usually Pitta governs the colour, the texture and temperature of the skin and gives it a luster & glow and processes everything we apply externally to the skin.

As a general rule, a Pitta pacifying approach will help with skin problems such as redness, sensitivity, eczema, acne or any type of inflammatory condition. However, everyone is unique so it’s best to get in touch with me if you suffer from long term skin problems.

For skincare, Ayurveda says not to apply anything you cannot eat as everything goes into the bloodstream. Nowadays so many products have toxins and the cocktail of these toxins may be harmful over time.

Ayurveda has a myriad of herbs that can help you reach a glowing & acne free skin without the use of toxic chemicals. Here are some of them. I have included their INCI names so you can look them up on product labels along with how they affect the doshas, which I thought would be interesting if you already know your doshic imbalances.


India has been using this yellow coloured spice for milleniums. It has innumerable benefits for health due to its powerful anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant and anti bacterial, properties.

In Ayurveda, turmeric is said to improve skin quality and impart a golden hue to the complexion. It provdies relief from most skin conditions such as acne, scarring, inflammation,

itching, eczema, psoriasis, dark spots, hyperpigmentation and many more. Research now shows that Turmeric also affects collagen and cell turnover.

Overall, Turmeric is a powerhouse of benefits for our health and our skin and the reason why I have used this beautiful spice in 3 of my products: The Golden Turmeric Balm, Sundari Glow Drops and the Ubtan Powder.

How to use: Turmeric should be consumed as a whole (not just curcumin as recent media suggests) in food daily. Whilst research suggests that pepper increases its bioavailability, nothing as such been mentionned in Ayurveda. It has powerful healing properties and helps you improve immunity. You can also add Turmeric powder into warm milk.

INCI: Curcuma longa

Doshas: Tridoshic, may aggravate Vata & Pitta if in excess

2. Saffron

Saffron is known as Kumkuma in Sanskrit. Saffron is purely sattvic that balances and calms the mind. It balances all three doshas and falls into the varnya of complexion enhancing herbs in Ayurveda. Particularly, saffron is one of the best anti-Pitta herbs in Ayurveda.

Saffron helps reduce melanin formation and clarifies the complexion whether you eat or apply it. It brightens the skin, fights acne, increases cell-turnover and works wonders for blemished skin.

Saffron is the main ingredient of Sundari Glow Drops, which is based on the ayurvedic preparation of kumkumadi thailam. Kashimiri saffron is used in the Sundari Glow Drops, which is considered to be the most superior.

Besides, research shows that saffron's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant of its constituents (safranal, crocin, crocetin) help with various nervous disorders and has antidepressive action.

This exotic spice is also considered as a stimulant and aphrodisiac, vajikarna, enhancing fertility mainly for women.

How to use: Internally, you can add 2-3 strands of saffron into your warm milk, which is considered the best to deliver the properties of saffron.

INCI: Crocus Sativus

Doshas: Tridoshic

In the world of Ayurveda, Manjistha (Indian madder) is the ultimate beautifier. It has been qualified as both varnya (herbs that enchances complexion) and visaghna (herbs that detoxify). This powerful herb is consummed internally as a decoction (Manjishtadi kwath) for purifying the blood. It has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action. It clears out any blocages in circulation so that toxins do not build up and cleanses the liver.

Externally, it is used for a smooth, acne-free complexion. Research proves that Manjistha inhibits the growth of acne causing bacteria. Generally, we can say that Manjistha helps pacify pitta related skin problems such as acne, breakouts, rosacea and makes your skin glow. It is one of the major ingredient in the Sundari Glow Drops, giving it its rich reddish hues.

INCI: Rubia Cordifolia

Doshas: Reduces Pitta & Kapha, increases Vata

Sandalwood (chandan) cools and calms the entire mind and body and helps in the awakening of intelligence. It increases devotion and promotes meditation.

For the skin, sandalwood has soothing and cooling properties. It helps prevent inflammation that further helps in reduction of acne, pimples and rashes on the skin. It also helps soothe the skin after being exposed to the sun.

How to use: Make a paste using sandalwood powder and rose water and apply it on your skin, particularly on the forehead.

INCI: Santanum Album

Doshas: Reduces Pitta & Vata

Neem is one of the most powerful blood purifiers and detoxifiers in Ayurveda, probabaly the reason why it is called sarva roga nivarini - the cure for all diseases. It has potent antifungal, antibacterial and can act as an insecticide. It clears the toxins involved in most skin diseases with it's stong disinfecting and healing action. It also has a very cooling action and helps with all problems caused by excessive heat in the body.

Along with Turmeric, Neem is the best herb for skin diseases such as acne, urticaria, eczema, ringworms, allergies. According to the Charaka Samhita, you can add neem to any face mask, so I did add to my Ubtan Powder!

How to use: A paste can be made with equal amouns of Turmeric & Neem powder to apply on skin conditions mentionned above, as it kills any bacteria or fungus.

Neem oil is believed to prevent baldness and graying of hair and can be used as anti-lice and anti-dandruff treatment. It also acts as a powerful mosquito repellent.

It can be consummed internally under guidance.

INCI: Azadiracta Indica

Doshas: Reduces Pitta & Kapha, increases Vata

Amla is considered a sacred fruit in India. It is one of the strongest rejuvenatives in Ayurvedic medicine and is 'sattvic' (pure) in nature. In Sanskrit, it is also described as Dhatri, which means a mother for its healing and Ojas increasing properties. It is believed that Amla can take care of you like a mother does!

Amla is a storehouse of nutrients that make it a must have for everyone. This fruit has twenty times the amount of vitamin C as an orange. It is one of the food item recommended by the sage Sushruta for daily consumption that transcends restrictions of body, type and season, which basically means that anyone can have amla anytime of the year.

This superfood can fight off cough, ulcers, constipation, manage diabetes, cholesterol and give you amazing skin and hair. Amla's potent antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities boost immunity and brighten your complexion. It's cooling action helps calm burning sensations, prevent premature wrinkling and greying of hair.

Amla is one of the main ingredient in my hair oil Keshini hair elixir to promote healthy hair growth.

INCI: Phyllanthus emblica

Doshas: Tridoshic

Kumari is the traditional name for Aloe Vera, which means young girl. The name probably comes from its powerful anti-ageing properties and its strong relation to women, particularly to the reproductive system.

Aloe Vera is considered as rasayana (anti-ageing elixir) and is cooling and detoxyfying.

It balances all doshas and works on all the tissues of the body. Aloe is also called ghiritkumari because its texture is as soft as ghee.

For the skin, aloe vera is very versatile. It hydrates dry skin, heals pimples, reduces redness, soothes burns and makes the skin glow.

How to use: Aloe vera juice can be used internally under the guidance of an ayurvedic practionner.

Fresh gel can be applied on skin and hair on a regular basis.

INCI: Aloe Barbadensis

Doshas: Tridoshic

Yashtimadhu also known as licorice, can help fade blemishes and dark spots and works a lot like the prescription alternative, hydroquinone. But this more natural alternative inhibits the production of melanin while still being safe for black and brown skin. Licorice also contains glycyrrhizin, a potent antioxidant that protects skin from environmental stressors.

How to use: Licorice is also an ingredient in the Sundari Glow Drops, with regular usage it can help fade blemishes. In case of congestion, licorice & ginger tea help cleanse the respiratory system of excess mucus. It also helps improve voice, vision, hair and calms the mind.

INCI: Glycirrhiza glabra

Doshas: Pacifies Vata & Pitta, increases Kapha on long term

Let me know below your favourite Ayurvedic herbs 👇🏼


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1 Comment

Falguni Vyas
Falguni Vyas
Aug 14, 2022

Very deep true knowledge of Ayurveda you have! So much precious information we can find for our own skin care! Thank you so much!♥️

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