What causes wrinkles?

✿ The Ayurvedic Answer you’ve been looking for! ✿

Ayurveda's knowledge of skincare and wellness revolves mostly around the appearance of signs of aging. But why's that? Is there more to it than what meets the eye?

Yes! It’s most certainly not a coincidence!

At the core of Ayurvedic philosophy lies the truth that life is not merely to be alive but to be well. Ayurvedic practices simply don’t promote health alone but does so with a view to provide a better-quality life no matter how old you are.  

At the core of Ayurvedic philosophy lies the truth that life is not merely to be alive but to be well. Ayurvedic practices don’t simply promote wellness alone, but do so with a view to provide a better quality of life, no matter how old you are.

In today's article, you'll get to learn:

  • What causes wrinkles, from the Ayurvedic perspective
  • How to prevent premature aging for your specific skin type
  • What to eat to prevent premature aging

Let’s now delve into how Ayurveda explains aging and wrinkle-formation. 

Contrary to most Western sciences, in Ayurveda, the process of 'Jara’ or aging is viewed not as an ailment but as a natural phenomenon that occurs due to the continuation of life.

Now, when it comes to this state of balanced living, there are  a number of factors that affect our bodies, both internally and externally, which are responsible for the disharmonious impressions of old age. These, in turn, lead to the appearance of mature skin with  pronounced wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and such which are identified as characteristics of ‘Akala Jara’ or ‘premature aging’. 

Ayurveda maintains those factors as follows: 

Time and Transformation or ‘Kala Parinama’:

Over time, our bodies undergo physical and mental transformation that decreases the efficiency of various systems. This leads to saggy-looking skin, appearance of wrinkles and fine lines where the skin folds and dehydrated-looking patches.

Sounds familiar?
That’s because according to Western medicine systems, this is often described as loss of collagen and elasticity of the skin cells that makes them more fragile. But the centuries-old study and practices in Ayurveda prove that wrinkles and aging skin can be caused by EVEN MORE potent factors. Let’s have a look at those too!  

Diet or ‘Ahara’: 

Uninformed choices when it comes to eating is also a significant factor that causes premature aging. Poor dietary practices such as  irregular timings when it comes to eating, improper combinations of food (for example, did you know that you shouldn’t combine fruits with dairy? Yes! The properties of these foods don’t go together and can cause indigestion and over time, snowball into signs of premature aging. Bye-bye banana splits!🙁 The pain is real, we know!), consuming too much or too little food and not including a  well-balanced diet  can also aggravate signs of aging on the skin. Ayurveda insists that at least half your plate be filled with whole food such as fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables and grains for a nutritional diet.  

Routines or ‘Acharas’: 

Practices that imbalance your daily routine such as  irregular sleep patterns and  exercise routines, and lack of other self-care pursuits also tend to contribute to wrinkles and lines. For a better routine, try to wake up, go to sleep and eat at the same time every day so that your circadian rhythms don't get disturbed. The body is a creature of habit and thrives when it knows its routine!  

Doshas: 

Ayurveda believes that every person is born with a  unique balance of the 3 Doshas  and that any change or imbalance to this original composition can have adversary effects. This central biological makeup is a direct reflection of the status of Jara or aging which is easily visible as dullness and wrinkly looks on the skin.  

Besides these, the effect of the  external environment  that surrounds us such as pollution and our lifestyle choices like smoking and alcohol consumption also accelerate Jara and its visible signs.  

But what exactly are these Doshas? 

In Ayurveda, any changes to the skin or the body are identified as an imbalance of the 5 fundamental elements of nature: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. According to Ayurvedic ideology, these 5 elements are found in a unique combination in each human body that manifests itself in the form of 3 Doshas or causes: Vata (Space + Air), Pitta (Fire + Water) and Kapha (Water + Earth).

Any increase or decrease in this original combination, that is specific to one person, can result in ailments, diseases and other visible symptoms.

It is important to know your Dosha-specific skin type as it regulates how you care for skin! 

Ayurvedic philosophy holds that human life in itself holds the energy of these three doshas at various stages. As  babies, we move through the stage of Kapha infused with  smooth, oily skin and unctuousness, in general. Following this period, as  adolescents  walking through puberty, we show more Pitta elements such as excitement and vibrance. This fieriness gets reflected on our skin too as  spots and blemishes. As we get  older, more Vata elements show up such as  dryness, wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. The three phases are like the spring, summer and winter seasons of our lives.

And while most people experience all three stages at different points in their lives, your underlying specific dosha type still remains an important factor when it comes to caring for the skin, to prevent premature aging and to age with grace.

Read on to find out how you should care for your specific skin type for healthy aging no matter what stage you’re in life currently! 

Did you know? 

Anti-aging medicine is only an evolving branch in most Western medicine systems, but it has always been a part of Ayurvedic study and practice for 5000 years because Ayurveda prioritizes ‘Aayush and Arogyam’ or longevity with good health.  

Now comes the best part! 

Ayurveda not only explains the process of aging but also gives significant recommendations for each skin type to prevent premature aging, reduce the look of deep wrinkles and maintain a youthful look!

VATA SKIN 

Of all skin types, Vata skin is most prone to aging as it comprises the space and air elements. As a result, a Vata imbalance causes the skin to age faster and thereby increases the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and age spots.  

How to care for Vata skin 

Vata types require the most simple and easy-to-digest meal plans such as foods that are of soft, moist texture like soups and stews

‘Abhyanga’ or regular oil massage is the perfect practice to include in your daily skincare routine to care for Vata imbalance. Ghee, sesame oil and almond oil are the best oils suitable for practicing Abhyanga on Vata skin. It not only helps balance the Doshas but also delay the age-related changes or signs of Jara as it promotes hydration which are crucial for Vata skin type, especially in the colder months.

Abhyanga for Vata skin can also be done using lukewarm milk as the high level of protein found in milk promotes elasticity of the skin and supports the delicate Vata skin.

Oleation or oil massage is one of the important steps in the ancient Ayurvedic ‘Panchakarma’ healing treatment catered towards rejuvenation of tissues and boosting body immunity that naturally contributes to healthy aging.  

Pro Tip 

Mix 1 teaspoon of oatmeal and 1 teaspoon of milk or cream to make a paste. Sprinkle a bit of powdered rose petals to this mixture. Gently massage it onto your face and rinse off when dry. Using a natural cleanser will avoid the look of aged skin in Vata skin to a great extent.

For a more luxurious, yet natural and accessible skincare routine, you can also try iYURA’s Yauvari Amplified Youth Spring – an Ayurvedic Vegan Serum catered towards tightening and firming the skin for a glowy, youthful appearance!

Perfect for Vata skin, this formula contains the goodness of Black Gram in a nurturing base of Sesame Oil, as it provides optimum moisturization while it also cares for the delicate Vata skin.

After cleansing your face with an Ayurvedic gentle face cleanser, use no more than 1 pump of  iYURA’s Yauvari Amplified Youth Spring to reduce the look of wrinkles, fine lines and dry skin for a smoother, vibrant appearance. 

PITTA SKIN 

As Pitta skin is thicker than Vata skin, signs of aging don’t show that easily. However, this type of skin is  vulnerable to damage  caused by the sun which is also an important external factor that contributes to premature aging! If not given proper care, Pitta skin can easily  flare up and cause an uneven skin tone, sun spots, and also lead to  age spots.

How to care for Pitta skin 

Pitta skin, because of its fiery element, needs a lot of cool, soothing and calming care to prevent premature aging. Pitta diet should therefore include cool, energizing and hearty food. Besides, spices such as  cumin, fennel and turmeric also work well for Pitta body. However, excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol can aggravate Pitta.

For Pitta skin, Abhyanga or massage should be done using cool oils such as Coconut oil or Sunflower oil.

Coconut oil  is revered as a natural age-revitalizing serum when used topically. When absorbed into the skin, Coconut oil keeps the layers of the skin looking strong and thereby keeps the Pitta skin supple by significantly reducing the appearance of fine lines.

For a simple and easy Pitta skincare routine, apply a mask of pure honey over your face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wash off gently with cool water. Repeat once a week. Honey is rich in probiotics that nourish Pitta skin and reverses the look of wrinkles and helps with other age-related damages.  

Pro Tip 

Mix the juice of 1 cucumber along with 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel and 1 tablespoon rosewater in a small bowl. Blend until you get a smooth mixture. Use this as a natural face mist to cool down the Pitta skin and to protect it from photodamage and signs of premature aging.

Or, check out Ajara’s Sweetgrass Aloe Refreshing Toner – a formulation with benefits galore for Pitta skin! 

To get a more refreshed look and an upgraded spa-like care for Pitta skin, you can also try iYURA’s Manjish Glow Elixir.

This formula contains the cooling properties of Lemon or Jambheer prepared with Licorice, the Ayurvedic herb that is not only naturally rich in properties that help  uplift the degenerated look  of skin but is also specifically used to help with the effects of intense sun on skin - a heavenly combo for Pitta skin that’s going through the Vata stage of life!  

KAPHA SKIN 

Owing to its  thicker and juicier  texture, Kapha skin tends to show signs of aging far less than Vata or Pitta skin. It  ages slower and therefore the appearance of wrinkles also occurs much slower. But, Kapha skin tends to struggle with large pores.  

How to care for Kapha skin 

Caring for Kapha skin should be all about  maintaining a balance  in bodily activity. Light, warm food that are dry but clarifying at the same time such as  fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains  should be included in the diet for the Ka pha type. Also, remember to  avoid too much oily food  as it’ll increase oil production from the inside-out.

What works best for Kapha skin is a routine that  cleanses and clarifies the skin properly using gentle and natural exfoliators.

For Kapha skin, Ayurveda recommends a combination of ‘Garshana’ massage followed by a warm steam bath to prevent premature aging. it may get accumulated.

Use 100% raw silk Garshana gloves to practice this method of dry brushing all over the body. This not only stimulates the blood flow which is crucial for Kapha skin’s care.  

Pro Tip 

Mix 1 tablespoon organic sugar and ½ teaspoon ginger powder with enough water to make a paste. Use as a gentle scrub and massage it in circles. Natural exfoliators reduce the look of dullness in Kapha skin and also prevents build-up of toxins. 

For easier, hassle-free and an affordable massage, We have the perfect oil for you to start your day right:

Massage Shalathya Massage Oil oil into your skin after your morning shower, and your skin will look cared for and be silky smooth.  

How does eating right reduce wrinkles?  

While there is no cheat sheet to stop aging, Ayurveda believes that eating the right kind of food at the right time can help slow down aging and maintain youthfulness and energy. The best foods that you can eat are always those that are seasonal, grown organically and are fresh. Further, Ayurveda divides food into 3 categories:   

To prevent Jara and to encourage harmonious aging, a Sattvic diet that includes light and healthy foods  such as  fruits, vegetables, nuts and oil is recommended. Sattvic foods are held to be the wisest and truest form of diet.

 While Rajasic foods like meat, fish, milk and cream are energy-giving, it’s advised not to over-indulge in them.

 Lastly, it is considered best to avoid Tamasic foods such as excessive sugars, processed and preserved food and hard liquor.  

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