3 mistakes you could be making if you’re new to Ayurvedic beauty and wellness practices

While Ayurveda has been picking up steam over the last few years, it’s found new reach since celebrities like Anushka Sharma, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kourtney Kardashian have begun promoting their experiences with oil pullingdry brushing and panchakarma treatments respectively. But with all that information, it can be easy to start adding practices and products to your regimen without doing the due diligence.

We reached out to Dr Taruna Yadav, senior Ayurveda expert, Forest Essentials, Prashanthy Gurugubelli, founder of Daughter Earth and Michelle Ranavat, founder Ranavat Botanicals, to understand the Ayurveda-related mistakes that people could make. Think you might be making some too? Here are the most popular ones.

You’re looking at your dosha as a hard and fast rule

“There is a lot of noise on the internet about figuring out your dosha, but a guided consultation always works better. What we need to understand is that the imbalance of a dosha is not a constant. The imbalance can be seasonal or even hormonal,” says Gurugubelli, though she shares that an online dosha test could be a good start. “Take it as indicative, not conclusive.” Most people are a cross between two, so knowing where you stand on the scale can be done through in-person consultations.

You’re waiting too long for the product or technique to work

A mistake that people make while opting for Ayurvedic or natural skincare is the belief that it will take time to show results. So, they carry on with the product that is not showing any result on the skin believing that because the product is natural, it will be a slow process. “While an Ayurvedic skincare product or tincture may not have overnight effects like cosmetic products with peels or acids, it is nevertheless effective, and you should start feeling a difference as soon as possible,” says Gurugubelli.

“Ayurvedic science gives a very detailed and intricate guideline on how to make highly effective skincare products,” adds Dr Yadav. “This ancient science advocates products should be made with 100 per cent natural, fresh, pure and seasonal plant ingredients, naturally distilled pure essential oils, and pure cold-pressed organically grown vegetable oils.” If the product is not working for you, then it could be an indication that the ingredients are not sourced at the highest potency or perhaps you are using a formulation that not in sync for your body composition or prakriti.

You’re picking any product off the shelf

Ayurvedic products are formulated with highly potent botanical active ingredients to help your skin to heal from within rather than stimulate it superficially. So picking just any product, or mixing up your own at-home DIY without paying attention to the side-effects can be a major mistake.  “Ayurvedic skincare is highly personalised, [based on] recommendations as per the different skin types, skin concerns, and the requirements of the skin. Ayurveda emphasises on first understanding the details of the skin, the prakriti (body composition), and choosing the herbs, ingredients, and natural extracts as per the skin requirements,” says Dr Yadav.

This also applies to Ayurvedic practices like oil-pulling, for example. For those with certain types of teeth sensitivities, swishing oil in the mouth can cause pain and discomfort. Plus, knowing what to use for each specific use-case is key, like using bitter, pungent herbs if you want to balance kapha aspects or using a lubricating oil if you’re a vata type. The same counts for techniques like panchakarma, which is a very intense technique that includes detoxification through enemas, purging and other practices. It can only work under supervision and only for certain doshas, so chalking it up to be safe and natural as a blanket technique can be harmful. “I would say one of the biggest issues I see is people not understanding the true reason for the practice. It is like saying that yoga, which is incredible practice for mind/body, is only about ‘stretching’. Then you are unable to tap into the full potential,” says Ranavat. “It’s important to take a moment and understand the origins so you can get the most out of the practice,” adds Ranavat.

The article was first published in Vogue

Author

  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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