The transition into any new season is the perfect time to refresh our routines, diets and lifestyle practices. This aligns our energy with nature and also supports our innate circadian rhythms. In Ayurveda, summer is the season of Pitta. Pitta consists of attributes that are hot, fiery, oily, and sharp.
Whatever elements nature provides us with during each seasonal cycle, we want to fuse the opposite energies into our lifestyle practices to create harmony. Ayurvedic practices for summer skincare will always be of the opposite attributes of Pitta. As nature provides us with the attributes of Pitta during the summer such as warmth, heat, fiery natures, we want to then incorporate attributes of cool, calm, soothing and anti-inflammatory into our beauty and lifestyle practices to create balance.
As we chill out during the Ayurvedic season of pitta, I am sharing my best Ayurvedic beauty and lifestyle tips that Ayurveda recommends to stay cool, calm and collected during the summer season.
Ayurvedic Beauty Tips for Summer
Adjust for Your Dosha
Aligning with your dosha supports your lifestyle and beauty practices on a deeper level and is far more superior than following along what others are doing without first understanding your elemental nature. Your dosha is your individual blueprint for health.
If you are pitta dosha for example, you’ll have a predominant amount of fire and heat in your constitution. I’m predominantly pitta myself. This makes me extra sensitive to heat and inflammation in general. On top of that, I live in the very pitta climate of Miami.
Therefore I am mindful of spicy foods, staying hydrating, not overdoing my time at the sauna, do not consume alcohol at all, end my showers with cold water and am deeply mindful of keeping my stress at a minimum to not inflame my mind or physical body. When a pitta gets hot and fiery, watch out because it gets spicy.
Vata, the dosha of air, can be sensitive to the heat of summer due to dryness tendencies from their predominant element of air. Vata’s want to be mindful in staying hydrated to prevent further dryness from summer heat.
For Kapha, the substantial elements of earth and water, opt for consuming a light diet and incorporating movement into daily routine. This prevents sluggishness and heaviness that can increase in summer pitta heat.
It is vital to stay well hydrated during the Pitta summer months. Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches and once we get to the point of dehydration, it takes longer to recover vs being mindful about hydrating from the start.
If you want to kick up your hydration a notch, opt for coconut water, low sugar fruit juices and electrolyte fusions rich in potassium, magnesium and minerals. Minerals are especially important if you are working out or participating in high activity outdoors during summer months and sweating a lot. You can also opt for infusions of cucumber, lemon and mint to switch it up from plain water and enjoy some cooling flavors.
Keep Alcohol Intake to a Minimum
Alcohol is highly dehydrating, inflammatory and increases Pitta dosha. Alcohol keeps skin dry and inflamed from the inside out, creates inflammation in both the physical body and mental mind and does our wellbeing no favors at all.
Opt for a Light Diet
The most effective Ayurvedic tip for Summer and Pitta season is to eat lighter. Summer is not the time for heavy meals. You’ll feel heavy, sluggish and deplete your energy, as the body will be working extra hard to digest heavy foods. Avoid heavy grains, potatoes, heavy condiments, heavy meats, stews, overeating and over indulging.
Opt for fruits and vegetables, light herb infused salads, light leafy greens, dandelion greens, cucumbers, celery, berries, light fish, light meats, light broths, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Keep dairy choices on the lighter side such as goat cheese, feta cheese and organic yogurt in mindful amounts.
Optimal summer foods are of sweet, bitter and astringent qualities. These attributes cool the body. Avoid hot, spicy and excess salty qualities of food, as these attributes heat the body.
Cool Down Internally
Add cooling spices and herbs to meals and tea infusions. Cooling spices include coriander, cumin, mint, lavender, dill, rose, hibiscus, turmeric, spearmint, and fennel. These spices have a cooling energetic quality.
Spices overall help to support a balanced and healthy kindling of our digestive fire or agni in order to optimally digest and assimilate what we eat. I love Mountain Rose Herbs for all of my organic cooking spices, as well as loose leaf teas. Ideally we curate spices according to our individual doshas in alignment with the seasons and cycles of nature.
Cold Brew Teas
Whether it be green tea, white tea or any herbal teas, I love cold infusion teas. For tea and herb intake with the lighter seasons of Spring and Summer, leaves and petals are recommended vs roots and barks, which are more dense and of more fall and winter qualities.
A cold brew infusion method is a slower and more gentle brewing process for delicate leaves and flowers. This method extracts constituents slower and offers a less bitter taste from over brewing.
Simply add your ratio of loose tea or tea bags, room temperature or cold water and steep in the fridge. Prepackaged tea bags will easily steep in the fridge from 1-3 hours and herbal. More therapeutic focused infusions use a larger amount of loose herbs and I usually steep anywhere from 4 hours to overnight in the fridge. Strain and enjoy!
Cool and Calm with Rose
Rose is one of my favorite flowers and ingredients. Rose soothes the heart, cools the mind and body, calms skin inflammations and supports the seven dhatus, or tissue layers of the body. In addition, rose is pitta pacifying in Ayurveda and can be used both internally and externally.
You can mist your complexion with rosewater throughout the day to cool skin down. You can cold brew a batch of rose tea and use as a cooling facial compress for a summer skin treat to keep skin glowing and radiant.
There is no other satisfying summer drink than a cold brewed rose tea or a personal favorite, a rose and Hibiscus cold brew. Simply add 1/2 oz of organic dried rose petals and 1/2 oz organic dried hibiscus into a mason jar, fill with room temp or cool to cold water and steep in fridge for 2-3 hours. Enjoy within 24 hours. You can also add organic rosewater to any beverage or dish for an internal cooling treat.
Cooling Facial Treatments
Aloe vera, cold stones, ice massage and cooling yogurt face masks like the one you’ll find in summer skincare tips are a nourishing way to cool skin down on hot days.
Light Face and Body Oils
Oils are fantastic for glowing skin. For face and body skincare and oil massage during the summer, opt for lighter oils such as a jojoba, rosehip, and grapeseed oil.
Some oils are heavier than others depending on the linoleic and oleic acid content of oils. This is important to know, as oils can hold inflammation into the skin in some instances.
It is always best to opt for lighter oils during pitta season for this reason. Sesame oil and other richer oils should be used more in the cooler seasons of vata and kapha.
Protect Your Skin from Excess Sun
Protect your skin daily. Proper skin protection prevents melasma flare ups, collagen break down, photo-damage and sun spots. Always opt for a mineral based SPF for extended periods outdoors. Grab a stylish sun hat before heading outdoors too.
Cold Plunges and Showers
Cold showers and cold plunges are a great way to cool the body down, support the nervous system, vagus nerve and are supportive in stimulating the lymphatic system for health. If you don’t have access to a cold plunge, you can complete your showers with a cold water rinse.
Ayurvedic Morning Routine
A morning routine helps us start our day in a grounded and centered energy. However, we all know complicated routines don’t last very long. To keep it simple, 3 tips Ayurveda recommends that are simple no matter your schedule are hydration, elimination, and oral care.
1. Hydrate when you wake up.
Opt for a large room temperature glass of water before coffee. This hydrates and wakes up the organs first thing and assists with daily elimination. Especially for coffee drinkers, as coffee is dehydrating.
2. Daily elimination every morning is vital for optimal health.
Constipation and imbalance of elimination will cause an array of problems in the body. We will feel heavy, reabsorb toxins, create further sluggishness throughout our digestion and constipation will reflect on the skin through breakouts, bloating and fluid retention. Hydration is important for so many reasons and elimination is one of them!
3. Oil Pulling and tongue scraping for oral care.
Scrape the tongue to remove the coating that deposits while we sleep. This is a form of detoxification that occurs while we sleep and it’s important to remove it in the am to prevent reabsorption and open up the taste buds. Follow with oil pulling.
I recommend using organic coconut oil to oil pull. Oil pulling continues the detoxification of the mouth by breaking down film left in the mouth during sleep and is deeply nourishing to the gums and teeth. I personally love the circulation and workout my cheeks get from swishing the oil! You can oil pull anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes. Spit out the oil when complete.
There you have it! Summer provides the heat, we then provide cooling attributes throughout our lifestyle practices, diets and skincare routine for healthy skin and harmonious well being. As we learn to harness the power of the current cycle of nature, we automatically create more balance and energy throughout our days.
For more valuable info on how to nourish your skin from the inside out, check out more on the blog.
Then, I encourage you to join me inside the Minimal Beauty Collective. This is my all inclusive skincare program that teaches skincare from the inside out. When you join me inside, you’ll learn my authentic and results-driven practices as well as a sustainable and graceful approach to aging using minimal products. It’s a tried and true less-is-more approach to skincare and I can’t wait to see you there!