Mine sure has been. And while I’ll get into some theories tomorrow, I know that the arrival of vata season (a.k.a. fall in ayurvedic terms), with all of its loveliness and nostalgia, is also likely to aggravate anyone prone to stress (me! you!). So, while we’ve already covered the ayurveda angle, it all bears repeating and today Well+Good has an interview on the subject with one of our favorite practitioners. If you read the book (aw, remember the book? It feels so long ago now!) you will surely remember the part when Siobhan was washing her face with dried sticks and going to ashrams in search of the perfect acne cure. Well Pratima was one of the first alternative docs that really set her straight in those early days when we were both still using stuff like benzoyl peroxide and glycolic acid.
So let’s hear from Pratima, but first: How has your skin been faring this fall?
From the piece:
Got some dry patches and breakouts with the dip in temperature?
The cause of your contradictory complexion is par for the course, says Dr. Pratima Raichur, an Ayurvedic physician and owner of Pratima Spa in Soho. It’s Vata season.
The Ayurvedic calendar says October through February is a time when our bodies—and skin—are plagued by imbalances and change, says Dr. Raichur, who has made skin health her specialty.
Want to conquer Vata season’s beauty vices? We asked Dr. Raichur to explain how in layman’s terms:
Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old healing science. What is its take on skin, particularly this time of year?
Vata is both a season, and one of three Ayurvedic constitutions called doshas that apply to people.
Vata-dominant people will typically have dry skin and hair, be prone to premature wrinkles, and lack skin luster. This time of year, it can worsen and so can health symptoms like insomnia, constipation, and mental blockages.
Even if Vata is not your primary dosha, all of us are prone to these right now.
What diet or lifestyle changes help fend off Vata season’s effects?
I always recommend doing a detox but dietary changes help. Try to avoid cold or raw food, and opt for steamed or stir-fried dishes. Organic soups and grains like quinoa, basmati rice, seitan, and amaranth are excellent, and adding ghee to your meals helps nourish skin cells.
To keep digestion in check, add spices such as ginger, fennel, cumin, and coriander to your meals.
And most importantly, drink six to seven glasses of room temperature water or herbal tea each day to stay hydrated.
It’s not for nothing that September magazine issues are such a thing. September represents the promise of a fresh start: It’s back to school, it’s new clothes and products—maybe even new love. In other words, it’s the chance for companies to sell, sell, sell you on the idea of beginnings. And none of us are immune.
Case in point: Here in Los Angeles, September is kind of none of those things—it’s actually wild fires and scorching hot weather (which I happen to like). Yet, for no apparent reason, I woke up this morning to fantasies of fall fashion: sweaters and blazers and boyfriend jeans.
As for products, I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m a hydration whore. Whether the temperature goes up or down, the air here will be dry and unforgiving this September (add to that travel plans on those skin-sucking planes) so I am going to try out the Tata Harper’s Rebuilding Moisturizer (I can’t believe I haven’t yet!) and will finally re-up on the Tammy Fender Repair Balm. Because while I’m all about the oils for maintenance, moisturizers are better occlusives; i.e. they hold that moisture in, whereas oils absorb.*
Now it’s true that we asked you last year if you would be changing up your products with the seasons. But there were so many less of you then! So we ask again, will you stick with your current routine or adjust accordingly?
And just to keep the seasonal conversation going, be on the lookout in the next week or so for a Q&A with my new favorite Ayurvedic expert, filled with fall health tips. Coming soon!
*One of our readers pointed out in the comments that I may actually have this backwards—and in principle she’s totally right. (Dain, not rude at all… we welcome feedback and corrections!) But let me explain (properly this time) why I feel that moisturizers can sometimes be better occlusives. Certain moisturizers are not simple oil-water combinations, and in particular the ones I love tend to be on the heavier-even-sticky side. That’s probably due to the presence of additional occlusive-type ingredients (including lots of oils): things like glycerin, honey, beeswax and so on. The point I should have made is that single ingredient oils versus multi-ingredient moisturizers do sometimes absorb more easily—but not always!
Those who abide by a monthly beauty budget that’s less than a cellphone bill can find department store counters pretty disappointing. But the solution isn’t necessarily found at Sephora or Duane Reade, especially if you like natural and organic ingredients.
So we’ve pulled together a list of nine natural and organic beauty brands from sources that won’t break the bank. These clean skin-care picks don’t skimp on quality, and cost less than $45 for a moisturizer or serum.
That’s half the cost of a cell-phone bill—and most of these will last you a couple months. Hear your new products calling?
A unisex favorite in plantable boxes.
Average cost of a moisturizer: $36
Fave: Moroccan Argan with Willow & Rosemary Facial Cream
Buy it at Whole Foods or www.pangeaorganics.com
A 90-year-old line of biodynamic skin-soothers made in Germany.
Fave: Pomegranate Firming Day Cream
Buy it at C.O. Bigelow or www.usa.weleda.com
John Masters Organics
Skin care from the famed eco-friendly hair stylist.
Fave: Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil
Buy it at Whole Foods or www.johnmasters.com
Keep reading here! And tell us: What’s your favorite natural moisturizer?
Let’s be honest: Our Friday Deals are always special. But today is a little extra so because Kahina Giving Beauty—one of our favorite brands to begin with—is offering up one of our absolute favorite new products. Have you guessed yet? Here’s a hint: It’s pictured above, and it looks familiar because Siobhan rave-reviewed it last month and still won’t leave the house without it. Since trying this delicious product we’ve both been spraying it on our faces in a borderline-compulsive way because it’s hydrating without making you greasy, and imparts a glow even on our less-than-glowy days. So without further ado…
Here’s the deal: Kahina is giving you a FREE Toning Mist with any purchase over $75. The mist itself is valued at $36, so once again we’re talking about a brain-meltingly (expression of the week!) good deal. Just enter promocode FREEMIST and it will be included in your shipment. Note: It will not show up anywhere in your cart, but don’t panic, you’ll totally get it. The deal lasts until midnight next Thursday.
If you’re wondering what to get from Kahina, you just cannot go wrong with the pure argan oil, and while it may feel pricey, we should remind you a bottle lasts forever and it goes very nicely with the mist. But we also love the eye cream, the mask, and pretty much everything else they make. So enjoy!
Happy Friday, girls.
You know when you meet a new person and you’re so wild about them that even their snoring is adorable? You think about them when they’re not around and find ways to work them into conversations no matter how much of a stretch it is? That’s basically how I feel about the Kahina Giving Beauty Toning Mist, which I’ve been using religiously for exactly a month now mainly because…
It’s not every day one of your favorite brands puts out a new product, and it’s not every day you find a product that is loaded with actives, feels and smells good, and—gasp—works.
A word about the word “works.” This is obviously to a certain extent subjective, but seeing is believing when it comes to skincare and based on what I see in the mirror (even in the super-unflattering lighting in my bathroom) and on the ingredient list (posted below), I’m a believer. I feel almost certain that my skin has been more hydrated, calmer/clearer, plumped and glowy since I started using it—which I credit to the sodium hyaluronate, argan leaf extract, willow bark and rose water. There are also a lot of antioxidants in there.
Here’s how I use it: After my morning shower, where I typically wipe my face with a muslin cloth from Pai (with no cleanser), I spray my face with Kahina’s Toning Mist, wait a couple of minutes, and then apply moisturizer and sunscreen. And at night before bed, after washing, I spray, wait a few, then apply my night oils and an eye cream. It’s also nice over makeup (it sets minerals very nicely) and as a refresher after a long flight. So far, so great.
Plus, 25 percent of the profits are set aside for the Berber women in Morocco who harvest and produce Kahina’s argan oil.
You can get it from their site, for $36. I’m not sure how long it will last but with a month of twice-daily use I have a long way to go before it runs out.
Ingredients: aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice*, aqua, rosa damascena (rose) flower water*, salix nigra (willow bark) extract, populus tremuloides (aspen bark) extract, medicago sativa (alfalfa) extract*, sodium hyaluronate, argania spinosa (argan) leaf extract, oryza sativa (rice) seed extract*, camellia sinensis (white tea) leaf extract*, sodium PCA, glycerin, sodium levulinate, sodium anisate, maltodextrin, sodium benzoate.
Have you tried this mist? Do you have a toner you like?