The Vata Ayurvedic skin type is characterized by being thin, dry and flaky. It can be cold to the touch and sensitive to cold or windy conditions. From an Ayurvedic perspective, fall is Vata season, due to the dry, cool nature of autumn. So for Vata-dominant people and those afflicted by dry skin in the fall, it’s important to choose skin care and beauty products that are more hydrating than drying.
For a good fall clay mask that won’t dry out your skin, try using Rhassoul clay. Many claim that with regular use, Rhassoul clay can increase the skin’s ability to hold moisture. It is also known to contain a higher quantity of silica and magnesium than other clays. If you have trouble finding Rhassoul clay specifically, you can substitute other clays. The most important factor is what the clay is mixed with.
For vata masks, clays can be combined with herbal powders, which help to prevent over drying and replenishes moisture, while still drawing out toxins and providing the benefits of the clay’s trace elements and minerals.
Herbs that are demulcent are especially beneficial in a vata face mask. Demulcent herbs soothe the skin by bringing more moisture to the tissues and, therefore, increasing your skin’s ability to hold moisture. These herbs include: plantain, marshmallow, shatavari, and licorice. If you use demulcent herbs in your clay mask, you will want to add a little water to your mixture to help hydrate them.
Another important factor in making hydrating masks is the liquid you use. Using a water and clay mask can be a bit too drying for vata skin, but if the mixture contains demulcent herbs, as listed above, then using water only is fine.
Other great options for hydrating clay masks include:
- Milk: Milk contains proteins and fats that help to nourish and soften the skin. It is commonly used in Ayurveda for skin treatments.
- Honey: In Ayurveda, honey is considered purifying. It draws out toxins and impurities from your skin without drying it out, leaving a soft, clean feeling.
- Avocado: Avocado is high in essential fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins. It’s great for softening your skin, while replenishing it with oils and nutrients.
- Yogurt: Yogurt contains good fats and proteins that your skin loves. It also contains probiotics (good bacteria), which can help restore balance and reduce unwanted bacteria.
DIY: Fall Clay Mask
To make your own clay mask, combine any of the ingredients above using one part herbs to two parts clay, then mix enough liquid into the clay and herb mix to make a thin paste. Once you have thoroughly mixed the powder with the liquid, add 1-3 drops of essential oil (whichever you like best!).
Apply the paste to your face and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Remove with a clean washcloth moistened with warm water.
Lastly, pat the skin dry and apply a toner and moisturizer.
If experimenting with your own clay mask concoction is intimidating right now, feel free try the recipe below.
Milk and Honey Mask for Vata Skin
Clay: 1 ½ Tbsp
Milk: 1-2 tsp (add more if needed to make the paste)
Honey: 1 tsp
Shatavari powder: 1 tsp
Rose powder: 1 tsp
Nutmeg: ½ tsp