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I Finally Learned The BEST Way to Moisturise My Skin (Cheap and No Gimmicks): Ayurveda

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Ever since I can remember, winter used to mean horrible dry skin for me. Even after I moved from the east coast of America to the warmer climate of the Gold Coast of Australia, my skin was still awful in winter. So dry that my hands and feet would crack and sometimes bleed! I tried using every type of moisturiser and every method out there (or so I thought). Until, at the start of last winter, my ayurvedic doctor told me to start doing daily warm oil massage in the morning, followed by a shower. Hmmm… That was weird, I thought. Put the oil on BEFORE the shower? I was willing to give it a try.

This is how I heat up the oil. Pour some hot water in the bigger container thingo (I make it close to boiling) and then pour the oil into the little pot and the oil will get warmed up by the hot water.

I started doing it every day and my skin started feeling amazing! Almost instantly, no cracked hands and feet! Hooray! Plus, it’s so nice and relaxing to give your self a massage. This winter has been the same as last, not a single painful bleeding crack on my hands or feet!

So, all you do is warm¬†oil massage, followed by a warm¬†shower (not too hot), using no soap, or I just use soap on the ‘essential‘ parts, then dry with a towel, and your skin feels like a baby’s butt. If you oil massage your hair, you can wash this out with shampoo otherwise you’ll have greasy looking hair. Make sure the oil is warm! Room temperature or cold oil has a different effect on the body.

The traditional oil to use is black sesame oil (careful not to use the asian style toasted sesame oil or the white sesame oil). However, I found that I like using sweet almond oil in hot summer months. In winter, I prefer the black sesame. Sweet almond oil is super greasy and doesn’t have as much of a heating quality as black sesame oil. Plus, sweet almond oil can be easier to find than black sesame. If you’re already a hot person like me, you don’t need the extra heat! Everyone is different though, the sesame oil is usually what is recommended. This bottle of oil costs about $10 in Australia and lasts me about 4-6 weeks.

Warm oil massage doesn’t take very long. Maybe an extra ten minutes max per day, but it’s so worth it! Ideally, I would do it every day, but I don’t always get a chance. Even if I can do it once every other day or even once every two days, that feels amazing too! I’ve stopped having to use as much moisturiser and I even get way less pimples now (lucky me, still getting zits in my 30’s). I still keep a bottle of mosturizer around for those days when the air is really dry and I when I haven’t been able to do my massage, but I don’t have to rely on it like I used to.

You can google how to do ‘abhyanga’ or warm oil self massage to get an idea of the technique or self massage, it’s easy… My baby likes getting a warm oil massage too and on days when it works, we do it at the same time. Then, we’re both soft all day! Warm oil massage does more than just make your skin soft. In ayurveda, it helps something called ‘vata’. I could write a whole blog post on that, but basically, if vata is balanced, then you are more focused, less overwhelmed and better at making the right decisions. In a way, the soft skin is more of the by-product!

Some other tips for keeping your skin nice in winter are to keep warm, wear socks and shoes, stay out of the wind and eat warm, wet, easy to digest food. It’s THAT easy! Try it and enjoy your new soft skin!

7 Responses »

  1. Thanks Kate, I want to try this.

    Reply
  2. Hi Kate! I’m a hot monster too, but why almond instead of coconut? Do u use almond year round? I was not heating the oil when massaging, so I tried it because Kate said so, and it feels SO much better. Any suggestions on a quicker way of heating the oil? There’s no time to go down to the kitchen to heat the oil in the mornings. I saw some electric contraption on Amazon, but it had bad reviews.

    Reply
    • Coconut is cooling… not good for vata Do you guys have electric kettles in America? Everyone has one here. That’s what I use to heat my water up with. You can just buy one and leave it in the bathroom upstairs?

      Reply
  3. Hello Kate, very inspring blog!
    I have a question about the oils – you say coconut is cooling and not good for vata – is it not good all year long or during hot summer it is ok? What about olive oil, is it cooling or warming? And the almond oil you use – is it extra virgin (or cold pressed or however is the correct term for that)?
    Thanks a lot!

    Reply
    • HI! Hmm.. I’m not an expert in all of these oils. I only know that black sesame is the recommend oil in ayurveda. I can use this one in cooler months, but in summer, sometimes, it can be a bit too hot for me! Maybe someone at a health food shop would know about the way they process them?

      Reply

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