DIY Ayurvedic Skin Care (Part I: Cleanser + Mask) - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

DIY Ayurvedic Skin Care (Part I: Cleanser + Mask)

By on November 28, 2015

We all want younger, healthier, more radiant looking skin.

In the past, I have written extensively on how to restore the function of the inner skin, by which I mean the epithelium that lines the heart, gut, lungs, and arteries.

Today I want to discuss how to care for the outer skin, the skin that covers our bodies. Aside from affecting how we look, the outer skin also functions as a major detoxifying organ.

The outer skin is drained by an active and detoxifying lymph system, much like the inner skin. In the same way we pay attention to the health of the inner skin, we must also pay attention to the function of the outer skin, as it is a major detoxification organ and a major breeding ground for our good bacteria. When the outer skin becomes congested, the body becomes toxic and the skin prematurely ages, sags and wrinkles.

Join me for Part I of this series on Ayurvedic beauty secrets as I share some home Ayurvedic skin care recipes to cleanse and tone your skin. In addition, find out your Ayurvedic Skin Type and adjust your skin care formula accordingly.

Tomorrow, in Part II of this series, I will discuss natural moisturizing techniques and home recipes to help further restore the natural function and beauty of the skin.

Your Skin – Your Largest Detox Organ

In 1996, I started working with Ben Fuchs, a brilliant natural pharmacist, to co-create an Ayurvedic skin care line that would actually restore the function of the skin rather than just affect the skin’s surface appeal.

I was finding that the skin of many of my patients had ceased to function optimally and was unable to detoxify adequately. Many of the Ayurvedic treatments we employ at LifeSpa during our detox retreats, called “Panchakarma,” depend on the skin as a detox channel and exit ramp for stored toxins. Many fat soluble toxic chemicals, including preservatives, pesticides, environmental pollutants and heavy metals, store in the fatty layers just beneath the skin.

These toxins can congest the lymphatic drainage of the skin and slow down skin function. Literally, the skin’s transit – the time it takes for the skin to slough off old cells and present new cells – become much longer. This not only makes the surface layers of the skin look old, dry, and lackluster, it also compromises the skin’s ability to function as a much-needed detoxification organ.

Essential Food for the Skin

In 1998, we launched the LifeSpa preservative-free, chemical-free skin care line (now made with organic herbs).

Based on the Ayurvedic principles behind LifeSpa’s skin care line, I want to share some traditional home recipes for cleansing, toning, and reviving the skin.

Each recipe can be modified to your individual Ayurvedic Skin Type. I invite you to take our free Ayurvedic Skin Type Quiz now and determine your skin type. Once you know your skin type, just follow the corresponding recipe for your skin type, below, for both the Cleanser-Toner and Mask.

Ayurvedic Beauty Secrets

The basics of a good daily cleanser are to first soften and gently moisturize, and then to exfoliate the skin. This insures that the skin will not be irritated in any way. To achieve this result, we use chickpea flour, also known as gram or besan flour, as a base, which is naturally both exfoliating and moisturizing.

From there, we need to approach the skin much like we approach the villi of the gut. My favorite herb for this is Triphala, which contains three Ayurvedic fruits that are commonly used to detoxify, tone and support the skin of the gut.

When ingested, these herbs have been used for the inner skin in the following ways:

  1. Amalaki is loaded with free radical scavengers that support the collagen and elasticity of the skin. It supports the rejuvenation of the inner skin and is shown to support the skin’s natural ability to protect against foreign invaders. It is especially good for pitta skin.
  2. Bibhitaki is known as a natural detoxifying agent that increases micro-circulation into the deeper layers of the skin. It supports a natural flush of the sweat glands and detoxifies the skin. It is especially useful for kapha skin.
  3. Haritaki is a natural toner that supports the natural ability to flush toxins from the deeper layers of the inner skin. It is also known as a great rejuvenator for the skin. It is best for vata skin.

Seeing what these herbs do for the inner skin, just imagine what they can do for the outer skin and complexion!

The recipe below for the Ayurvedic mask has similar properties to the cleanser-toner. Because the mask is left on the skin longer, it must also be soothing and gentle on the skin.

Home Recipes

~Ayurvedic Cleanser-Toner~

  • 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Triphala powder

Mix into a paste with rose water and apply with circular strokes or a rotating brush as a cleanser-toner.

Vata Skin Types:

Add 1 teaspoon of raw honey.

Pitta Skin Types:

Add 1/4 teaspoon of dried Neem or mint leaves (if using fresh leaves, use 1/2 tablespoon of mashed leaves and mix into your paste).

Kapha Skin Types:

Add 1 teaspoon of raw honey with ½ teaspoon lemon juice.

~Ayurvedic Mask~

  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Triphala powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried Neem or mint leaves (if using fresh leaves – use 1/2 tablespoon of mashed leaves and mix into your paste)

Mix the above ingredients into a paste and apply to the skin 1-2 times per week for 5-10 minutes, and rinse.

Vata Skin Types:

Mash 1-2 tablespoons* of ripe avocado and mix into your base mask paste.

Pitta Skin Types:

Mash 1-2 tablespoons* of cucumber and mix into your base mask paste.

Kapha Skin Types:

Mash 1-2 tablespoons* of ripe papaya and mix into your base mask paste.

* Use 1 tablespoon for regular skin and 2 tablespoons for sensitive skin.

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About Dr John Douillard

Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP, is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda, and sports medicine. He is the creator of, the leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web. is evolving the way Ayurveda is understood around the world, with over 700 articles and videos proving ancient wisdom with modern science. Dr. John is the former Director of Player Development for the New Jersey Nets NBA team, author of 6 books, a repeat guest on the Dr. Oz show, and featured in Woman’s World Magazine, Huffington Post, Yoga Journal and dozens of other publications. He directs LifeSpa, the 2013 Holistic Wellness Center of the year, in Boulder, CO. For more information visit


  1. Pingback: DIY Ayurvedic Skin Care (Part II: Moisturizer) - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

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