By Kellen Brugman
Sophia Loren, one of the world’s legendary beautiful women, and one
with a still-radiant complexion at age 77, once said, “Beauty is how you
feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes.” To put an ayurvedic spin on
her statement, beauty is how you feel and function inside, and it
reflects in your skin.
Beautiful skin is radiant, smooth, well-hydrated, and even-colored.
It has firm elasticity with few wrinkles. What exactly is the secret of
ageless beauty? Modern science and the cosmetic industry market beauty
as something that can be found in a bottle or created by a surgical
procedure. However, according to ayurveda, the secret of ageless beauty
relates to the internal balance of one’s digestion, immunity, and state
Oh, the Elixir of Ojas!
The outer glow of clear, youthful skin is directly related to the
inner fire of one’s agni. Agni is the transformational digestive force
in the body. It is responsible for the digestion of food, assimilation
of nutrients into the body’s tissues, the elimination of waste products,
and the production of ojas. According to ayurveda, ojas is a refined
biological substance that is the end-product of healthy digestion. Ojas
is the master biochemical substance underlying higher states of
consciousness. These higher states are strongly balancing to mind and
body and have significant benefits for health. Signs of healthy agni are
signs of ojas: they include physical vitality, mental clarity, strong
immunity, balanced emotions, and radiant skin.
Ojas is also an elixir for immunity, and is the vital essence that
gives the skin strength and beauty. The quantity and quality of ojas
depend on the health of one’s digestive and elimination systems. The
skin care products on drugstore shelves pale in comparison to the
protective and rejuvenating powers of balanced digestion and its
byproduct, ojas. Ojas is something you can expect to be hearing more and
more about as more Americans discover ayurveda.
Healthy Skin Begins Within – Respect Your Agni, Reflect Beauty
One’s skin is beautiful because it is healthy. Skin is healthy when
the body’s digestive system is balanced. Balance in the digestive system
relates to the food one eats and the lifestyle one chooses to live.
Healthy skin begins within.
There is a computer programming term, “GIGO,” which means “garbage
in, garbage out.” It applies not only to the processing ability of a
computer, but the processing ability of the body and mind. The
quality/integrity of the output is directly dependent on the
quality/integrity of the input. Consuming junk food, leftovers, soda
pop, and excess caffeine stresses digestion and can prematurely age the
skin. Ayurveda states that we metabolize, or digest, our entire
environment through all our senses. So, if one is feeding their mind
with negative thoughts and living a lifestyle that consists of late
nights, frequent happy hours, strained work, and constant multi-tasking,
the digestive system becomes unbalanced. Poor diet and a high-stress
lifestyle cause a build-up of ama (toxins) in the tissues. The result is
poor tissue quality, especially in the skin.
Ayurvedic Approach to Beautiful Skin
When it comes to maintaining youthful, healthy skin, we can’t turn
back the clock. But we can use the time we have now, and each day make
choices that support healthy skin. Here are some simple and effective
ways to look and feel beautiful.
1. Eat right and be bright. When you ingest fresh organic foods, you
invest in your skin. A diet that consists of local organic fruits and
vegetables, whole grains, and energizing proteins like whole milk,
soaked almonds, and split mung dhal kindles the digestive fire. Here are
more tips to support agni.
2. Support agni and nourish your skin with Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus).
This powerful antioxidant is a tonic for the digestive system and an
elixir for the skin. It also supports the benefits of all other herbals
3. Maintain your skin’s lubrication and collagen levels with Youthful Skin Toner and Youthful Skin Cream.
4. Integrate yoga asanas (positions), pranayama (breathing techniques), and Transcendental Meditation®,
or the meditation of your choice, into your daily routine. All of these
support the skin by helping to improve digestion, increase circulation,
and lower stress. The Transcendental Meditation program has been shown
in many studies to relieve stress and create balance.
For beautiful skin, there is no such thing as a magical external
potion or lotion. Rather, it requires maintaining healthy digestion by
eating right and managing stress. Beautiful skin begins within. If you
learn to tend the home fire of agni, your life will radiate with health,
well-being, and beauty well into your golden years of life.
(Cover photo By mikebaird, Flickr Creative Commons)