This post was last updated on August 12, 2021 by Preethi Sukumaran
As the winter recedes, the weather around here is getting hotter. With the rise of the hot, piercing sun, Krya is getting an increased set of queries on tanning, sun burn and skin redness after sun exposure. What does Ayurveda say about after sun care? How do we treat our body after high sun exposure? Read on in today’s post.
After sun care – basic do’s and don’ts according to Ayurveda
Traditional Medicine is very particular about limiting sun exposure around certain times, specifically between 10 am – 3 pm in our country. This Sun exposure is supposed to be completely avoided, as it can build up Pitta excessively in the body, leading to health issues.
Delicate organs like the brain and head are to be protected from Sun Exposure, which is why traditionally, the practice of wearing head gear like turbans and pagdis existed in India. Excess Agni either in the form of an imbalanced diet or high Sun exposure, will affect both digestion and eye sight.
If Sun exposure is unavoidable, traditional medicine advises controlling the diet and introducing certain lifestyle practices to balance Agni in the overall system. It makes sense that if you are constantly roaming in the sun, adding to your Agni by eating a lot of sour and spicy food will tip your Pitta Dosha over the balance.
Similarly, adding a pitta reducing abhyanga-snana, will re-set Pitta in the body and ensure it does not damage the organs or your skin and hair.
To sum up: After sun care recommendations
- Limit sun exposure especially between 10 am – 3 pm
- Cover your head while going out in the sun
- If frequent sun exposure is unavoidable do the following:
- bring down pitta aggravating foods in your diet
- frequently apply a cooling hair oil to protect your eyes and scalp
- do a once a week abhyanga to bring down pitta and balance it overall
What to do immediately after Sun exposure:
If you are unable to follow our precautions and have a job which necessitates harsh sun exposure, here is what you should do. Agni is to be dealt with great care, as dousing it too fast or with too extreme measures can lead to other issues.
Do not douse agni too quickly
- Exposure to cold wind (air conditioned rooms), cold drinks, or cold food tend to douse Agni too quickly. This can lead to extreme chills or the build up of Kapha in the body
- Similarly, one should not have a cold bath immediately after Sun exposure. The body must be rested for atleast 45 minutes before attempting a bath. A bath should be had in water that is at Room temperature only.
Do not shock the system immediately after sun exposure with a cold water bath. Allow the system to cool naturally and then have a bath in luke warm water.
- An oil bath should not be had on the day or day following excessive Sun exposure.
Do not aggravate the body of a person where Agni is in excess
- When Agni is in excess, hard to digest, difficult foods should not be consumed. Old rice, split mung, sun ripened vegetables and freshly cooked foods are usually adviced.
- Agni increasing foods like spicy foods, sour substances, sesame, urad, jaggery are to be avoided.
- When Agni is in excess, physical exercise, and heat increasing work and hard physical labour is to be avoided.
Channel out Agni through the skin by using specific herbs
Agni enters the body through the scalp and skin and moves inwards. similarly, when it comes down, it travels outwards again back out through the skin, scalp and eyes.
So it helps to have a cooling wash / bath using Pitta reducing herbs to channel out this Agni. If this stored Agni is not channeled out properly, it tends to build up in the body.
Melasma, skin spotting, blotchiness, uneven tanning and blemishes are all a sign of excessive or incorrect Sun Exposure. These symptoms tend to increase with Age, as aging reduces the natural moisture and sebum within the body, worsening the symptoms of Sun exposure.
Krya has a good range of After sun care products which are designed to safely dissipate this Agni. Read for more details of this below.
Our after sun skin care products are extremely popular. We use a special set of skin care herbs that reduce the effects of excess pitta in the body and help cool, repair and refresh sun damaged skin. When these products are used along with a pitta balancing diet, the results are even better.
The Krya After Sun care Face wash uses our patented mixture of lentils and grains that are steeped in 2 medicated herb decoctions. To this we add Pitta balancing and skin soothing flowers and herbs like Palash, Guduchi, Neem flower. These herbs draw away excess Pitta through the Srotas, reducing the dilating and flushing effect on skin.
To heal the damage to the outer layers of the skin, we use herbs like Khadira, Lodhra and Kushta. To support the natural regenerative process to repair damaged cells, we use herbs like Brahmi.
Finally, to even out skin tone, remove splotchiness and improve skin complexion, we use Kanti vardhaka herbs like Indian Sarsaparilla, Chandana, and Vetiver.
Healing lepas or face masks are recommended in Ayurveda to balance doshas, draw out impurities and nourish and nurture skin.
The Krya After Sun care Face mask uses 23 different herbs, grains, lentils and flowers to soothe, help repair and nurture sun exposed skin. We use pitta soothing, skin nourishing and Kanti vardhaka herbs.
This product is recommended by us to students, people with travelling jobs, and people in outdoor professions like architects and civil contractors. With consistent use, users report reduction in redness, improvement in skin moisture levels and evening of skin tome. This product is gentle enough to be used even twice or thrice a week as per your need.
Krya After Sun care Bodywash:
The Krya After sun Bodywash uses our patented mixture of lentils that are steeped in 2 medicated herb decoctions before being processed into the base for our product.
Krya's special medicated lentil base is used in our After Sun formulations to delicately cleanse and nurture skin.
To this we add several Skin repair and healing herbs like Ashwagandha and Arjuna which are very helpful in treating specific skin issues that arise from excessive sun exposure like Melasma and spotting. We also add pitta reducing herbs and bitters that draw out heat, cool down skin and assist it in achieving its natural state of balance.
To sum up: After sun care for you
The Sun is the greatest source of energy for us. However, as always, too much of a good thing is bad for us. So also, excess sun exposure and an improper cooling down method can build up Agni in our body.
When Agni is deranged, Pitta dosha is deranged in the body. Deranged Pitta dosha can present itself as burning and watering eyes, frequent sun burn and photo sensitivity and premature greying and hair thinning.
Classical medicine prescribes certain good health giving practices to ensure Pitta does not vitiate in the body.
- Follow the after sun measures detailed above.
- Use the correct skin cleansing products. a Special set of after sun products can help efficiently remove excess agni and prevent agni build up.
- Have a weekly abhyanga with a good dosha balancing hair oil. Krya recommends the Krya Abhyanga oil for a weekly dosha re-set.
- Follow up with a proper, skin cleansing, heat reducing bath
- Reduce the intake of pitta increasing food
- Avoid tea and coffee as they are dehydrating and can mimic the effects of excess pitta
- Follow the sun cycle when eating your meals; avoid late night meals
- Oil your hair regularly with a pitta reducing formulation to delay graying and promote healthy hair growth. Krya recommends using the Krya Classic hair oil for moderate pitta imbalance and the Krya Vibrant hair oil for high Pitta imbalance.
Krya After Sun care products recommended:
- Krya After Sun care face wash to cleanse sun exposed skin – recommended to be used twice a day
- Krya After Sun care Face mask – use twice a week on cleansed skin
- Krya After Sun care Body wash – recommended to balance sun burn throughout the body especially after a beach holiday
- Krya Classic Hair oil – for moderate sun exposure to prevent / slow down premature greying
- Krya Vibrant hair oil – for frequent and high sun exposure to prevent / slow down premature greying & hair thinning
- Krya Abhyanga Oil – recommended for weekly Abhyanga for an overall dosha re-set