I also change up my evening skincare routine, too. During the summer months I’ll keep it really simple: cleanse my skin, apply a spritz of a hydrating toner and finish with a couple of drops of hydrating serum.
But in the winter months, I spend a few more minutes focusing on massaging an oil into my skin with a Kansa wand, a copper-tipped facial massage tool which is India’s answer to China’s gua-sha [a good option is the Ranavat Kansa Wand]. The copper helps to draw out impurities from the skin and promotes lymphatic drainage.
I’m not alone in the great seasonal skincare switch-up. Diipa Buller-Khosla, founder of Indian beauty brand Inde Wild, likens Diwali to the American holiday of Thanksgiving; a time when the ‘holiday switch’ goes on in her mind and she prioritises family and friends – and resetting her skincare. “I change my routine depending on the season, and in the autumn I feel like my skin needs a different approach,” she tells me.
While in the summer she sticks to water-based, light skincare, in the winter months it’s all about rich textures. “I love a light exfoliation using Tatcha’s Rice Polish for a smooth, clean and gently exfoliated base, followed by my Vitamin C serum and a thick layer of Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream.”
Diipa’s serum includes Ayurvedic ingredients such as ashwagandha, a proven ingredient that helps skin’s natural moisture levels – particularly useful in the colder months. “I think Indian beauty will become as popular as yoga and meditation, because the ingredients work and they’re clinically backed,” adds Diipa.
This focus on comfort and warmth is a strong theme in Ayurveda, and it applies to body care, too, with the practice of ‘Abhyanga’, which means to massage one’s body in Sanskrit. In the winter I’ll switch up my light body lotions and for more unctuous, rich oils.
Nikita Mehta, co-founder of Fable & Mane, also sees this time of the year as a chance to declutter. But, as she explains, it’s cleanliness for the house but also for herself; she kicks off Diwali week with a full body scrub consisting of rice powder, turmeric, milk and honey, followed by a soak in a bath before washing it off (it’s her secret to the ‘softest skin’). As for skincare, she’s been using Kama Ayurveda’s Kumkumadi Oil, and the Pure Steam Distilled Rosewater by Forest Essentials.
And let’s not forget massaging a pre-wash oil into the scalp for added nourishment, a practice that dates back over 5000 years in India. As Diwali approaches, Nikita oils her hair three times a week rather than just once. Of course, you could use her brilliant HoliRoots Hair Oil, or neat castor and amla oil.
“I feel like the whole body needs to feel hydrated and moisturised,” she tells me. “This is the best season for Ayurveda. It’s all about warming and nothing cold. It’s perfect now to adopt these habits in the autumn.” Nikita even switches to neat rose oil as her perfume. As well as warmth for external health, it’s about keeping warm and nourished internally, too; in Ayurveda it is advised to always drink warm water, rather than cold from the fridge or tap.