Ayurvedic Basics To Skin Care

Gunjan Lal
April 24, 2017
Views : 1215
Ayurvedic Basics To Skin Care

According to Ayurveda, each person is made up of three energies or 'Dosha' - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. While all three exist in each one of us, usually one or two of the Dosha dominate. Various extents of these energies determine in every individual determine personality and psychological traits, along with their general likes and dislikes. For instance, Kapha dominant types are more likely to crave spicy food more than Pitta or Vata dominant types. Similarly, Vata dominant types would prefer hot weather rather than cold weather.

Basic Characteristics Of Each Mind-Body Type

Vata Predominant Types

  • Individuals that have a predominance of Vata Dosha tend to be
  • Creative
  • Quick at learning and grasping new knowledge, but also tend to forget quickly,
  • Slender, tall and fast-walkers
  • Tendency toward cold feet and hands; feel uncomfortable in cold climates
  • Changeable moods
  • Full of joy and enthusiasm when in balance
  • Excitable, fun, lively personality
  • High energy in short bursts; likeliness to tire easily and to overexert
  • Irregular daily routine
  • Respond to stress with worry, fear, and anxiety - especially when out of balance
  • Inclination to act on impulse
  • Often have racing, disjointed thoughts (or streams of thoughts)
  • Generally, have dry hair and dry skin and don't perspire much.

Pitta Predominant Types

  • Individuals that have a predominance of Pitta Dosha tend to be
  • Sharp mind, good concentration powers
  • Orderly and focused
  • Assertive, self-confident, and entrepreneurial at their best
  • Competitive, enjoy challenges
  • Passionate and romantic
  • Medium physique, strong, well-built
  • Strong digestion and strong appetite; get irritated if they have to skip or wait for a meal
  • Aggressive, demanding, pushy when out of balance
  • When under stress, Pittas tend towards becoming irritated and angry
  • Subject to temper tantrums, impatience, and anger
  • Distressed in sun or hot weather; heat makes them feel weary
  • Skin fair or reddish; often with freckles sunburns easily
  • Perspire a lot
  • Generally good leadership and management ability, but may become authoritarian
  • Good public speakers
  • Typical physical problems include rashes or inflammations of the skin, boils, acne, skin cancer, heartburn, ulcers, acid stomach, dry or burning eyes, insomnia.

Kapha Predominant Types

  • Individuals that have a predominance of Kapha Dosha tend to be
  • Easy- going, relaxed and slow-paced
  • Affectionate and loving
  • Forgiving, non- judgmental, compassionate in nature
  • Stable, reliable and faithful
  • Have the most energy of all constitutions, but it is steady and enduring
  • Physically strong; with a sturdy, heavier build
  • Tend toward being overweight
  • Slower to learn, but excellent in long-term memory
  • Slow speech, reflecting a deliberate thought process
  • Soft hair and skin
  • Tendency to have large 'soft' eyes and a low, soft voice
  • Excellent health, good immune system
  • Prone to depression; may also suffer from sluggish digestion
  • Gentle, and essentially undemanding approach to life
  • More self-sufficient
  • Very calm; strive to maintain peace and harmony in their surroundings
  • Not easily upset and can be a point of stability for others
  • Don't like cold, damp weather
  • Tend to be possessive and hold on to things.
  • Physical problems include sinus headaches, colds, and congestion; respiratory problems including allergies, asthma; and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Most of you might feel a little confused after going through all the character traits. Your traits may seem like a mix of a little bit of two or a little bit of all the Dosha. Don't feel lost and give up, look up for questionnaires online that'll help you in determining your mind/body constitution. Once you're done with the questionnaires, you'll have a clearer idea about your predominant Dosha (energy) type.

A tip - when you're looking up for questionnaires, spend some time and go for the more detailed ones, they'll give you a precise result. The shorter questionnaires give a more approximate and generalized result. Also, don't just get satisfied with one result, fill up a couple of different questionnaires, that's how you'll get a better idea about your Dosha type.

So, now I hope you've figured out your predominant dosha. If not, then no worries - here's a little description of three basic skin types (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) based on the three doshas or energies.

Vata Skin Type

People with the predominance of Vata dosha tend to have dry, light, and cool skin. If your skin is dry, thin, delicate, fine-pored, and cool to the touch, you possibly have Vata skin.

When out of balance, it can become extremely dry, flaky or rough, or be subject to skin fungus or dry eczema.

Vata skin has a tendency to wrinkle more as it ages, because of the dryness of Vata dosha. The skin may take on a dull or greyish quality if your digestion is not in proper balance.

If you have Vata skin, you would be particularly sensitive to mental stress, which has a habit of showing up in a tired and stressed look.

Pitta Skin Type

People with the predominance of Pitta energy have a skin tone that is more fair or rosy in color, warm and soft to the touch. The skin is not too thick nor too thin. Such qualities, along with reddish or blond coloured hair, compatible with the warm, fiery Pitta dosha.

When out of balance, individuals with Pitta skin types can suffer from breakouts, acne, skin rashes, liver spots or rosacea. Pitta skin type people are usually more sensitive, and emotional stress may cause them to blush when embarrassed - or they may experience canker sores, breakouts or rashes when under stress.

Kapha Skin Type

Kapha Dosha skin type is cool to the touch and is softer, oilier and smoother in comparison with the other two types. People with Kapha skin type also have thick skin.

If your skin is pale and your hair wavy, oily, thick and dark, then you probably have Kapha skin. People with Kapha skin tend not to form wrinkles until very late in life.

When the Dosha is out of balance, people with Kapha skin can suffer from enlarged pores, blackheads, excessive oiliness, pimples, moist types of water retention and eczema.

Knowing your exact skin type gives you inklings as to how to plan your daily routine and what you should eat in order to balance and nourish your skin. Having an idea about your skin type also gives you the most important information you need to customize your skin care routine.

For example, for a Youthful Skin routine, you need to follow four steps - cleansing (probably with a herbal soap or a cleansing gel; toning (probably with an ayurvedic toner; replenishing the skin (if required, with the ayurvedic oils for skin); and finally nourishing with a herbal cream. While all products for these steps are designed for all the skin types, and how often you use them needs to vary depending upon your skin type.

The Basics to Vata Skin Care

A person who has Vata skin will probably have dry skin are issues related to dry skin. That's because vata skin type doesn't retain moisture as much as the other skin types do. Therefore, adding or keeping the moisture intact in your skin is your major priority.

You should apply a milk/ cream based moisturizer generously on your face before you go to sleep at night and in the morning after cleansing. It'll be great if you find a skin cleansing gel that is especially designed for Vata skin dryness. A cleansing gel not only restores moisture balance, it also cleanses and removes makeup at the same time.

You can also use an oil which is beneficial for dry skin after you've cleaned your face at the end of the day. And it's best to avoid skin care products which are full of chemical ingredients or are just made of chemical stuff (do look for some herbal ingredients too) because they might just dry your skin furthermore and cause damage to your skin.

Keep your skin well hydrated from within by drinking a lot of water. At least eight glasses a day would do. Also, have a lot of sweet and juicy fruits. Have nourishing and warm fruits, avoid having foods that are dry in nature.

Make sure to maintain regular eating habits and a regular routine. Get to bed early, include a daily oil massage or abhyanga in order to moisturize your body. You can also have organic Vata churan or Vata tea to balance and nourish Vata skin.

The Basics to Pitta Skin Care

A person who has Pitta skin should primarily focus on calming their sensitive skin. Staying in excessive heat and direct sunlight will irritate your skin, so you should try to shield yourself from heat. These includes steam facials, tanning salons and long hours under the sun - all can damage your sensitive skin.

One of the best ways to calm your skin is by calming the tactile nerves. Go for creams/ moisturizers that contain plants or natural essence of herbs (such as turmeric) that protect sensitive skin, help moisturize the skin and also nourish the tactile nerves.

Pitta skin type individuals tend to have oil in their skin, therefore, they don't need to apply oil every day - they can skip a day if they wish, it won't hamper the oil balance. Try using cool- temperature water while bathing or cleansing - not ice-cold though, it may freeze your skin pores. A balanced water temperature - not too hot, not too cold - is ideal for your skin type.

Try to avoid spicy and hot foods, they generate internal heat which may irritate your skin. For an internal cooling and balancing effect have pitta churan and pitta tea (preferably organic, they're easily available in ayurvedic shops and online stores).

Also, make sure that you hit the bed before ten at night (which is also called the pitta time of night). Avoid preservatives, chemicals, and products with harsh ingredients on your skin (and food!). Go for organic foods with sweet flavour, astringent and bitter foods can also help in calming your skin and stop breakouts. Drink a lot of water too - water is a must!

The Basics to Kapha Skin Care

The primary point of focus of people who have Kapha skin type should be the proper cleansing of the skin. The basis of your beauty regimen should be frequent deep cleansing. To do deep-cleansing of the skin in an Ayurvedic manner you first need to loosen the impurities by lubricating your skin. Start with patting your face with warm milk for about five minutes before you go to bed. Then, in the morning, to exfoliate use bentonite clay. This way you'll be able to loosen the impurities first, so now when the impurities will be released, your skin will be less prone to damage. Repeating this routine twice a week is a must.

Cleanse your face with a mild herbal soap on a daily basis, and apply some skin toner after that. You can also use an oil which is compatible with your skin type (but use it every second or third day). Choosing a moisturizer that will not let oil build up is very important.

You should also avoid having foods that are heavy and excessively oily. Try to eat more light foods, bitter and astringent flavoured foods such as cooked veggies prepared with Kapha-pacifying spices. Also, sip Kapha pacifying tea to get your imbalanced energy balanced.

Olive oil, in small quantities, is a great cooking oil for people with a predominance of Kapha dosha. Olive oil is light and is easy to digest. Also, make sure that you exercise every day to keep your body's digestive and detoxification systems in order.

If you have combination skin

If your skin is generally dry, but sometimes it develops oily patches, then you probably have a combination of Vata- Kapha skin. If you have dry and sensitive skin, then it's probably Vata- Pitta combination. And if you have a combination of oily and sensitive skin then you probably have a Kapha- Pitta skin.

If you have combination skin, then you'll have to look into seasonal recommendations. For example, you'll probably find the dryness of your skin increasing during the vatta season (i.e when the weather is cold and dry). Therefore, in that season, favour recommendations provided for Vata. During cool, moist season like spring - when digestion is more sluggish - you may find your skin moister, making excessive oiliness a major problem. So, in that time of the year, follow the basic tips given for Kapha skin.

Gunjan Lal

Gunjan Lal

Hi! I’m Gunjan, a self-proclaimed tea fanatic and intrigued with alternative ways to lead a healthy life. I firmly believe that we should take care of our bodies because it’s the only place we live in.

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