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The Three Ayurvedic Doshas: Is This Ancient Practice the Answer to Your Skin Woes? (Quiz Included!)

Posted by Sarah Otto on
The Three Ayurvedic Doshas: Is This Ancient Practice the Answer to Your Skin Woes? (Quiz Included!)

In an effort to shift towards more natural-minded beauty, you’ve probably been seeing Ayurveda everywhere these days (thanks to all your fave celebrities). To catch you up to speed, Ayurveda (or Ayurvedic Medicine) is an ancient “whole-body” healing that was developed in India thousands of years ago. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance among mind, body and spirit.

In a nutshell, Ayurveda is the concept that every person is made up of five basic elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. These five elements combine to form three life energies called doshas which explain how the body works:

  • Vata: space + air

  • Pitta: fire + water

  • Kapha: water + earth

The belief is that everyone is made up of a unique blend of these three doshas, but most of us have a stronger, more dominant dosha that drives our overall health and wellness.
Well, as you can imagine, curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to take a quiz to figure out my dosha (psst...you can take the quiz here!). But I was more interested in how my dosha type relates to my skin health and wellness. Let’s take a look...

The Basics: Dosha Skin Types, Explained

First things first—before we jump into how doshas impact your complexion, let’s take a look at the three dosha skin types:

  1. Vata: Thin, dry, fine-pored, delicate and wrinkle-prone skin. Prone to dehydration and irritated by seasonal changes, particularly cold and wind.

  2. Pitta: Susceptible to rashes, breakouts and rosacea (if your dosha is out of balance). Complexion tends to be more red, flushed and warm with increased sun sensitivity. This skin type is also more prone to freckles and moles.

  3. Kapha: Oily, prone to enlarged pores, blackheads and pimples. Commonly suffer from eczema. Skin may be thicker and more tolerant of sun.

In the past, you’ve probably labeled your skin as simply oily, dry, or sensitive. Ayurveda, on the other hand, considers most skin issues a manifestation of your dosha being out of balance. Of course, there are various factors that may contribute to this imbalance, such as stress, pollution, seasonal changes and diet, and to the surprise of literally no one, living a healthy lifestyle is the key to achieving this balance. Think: diet, exercise, stress management and skincare. And since our skin is the largest organ in our body, it’s obviously a reflection of our inner health and wellbeing, right?

The Nitty-Gritty: Healthy Skin Tips for Your Dosha

Once you know your dosha, then you can start treating it with Ayurvedic principles:

  1. Vata: Focus on preventing dehydration and early signs of aging. Use products that hydrate and plump that contain ingredients like Marula oil, Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid and Peptides. For this particular dosha, it’s essential to prevent skin aging with a good boost of antioxidants. I recommend using the Fresh Start Face Oil and the Go-Getter Day Serum.

  2. Pitta: Focus on avoiding products that will cause breakouts and irritation. And remember, less is more! The products you use should focus on decreasing inflammation in the skin without causing further irritation. Look for products containing Niacinamide and Vitamin C, like the Multitasker Night Serum and the Fresh Start Face Oil. Lastly, Pitta skin types should always sun protect. Pro tip: powder sunscreens are perfect because they tend to be simplistic and less irritating, with good coverage.

  3. Kapha: Focus on reducing oil production and breakouts, but without irritating the skin and protecting with antioxidants. Regularly exfoliating the skin is helpful, but don’t overdo it. Look for gentler Alpha Hydroxy Acids for daily use—such as fruit acids or gluconolactone—and save stronger glycolic and lactic acids for periodic use. I highly recommend the Multitasker Night Serum and the Go-Getter Day Serum. Bonus: this skin type also benefits from weekly physical exfoliation, in addition to chemical exfoliation or a good clay mask.

Turns out, many of us are a combination of doshas, and you may need to adjust your products to be a hybrid of two types, but it’s important to always lean towards your most dominant dosha. The truth is, there are so many different ways to understand your skin’s health—knowing your dosha is just one of the many tools to help keep it in balance!

So, what do you think about dosha skin types—hype or helpful? Leave a comment below!

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