Ayurveda | Doshas in Skin
Ayur = Life Veda = Science
Ayurveda | The world's oldest system of medicine originating from India over 4,000 years ago.
Ayurveda recognizes the powerful, healing connection between mind and body, practicing individualized medicine according to one's prakruti/constitution and Doshas, our individual mind-body type. There are 3 different Doshas, each governed by 2 of the 5 universal elements.
The 3 Doshas, Vata, Pitta, Kapha, begin to manifest at time of conception and represent the energies of our bodies, minds, habits, skin types and influence our personal well being. We each manifest qualities of all 3 doshas but usually have 1-2 that are most dominant. By discovering your Dosha type, you are able to care for yourself on a more intuitive and individual level. I will lightly cover the basics of Doshas in lifestyle and skincare influence below but for healing and true change on a deep level, you should dedicate time to work with a qualified practitioner.
By becoming familiar with your Dosha, you can treat and nourish skin on a more tailored level, helping to discover why you may be dealing with a certain skin condition. For example, a Vata acne imbalance will be treated differently than a Kapha skin imbalance, so on and so fourth.
I recommend taking a few different tests to compare Dosha results and you should be able to discover your dominant Dosha(s). You will begin notice your thinking patterns, habits and body type habits aligning with your Dosha type(s). This is a basic guideline on everyday habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle to balance your Doshas and wellbeing. Check out MAPI's Dosha quiz here ---> http://www.mapi.com/doshas/dosha-test/index.html and below you will find simplified Doshic descriptions along with skincare and lifestyle tips for each.
Vata | Air & Space | Vata Dosha represents movement and is dry, light, cold, mobile, quick, changeable and clear. Vata is wind. Vata rules the forehead. Vata skin is delicate and thinner in nature.
Vata skin tends towards a dryer, easily dehydrated, delicate, thin skin type and accelerated aging process. Vata skin is to be nourished and nurtured. Use gentle, plant based and high quality oils. Avoid heavy exfoliation products, retin A and use hydroxy acids carefully in order to prevent thinness and irritation of the skin. Keep the mind grounded and balanced and add routine into your life, such as a proper skin routine, meal schedule and sleep schedule. Add healthy fats to your diet, daily ghee intake and foods that increase ojas. Cook all foods and avoid a cold, raw diet. Drink room temperature water and warm tea throughout the day.
Pitta | Fire & Water | PItta represents fire and transformation. Pitta is hot, sharp, mobile, liquid and heat. Agni, our digestive fire, is Pitta and the most important factor in keeping our skin nourished from the inside out. Pitta rules the cheeks. Pitta skin is slightly oily, soft and glowing when in balance.
Pitta skin tends towards more sensitivities and can become easily inflamed. Pitta skin should be soothed, nourished and cooled. Take extra care to protect in sun, as heat aggravates Pitta. Avoid hot and spicy foods that increase heat in the skin/body. Manage stress levels with calming activities and breathwork to control fiery emotions. Use rosewater to calm and hydrate skin, avoid harsh exfoliation and although Pitta skin is strong, it must be treated as sensitive skin due to its fire nature. Fire transforms and can be transformed quickly into inflammation when treated aggressively. Acne is Pitta, fire under the skin.
Kapha | Water & Earth | Kapha represents, water, earth and stability. Kapha is grounded but can be sluggish, slow moving, damp and heavy when out of balance. Kapha skin is moist, thick, oily and plump in nature. A balanced Kapha complexion has a warm, peachy and supple glow but can quickly become stagnant and congested when unbalanced. Kapha rules the chin.
Kapha skin is prone to congestion, oily skin concerns and accumulating ama (toxins) under the skin. Kapha skin should be cleansed thoroughly but gently twice a day, exfoliated weekly and treated with clay masques for excess oil. Kapha skin should be gently stimulated with focus on lymphatic drainage to avoid water retention and puffiness. Kapha needs movement and stimulation to stay balanced. Avoid heavy, oily and slow to digest foods. Avoid over eating and opt for an abundance of fresh fruit and lightly cooked vegetables.
TRi-Doshic Skin Care tips for all Dosha types. | Healthy water intake, including starting your day with at least 2 glasses of room temperature/warm water, tongue scrapping in the a.m to remove toxins accumulated during sleep, keep a balanced schedule, manage your stress and do not let things fester, use products formulated for your individual Dosha, create healthy sleep habits and patterns, no technology an hour before bed to naturally induce melatonin production, rise with the sun, follow natural circadian rhythms and naturally, food as thy medicine.
Ayurveda is seemingly complex yet quite simple at the same time. By slowing down, getting back to our roots and developing healthy habits, patterns and lifestyle choices, we become more in tune with our body, mind and spirits. The more in balance with your Dosha, the more aligned and elevated you live.
If you would like to learn more about introducing Ayurveda into your skincare and lifestyle habits, you can contact me here. I look forward to connecting with you.