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What do the Ayurvedic doshas mean for your skin?

When you hear the word dosha, it might bring to mind a spring day in the feminine care isle at your local grocery store. But it is nothing even remotely like that.

A dosha is the unique combination of energy types from the ancient system of medicine known as Ayurveda. Ayurveda is thousands of years old and was first recorded in the Indian subcontinent. It includes herbal medicines, massage treatments, and even surgical procedures. The basic underpinning of life are the five energetic elements, earth, water, fire, air, and ether (space). The doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, are a combination of some of those elements.

The Vata dosha is a combination of air and ether. Pitta is a combination of fire and water. Kapha is the combination of water and earth. Each person has a unique combination of doshas (energy) that they are created with.

How does this help with your skin? Each dosha type has different skin needs.

Vata skin tends to be thin, cold to the touch, and easily dry and dehydrated. Vata personalities tend to be high energy that turns inward. They're prone to anxiety and nervous disorders. They show age quickly due to the difficulty of being able to retain water and keep properly moisturized. Living in dry, cold, higher elevated areas worsens this. Vatas must focus on staying hydrated, exercises that calm the mind, frequent massages with warming oils, and staying moisturized.

Pitta skin is warm to the touch, has a tendency for redness (hello fire energy), sensitive, and slightly oily when imbalanced or stressed. Pittas are prone to sharp tempers from excess energy that turns outward, and inflammatory conditions, such as rosacea or cystic acne. Their skin easily gets congested from blackheads and build up. It is also easily sensitized from dyes, fragrances, perfumes, and other irritants. Pittas need to focus on using gentle products, proper exfoliation, and calming ingredients.

Kapha skin is thicker, can handle temperature changes, and is typically oily. Kapha skin doesn't show age quickly, due to its great protection from its own natural oils. It does however become congested if the oil is not able to flow freely. It may also look dull if it is not energized properly. Kaphas do well with gentle exfoliation that does not strip their skin and stimulating treatments, such as acupressure and vigorous massage.

Everyone has a unique combination of energy in them. Everyday we have to work to keep our energy in balance the way that it should be. Everything we are around and come into contact with also has energy, from the foods we eat, to the physical activities we choose to do. All of these things change the balance of our own selves. Balance is a constant dance, not a one time achievement.

Learning your dosha can help you understand how to care for your unique skin as well as what its strengths and weaknesses are. It's one more tool in your tool belt for confidence in your own beauty!

If you'd like to take a quiz to find out more about your dosha as well as receive more information about what that means for you, sign up here!


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