The Best Ayurvedic Skin Care Tips, According To Your Dosha

Founder and CEO of Uma Oils By Shrankhla Holecek, MBA
Founder and CEO of Uma Oils
Shrankhla Holecek, MBA is a lifelong vegetarian, yogi, and natural-health practitioner. She is the founder of Uma, a line of 100-percent natural and organic beauty and wellness oils.
The Best Ayurvedic Skin Care Tips, According To Your Dosha

Image by Sergey Filimonov

Knowing your dosha can give you valuable cues into how to manage diet and lifestyle to thrive, as well as what to steer clear of to avoid imbalances that can lead to discomfort or disease. Customizing your skin care routine—especially when it comes to the use of skin care ingredients—can be particularly powerful in magnifying its impact. Here's my advice for how to best manage the skincare flare-ups associated with each dosha. (Not sure of your dosha? Here are the characteristics of each.)

Vata skin is typically dry, a bit darker, and has a tendency for roughness.

Vata skin profile.

Cool to touch and often thin, this type of skin is especially likely to be worse for wear in times of stress, breaking out in rashes that disrupt the skin's texture like excessive dryness, flakiness, even eczema.

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How to take care of vata skin.

This skin type needs most nurturing and protection on account of its delicate nature. Cleanse carefully and be mindful of over-drying or over-exfoliating. Rice or nut powders mixed with hydrating rose water, or even milk, can provide great natural alternatives to chemical-based exfoliants that can particularly aggravate vata skin.

The best ingredients for vata skin.

Essential oils of geranium can help battle dryness, and frankincense can help gently turn over skin cells to battle fine lines and signs of aging—both are particularly beneficial for vata skin. Citrus essential oils such as neroli and orange can help with better absorption of vitamin C into the skin to reverse signs of damage and pigmentation. Vata skin tends to be more vulnerable to both than other skin types. For a carrier oil, pomegranate is best on account of its vitamin- and antioxidant-rich profile, as well as potent doses of punicic acid that help collagen production for plumper-looking skin.

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How to care for excessively dry vata skin.

When aggravated, vata skin is quick to become excessively dry and flaky, and even develop conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. In these times, essential oils of helichrysum and chamomile can be deeply healing and restorative. A thicker carrier oil such as avocado, rosehip, or hemp can be used on affected areas to heal the skin's aggravated barrier.

Pitta skin is typically soft, oily, and fair to pale with a warm complexion.

Pitta skin profile.

Medium thick, this type of skin is more prone to rashes, acne, and sores when experiencing an imbalance.

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How to care for pitta skin.

Pitta skin type tends to be most sensitive and prone to redness, aggravation, and sun-sensitivity. Aloe vera gel applied directly to the skin for five minutes twice a week and removed with cold water can provide the much-needed "cooling" for pitta skin.

The best ingredients for pitta skin.

Essential oils of sandalwood and rose are particularly beneficial for pitta skin types. Sandalwood balances pitta, keeping the skin looking balanced and flawless. Rose has astringent properties that battle redness while its moisture-retentive properties help reduce the water loss that can further irritate pitta skin. Lavender is another skin-calming essential oil that's beneficial for pitta skin types. For carriers, jojoba and moringa oils with their high nutritional content but lightweight nature are best.

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How to care for red, inflamed pitta skin.

When experiencing a pitta-style flare-up such as rosacea, skip your morning face wash for Manuka honey. Apply a layer of honey to the face before jumping in the shower and remove with a warm washcloth before you come out. A chamomile compress can also be very helpful for pitta skin, as chamomile is an excellent natural treatment for the redness. A few cold cucumber slices applied to the skin can also provide rapid relief.

Kapha skin is thick, oily, typically very light, and cool to the touch.

Kapha skin profile.

Kapha skin tends to most show enlarged pores, blackheads, and water retention in times of imbalance.

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How to care for kapha skin.

For this skin type, gentle cleansing and exfoliation is the key to maintaining skin health. Try gently scrubbing the face with a mixture of sea salt and honey followed by an herbal steam therapy with mint leaves two to three times a week for keeping pores clear and maintaining the optimal oil balance.

The best ingredients for kapha skin.

Given kapha skin’s proclivity to overproduce oil, essential oils of turmeric and clary sage can be wonderful in helping maintain skin’s natural sebum balance and manage inflammation. In terms of a carrier, grapeseed oil tends to be excellent for kapha skin because it's ultra-lightweight and still has potent doses of omega-6, antioxidants, and linoleic acid, all of which fight the inflammation associated with acne-prone skin.

How to care for breakouts in kapha skin.

When imbalanced, kapha skin is most likely to develop blemishes. Essential oils of tea tree and clove can be excellent aids in helping potently yet gently containing the redness, helping regulate oil production, and dealing with other concerns that accompany breakouts.

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