Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems and is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit.
It adopts the mantra that ‘beauty comes from within’ and is known for extolling the benefits of balancing the whole body, optimising energy, and treating each individual according to her specific Dosha (constitution). It recognises that we are part of nature, governed by three fundamental energies known as Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth). Each of us has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature…
If Vata is dominant you tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates you are intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails you tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing.
For each element, there is a balanced and imbalanced expression. When Vata is balanced, a person is lively and creative, but when there is too much movement in the system, a person tends to experience anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, constipation, and difficulty focusing. When Pitta is functioning in a balanced manner, a person is warm, friendly, disciplined, a good leader, and a good speaker. When Pitta is out of balance, a person tends to be compulsive and irritable and may suffer from indigestion or an inflammatory condition. When Kapha is balanced, a person is sweet, supportive, and stable but when Kapha is out of balance, a person may experience sluggishness, weight gain, and sinus congestion.
An important goal of Ayurveda is to identify a person’s ideal state of balance, determine where they are out of balance, and offer interventions using diet, herbs, aromatherapy, massage treatments, music, and meditation to re-establish balance.
Vata Skin Type
In beauty terms Vata skin is light, dry, and cool. If your skin is thin, dry, fine-pored, delicate and cool to the touch, you probably have Vata skin. When out of balance, it may become excessively dry, rough or flaky, or be subject to dry eczema or skin fungus. Vata skin tends to wrinkle more as it ages, due to the dryness of Vata dosha, and can take on a grayish or dull quality if your digestion is not in balance. If you have Vata skin, you are particularly sensitive to mental stress, which tends to show up in a tired, stressed look.
Pitta Skin Type
Pitta skin is more fair or rosy in color, soft, warm to the touch, and of medium thickness. These qualities, along with blond or red-colored hair, correspond to the warm, fiery Pitta dosha. When out of balance, Pitta skin types can suffer from skin rashes, breakouts, acne, liver spots or rosacea. Pitta skin is usually more sensitive, and emotional stress can cause you to blush when embarrassed, or experience breakouts, canker sores or rashes when under stress.
Kapha Skin Type
Kapha skin is cool to the touch and is thicker, softer, oilier and smoother than the other two types. If your skin is pale and your hair thick, wavy, oily and dark, you probably have Kapha skin. People with Kapha skin don’t tend to form wrinkles until very late in life. When out of balance, Kapha skin can suffer from excessive oiliness, enlarged pores, blackheads, pimples, moist types of eczema and water retention.
Knowing your skin type gives you the key to customising your skin care routine and is the founding principle behind Ayurvedic Skincare brands such as Urban Veda.
Other brands that use Ayurvedic principles include Bodycare experts Soothing Touch, founded by a renowned Indian yoga master using formulas for ancient Ayurvedic Oil blends. Ayurvedic principles have even found their way into vegan Lip Balms by Hurraw!
So, if you like the individualised approach and believe that beauty comes from within then maybe it’s time to find out more about balancing your Doshas!
PS. You can see all our lovely Ayurvedic brands here.