Doshas and Skincare: Identifying Your Skin Type
Published: March 11, 2021
Understanding one’s dominant Dosha in Ayurveda can help with a variety of things including your behaviour, your relationships with others, as well as your overall wellness, skincare, and body. It takes a professional Ayurvedic expert to assess your dominant Doshas, something I assist my clients with when seeing them in-person.
If Ayurveda is something new for you, I’d encourage you to check out my original blog on the subject, which provides a general overview. My background in Ayurveda, an ancient wellness practice originating in India, has influenced many aspects of our practice at Total Glow from how we approach helping clients to the types of products that we use and recommend.
One aspect of Ayurveda that I discussed in my original blog, was the Doshas, or the body composition that is determined at birth. Doshas are composed of different elements: water, fire, earth, air, and ether; and what elements make up an individual can impact everything from skin to personal traits.
For a quick review, the three Doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata is made up of the elements ether and air, Pitta elements are fire and water, and Kapha are earth and water. To simplify the implications this has on the skin, here are some generalized examples as follows. A primarily Vata Dosha individual will most likely have dry skin since ether and air are devoid of any water. While acne may be relatively nonexistent, lines and wrinkles can be the down side unless balanced. A Kapha Dosha person usually has thick, oily skin that is soft and smooth. This Dosha ages gracefully but their skin may be excessively oily and prone to congestion and blackheads. Given Pitta’s dominant elements are fire and water, many heat induced skin conditions may plague their skin. They are more likely to experience acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation and have flare-ups and inflammation.
It seems very straightforward but it is a complex science. A very important point in these generalizations to emphasize is that an acne flare-up may not mean you are Pitta Dosha as it can present in a Vata Dosha individual and dry skin may be a primary concern in a Pitta or Kapha individual. My advice is to enjoy general quizzes, however, if you are interested in learning your Dosha (body constitution) it is best to see a trained Ayurvedic specialist. There are many factors that go into finding one’s dominant Doshas, and environmental and situational factors can throw you out of balance.
A great example of this is what’s happening now in the world, between mask wearing and the stress of navigating a pandemic. We’re seeing many clients experience acne, dryness, and other flare-ups, even those whose skin isn’t necessarily prone to these types of problems. We are born with our Dosha (body constitution), it is not something that changes throughout our life. However, the smallest changes and experiences in our life can throw us off balance and may cause us to present traits more common with other Doshas. We are not our imbalances. While our skincare consultations do not include a full Ayurvedic consultation to determine body constitution which can take several hours, we can determine what is going on with your skin in the course of our in depth analysis and personal consultation as it relates to your skin. After clinically identifying skin health, and both present and underlying skin conditions, our holistic Ayurveda and wellness approach along with our clinical experience helps us determine the best treatment and skincare ingredients to nurture and restore your skin. Understanding why your skin might be out of balance instead of just treating skin concerns symptomatically is what truly results in healthy and beautiful skin for a lifetime.