Ayurveda is an ancient holistic science dating back 5,000 years to ancient Sanskrit texts called the Vedas. It literally translates to “the science of life.” Ayurveda reminds us that our optimal well being is achieved by a balanced integration of our body, mind, and spirit. By correcting our imbalances we allow our body to heal itself, naturally.
According to Ayurveda, we are all born in alignment with our unique doschic balance but as we get older, life can throw us off. In order to achieve optimum vitality, wellness, and radiance you need to realign. The doshas are the three elements governing our internal and external environments and are known as Vata (air), Pitta (fire/water) and Kapha (water/earth). We’ll usually experience one dominant dosha with the second and third exerting their influences respectively. However, we always have some combination of the three and our environment, lifestyle, diet and the seasons can all exert an influence on our balance. This allows you to switch up your practices according to the issue at hand. Once you discover your dosha, you can work with it by incorporating beneficial skin care ingredients, foods, and lifestyle habits into your routine.
Vata is characterized by dry, thin skin with small pores. Common imbalances include wrinkles, fine lines, dehydration, premature aging, dark spots, and under-eye circles.
If this sounds like you, opt for products that are warming with high doses of fatty acids to infuse moisture deep into your skin. Think coconut, almond, sesame, and olive oils. Shea butter and honey are also ideal for this skin type. It’s important to make sure you’re ingesting enough healthy fats as well – this will keep your skin hydrated and glowing from the inside out. Go for nuts, avocados, fatty fish and warm, moist foods like soups, sautéed veggies and rice. Try to keep the raw veggies to a minimum because they can contribute to dryness and slow your digestion. Opt for grounding exercises such as yoga, hiking, Pilates or dance. Finally, try to get consistent sleep by going to bed at the same time every night and incorporating a nightly relaxation routine such as a bath followed by meditation.
Pitta skin is usually sensitive or combination with oiliness in the t-zone. Common imbalances include redness, inflammation, rosacea, and breakouts.
If this sounds like you go for natural, plant-based products and ditch the harsh chemicals that irritate your skin. Look for soothing and hydrating ingredients in your skin care such as coconut, sunflower, grape seed, licorice root, lavender, rose, and tea tree. Herbs like neem, sandalwood, and thyme will also do the trick. Incorporate sweet, tart fruits into your diet such as grapes, kiwis and pineapples and cooling foods like cucumbers, zucchini, and pears. Try to stay away from acidic or spicy foods because they will create too much heat. Moderate exercise is key so make sure not to over do it as you may be prone to burnout or injury.
Kapha skin is smooth and oily with large pores. Common imbalances include cystic acne around the mouth, blackheads and excessive oiliness.
This goes for everyone but especially Kaphas with their large pores – ALWAYS take off your makeup before bed. Avoid drying out your skin because it can cause an oily rebound. Instead, alternate gentle cleansing with deep exfoliation. Opt for light moisturizers and refreshing herbs such as rosemary, peppermint, geranium, yarrow, sesame, lemon, and orange. Energize your skin with spicy foods and ingredients such as garlic, turmeric, chili, ginger, and apple cider vinegar. Incorporate lighter fruits like apples and pears into your diet as well as honey, beans and grains. Go for rigorous activities such as running, swimming or biking.