21 Jul Customise Your Skin Care Regime with Ayurvedic Secrets
The ancient healing practice of Ayurveda is creating waves in the modern world of natural skin care. Natural oils play a big role in Ayurvedic healing, whether you take them internally or apply them on your skin. Because you absorb everything that you put onto your skin into your tissues and bloodstream, topical oils can lubricate your organs, soothe your nervous system and promote better overall health.
Along with this, oils can be used to rebalance your skin and heal damaged tissue. But like every practice in Ayurveda, your skin care choices must be tailored to your own unique constitution – known as your “Dosha”. Each Dosha is characterised by an elemental energy, and each one has specific skin care requirements. Here, you’ll find a quick and easy guide to choosing the best oil for your complexion, based on the science of Ayurvedic medicine.
(What’s your Dosha – Vata, Pitta or Kapha? Take the quiz to find out!)
Vata (Air Dosha): Dry, Thin, Damaged Skin
Vata is the air Dosha, and according to Ayurveda, this energy manifests in the skin tissues as dryness, dehydration, a thin, delicate texture, and fine pores. Those of you with Vata-type skin will find it’s generally thin, cool to the touch, easily dehydrated and very vulnerable to the effects of dry windy weather. Vata skin also tends to age prematurely.
Those with high Vata will need a rich, emollient oil that helps to restore and moisture dry skin, and protect against water loss. Anti-ageing oils are also recommended, especially those that help to boost circulation, as our blood feeds and oxygenates our skin.
Sesame oil and jojoba oil are the most highly recommended moisturisers for Vata skin, because of their heavy texture and ultra-nourishing properties. Other good Vata oils include: avocado, rosehip, borage, safflower and pomegranate. These oils are all very rich, so if you’re worried about looking greasy or getting oil on your clothes, you can opt to oil your skin before showering. Simply slather your skin and body first thing in the morning, and let the oil soak in while you eat breakfast. Then, rinse your skin in the shower without using soap, and towel off. Vata skin will be left soft, supple and lightly oiled.
Top Tips for Vata Skin Care:
- Nourish your complexion from the inside out, by adding organic milk, whole grains & leafy greens in your diet.
- Drink plenty of lukewarm water daily for internal hydration.
- Eat more sweet & juicy fruits; they help cleanse your body from within, plus they’re great for hydration.
- Include a little healthy fat like ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil in your diet for added lubrication.
- Enjoy a warming self-massage, using a rich massage oil; this is excellent for keeping the skin lubricated & moisturised.
- Get plenty of rest so your mind & your body have the opportunity to recharge.
Our Recommended Products for Vata Skin Types:
Pitta (Fire Dosha): Sensitive, Reactive Skin
Pitta is mostly associated with fire, so the Pitta skin type tends to have more breakouts, redness, broken capillaries and photo-sensitivity. Pitta is also characterised by lower tolerance to hot food, and less tolerance to fieriness in temperament. Pitta skin looks ruddy and is warm to the touch. It tends to be more prone to freckles and moles than the other skin types.
If you have Pitta skin, you’ll typically have issues with breakouts, inflammation and allergies. Your skin care regime needs to focus on calming and cooling. The best choice is al medium-weight oil that won’t irritate sensitive skin types.
Coconut oil is great for Pitta skin, because it’s both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. This oil also makes an excellent moisturising scalp treatment, as it’s very light and rinses out easily. This can be really beneficial when a Pitta imbalance dries out the hair follicles and leads to hair loss.
Rose oils are wonderful for Pitta; rose is known for helping with broken capillaries and redness, and is very calming on warm or inflamed skin.
Ghee is another great Ayurvedic moisturiser for Pitta-types. It’s good for soothing inflammation, and has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic oil treatments called “bastis”. Other Pitta-friendly oils include olive and jojoba. Many other cooling herbs and botanicals, like mint or cucumber, are also good for Pitta skin types.
Top Tips for Pitta Skin Care:
- Stay away from harsh, synthetic cosmetics; they can damage your sensitive skin & cause breakouts.
- Use gentle, natural skin care products for cleansing & moisturising.
- Avoid tanning treatments or therapies that expose your sensitive skin to steam for extended periods of time.
- Avoid hot, spicy foods or an excess of deep-fried foods; they add heat to an already fiery constitution.
- Eat lots of sweet juicy fruits; treat yourself to some Organic Rose Petal Spread in cool milk every day. The rose is considered cooling for mind, body and emotions.
- Use a cooling oil for your daily massage.
- Cook with cooling spices such as fennel and licorice.
- Take extra care to protect your skin when you go out in the sun.
Our Recommended Products for Pitta Skin Types:
(Must be ultra-gentle)
Konjacu Lavender Facial Sponge
Marula & Mint Firming Clay Face Masque
Kapha (Earth/Water Dosha): Thick Oily Skin
As the earth and water Dosha, Kapha governs everything in the body that is solid, stable, moist and fatty. This translates into skin that is thick, oily and prone to puffiness, because of its tendency to retain water. Kapha complexions can also become dull and lacking in color due to slow circulation. When stable Kapha energy is out of balance, it can lead to stagnation, so this Dosha needs stimulation to speed up the metabolism and circulation.
Mustard seed oil is one of the best oils for Kapha during body massage. It is so wonderfully invigorating that you can feel a slight heating sensation and tingling as it helps to mobilise your body’s fat cells and shake up retained water. Please note that mustard seed oil is great for the body, but too stimulating to use on your face.
Hazelnut oil is a gentler option, and a great choice for Kapha complexions. It helps to regulate sebum production, preventing excess oil secretion. Black cumin oil is another good Kapha facial treatment; it has a light texture and great disinfectant properties, which counteract Kapha’s accumulative nature.
Kapha skin, because of its oily nature, can be prone to accumulating Ama – toxins under the skin. If you have Kapha-type skin it’s important to detox on a regular basis, both internally and externally, to flush out that Ama. Using a gentle exfoliating clay treatment can help with topical cleansing. Kapha skin types can also benefit from herbal formulations that cleanse the skin from within.
Top Tips for Kapha Skin Care:
- Avoid too many sweet foods or deep-fried foods, as they add to the oiliness in the skin.
- Cook with delicious warming spices like ginger or black pepper, to stoke the digestive fire & prevent the accumulation of Ama in your body.
- Exercise everyday to improve circulation.
- A daily warm oil massage can also help circulation.
- Include plenty of organic vegetables and fruits in your diet, to help cleanse your body from within.
- Cleanse your skin gently twice every day with a natural oil-balancing product; exfoliate with a mud mask once a week.
Our Recommended Products for Kapha Skin Types:
Esse Refining Cleanser
“Combination” skin types can be a blend of more than one Dosha, for example:
- Vata-Pitta, skin that is both dry & sensitive;
- Kapha-Pitta, or oily & sensitive skin;
- Vata-Kapha, skin that is generally dry with some oily zones.
The Ayurvedic approach to caring for combination skin takes into account environmental and seasonal factors. For example, if you have Vata-Pitta skin, you should follow the recommendations for Pitta skin in summer when it’s hot and dry, and Vata skin in winter when it’s wet and cold. Kapha-Pitta types would follow Pitta recommendations in summer and Kapha in winter. The Vata-Kapha type would be best served by generally following Vata guidelines, with extra Kapha-friendly cleansing of the oily zones.
Your 5-Minute Ayurvedic Beauty Routine
An ultra-gentle way to cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin daily.
- Bathe your face thoroughly with warm water. Dead skin cells soak up the water and plump up, making them easy to remove.
- Make an ubtan (beauty mask) with 2Tbsp oat flour and 1Tbsp water. Bend over the sink, dip your second, third, and fourth fingertips into the mixture, and gently press the paste onto your face. This removes the dead skin cells without stripping the skin of its natural oils.
- Put some plain water or rose water in a spray bottle, and spritz the face a few times to moisten the skin.
- While the face is still wet, apply a thin coating of jojoba oil to seal in the moisture. (Fascinating fact: the composition of Jojoba oil is the closest to our skin’s own natural sebum, so it’s highly unlikely to cause allergic reactions in any skin type.)
Let your own natural and unique beauty shine through, with the help of these Ayurvedic skin care tips!