How To Customize Your Very Own Ayurvedic Skin Care Routine
In the world of natural skin care, the ancient healing tradition of Ayurveda is becoming a hot topic.
It’s all about using ingredients from the earth and living in harmony with the natural environment. This is also when our inner state becomes balanced.
To know exactly what plant ingredients or combinations of herbs are best for your skin, you have to start with your Ayurvedic skin type.
What is your Ayurvedic skin type?
Knowing your Ayurvedic skin type is the first step in taking a holistic approach to your skin care regime.
The three doshas (or Ayurvedic principles) along with their elements are:
- Vata (space and air)
- Pitta (fire and water)
- Kapha (earth and water)
If your skin is generally thin, dehydrated, easily prone to dryness, and affected by dry winter weather, then you’ve got Vata skin. People with Vata skin, may find their skin is often cool to the touch.
If you experience breakouts often, have lots of freckles and moles, are sensitive to the sun, and in general aren’t very tolerant of hot foods, then you’ve got a Pitta skin type. You may also find your skin is warm to the touch.
If you have thick and greasy skin that is generally very tolerant of the sun, then you have Kapha skin. With few to no wrinkles, you likely struggle with larger pores that are prone to getting blocked easily.
Of course, it is entirely possible for you to have combination skin. This can be Vata-Pitta (dry and sensitive), Vata-Kapha (dry, with oily parts), and Kapha-Pitta (oily and sensitive).
Note: Even though you may have been born with a certain skin type, this may have changed in response to environmental (climate, pollution) or lifestyle changes (diet, exercise). This is why it’s important to switch up your skincare routine every now and then.
Still not sure which dosha you are? Here are a few quizzes you can use to find your dosha:
How To Customize Your Skincare Routine For Your Dosha
Ayurvedic skincare formulations should be complex, balanced combinations of herbs, that result in a highly effective product, with no adverse side effects.
I say “should” in the previous sentence very deliberately…
Just because a moisturizer, or cleanser may incorporate a certain Ayurvedic herb, does not make it Ayurvedic. Even though an herb may well have very beneficial properties, when used alone or in combination with an adverse herb, it may end up causing harm to your skin.
“Plants contain many, many compounds so what happens when you don’t have an understanding of this and just randomly add a myriad of ingredients, the body has a hard time assimilating these compounds especially if the plants used have opposing compounds. This causes reactions in the body and not balance. Herbal synergy is needed for the desired outcome. For example you wouldn’t mix coffee which is a circulatory stimulant with lavender which is a nervous system relaxant. Or turmeric which is a alternative(blood cleanser) with marshmallow root which is a vulenary, demulcent meaning it builds tissue instead of cleansing it, these are opposing actions even though both are good at what they do just not together.”
To put it simply, if you’ve ever used natural skincare products and experienced any adverse reactions, it may have been due to opposing compounds.
So how can you make sure your skin care routine is customized to your specific dosha? Let’s take a look…
First, it goes without saying that you should always do your research before trying new ayurvedic skincare products. KHUS KHUS and Ranavat Botanics are two Ayurvedic brands you can trust.
Customizing Your Vata Skin Care Routine
Seeing that Vata skin is more prone to dryness, it’s vital to use hydrating, and nourishing ingredients that help to fight against signs of aging.
A holistic approach to your Vata skin care routine should include:
- Plenty of water throughout the day to hydrate from the inside out
- Healthy fats such as coconut oil and olive oil to cook with which lubricate your body
- Juicy fruits and vegetables like oranges, peaches, grapes, and cooked veggies like carrots, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and beets
- A healthy sleeping routine to give your body time to rest and replenish
- Deeply hydrating products like COPIOUS Body Serum should be used daily to lock in moisture and keep your skin lubricated
- Cleansing with a hydrating, gentle exfoliating cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin, but rather soothes it
Customizing Your Pitta Skin Care Routine
Since the Pitta skin type tends to be warmer, and more sensitive to sunlight, you’re going to need to follow a cooling skin care protocol.
A holistic approach to your Pitta skin care routine should include:
- No spicy or deep fried foods which have a tendency to aggravate already fiery skin
- Cooking with cooling herbs and spices that calm the heat, soothe irritation, and help digestion such as rose, mint, chamomile, fennel, and licorice
- Protecting your skin from the sun with skincare that includes natural sun protecting ingredients like squalane
- Using gentle, yet effective cleansing and moisturizing skincare products, which is great for sensitive skin.
- Opt for fragrance-free where possible and never use chemical-filled products that will only irritate your skin
Customizing Your Kapha Skin Care Routine
If you have a Kapha skin type, you need to focus on keeping your skin clean, and minimizing clogged pores, while avoiding the common pitfall of over drying (or over exfoliating) your skin.
A holistic approach to your Kapha skin care routine should include:
- No deep fried foods, limiting meat and dairy which all have skin aggravating qualities
- Enjoying energizing and spicy foods like turmeric, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and ginger
- Always cleansing your skin thoroughly after wearing makeup.
- A light moisturizer to finish with nourishing ingredients for the skin like rosemary, geranium, or lemon (found in Herb Essentials Moisturizer) which nourishes the skin