Ayurvedic Skin Types

Jul

20

 

By Kulreet Chaudhary, M.D.

Ayurveda has a very different approach to skin care from modern medicine.  Rather than using topical agents alone like creams, lotions, and oils, Ayurveda treats the underlying skin problem at its root.  In Ayurveda, the cause of skin conditions is thought to be due to a dosha imbalance.  A dosha is your mind-body type and if you know your dosha you can take steps to prevent skin problems before they even begin.  There are three doshas in Ayurveda, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.  To determine which dosha imbalance is the main culprit of your skin issues take the following quiz:

 

QUIZ:
1. My skin color is: A. pale, whitish B. ruddy, pink C. darker than my ethnic type
2. The thickness of my skin is: A. thin, delicate, wrinkles easily B. medium C. thick
3. My skin generally feels: A. dry B. slightly oily C. oily
4. My skin tends to be: A. rough B. soft C. plump
5. To the touch, my skin usually feels: A. cool B. warm C. cold
6. The pores of my skin are: A. small and fine B. medium-sized C. large
7. The glow of my skin is: A. matte B. softly lustrous C. shiny
8. My skin has a tendency toward: A. scratches, bruises and lines B. pinkish breakouts, freckles, acne, allergies C. eruptions, excessive oiliness
9. My skin problems are often triggered by: A. general stress and anxiety B. negative emotions or traumatic events C. lack of exercise, less rigorous cleansing
10. My skin tends to be problematic during: A. cold, windy weather B. hot weather C. cool, damp weather
 
WHAT YOUR SCORE MEANS:  
Mostly A’s Your skin is predominant Vata
Mostly B’s Your skin is predominant Pitta
Mostly C’s Your skin is predominant Kapha

 

Once you know your skin’s dosha imbalance, you can begin to fix the problem at the source.

 

Vata Skin

Vata skin needs to be nourished and hydrated.  It is at risk for premature aging due to a deficiency of well-nourished tissues in the body.  Vata skin tends to be dry, cracked, and thin.  Because of its thinness, Vata skin types have easily seen blood vessels.  Lips and fingernails tend to be somewhat pale due to poor circulation.

Foods To Eat:

To look younger, Vata skin types should eat more whole grains, warm milk, and cooked vegetables.  These are nourishing foods that are packed with nutrients and easy to digest.   Also, ginger is a great food to replenish Vata skin because it helps increase metabolism and improve digestion, which impacts the color, thickness, and moisture of the skin.

Herbs To Take:

Ashwaganda helps to ground Vata types, who are constantly moving and tend to spread themselves out too thin.  By reducing the excess mental activity of Vata individuals, Ashwaganda helps their gut absorb nutrients better making the skin look younger and less wrinkled.  A typical starting dose for Ashwaganda is 500mg twice a day.

What To Avoid:

Vata skin types should avoid raw vegetables because their digestion is not strong enough to break them down in order to get the nutrients.

 

Pitta Skin

Pitta skin types need to stay cool.  Their skin tends to burn easily and they are more sensitive to sun exposure.  A Pitta imbalance can result in rashes, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis.

Foods to Eat:

Pitta skin types should eat sweet, watery fruits like melons, mangos, and pears.  Think of a pot of water on high heat—Pitta evaporates the heat from your skin so you need to add foods with a high water content to keep Pitta in balance.  Pitta is the exact opposite of Vata in terms of temperature, so eating foods that are cooling such as coconut oil and rose petal jam helps to reduce the skin inflammation.

Herbs to Take:

There are three great herbs for balancing Pitta skin.

  1. Turmeric powder, which you can use in your cooking for it’s anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. Amla berry, which is a cooling herb. You can take this as a supplement beginning at 250mg a day.
  3. Fennel seeds, which is ideal for digestion. Chew a pinch of fennel seeds after your meals.

What to Avoid:

Pitta skin gets aggravated by eating spicy foods so they should avoid foods like chilies, black pepper, and jalapenos.  The heat in spicy foods further increases Pitta people’s own natural internal heat.

 

Kapha Skin

Kapha individuals tend to have naturally beautiful skin that ages slowly.  Their skin tends to be plump and full of moisture.  However, out of balance, Kapha skin tends to accumulate more toxins that predispose them to large pores, skin growths, skin eruptions, and a grayish film.  The main focus for Kapha skin types should be removing toxins.

Foods To Eat:

Kapha skin types should actually favor spicy foods, the exact opposite of Pitta skin types.  The spicy food helps to stimulate their digestion and since Kapha individuals have the slowest metabolism, they need all the extra heat their food has to offer.

Herbs To Take:

Just like their foods, Kapha skin needs herbs that help boost metabolism to remove toxins from their body and help their skin look clearer and more vibrant.  Kapha individuals should add black pepper and garlic to their meals.  They should also take the supplement Guggul, which helps remove toxins by regulating fat metabolism throughout the body. Start Guggul at doses of 75-150 mg  a day.

What to Avoid:

Kapha skin types should avoid all heavy, oily foods because their skin already tends to be oily and their digestion slow.

 

 

 

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Ayurveda, Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, Uncategorized, Your Health