With so much amazing natural skincare to choose from out there, there is no longer any shortage of lovely, organic and chemical-free products to feed your skin. But just because a product is all-natural doesn’t mean it’s going to work for YOUR skin. Determining the best products for your unique, individual complexion is more than just choosing between lines for dry, oily, or combination skin. There is so much more intricacy in different skin types, and really knowing your skin can mean the difference between results that are just ok (or even bordering on ineffective) and straight-up gorgeous skin.
The qualities of our skin, and the types of products that really help it stay healthy and beautiful, are directly related to our body type, our digestion, and our constitution in general. This bio-individuality is where Ayurveda really shines, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why I have been practicing this ancient healing philosophy for 8 years now (and I’m never going back).
Our Ayurvedic constitution (or dosha) gives us invaluable insight into how our bodies work and what we need to thrive — from the specific foods to eat more of or avoid to stay energized and healthy, to the herbs and supplements that will really keep our systems in balance, to the beauty and self-care products that will keep us looking young and radiant.
Your Ayurvedic skin type will generally correspond to your dosha, but in some rare cases, it may stray from your general constitution if there is a particular imbalance your body is currently dealing with. Knowing your dosha is the best place to start, but definitely read through the Ayurvedic skin types below to make sure yours matches up. I’ve created holistic skincare guides for every dosha, with step-by-step skincare routines, favorite products, and dietary/lifestyle recommendations for your most beautiful and healthy skin — so be sure to check out yours below!
VATA SKIN TYPE
Just like a Vata-type body, Vata skin is characterized by dryness, coldness, and aging. Thin, rough, and cold to the touch, Vata skin is prone to patchiness, dark spots, wrinkles and premature aging. Vata skin needs warmth and moisture (particularly from oils) to balance it out and keep it happy.
Key Vata skin care components:
- Mild exfoliation, especially with hydroxy or citrus based acids
- External hydration, especially from oils like sesame and castor
- Internal hydration — more warm, cooked foods like whole grains, root vegetables, healthy fats, and warm/hot teas; less dry, cold foods like popcorn and granola, iced drinks, and ice cream
PITTA SKIN TYPE
Just like a Pitta-type body, Pitta skin is characterized by sensitivity, inflammation and redness. Soft, warm, oily and fair, Pitta skin is sensitive to sun and prone to acne, rosacea, eczema, and other inflammatory skin conditions. Pitta skin needs to stay cool and balanced to soothe inflammation and protect it from the elements.
Key Pitta skin care components:
- Cooling and anti-inflammatory natural skincare ingredients like aloe, rose, cucumber, manuka honey, and coconut oil
- A cooling and anti-inflammatory diet — less spicy foods, red meat, and vinegar; more greens, cucumber, fennel, celery, ghee or coconut oil
- Lots of natural sun protection with a non-nano zinc based SPF and shea butter
KAPHA SKIN TYPE
Like a Kapha body type, Kapha skin is characterized by oiliness, congestion, and accumulation of toxins. Thick, oily, and cool to the touch, Kapha skin is prone to enlarged, clogged pores, pimples, white heads and blackheads, and milia. Kapha skin needs regular exfoliation and detoxification to stay clear, lustrous, and healthy.
Key Kapha skin care components:
- Moderate regular exfoliation with sea salt, raw sugar, or grain powders, followed by a steam
- Regular detoxifying masks (mud masks are great)
- A detoxifying diet (less dairy, refined grains, sugar, and fried foods; more greens, spices, beans and plant-foods in general)
Stay tuned for our Kapha Skincare Guide!
Just like your body, your skin can also be a combination of two (or even three) doshas. For example, I have a Vata-Pitta constitution, and corresponding Vata-Pitta skin (warm, pink, oily, prone to irritation, but can definitely get dry along my jawline in the winter time, or if my Vata is out of balance). If you find that you fall into more than one skin dosha, feel free to select products and remedies from both of your affected types.