Ayurveda is the belief that there are three basic energies that make up a person’s constitution: vata, pitta, and kapha.
A Balancing Act
When doshas are in a state of equilibrium, we experience a sense of well-being. But when stress, improper diet, or other influences tip us out of balance, the body lets us know.
Too much vata can lead to fine lines and wrinkles, chapped lips, or rough patches of skin (including eczema and psoriasis). Imbalanced pittas can break out in acne and rashes. Imbalanced kapha may cause clogged pores and whiteheads.
“If your skin is feeling normal, use any treatments for your dosha that appeal to you,” advises Reenita Malhotra Hora, author of Inner Beauty. If skin is "showing signs of imbalance, enlist those treatments that target the problem: If dryness is your issue, for example, focus on moisturizing treatments that balance vata.”
Important in Ayurveda is a daily routine that includes abhyanga or self-massage with oil, ideally oil infused with herbs. A gentle dry brushing before massage helps all doshas.
Try oils infused with ashwagandha, ginger, black pepper, and gotu kola.
Try calming essential oils (rose otto, neroli, rose geranium, and lavender) with heavier oils (olive, almond, avocado or ghee [clarified butter]).
Try herbs such as gotu kola, turmeric, and neem (known for its skin-healing properties) along with lavender, Moroccan chamomile, red mandarin, and clary sage oils.
Use a light carrier oil with stimulating and energizing essential oils such as cinnamon, lemongrass, or cumin.
What's My Dosha?
Print out this page and circle each word that typically describes you. Add up your points to see which dosha(s) dominate. Your secondary dosha will be your second-highest score.
- Dry hair
- Brittle nails that break easily
- Dry skin
- Fine lines
- Popping joints
- Rough hands
- Easily aggravated by cold and dry climates
Vata Total: __________
- Medium physique
- Straight hair
- Flexible fingernails
- Itchy skin
- Easily irritated skin
- Sunburns easily
- Bleeding cuticles
- Easily aggravated by heat
Pitta Total: _________
- Thick hair
- Smooth fingernails
- Soft skin
- Oily skin
- Clogged pores
- Facial puffiness
- Easily aggravated by cold, damp, and gray conditions
Kapha Total: _________