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Vata is defined in Ayurvedic literature by the elements air and ether. These elemental effects transpire to dry and age Vata skin, so the most vital part of a Vata skincare regime is moisturising. As one would imagine with the Vata elements air and ether, Vata types tend to spend, or dissipate, their energy rather than store it. A balanced Vata type is full of creativity and vitality, but when unbalanced, Vata types can suffer from hyperactivity, fear and anxiety and indigestion, as well as dry and uneven skin tone.
Vata skin can be dry, delicate, cool, rough and flaky, and can be vulnerable to exposure and dry wind. It is important to use replenishing moisturisers, and to boost hydration by splashing your face several times when you cleanse.
Stress can have differing effects on our skin, as mental stress is most likely to induce Vata-like symptoms, it is wise to follow a Vata routine when mentally over-worked and seek out Vata botanical remedies. Reduce stress by massaging with essential oil aromatherapy; add grounding and warming essential oils such as Ginger, Anise, Rosewood, Angelica and Basil to carrier oils such as Sesame, Flax and sweet Almond.
Diet is absolutely central to the system of Ayurvedic healthcare (as Hippocrates declared, ‘let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’). To maintain Vata balance, sweet, sour and salty tastes with food warm or hot in nature are best at preserving doshic balance. Vata foods include warming spices such as Cinnamon, black Pepper and Ginger. Foods that are unbeneficial to Vata and distort balance include bitter, pungent and astringent flavours, such as bread, Neem, and millet. It is wise to avoid foods which are too dry in nature.
Pitta is ruled by the element fire. Generally disciplined and logical, this ‘heat’ frequently manifests as ambition, Pitta types are born leaders, managing and controlling their energy strategically. When in a state of balance, Pitta types have positive attributes such as charisma, focus, intelligence, a quick wit and contentment, but when out of balance, excess Pitta can accumulate as irritability, a ‘hot’ temper and unprovoked bouts of aggression.
Pitta skin tends to be fair and sensitive, and the heat that Pitta can generate in the body is generally indicated by moles, rosacea, rashes, acne and a tendency to burn in the sun easily. Pitta skin needs cooling and nurturing and a soothing skincare regime.
When suffering from emotional stress, we advocate following a Pitta skincare routine. Try to select essential oils that are febrifuge (fever-reducing) and anti-inflammatory, such as Bergamot or Rosemary. To create an unwinding and relaxing massage oil, add Pitta oils such as Sandalwood, Chamomile, Coriander, Lime, Peppermint and Yarrow to carrier oils such as Olive, Sunflower or Coconut oil.
Balancing Pitta requires consuming and using products that counteract the fire element and the tendency to overheat. Sour, salty and spicy foods, such as Chilli and Garlic, should be avoided by Pitta types, and instead sweet, bitter and astringent foods should be consumed, especially cold fruits and vegetables such as cherries, cucumbers, watermelon and avocados.
Kapha is ruled by the elements earth and water. Generally quite loving and forgiving by nature, Kapha types tend to store their energy. Kapha dosha people are the least likely to fall out of balance, but when they do this can manifest as being sluggish, slow and overweight, and mentally they can develop feelings of insecurity or envy. This over-accumulation of energy is evident in slow decision-making tendencies.
Kapha skin is usually oily with large pores. Tolerant to sun, Kapha’s excess oil demonstrates a greater predilection to blackheads and needs regular detoxification. Kapha skincare regimes should be stimulating and include regular cleansing of the face (at least twice daily), and deep exfoliation at least once a week.
Stress can affect Kapha physically. In order to stimulate the physical senses, try regular massages with refreshing, decongestant and detoxifying essential oils such as Basil, Clove, Eucalyptus and Rosemary, which invigorate the mind and body.
To maintain Kapha balance through diet, Ayurveda states food should be eaten that cultivates the positive traits within the dosha and alleviates the Kapha tendency to over-accumulate or store excess energy. For a Kapha diet, warm and dry food recipes are most beneficial along with tastes spanning spicy, bitter and astringent. The Kapha elemental effects of water and earth can manifest as moist, cold and clammy, so dry, warm and astringent tastes counteract these attributes. Kapha people should avoid sweet, sour, salty, heavy, oily and processed foods and particularly fermented food recipes.
Tri-doshic types benefit from neutral products suitable for all three doshas, similarly all dosha types can use tri-doshic products. Urbanveda’s tridoshic skincare range, Rose + botanics, is beneficial for all skin types and is particularly supportive of mature skin in need of replenishment and repair. Utilising ingredients that induce relaxation, Rose is renowned for combating the signs of aging, as well as possessing balancing and regulating properties.
A combination of creative Vata and ambitious Pitta, vata-pitta types can lead exciting, innovative and artistic lifestyles. A blending of the elements air and ether (Vata) with fire (Pitta) can cause skin to be prone to being dry and sensitive. In order to keep your doshas in balance, it is recommended to use Pitta skincare in the summer (cooling and soothing Sandalwood + botanics) with Vata skincare in the winter (warming and moisturising Turmeric + botanics).
Possessing almost contraindicative character traits, Pitta-Kapha types merge the fast-paced wit, discipline and logic of Pitta with the more gentle-moving, stable, calm and slower decision-making tendencies of kapha. Combining the hot and wet attributes of Pitta fire, with the wet and solid elements of Kapha earth and water, Pitta-Kapha types lack the element air, and activities that increase a sense of spaciousness, such as yoga or dance, are ideal for this dual-dosha. Overall, Pitta-kapha tend to benefit from excellent physical health, a muscular disposition, good endurance and emotional stability. Pitta-Kapha skin tends to be oily and sensitive. It is best to use Pitta care in the summer (cooling and soothing Sandalwood + botanics) with Kapha skincare in the winter (invigorating and purifying Neem + botanics).
A mixture of Vata’s air elements and Kapha’s water elements, Kapha-Vata skin is generally dry with some oily zones. It is best to use all-round Vata skincare with extra Kapha cleansing. (For example, use Purifying Neem + botanics Purifying Exfoliating Facial Polish and Purifying Hydrating Toner followed by Turmeric + botanics Radiance Day Cream or Radiance Replenishing Night Cream). Kapha-Vata skin needs stimulating and must be cleansed at least twice a day, it is advised to follow a detoxifying exfoliating regime all-over the body at least once a week.