The first step in the holistic ayurvedic approach to skin care is finding out your ayurvedic skin type.
Vata skin is in generally dry, thin, delicate and cool to the touch, easily gets dehydrated, and is very vulnerable to the influence of dry windy weather. Vata skin may age faster, and tends to be dry, rough and flaky when out of balance.
Pitta skin type tends to be fair, sensitive, soft, warm, and of medium thickness. Less tolerance to hot food, less tolerance to fieriness in temperament. Pitta skin types tend to be more prone to freckles and moles than the other skin types. When out of balance, Pitta skin can flare up in rashes, rosacea, acne, or sunspots.
Kapha skin tends to have all the qualities of water and earth -- it can be oily, thick, pale, soft, cool and more tolerant of the sun. Kapha skin tends to age slower and form less wrinkles than the other two types. Kapha skin types may struggle with dull complexion, enlarged pores, excessive oil, blackheads, and pimples, moist types of eczema and water retention.
"Combination" skin can be Vata-Pitta, skin that is both dry and sensitive, Kapha-Pitta-skin is oily and sensitive, and Vata-Kapha- skin that is generally dry with some oily zones.
Skin Care tips for your ayurvedic skin type
Vata Skin Care
For Vata skin to stay youthful, skin care products used should be very nurturing. They must include some essential oils or herbs in combination, which can nourish the skin and rehydrate it; otherwise it may be susceptible to wrinkles and premature aging.
Going to bed on time, eating regular meals, and following a regular daily routine are essential components of a holistic approach to Vata skin care, as are eating foods that help balance Vata and nourish the Vata skin.
Pitta Skin Care
The Pitta skin type needs both cooling and nurturing. Use skin care products that help enhance resistance to the sun. Avoid tanning treatments and therapies that expose your delicate, sensitive skin to steam for extended periods of time.
The ayurvedic herb Flame of Forest can help protect Pitta skin from photosensitivity. But like other ayurvedic herbs, it needs to be used in combination with other herbs for a balanced effect on the skin.
Kapha Skin Care
"Kapha skin, because of its thickness and oiliness, is more prone to accumulate ama -- toxins under the skin. People with Kapha skin need to do detoxification on a regular basis, both internal detoxification and external detoxification to flush toxins from the skin," says Mishra.
Scrubbing the skin with gentle exfoliating clay can help external cleansing. Kapha skin types may also need to take herbal formulations to cleanse the skin from within.