Ayurveda says that each person comprises three energies, or ‘Dosha,’ Vata Pitta, and Kapha. All three Doshas exist in us all, but usually, only one or two dominate. These energies have a different impact on each individual, affecting their personality and psychological traits as well as their likes and dislikes. Kapha-dominant individuals are more inclined to enjoy spicy foods than Pitta and Vata-dominant individuals. Vata-dominant people prefer warm weather to cold.
The Basic Characteristics of Each Mind-Body Type
Vata Predominant Types
- Vata Dosha is a predominant factor in the lives of individuals.
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- You quickly learn and absorb new information but need to remember it quickly.
- Tall, slender and fast-walkers
- Cold feet and hands are a tendency; you feel uncomfortable in cold weather.
- Changeable moods
- When in balance, you will be full of enthusiasm and joy.
- Exciting, fun personality
- High energy in short bursts, prone to fatigue and overexertion.
- Unregular daily routine
- Worry, fear, and anxiety are the most common ways to respond to stress, especially when out of balance.
- Impulsiveness is a tendency to act.
- Sometimes, thoughts can be disjointed and racing.
- You have dry hair and skin and don’t sweat much.
Pitta Predominant Types
- Pitta Dosha is a predominant dosha in the body.
- A sharp mind and good concentration abilities
- Focused and organized
- At their best, entrepreneurs are assertive, confident, and self-confident.
- Enjoy challenges and be competitive.
- Passionate and romantic
- Medium physique, strong, well-built
- They are irritated when they miss or have to wait for their meal.
- When out of balance, aggressive, demanding, and pushy
- Pittas are prone to becoming angry and irritable when under stress.
- Temper tantrums and impatience are common.
- Heat makes people feel distressed.
- Sunburns are more common on reddish or fair skin and often freckled.
- Perspire a lot
- Good leadership and management skills, but can become authoritarian.
- Public speakers are required to be good public speakers.
- Physical problems can include skin rashes, acne, cancer of the skin, heartburn, ulcers, acid reflux, dry or burning eyelids, or insomnia.
Kapha Predominant Types
- People with a Kapha Dosha predominance tend to be
- Slow-paced, easy-going, and relaxed
- Love and affection
- Compassionate, forgiving, and non-judgmental in nature
- Stable, faithful, and reliable
- It is the most energetic of all constitutions but also steady and enduring.
- Strong physically; a heavier, more robust build
- Overweight tendencies
- Slower learning but good long-term memory
- The slow speech reflects a deliberate thinking process.
- Soft hairs and skin
- A tendency to have large, soft, or large eyes. Also, a soft voice.
- Good health is a sign of a robust immune system.
- Depression is a possibility; a sluggish digestive system may be present.
- A gentle and undemanding way of life
- Self-sufficiency is more self-reliant.
- They are very calm and strive to maintain harmony in their surrounding.
- It can be a source of stability to others.
- You don’t like the cold and damp weather.
- Possessiveness and holding on to things are expected.
- Other physical problems are sinus headaches, congestion, allergies, asthma, and atherosclerosis.
After reading all the traits, you may be confused. You may have a mixture of features from two Doshas or all of them. Do not give up. Online questionnaires can help you determine your mind/body constitution. After completing the questionnaires, you will better understand your dominant Dosha type (energy).
A tip: When you are looking for questionnaires to fill out, take your time and choose the ones that have more detail. They will give you an accurate result. The shorter questionnaires will provide you with a more generalized and approximate result. Be satisfied with more than one result. Fill out several questionnaires to get a more accurate idea of your Dosha.
So, now I hope you’ve figured out your predominant Dosha. If not, no worries – here’s a short description of three basic skin types (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) based on the three doshas or energies.
Vata Skin Type
People with the predominance of Vata dosha tend to have dry, light, and calm skin. You may have Vata skin if your skin is dry, thin, delicate, fine-pored, and transparent.
When out of balance, it can become scorched, flaky, or rough or be subject to skin fungus or dry eczema.
Vata skin tends to wrinkle more as it ages because of the dryness of Vata dosha. The skin may be dull or greyish if your digestion needs proper balance.
If you have Vata skin, you would be particularly sensitive to mental stress, which has a habit of showing up in a tired and stressed look.
Pitta Skin Type
People with the predominance of Pitta energy have a skin tone that is more fair or rosy, warm, and soft. The skin is not too thick nor too thin. Such qualities and reddish or blond hair are compatible with the warm, fiery Pitta dosha.
When out of balance, individuals with Pitta skin types can suffer from breakouts, acne, skin rashes, liver spots, or rosacea. Pitta skin type people are usually more sensitive, and emotional stress may cause them to blush when embarrassed – or they may experience canker sores, breakouts, or rashes when under pressure.
Kapha Skin Type
Kapha Dosha skin type is cool to the touch and softer, oilier, and smoother compared to the other two types. People with the Kapha skin type also have thick skin.
You probably have Kapha skin if your skin is pale and your hair wavy, oily, thick, and dark. People with Kapha skin tend not to form wrinkles until very late.
When the Dosha is out of balance, people with Kapha skin can suffer from enlarged pores, blackheads, excessive oiliness, pimples, moist types of water retention, and eczema.
Knowing your skin type gives clues to planning your daily routine and what you should eat to balance and nourish your skin. Knowing your skin type also gives you the essential information to customize your skincare routine.
For example, for a Youthful Skin routine, you need to follow four steps – cleansing (probably with a herbal soap or a cleansing gel; toning (probably with an ayurvedic toner; replenishing the skin (if required, with the ayurvedic oils for skin); and finally nourishing with a herbal cream. While all products for these steps are designed for all skin types, how often you use them depends on your skin type.
The Basics of Vata Skin Care
A person who has Vata skin will probably have dry skin issues related to dry skin. That’s because the vata skin type doesn’t retain moisture as much as the other skin types. Therefore, adding or keeping water in your skin is your priority.
You should apply a milk/cream-based moisturizer generously on your face before you sleep at night and in the morning after cleansing. It’ll be great if you find a skin cleansing gel that is specially designed for Vata skin dryness. A cleansing gel not only restores moisture balance but also cleanses and removes makeup simultaneously.
You can also use an oil that is beneficial for dry skin after you’ve cleaned your face at the end of the day. And it’s best to avoid skin care products that are full of chemical ingredients or are just made of chemical stuff (do look for some herbal ingredients, too) because they might dry your skin furthermore and cause damage to your skin.
Keep your skin well hydrated from within by drinking a lot of water. At least eight glasses a day would do. Also, have a lot of sweet and juicy fruits. Have nourishing and warm fruits, and avoid having dry foods.
Make sure to maintain regular eating habits and a routine. Get to bed early, and include a daily oil massage or abhyanga to moisturize your body. You can also have organic Vata churan or tea to balance and nourish Vata’s skin.
The Basics of Pitta Skin Care
A person who has Pitta skin should primarily focus on calming their sensitive skin. Staying in excessive heat and direct sunlight will irritate your skin, so you should shield yourself from heat. These include steam facials, tanning salons, and long hours under the sun – all can damage your sensitive skin.
One of the best ways to calm your skin is by managing the tactile nerves. Go for creams/ moisturizers containing plants or the natural essence of herbs (such as turmeric) that protect sensitive skin, help moisturize the skin, and nourish the tactile nerves.
Pitta skin type individuals tend to have oil in their skin. Therefore, they don’t need to apply oil daily – they can skip a day if they wish, and it won’t hamper the oil balance. Try using cool-temperature water while bathing or cleansing – not ice-cold; it may freeze your skin pores. A balanced water temperature – not too hot or cold – is ideal for your skin type.
Avoid spicy and hot foods; they generate internal heat, which may irritate your skin. For an internal cooling and balancing effect, have pitta churan and pitta tea (preferably organic, readily available in ayurvedic shops and online stores).
Also, make sure you hit the bed before ten at night (also called the pitta time of night). Avoid preservatives, chemicals, and products with harsh ingredients on your skin (and food!). Go for organic foods with sweet flavors; astringent and bitter foods can also help calm your skin and stop breakouts. Drink a lot of water, too – water is a must!
The Basics of Kapha Skin Care
The primary point of focus of people with Kapha skin type should be properly cleansing the skin. The basis of your beauty regimen should be frequent deep cleansing. To do deep cleansing of the skin in an Ayurvedic manner, you first need to loosen the impurities by lubricating your skin. Start by patting your face with warm milk for about five minutes before bed. Then, in the morning, to exfoliate, use bentonite clay. This way, you’ll be able to loosen the impurities first, so now, when the pollutants are released, your skin will be less prone to damage. Repeating this routine twice a week is a must.
Clean your face with a mild herbal soap daily, and apply some skin toner after that. You can also use an oil compatible with your skin type (but use it every second or third day). Choosing a moisturizer that will not let oil build up is significant.
You should also avoid having foods that are heavy and excessively oily. Try to eat more light, bitter and astringent-flavored foods such as cooked veggies prepared with Kapha-pacifying spices. Also, sip Kapha pacifying tea to get your imbalanced energy balanced.
In small quantities, olive oil is a great cooking oil for people with a predominance of Kapha dosha. Olive oil is light and is easy to digest. Also, make sure that you exercise every day to keep your body’s digestive and detoxification systems in order.
If you have a combination of skin
If your skin is generally dry but sometimes it develops oily patches, you probably have a combination of Vata- Kapha skin. If you have dry and sensitive skin, it’s a Vata- Pitta combination. And if you have a variety of oily and sensitive skin, you probably have a Kapha- Pitta skin.