Your dosha is essentially your Zodiac sign in the Ayurvedic world.
But instead of revealing your future, it explains how the five elements of nature (fire, water, earth, air, and ether) are expressed through you—your personality, digestion, physical build, and even your skin type, explains Tamara Jones, an Ayurvedic practitioner and founder of all-natural, vegan, California-based Ayurvedic apothecary line Yoke.
More reading: What’s your dosha? Find out your Ayurvedic constitution?
“When you’re thinking about eating something or putting something on your skin, you want to reach for botanicals that have properties that basically pacify your dosha’s elements.” In other words, you want products that are in sync with more than just your skin.
More reading: The ABCs of Ayurveda
Here, Jones reveals the best beauty ingredients for each of the three doshas. (Not sure which one you are? Take this quiz!)
Just remember, Ayurveda isn’t just a bunch of rules to follow. “If you fall in love with something that isn’t for your dosha,” says Jones, “your body is telling you what it wants.” Listen to it. —Amy Marturana
Ruled by ether and air, “Vatas tend to be naturally thin and wispy, lively, chatty, and always on the move,” Jones explains. Since ether and air are cold, dry, and constantly changing, Vatas tend to be dry and dehydrated—which means dry hair and flaky skin.
How to balance Vata: “You always want to be moisturizing and warming,” Jones says, “So look at herbs and flowers that have these properties, and tend to be a little bit sweet.” Warming oils include sesame, avocado, sweet almond, and apricot oil. For herbs, turn to orange, rose, cloves, patchouli, and vanilla. “Patchouli is good because it’s grounding—Vatas are up in the air, and need to be brought down. Cinnamon is warming and grounding as well.”
Ruled by fire and water, Pittas are “intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented, with vibrant complexions and luscious locks,” says Jones. Along with a fiery personality comes fiery skin (AKA, easily inflamed). If you have eczema, for example, you’re displaying too much Pitta. So look for ingredients that are cooling and soothing.
How to balance Pitta: Sunflower oil, castor oil, and coconut oil all do the trick. Aloe, lavender, chamomile, coriander, jasmine, and neem are great, too. “Neem is an herb really used for sensitive skin,” Jones explains. “Almost all our Pitta products include neem.” And of course, tried-and-true cooling essentials mint and cucumber, and inflammation-fighting turmeric, help too.
Ruled by earth and water, Kaphas are strong and muscular, and emotionally stable and patient, Jones explains. But this heavy grounding translates to congested, oily skin. “If all of a sudden you start to get blackheads, it can be indication that Kapha is off balance.”
How to balance Kapha: Kapha needs detoxifying skincare—things to stimulate and clear everything out. Warming oils like almond and sesame are good detoxifiers. Eucalyptus, juniper, cedarwood, and clove are other good ingredients to look for. “Rosemary is probably my favorite for Kapha,” Jones says. “It’s stimulating and helps awaken the sluggishness that Kapha has.” Fennel and holy basil are two other great herbs, across the board.
For more information, visit tradeyoke.com
(Second Photo: Yoke)
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