Facial Oil Guide For Your Doshic Skin Type
Cream-based moisturizers, wether entirely natural or not, are what we are mainly used to in North America for facial hydration and rejuvenating purposes, but today I would like to offer you another alternative - In Ayurvedic beauty practices, oil extracts are considered to be the ideal and most efficient solution for your skin care and issues as they deeply penetrate the layers of the skin, nourishing all the way down to the tissues and blood stream. By these actions, the body is treated as a whole, soothing the nervous system, lubricating the organs beneath the skin and contributing to the inner as well as outer glow. What I also love about using facial oils is that I am also getting aromatherapy benefits from the combined essential oils, complementing further the treatment of any given doshic (energetic makeup) imbalance or constitution: Vata, Pitta or Kapha.
When we are addressing these imbalances or tendencies in Ayurveda, not only are we taking in account the person's dosha, but also the doshic skin type. Just as our bodies express certain trademark symptoms from aggravation of a specific dosha, our skin also reacts in the very same way, often as a reflection of this particular internal state of health. Using a holistic approach, it is important to know and understand the gunas (qualities) of our skin as it is today to make the best choices to alleviate any current issues or simply to keep giving it the proper nourishment to maintain its health and youth.
You can have, like most people, a dual doshic skin type, as with your prakruti (constitution) or vikruti (state of imbalance). However for the sake of simplicity, we will take a look at the three main doshic skin types in terms of how it is expressed on the face as well as a few of the recommended base oils and essential oils best suited for each. For simple every day use of the recommendations listed below, you can mix together 1 tsp of base oil, a few drops of essential oil and 1 tsp of spring or floral water. Don't hesitate to get creative with your picks and see what works best for you! Also, remember that it's highly recommended to use cold-pressed, unrefined, and organic oils.
VATA SKIN TYPE:
Skin description: Vata skin is charaterized by dry or rough texture, small or barely visible pores, fine lines (especially on forehead, the infamous ''worry lines''), flakiness, cracked lips, easily dehydrated, thin (often veiny) and delicate. It is prone to conditions like psoriasis, premature wrinkles and dark eye circles. Vata needs oils that are rich and will deeply moisturize and hydrate the skin. It is balanced by the use of sweet, warming and grounding scents.
Base oils: sesame, avocado, almond, jojoba, castor, ghee, coco butter
Essential oils: Geranium, lemon, cardamom, vanilla, red rose, sweet orange, jatamansi
PITTA SKIN TYPE:
Skin description: Pitta skin tends towards being reactive and sensitive, oily at the level of T-Zone, prone to inflammation and blemishes, redness or flushed complexion and warm to the touch. It is prone to issues like acne vulgaris, acne rosacea and cold sores. Pitta skin needs calming, soothing and cooling and is balanced by scents that contain these qualities.
Base oils: Coconut, argan, jojoba, olive, ghee
Essential oils: rosewhite, jasmine, sandalwood, mint, fennel, coriander, neem, yarrow, chamomile
KAPHA SKIN TYPE:
Skin description: Kapha skin is typically thick, has large pores, is smooth and oily, cool to the touch, pale complexion (according to race) and may have deep wrinkles. It is prone to swelling (edema) and congestion, cystic acne and blackheads. Kapha needs to keep over-secretion of oil in check and for circulation to be stimulated. It is balanced by using stimulating, warming and cleansing aromas.
Base oils: almond, sunflower, safflower, apricot kernel, grape seed
Essential oils: lemongrass, cypress, lavender, bergamot, eucalyptus, frankincense, rosemary, sage