Spirituality and wellness are having a moment right now. You need only tune into your instagram to see a friend on a retreat in Bali, posting their latest acai bowl or regramming an inspirational quote. We get it, you think you’re enlightened and want everyone to know! Trust me, we certainly know one thing about you…
However living an *authentically* holistic lifestyle is, of course, wonderful. That is the principal of Aryuveda, which means ‘life knowledge’ or ‘science of life’ in Sanskrit. A system of wellness that stems from over 5000 years of considered practice, Ayurveda’s basic premise is that mind, body and soul need to be in balance for thorough, overall well being.
“Doshas are the energies that govern each individual,” says Abida Halstenberg, founder of Samaya. “Each dosha has its unique emotional and physical characteristics. There are primarily three types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.”
“Some people tend to have just one dosha while others have a combination of two,” explains Abida. “In rare cases, people can be tri-doshic and possess all three in equal proportions.”
“There are multiple ways to find out your dosha. One is, of course, to book a personal consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner - I am holding personal consultations at Fenwick ‘Meet The Experts’ event on the 15th of September. For those who don't have the time for an in-depth consultation, they can discover their dosha via a mini-quiz on our website in under a minute.”
Another accurate diagnosis would be skin type, scent preference and one’s physical build. Anita Kaushal, Founder of Mauli Rituals, elaborates on each dosha and how best to care for each one:
Thin, delicate, and prone to dryness, flakiness, dark spots, and premature fine lines and wrinkles. Usually does not have clogged pores. You may also have dark under eye circles.
Tips for balancing Vata skin
* Use gentle, oil or balm cleansers that comfort the skin
* Look for warming, deeply moisturising products that will provide your skin with essential fatty acids. Think coconut, almond, sesame, and olive oils along with shea butter and honey.
* Make sure you’re getting enough healthy fats in your diet—they help keep skin hydrated. Try nuts, avocados, and fatty fish.
* Lightly cook your veggies to make them moister. Avoid too many raw veggies as they contribute to dryness and slow down digestion. (Vatas already have slow digestion, so you want to speed it up).
* Don’t over-exercise—choose grounding activities like yoga, walking, pilates, swimming, dance, short hikes, and similar activity levels for balance.
Clear and radiant, but can occasionally be irritated and red. Easily sunburned. May have freckles and moles. At risk for sensitive skin and oily skin. May have congested pores in the T-zone.
Tips for balancing Pitta skin
* You want ingredients in your skin care that calm, balance & hydration. Look for coconut, sunflower, grape seed, licorice root, lavender, rose, and tea tree. You can also use soothing herbs like neem, sandalwood, and thyme.
* Look for fruits that are a combination of sweet and tart, like pineapple, cherries, kiwi, and grapes.
* Eat more cooling foods, like cucumber and zucchini, as well as cooling fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe and pears.
* Avoid acidic foods like tomatoes and vinegar—they create too much heat. Same goes for spicy foods as they can lead to flushing.
You have smooth, moist skin, but that means you may also have large pores and oiliness. Prone to oily skin, blocked pores, and dull or pale skin. You may also have puffy eyes, and suffer from rashes.
Tips for balancing Kapha skin
* Resist the temptation to overly dry your skin, as that will cause a rebound oily effect. Instead, choose gentle cleansers and alternate for deep cleaning and exfoliation.
* Choose moisturisers that are light but nourishing. Look for invigorating herbs like rosemary, yarrow, peppermint, geranium, citrus (lemon and orange), and sesame.
* Enjoy spicy foods! Energise yourself and your skin with more garlic, turmeric, ginger, chili, apple cider vinegar, and fenugreek.
* You would benefit from juicing—combing veggies and fruits in a blender and have with or instead of a meal once a day. Herbal teas also work as great pick-me-ups.
The alluring concept of Ayurveda as a holistic, inclusive approach to skincare - one that understands good skin starts in the gut - is very appealing and incredible relevant to the increasing health movement happening around the world. In fact, ayurveda seems to be the original birthplace of clean, green beauty (toxin free products), relying on thousands of years of plant-based remedies to correct and protect the skin. While many brands are not categorised as ayurvedic, many fall in line with the philosophy - Votary, May Lindstorm, Tata Harper & UMA are some of my favourites that I would consider holistic. In terms of truly Ayurvedic beauty brands, Samaya and Mauli Rituals are at the forefront of the category, each run by women of Indian decent whose deep knowledge of Ayurveda is steeped in their families history.
Some additional bath, body & skincare we love...