In Ayurveda, knowing your dosha is a big deal. Your dosha, or mind-body constitution, should guide your decisions concerning foods, supplements and beauty products. The three doshas—vata (air), pitta (fire) and kapha (earth)—govern everything from metabolism to digestion to beauty.
“Because skin is the body’s largest organ, it expresses this energy,” says Ayurvedic practitioner Kristen Ma, author of Beauty: Pure + Simple.
You’re probably a combo of two doshas, but your primary dosha is what is most important. According to Ayurvedic healing, the following characteristics tend to correspond with your dosha:
Vata dosha: Thinner build, performs activities quickly, busy, irregular hunger, light sleeper, tire easily, worry and overexertion
Pitta dosha: Sharp intellect, doesn’t skip meals, hungry and angry under stress, aversion to sun and hot weather
Kapha dosha: Solid and powerful build, strength and endurance, slow to anger, affectionate, forgiving, tendency toward heavy sleep and extra weight
What your dosha says about your skin
Vata’s skin tends to be dry, needing constant hydration, especially during winter months. For vatas, it’s never too soon to start using an antiaging product to prevent signs of time.
Pitta’s skin is often sensitive and is more prone to redness and irritation. Soothing, gentle ingredients are generally best.
Kapha’s skin can be thick and oily, responding well to rejuvenating and exfoliating.