Skin is the largest organ of the body, it protects us from the microbes and the elements help to regulate body temperature, and permits the sensation of touch, heat, and cold. When it comes to skincare, the resilience and glow of a person’s skin are considered as a reflection of their health. The quality of the skin is determined by a person’s Prakriti that is the tridosha predominance namely vathaja, pittaja, kapahaja.
From an Ayurvedic point of view, skin can be divided according to the dosha predominance namely
- VATA DOSHA PREDOMINANT SKIN
This type of skin includes dry, a bit darker, unevenly toned skin which is prone to fine lines and wrinkles. It is likely to have a thin texture with fine pores and has a tendency for roughness. It shows early signs of aging as this skin tends to get dry, dehydrated, and flaky when the dosha is imbalanced. This type of skin is likely to be worse for wear in times of stress, breaking out in rashes that disrupts the skin’s texture like excessive dryness flakiness even eczema.
- PITTA DOSHA PREDOMINANT SKIN
This type is prone to get tanned as it is sensitive, soft, and warm. Hot and spicy food intake may lead to skin irritations. When out of balance, this skin type can flare up with sunburn, rashes, acne, and sunspots.
- KAPHA DOSHA PREDOMINANT SKIN
This skin type is more oily in nature. The skin is thick and cool to touch. It tends to show enlarged pores, blackheads, and water retention in times of imbalance.
In Ayurveda skin or twak is considered as the upadhatu (subclass) of rasa dhathu(the essence of food). So the quality of food is directly related to skin health. Eat fresh fruits, greens,sufficient protein, and vitamins. A diet rich in vitamin C and low in fats and sugar promotes radiant skin. Consider a low sugar diet, which can keep insulin levels down, allowing cells to maintain a healthy balance. Avoid spicy and fermented foods, salt, and fried foods. Exercise regularly which includes walking and yoga. Try to sleep at least 8 hours every night.
The dosha which is directly related to the skin is pitta dosha particularly bhrajaka pitta is located in the skin so it is very important to avoid any imbalance to this dosha. It helps in maintaining normal skin lusture. Thus skin care treatments focus mainly on balancing the pitta dosha along with other imbalanced doshas according to the patient’s nature.
The treatments include Samana and sodhana therapies. Samana therapies include intake of kashaya, medicated ghritas, etc in order to pacify the imbalanced doshas for eg- thikthaka ghritas,aragwadhadi kashayam,maha thikthakam kashayam, eladi churnam, etc. External therapies include the application of medicated tailas and ghritas such as nalpamaradi keram, dinesavallyadi keram, vitpala tailam etc. Other therapies are takra dhara (pouring of medicated curd), kashaya dhara (pouring of kashayas) Ksheeradhara (pouring of medicated milk), Gharshanam, Manjal kizhi, Avagaham helps to improve the skin lusture which in turn helps in balancing doshas. Sodhana therapies include undergoing panchakarma (detoxification). As a preparatory phase prior to panchakarma, the person will be administered with medicated ghee in a graded dose until some lakshanas are shown, and according to the dosha involved panchakarmas will be performed namely virechana(induced purgation) in case of pitta dosha predominance, vasti(enema), nasyam (nasal drop instillation), etc.