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What are doshas and how do they affect your skin? Know about it here

"Like our environment, the body comprises of five great elements -- these are air, space, water, fire and earth."

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When it comes to skincare, a lot of us swear by the magic of Ayurveda. It is tried and tested, does not have major side effects and now everyone is hooked! But, did you know that Ayurvedic skincare follows the concept of doshas?

Doshas mean faults and are one of the three substances present in the human body. The substances translate into Tri-doshas but why are they called faults?

In harmony, Tri-doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) sustain and nourish the body, explains Dr Zeel Gandhi, an Ayurvedic doctor and formulator for Vedix.

She says, “Like our environment, the body comprises of five great elements — these are air, space, water, fire and earth.”

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Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are considered energies that hold these elements together:

Vata – air and space

Pitta – fire and water

Kapha – water and earth

It’s not an easy job to maintain homeostasis under constant environmental and lifestyle stressors but Ayurveda constantly aspires to maintain a healthy tri-doshic harmony, adds the doctor. So how does each dosha affect our skin? Here’s what she says:


When the air is high, it causes dryness — this is the major cause for pigmentation.  Because of dryness, wrinkles form and the skin loses its glow and plump texture.


Dr Gandhi explains that the Vata is naturally high during late summers and deep winters. This is why it is important to practice Snehana – oiling, and Swedana – steaming to maintain the skin. Herbs like Gokshura and Dashamula help ensure that the Vata is balanced.


When Pitta is in excess, it dries up moisture and triggers either oiliness or sensitivity. “Acne, resulting in scars and hyperpigmentation is commonly encountered on Pitta skin. They are sensitive to sunlight and develop freckles and moles. The skin ages earlier for Pitta. It is naturally high in autumn and summer,” says Dr Gandhi.

For this, opt for clay masks or aloe vera juice. Spritz your face with rose water and incorporate herbs such as Yashtimadhu and Shatavari to heal skin troubled by Pitta.



When Kapha is excess, it leads to uneven tone and stagnant lymph. This may trigger breakouts.

“Kapha is naturally high during spring and sometimes in monsoon, the high moisture may trigger Kapha problems too. Ayurveda suggests resorting to dry heat that keeps the Kapha moving. Sauna is especially beneficial for the skin,” she adds.

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First published on: 24-04-2021 at 23:20 IST
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