What are the Different Types of Ayurvedic Skin Treatments?

Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff
An exfoliating scrub may be recommended for kapha skin types in Ayurvedic medicine.
An exfoliating scrub may be recommended for kapha skin types in Ayurvedic medicine.

There are three major types of ayurvedic skin treatments, and each treatment method is distinctive to a specific skin type. Three major skin types and treatments are generally classified as pitta, kapha, and vata. Ayurvedic medicine is a type of ancient healing that probably originated in India. Some historians believe this type of medicine may be more than 5,000 years old. The term ayurvedic is a combination of two Indian words meaning life and knowledge.

Vata ayurvedic skin treatments are used to treat people with fair, dry skin.
Vata ayurvedic skin treatments are used to treat people with fair, dry skin.

Pitta ayurvedic skin treatments are designed for treating fair skin than may be susceptible to burning and surface irritants. To keep pitta skin healthy, it is recommended that milk mixed with jam or honey be consumed on a regular basis. In addition, because of their cooling effect, foods such as licorice and fennel should be added to daily diets. Surface treatments such as coconut oil or aloe extract are also used in pitta treatment.

Kapha treatment is for oily skin with large pores. Kapha ayurvedic skin treatments are based on the idea that over-abundance of oil is caused by both internal and external toxins, thus treatment is aimed at detoxification both internally and externally. For external detoxification, the skin should be cleansed a couple of times per day, followed by the use of an exfoliant brush or scrub. Internal detoxification tends to rely on eating more bitter foods with astringent and stimulative properties. This includes dark green leafy vegetables and using pepper and ginger to help stimulate the digestive process.

Vata ayurvedic skin treatments are designed to treat skin that is dry with small pores. According to ayurvedic medicine, this type of skin is prone to early wrinkling, so the remedies typically target ways to keep the skin more youthful. Daily surface moisturizing and rehydration are important components of this treatment, and requires drinking plenty of water, combined with at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Meals should be eaten at regular intervals each day, and should be heavy in whole grains and green vegetables. In addition, people with vata type skin should try to avoid emotional stress and strenuous exercises.

According to ayurvedic medicine, these three main skin types and treatments often coexist. A person may have a combination of two of the skin types or even a bit of all three. In this situation, elements of each treatment are usually combined, with emphasis being placed on which type of skin seems to be most dominant.

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    • An exfoliating scrub may be recommended for kapha skin types in Ayurvedic medicine.
      An exfoliating scrub may be recommended for kapha skin types in Ayurvedic medicine.
    • Vata ayurvedic skin treatments are used to treat people with fair, dry skin.
      Vata ayurvedic skin treatments are used to treat people with fair, dry skin.