What Type of Acne Do You Have?
An Ayurvedic Approach to your Skin
Summer is finally here so it’s time to enjoy wonderful warm weather. But the summer sizzle can also be an aggravation of acne. The Ayurvedic approach for treating problem skin is based on tailoring holistic treatments to the type and quality of acne that we have. It includes a change in lifestyle along with topical treatments. So, read on to learn more about the Ayurvedic acne types and what you can do to clear them up.
Vata Acne: Small, Dry Blemishes
Vata is the dosha of air and space and the Vata skin type is characterized by dryness. This acne is prompted by skin dehydration rather than oil and bacteria. Vata blemishes are non-inflammatory and dried out. Here, our skin’s sebum (oil) dries out and clogs pores, leading to small dry milia and blackheads. While oil is an ingredient in Vata acne, it is the dryness that causes the blemish.
To treat this, we must hydrate the skin, applying water-rich serums that increase moisture. Topical ingredients like hyaluronic acid and sea algae are excellent as they increase moisture. Combining this with a rich moisturizer helps lock this water in, keeping skin moist and sebum fluid. With this, we want to lubricate the skin from the inside too. Those with Vata acne should consume plenty of water, hydrating fruits and veggies along with healthy fat sources such as sunflower, avocado, hemp seeds or fatty fish.
Pitta Acne: Angry Acne
Pitta is the element of fire and it spurs our body’s inflammation. Sensitive skin conditions such as rosacea, hyperreactive skin and inflamed acne are all aggravated by this dosha. The cause of Pitta acne “heat” in the body, translates into red, angry blemishes most often with pustular heads. Usually, this is combined with underlying sensitive skin that is easily irritated by harsh acne-targeting products.
To soothe Pitta acne, Ayurveda aims to pacify your constitution internally and externally. Calming skincare containing aloe, rose water and neem are therapeutic for this type. With this, it is advised to avoid eating a heating diet. Some culprits are hot spices, deep-fried food, and excess salt. Instead, cooling foods like mint, cucumber, watermelon and celery are recommended to temper inflammation for the skin and body.
Kapha Acne - Large Cystic Pimples
Kapha is the earth and water dosha. These elements are characterized by their solid, moist nature. This complexion has thick collagen tissue and an abundance of oil. Its acne type is wet, large and deep. Imbalance of this dosha leads to excessive sebum-production along with cystic, fluid-filled pimples, which are painful and slow to heal.
To treat Kapha acne, classic acne solutions may be effective if you do not dry out the skin too much. Astringent gel cleansers that eliminate excess oil and dirt help keep Kapha clear. Antimicrobial toners that don’t strip the skin, such as with hazel hydrosol, are also a key to controlling Kapha breakouts. Internally, avoid “damp” Kapha-aggravating foods like dairy, bananas and refined sugars to help prevent and clarify this acne type.
Kristen Ma is an Ayurvedic skincare specialist and the co-founder of Pure+Simple, a Canadian spa chain and retailer of natural beauty products. www.pureandsimple.ca