Ayurveda tells us that we are made of the very same things as the universe. These 5 elements, ether/space, air, fire, water and earth are energy forces present in everyone in different proportions. They define our personality, our physical body and our skin type and Ayurveda puts these elements into three main Doshas or Body Constitutions.
Vata is concerned with air and ether/space and works alongside the nervous system which will have an effect on our skin. In the mind Vata is concerned with memory and comparison of information. Air is the breath which stimulates movement. Ether/space is the stillness where the vibration of all vital systems and all creative activity occur. The Vata skin will be drier than the other 2 types. Characteristics of Vata skin are, cold, dry, sallow, rough, small pores, thin skin, prone to premature wrinkles, dark under eye circles, easily tans.
Pitta is concerned with fire and water and governs the body’s balance of chemical and transforming energies. In the mind Pitta processes new data and draws conclusions. Fire is the acids and enzymes of the body and the sun’s rays that directly affect all life forms and the environment. Water is the fluid present in every cell and it can be calm or turbulent. The Pitta skin will be warmer than the other 2 types. Characteristics of Pitta skin are, warm, reddish, glowing, large pores in the T zone, burns easily, prone to skin allergies and irritations.
Kapha is concerned with earth and water and governs structure, bodily stability and lubrication and cell structure. In the mind Kapha provides stability and the ability to grasp single thoughts, is structured, slow, graceful and prone to weight gain. The earth is our physical body and is solid and grounding. Water is the fluid present in every cell and mixed with earth can become dense and heavy. Kapha skin is oilier than the other 2 types. Characteristics are cool, moonlike, oily, large pores, prone to acne, blackheads, deep wrinkles, tans easily.
This is a general skin questionnaire to help to determine which skin type you are according to Ayurveda. Once you have completed the questionnaire it will help you to understand which products you need to purchase. What follows is a general body type dosha questionnaire which will help your understanding of your body constitution. You can decide to only do the skin and face questionnaire for the purpose of understanding your specific skin at this moment in time, becoming more aware of your complete dosha/body constitution will help you in the long term towards optimum skin health.
1. The shape of my face is?
a) Small, thin, long
b) Average, squareish
c) Large, round
2. What is your skin like?
a) Dry, delicate skin that is easily affected by the weather.
b) Soft skin. Often a ruddy or freckled complexion.
c) Often a pale complexion with thick skin. Skin can be oily but will usually be cool to the touch.
3. My skin feels?
b) Slightly oily
4. My skin tone is most like?
a) Greyish, light, dull
b) Reddish, olive, sensitive
c) Pale, yellowish
5. My skin temperature is?
a) Cool to cold
b) Warm to hot
c) Cool to cooler
6. The pores on my face are?
a) Small and fine
b) Large on T-zone
c) Large and open
7. My skin is prone to?
a) Fine lines and shows veins
b) Freckles and moles
c) Blackheads, excess oil
8. My skin can be prone to?
9. What kind of hair do you have?
a) Normal to dry, often dark, wiry or kinky.
b) Normal to fine hair, often blonde, red or prematurely grey.
c) Normal to oily, thick wavy hair.
10. What are your eyes like?
a) Small, dark and constantly moving.
b) Quite penetrating, often green, grey or hazel.
c) Large, beautiful eyes (often brown) with lustrous eyelashes.
11. My lips are?
a) Thin, often dry
12. My nose is?
a) Thin, small, long, crooked
b) Average, prone to redness
c) Thick, big
13. What are your hands and nails like?
a) Cold hands with little perspiration, nails are often brittle.
b) Hands often perspire a lot; nails are flexible but quite strong.
c) Hands sometimes perspire, nails are thick and strong.
This is a general questionnaire to help you determine which body type you are according to Ayurveda. You must be honest with your answers, if necessary ask someone to help you if you aren’t sure. At the bottom add up your scores, the totals will decide which Dosha you are, the highest number will be your most prominent one, with a closer second. Very few people are tri-dosha where all doshas are equal numbers.
1. What were you like at birth and as a child?
a) I was small at birth and a thin child.
b) I was average at birth and medium-sized child.
c) I was a large baby and plump or solid child.
2. What is your build now?
a) Thin with light bones and prominent joints and tendons. Perhaps either very tall or very short, I hardly ever lose weight.
b) Medium build and bone structure, I can lose weight.
c) Large boned and quite heavy or dense in build, with broad shoulders or wide hips. I find it hard to lose weight.
3. What kind of appetite do you have?
a) Irregular – sometimes I’m ravenous, sometimes I can’t be bothered.
b) Good – if I have to skip meals I feel irritable.
c) Healthy – I enjoy food and can overeat.
4. How are your bowel movements?
a) Irregular, sometimes hard or constipated.
b) Regular, tending to soft and loose.
c) Regular, steady, thick and heavy.
5. How do you sleep?
a) I’m a generally a light sleeper and can have insomnia.
b) I am generally a regular, sound sleeper
c) I’m a heavy, long sleeper.
6. How do you walk?
a) Quickly, lightly.
b) Medium pace; purposeful.
c) Slowly and steady; calm.
7. What kind of illnesses are you prone to?
a) Sharp pains, headaches, nervous disorders, gas or constipation, eczema or dry rashes.
b) Rashes and allergies, inflammation, heartburn, ulcers, acidity, feverish complaints.
c) Fluid retention and excess mucus, bronchitis, sinus problems, asthma, congestion.