Combination Doshas: Tips

Skincare & Self-Care Tips For Combination Doshas

Emma Newlyn

Whilst Ayurveda offers valuable and detailed guidance for daily practices, foods, meditation and movement methods, self-care techniques and seasonal living for each specific dosha, it can be confusing to know the best lifestyle guidance to follow if you have a dual prakriti or a Combination Doshas. Having a dual prakriti means your mind-body type is made up primarily of two doshas (and even three for the rare ‘tri-doshic’ types) instead of being dominated by one dosha. Many people are primarily Vata, Pitta or Kapha, but if you take a dosha test and discover that you have a score with two dosha types equal or very close, it’s likely you’re a combination of the two.

To take a dosha test for yourself, click HERE. To learn about the Vata, Pitta & Kapha doshas, click HERE

Take a look at these examples of dosha test scores to get an idea of what this could look like:

Kapha= 2  Vata= 8  Pitta= 15: Pitta dosha

Kapha=11 Vata=11 Pitta=3: Kapha/Vata dosha

Kapha=5 Vata=9 Pitta=11: Pitta/Vata dosha

Kapha=4 Vata=14 Pitta=7: Vata dosha 

Kapha=8 Vata=8 Pitta=9: Most likely to be tri-doshic

Generally, I find that many people who enjoy a dynamic yoga practice and lead a busy lifestyle are Pitta/Vata types, and those who are real ‘earth mama’ types, are primarily Kapha. Sometimes it may present that your mind is primarily Vata, whilst your body is Kapha, or perhaps your body is Pitta but your mind more Kapha. You may also be a totally equal combination, which has benefits, but can cause issues too! Many of my students and clients who are Vata/Pitta types tend to suffer from feeling stressed, with lots of ideas and projects on the go, a busy mind, and a distinct lack of ‘down-time’ and relaxation. Those who are Kapha/Vata tend to experience low self-esteem, are very emotionally sensitive, and need to keep themselves motivated and physically and mentally ‘fired up’.

 

Understanding The Qualities

To find balance with combination doshas, we can look at the qualities of each individual dosha, then recognise the qualities that two doshas share. For example, Kapha and Vata both contain the qualities of coolness and coldness, whilst Kapha and Pitta both contain moisture and oiliness. Pitta is the only dosha dominated by heat, and Vata is the only dosha prone to excessive dryness. When we understand the qualities the doshas share, we can then turn to balancing them with the opposite qualities. Ayurveda’s motto is; ‘like increases like. Opposite brings balance’. Observe the qualities shared by the combination doshas:

 

Pitta / Kapha

Qualities shared: Moist, oily, soft

Typical issues: Prone to oily skin, over-consumption of foods, occasional weight gain, water retention, and acne. This type may find the moist and heavy season of Spring difficult to deal with. Their top self-care tip is to move their body in a way that gets blood and lymph moving, as well as practicing seasonal cleanses or intermittent fasting every few months.

Kapha / Vata

Qualities shared: cool / cold

Typical issues: Prone to low mood levels and anxiety, fatigue, tendency to procrastinate, and can experience low self-esteem. Due to the ‘cold’ nature of this type, they may experience poor digestion too. Their top self-care tips are drinking warm lemon water in the morning, adding warming spices to foods (such as ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne), and using warm oil for self-massage.

Vata / Pitta

Qualities shared: mobile, light, flowing

Typical issues: Prone to over-working and burnout, skin irritability, aching joints and muscles, and an excessively busy mind. The combination of Vata’s air element and Pitta’s fire element, means they’re ‘fanning the flame’ often, so the energy they have can get burnt up quickly! They also tend to be very driven, but may lack direction. This type’s top self-care tips are to prioritise rest and relaxation often, massage the head with oil, and to say ‘no’ more often.

Your Combination Skincare Tips

Skincare for Kapha/Vata

To best care for your combination dosha skin, it’s of course useful to use a combination of products. Whilst being mindful of the season, and observing how you feel day-to-day. For Kapha/Vata types, I’d recommend using the Purifying range in Spring, and in Autumn using the Radiance range. Throughout the rest of the year, combine the Purifying day cream with the Radiance facial oil, exfoliate with the Purifying range, and use the Radiance toner. As for night cream, be aware of whether your skin feels heavy and oily, or dry and in need of some TLC. Use the Purifying night cream to balance congestion and oiliness, and the Radiance night cream if your skin feels dry in the evening. Warm your body oil before using it, to provide yourself with the warmth your body type needs.

Skincare for Vata/Pitta

This skin type can swing between feeling exceptionally dry in Winter. Yet, oily and acne-prone due to hormonal swings, or during the Summer. I find that Vata/Pitta types benefit from using the Radiance moisturiser and Soothing facial oil for the majority of the time, using the Radiance face wash in the morning, and the Soothing face wash at night. Opt for the Radiance toner too. Using the Reviving body oil is actually a really wonderful way to nourish this body type. As, the combination of ingredients is very balancing for both Vata and Pitta. Remember to make your skincare routine a slow and mindful process. And, spend at least 15 minutes on your full self-massage practice.

Skincare for Pitta/Kapha

Remember that this combination type is prone to more oily skin and congestion. So, exfoliation is helpful throughout Spring and Summer to keep things feeling fresh. Try the Purifying exfoliator for this. I’d recommend using the Purifying day cream. And the soothing facial oil, and applying the soothing night cream before bed too. As for toner, the Purifying range can really help provide the skin and mind with a sense of upliftment and clarity. This dosha type really benefits from regular dry body brushing. So, try to practice this three times per week before your shower to help clear stagnation and boost the lymph.

Have fun playing around with combining the products that work for your dosha type. But, also listen to what your body and mind need on a daily basis. In Springtime we need more practices like body-brushing, movement and lemon water. Basically, in Winter it’s more about self-massage with warm oil, and snuggling under a cosy blanket. Experiment and enjoy!