As the days shorten, the weather cools, and the dry autumn winds begin to stir, we often experience similar energetic shifts in our bodies, and especially on our skin. According to yoga’s sister healing science Ayurveda, fall is the time when the vata dosha (bio-elemental energy) becomes dominant. This seasonal shift into vata is often first felt on our exterior—causing dry, rough, and lifeless skin, with potential increases of flaking, irritation, and flare-ups. Fortunately, it is easy to modify one’s skincare routine with some simple tips to keep your skin smooth, hydrated, nourished and radiant all autumn long. We’ve found several great natural and organic skincare options to balance and combat vata’s energies of cold, dry, irregular, and rough.
Know your type of skin
To be most effective, adjust your autumn skincare routine to your specific dosha’s skin type. Your skin type is often the same as your primary dosha (take our quiz to find out which dosha you are) but not always, and it can be a combination of doshas. Kapha skin tends to be oily, thick, cold, darkly pigmented, and with large pores. Pitta skin tends to be slightly oily, warm, prone to freckles and moles, is sensitive to the sun and has pink undertones. Vata skin tends to be dry, thin, cool, and have fine pores and bluish undertones.
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|Vata Skin||Pitta Skin||Kapha Skin|
|Thin, cool||Sensitive, warm||Moist, cold, thick|
|Fine pores||Medium or a mix of pore sizes||Large pores|
|Bluish undertones||Pink undertones||Yellowish undertones|
Keep your skin hydrated
As the temperature drops and the furnace kicks on, the air humidity inside and outside dramatically decreases. Autumn’s dry air will draw the moisture out of your skin. If not properly hydrated, it can become rough, dry, flaky and prone to wrinkles. Dehydrated skin can also aggravate pitta dosha to create irritation, blemishes, and flare-ups of some skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. To maintain soft, smooth and well-hydrated skin, apply one of the following gentle, all-natural moisturizers at least once per day. If you have vata skin, consider twice daily applications during autumn.
This highly hydrating formulation from HANA Organic Skincare goes on smooth and uses vitamin-rich rosehip seed oil and almond oil to rejuvenate and maintain healthy skin. The organic essential oils of lavender, geranium, ylang ylang and neroli help nourish your skin and make this moisturizer smell great.
The Quince wax in this light moisturizer creates a breathable protective layer to maintain your skin moisture. The other oils both firm the skin and make the skin velvety-soft with a light, crisp scent.
This award-winning facial moisturizer contains peptides, acai, argan oil, and resveratrol to hydrate and smooth the skin. This formulation is for all skin types and spreads easily, absorbs quickly, and feels soft but not greasy.
Nourish dry or chapped areas
During the dry and windy autumn, lips and hands need extra hydration to prevent chafing and cracking. Use the following balms and salves to seal in moisture and to help heal excessively damaged skin.
Use this non-sticky and non-greasy formula “to bring comfort and relief to troubled areas; from lips and hands to elbows and feet.” Made with betacarotene-rich buriti oil, Hawaiian kukui oil, calendula, and natural vanilla extract, this nutrient-rich balm will nourish, protect, soften and soothe dry, chapped lips.
While this balm can be used as a cleanser, moisturizer or custom foundation, we recommend using it during the fall vata season for healing and soothing dry, flaky, irritated or chapped skin. This non-sticky and antioxidant-rich blend of coconut oil, mango butter, jojoba and chia has a lovely citrus scent.
Use this antibacterial balm for its deep hydration and powerful healing properties. Originally created to smooth and reduce scars, this salve contains ethically harvested herbs and roots from the southeast deciduous forests.
Rejuvenate and revive your skin
Autumn’s vata energy can create skin that is cold, dull, and lifeless looking. To keep your face filled with radiance and glow, consider using face oils that are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C. This will be especially important if your skin has qualities of pitta type skin.
With its high concentrations of Vitamin C, green tea seed oil, and Vitamin E, this nourishing and moisturizing oil can revive dull skin. As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C brightens the skin, reduces redness and inflammation, increases collagen synthesis, and evens-out skin tone.
This simple formula of Vitamin E and rosehip and rosemary extracts helps sensitive skin to hydrate, heal, regenerate and rejuvenate. Rosehip oil helps to even out skin tone and warms up dull, lifeless skin color.
The combination of carrot seed oil and rosehip oil rejuvenates and revitalizes cold, dull, and lifeless looking skin. Carrot seed oil is high in antioxidants, which help prevent premature aging from overexposure to sunlight and pollution.
Cleanse, repair and renew your skin
The vata dosha governs movement, circulation, and cellular mobility. Fall can be a great time to take advantage of vata’s moving and circulating energies to deep cleanse, repair and renew your skin. Clay masks are more appropriate for kapha skin, but the following gentle, moisture-balancing cleansers work well for all skin types. Generally, deep skin cleansing should be done once per week during autumn. More sensitive pitta skin may need more gentle cleaning or less frequent cleansing.
Ground Magnesium crystals, shea butter, and sweet orange essential oil are used in OmMade Organic Skincare‘s scrub for a gentle exfoliation that makes one’s face feel fresh, smooth, moisturized and clean. The addition of Vitamin C powder slows down the aging process, regenerates collagen, and rejuvenates one’s skin.
Gentle but effective, this cleanser and exfoliator leaves your skin soft and hydrated. The white clay removes toxins and excess sebum, while the rose, lavender, and calendula soothe and heal the skin.
This activated charcoal and bentonite clay mask is easy to apply and leaves one’s face feeling soft and clean. It absorbs toxins while retaining moisture and can kill acne-causing bacteria.
Autumn is the best time to establish a hydrating and nourishing skincare routine. A little extra moisturizer can go a long way in keeping your skin healthy. While the above skincare products can effectively combat vata’s effects on your skin, some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle will help balance vata for longer lasting effects.