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  • Know What Is Good For Your Skin As Per Dosha - Serum Or Oil?

    Know What Is Good For Your Skin As Per Dosha - Serum Or Oil?

    The Ayurveda Experience October 14, 2022

    Ayurveda believes in the mantra 'true beauty comes from within.' Ayurvedic principles recommend focusing on both internal and external well-being to attain healthy, radiant skin. This means paying close attention to the whole body's wellness in terms of a healthy diet, better immune system, sleep, and daily routine based on your dosha.

    Besides balancing the doshas or vital forces, Ayurveda also recommends the localized use of serums and oils. However, they are constitutionally different, and their intrinsic properties affect doshas. In this article, let's understand Ayurvedic oils and serums, their differences, and recommendations based on your skin type.

    What are Oils?

    Taila, derived from the Sanskrit word, translates to oil and is an ayurvedic formulation of either a single oil or a mixture of oils. Potent herbs offer additional benefits based on the twacha (skin) and dosha type. These effectively pass through the skin's lipid layer, producing a youthful glow. Ayurvedic skincare practices recommend using oil extracts to nourish the skin deep into the tissues.

    What are Serums?

    On the other hand, serums are lightweight, concentrated formulas that usually come with active ingredients. They usually contain significant amounts of actives, vitamins, peptides, and acids that work wonders on the hair and skin. Or they may be oil based with all-natural ingredients. Serums are known to effectively target problems such as acne, dark spots, etc. 

    Benefits of Using Oils

    Some of the most common benefits of Ayurvedic oils are:

    • Helps relieve stress
      As per a study, the practice of Abhyanga, or the classic Ayurvedic self-massage, helps reduce stress while relieving the body of amas or toxins. Regular use of oils can also address a range of medical conditions, such as joint pain and arthritis.

    TRY iYURA Rujahari Oil while massaging and it will help relieve your day's exhaustion.
    • Helps skin look moisturized and nourished
      Your skin typically secretes oil and keeps it nourished. Oils seal this natural oil and keep your skin hydrated. While this property of Ayurvedic oils predominantly benefits Vata (dry) skin, certain types of fats can benefit Kapha (oily) skin.

    • Support the health of organs
      Appropriate cooking oils help control blood cholesterol while reducing the risk of cardiovascular conditions. The most commonly recommended oils as per dosha type are Sarshapa Taila (mustard oil), Narikela Taila (coconut oil), or Bhuchanaka Taila (ground nut oil), which help aid digestion, and promote vitality.

    • Helps maintain the health of skin
      Ayurvedic oils are usually applied as the last layer in the skincare routine when used on the body or the face. Therefore, they act as a barrier in protecting your skin against daily wear and tear, pollutants, and dirt.

    • Makes the hair appear lustrous and shiny
      Pouring warm oil onto the scalp while massaging it increases moisture and shine. Depending on your dosha type, you can use coconut oil to pacify the Pitta, olive or sesame oil for the Kapha, and light almond oil for Vata. 

    • Helps blur the look of clogged pores
      Specific Ayurvedic oils such as jojoba, rosehip neem, and camellia are non-comedogenic. They nourish your skin, and help in maintaining your pores clean and unclogged with every use.

    • Anti-inflammatory in nature
      Oils such as coconut, neem, and argon are anti-inflammatory. They are suitable for irritated skin due to the overuse of chemical products.

    Benefits of Using Serums

    Some of the most common benefits of serums are:

    • Helps improve the appearance of fine lines
      These days, serums come with active ingredients such as retinol that have proven to reduce the appearance of premature aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.

    • Makes the hair look less frizzy and dry
      Most serums tame unruly hair by creating a protective coating around the hair cuticle. This promotes hair growth and protects it from environmental damage. Hair serums help detangle the hair better while enhancing its texture.

    TRY Romavi Strong Scalp Thirst Quencher - With FREE Neem Wood Comb - Natural Hair Oil - Best Conditioner for Dry Hair - Hair Oil with Fenugreek, Hibiscus, Brahmi and Bitter Cucumber

    • Protects from free radicals
      Specific serums that include vitamin C, vitamin E, ylang-ylang, or green tea extracts help prevent oxidative damage to the skin caused by direct exposure to UV rays. These can be found in both body and face serums. In addition to that, serums are light preparations, they are apt for those with fiery Pitta skins that are acne-prone, oily, and sensitive.

    • Helps brighten the look of dark circles
      With rejuvenating and hydrating properties, under-eye serums boost collagen production while reducing the look of premature aging, such as the appearance of fine lines and dark circles.

    TRY Rufolia Periorbital Eyemulsion - Brighten, Soothe and Firm Under-Eyes with Manjistha, Aloe Vera, Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid Sandalwood Rose Age Defying Eye Butter

    The Difference Between Serums and Oils

    Let's look at some of the fundamental differences between oils and serums:



    Generally targets specific skin concerns such as premature aging, dryness, irritation

    Nourishes, protects and moisturizes the skin

    Light and thin in consistency

    Thick and emollient consistency

    Contains smaller molecules that allow them to absorb quickly into the skin

    Contains larger molecules that reach the outermost layer of the skin

    Used before a moisturizer in a skincare routine

    Used as the final step in a skincare routine

    Understanding Dosha-Specific Skin Types

    The first step to choosing the right Ayurvedic oil or serum is understanding what kind of skin you have based on your doshic (energetic makeup) constitution - Kapha, Vata or Pitta. Just as your body reacts in a certain way based on your doshas, your skin has the same tendency.

    Ayurveda recommends a holistic approach to understanding your skin's Gunas (qualities) to make the right choice. You may have a dual doshic skin type, like your Vikruti (state of imbalance) or Prakruti (constitution).

    However, let's take a look at the three main doshic skin types:









    Thick, Cold, Wet, Soft

    Rough, Pale, Blackish discoloration




    Soft, Sensitive, Hot

    Oily, Yellowish




    Harsh, Dry, Cold

    Loose, Cracked Surface

    Table constituted as per a study.

    Kapha Skin and Hair

    Kapha Profile

    Kapha dominant skin is typically thick with large pores, oily, and cool to the touch. It tends to show blackheads, cystic acne, and congestion and develops deep wrinkles over time owing to imbalance. Kapha-dominant hair is wavy, thick, lustrous, and oily.

    It can be balanced by using serums that help maintain the skin's natural sebum while keeping over-secretion in check. Warming, stimulating, and cleansing aromas work best for this skin type.

    Products or formulations that contain the following ingredients can help improve the look of Kapha Skin

    • Turmeric Oil
      Tumeric is Rusksh (dry) and Ushna (hot) in nature and can help soothe the appearance of oily, acne-prone Kapha skin. It contains a bioactive component 'curcumin' making it anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. It is considered a remarkable remedy for healing the skin.

    TRY Turmerisa Double-Turmeric Facial Essence

    • Amlaki Serum

      Amlaki or Indian gooseberry contains antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and antiaging properties, which can potentially benefit blemish-prone Kapha skin. This serum can also help balance the skin by controlling sebum production.

    • Brahmi Oil

      Brahmi oil contains Asiatic acid, an active component that can help support collagen synthesis on the scalp while providing nourishment. It also has the potential to aid blood circulation while relieving anxiety and stress owing to its aroma.

    Pitta Skin and Hair

    Pitta Profile

    Typically, Pitta skin is soft, oily, and pale to medium in complexion. It is reactive, sensitive, and gets oily in the T-zone. Medium-thick in nature, it is prone to various flare-ups ranging from acne vulgaris, to acne rosacea, and even cold sores. Pitta-dominant hair is straight, thin, soft, and prone to premature greying.

    Pitta skin types need cooling, balanced, and soothing serums or oils.

    Serums or oils that work for Kapha Skin

    • Ylang Ylang Serum
      Since Pitta skin is prone to redness, it needs gentle and mild products to keep it from flaring. Ylang Ylang is a healing powerhouse that helps regulate sebum production while controlling acne due to its anti-fungal properties. It is anti-inflammatory and helps removes oxidative stress.

    TRY Sandalwood Ylang-Ylang Serene Serum

    • Lavender Oil

      As a perennial evergreen plant, lavender is a lightweight skin-calming essential oil. Due to its antibacterial components, it reduces acne and inflammation. Rich in antioxidants, it also contains phytochemicals that help reverse early signs of aging while balancing the Pitta.

    • Coconut Oil

      Nourishing and nurturing in nature, coconut oil, when applied judiciously to the hair, provides a cooling effect on Pitta dominant hair types. It contains essential fatty acids that deeply nourish the scalp.

    Vata Skin

    Vata Profile

    Vata skin is dry and rough. It is usually flaky and a bit darker in complexion. This skin type has tiny pores and is prone to dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles. Easily dehydrated, Vata skin is delicate and susceptible to excessive dryness, flakiness, and eczema. Vata-dominant hair is usually dry, unruly, and tends to be frizzy.

    Vata skin types need earthy, sweet, and warming Ayurvedic oils and serums.

    Serums or oils that work for Vata Skin

    • Citrus or Neroli Serum
      Essential oils or serums that contain citrusy flavors such as neroli or orange. These ingredients can help absorb Vitamin C into the skin while helping blur the signs of aging and premature wrinkles.

    TRY Neroli Orange Nutritive Serum (For Dry/Vata Skin)
    • Rosehip Oil

      Vata skin types have aggravated skin barriers. This skin type needs thick oils that do not leave any greasy residue. Rosehip oil has an antioxidant-rich profile that lightens scars, hydrates the skin, and helps collagen production for plumper-looking radiant skin.

    • Rosary Pea Oil

      Gunja or rosary pea oil can rejuvenate hair follicles and help reduce the dryness of the scalp. It contains essential antioxidants that promote healthy hair growth.

    In Conclusion

    So whether your skin needs a youthful glow or your hair is thirsty for hydration, Ayurvedic oils and serums can answer several skin and hair woes. Remember to choose the right oil or serum based on your doshas.

    TRY Yauvari Amplified Youth Spring - Best Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin, Aging or Mature Skin


    • https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gaurav-Sawarkar/publication/340756904_Kalaanveshan_2019/links/5e9c3e4a92851c2f52aed517/Kalaanveshan-2019.pdf
    • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140905/
    • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/353072846_FACIAL_BEAUTY_AND_AYURVEDA_WITH_SPECIAL_REFERENCE_TO_HERBO-MINERAL_COSMETICS
    • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21568717/

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