Shortly after getting into yoga I discovered Auyverda (a system of healthcare originating in India), which then led me to researching my dosha and ways to incorporate Ayuverdic practices into my daily routine (like drinking lemon water in the morning!). One of the areas that was lacking, until recently, was skincare.
Nudrat from Soulful Body describes a dosha as “In Ayurveda each person is viewed as a unique individual made up of the five primary elements of ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth. Just as in nature, we too have these five elements in us. In Ayurveda, the different combinations of these elements are referred to as doshas. There are three primary doshas: Pitta is fire and water, Vata is air and space, and Kapha is earth and water. All three doshas are present in every human being at all times, but in varying proportions. So a person with a Pitta constitution is dominated by the elements of fire and water, whereas someone with a Kapha constitution has more earth and water. These ratios of the doshas vary in each individual and this accounts for our diversity.”
When Soulful Body reached out to me about reviewing some of their Ayuverda based products I was thrilled! They have teas, candles, and oils specifically formulated for each dosha and recently added a skincare line and chakra balancing oils.
The company is run by Nudrat Bisciello a Certified Holistic Health Coach & Ayurvedic Practitioner, and with the help of her sister Saidah Khan they have created some pretty stellar products. I love that they are affordable and approachable, as I have found a few other Ayuverdic based skincare lines to be quite expensive and intimidating.
Read on for a review of their oils and lip balm, an interview with Nudrat Bisciello, and a GIVEAWAY!
Organic Dosha Balancing Massage Oils:
Soulful Body makes three massage oils, one to suit each dosha. I was not surprised to find that I gravitate towards the Vata oil, as this is my primary dosha. I found the smell so relaxing and soothing, and even though this oil was thicker than the other two, I found it sank into my skin with ease. The Pitta and Kapha oils are equally as beautiful and moisturizing as the Vata oil. Their scents are subtle and earthy – not too sweet and very luxurious. I have thoroughly enjoyed using these each night after my shower or bath. Which oil I choose really depends on my mood and what my skin is craving. They don’t leave my skin greasy but have me going to bed feeling moisturized and pampered.
The ingredients in each oil were chosen specifically for that dosha – you can see an explanation on each of the oil’s pages. But take the ingredients in the Vata oil for example:
- Avocado Oil: helpful for relieving dry and itchy skin, contains sterolin which has been found to reduce age spots, and has many antioxidants good for damaged skin
- Sesame oil: great for penetrating deep into the skin, helps regulate circulation of the blood, moisturizing and emollient, heavy consistency
- Sweet Orange: shown to promote collagen production and increase blood flow
You can tell these ingredients were chosen with the dry, thin, and easily aged skin of the Vata dosha. In her interview, Nudrat explains how the Pitta oil suits her skin best. Each oil’s full description can be found on the Soulful Body site.
If you are unsure of your dosha, or interested in finding out, you can check out a quiz here.
You can see from the picture I wasted no time diving right into this glamorous lip balm. I can’t seem to put my finger on what the scent reminds me of, but it is so delicate I love it! The balm goes on smooth and a little bit goes a long way – this jar is going to last me forever – and thanks goodness because I’m addicted.
QA with Nudrat:
How did you all get involved with Ayuverda and Soulful Body Inc?
I’ve been practicing yoga for almost ten years now, so the transition to Ayurvedic practices happened organically for me. I kept hearing and reading about Ayurveda and was fascinated by it. I began slowly incorporating what I was learning into my day to day life with great results. Last year, I somehow came across the Ayurvedic certification program with Dr. Naina Marballi in downtown NY and just knew that I had to fully immerse myself into this amazing lifestyle. After I completed my training I was eager to share this life-changing knowledge with others, seeing how much it had helped me in my own quest for wellness. That’s how Soulful Body was born. My sister and I had also been making our own skin and body care products as a hobby for years and sharing them with family and friends. Our product line came to fruition naturally that way, as a great addition to the services we offer at Soulful Body. We are also both Reiki Practitioners, which has been a fundamental part of our own holistic and spiritual journeys.
What is your favorite Ayuverdic ritual or practice?
I absolutely love the practice of abhyanga, which is the sanskrit term for body massage with warm oil. I try to do this amazing ritual at least 3-4 times a week, which is the ideal frequency recommended for my dosha (I am primarily Pitta). Not only is this practice super nourishing and relaxing, but it has so many great health benefits, including increased circulation, decreased signs of aging, joint lubrication, stimulation of internal body organs, elimination of impurities from the body, lymph movement, aiding in detoxification, and softening and toning of the skin. It only takes about twenty minutes, and I do it right before the shower which is ideal, because washing it off in the shower aids in the easy removal of toxins.
Why is it important to know your dosha?
Certain characteristics are common to a particular dosha, for example, those with a primary Vata dosha tend towards a tall and thin body frame, those with Kapha dosha tend to have a large, dense, and rounder body frame. Similarly, the different doshas are prone to various characteristics and and also a tendency to acquire certain illnesses. For example, Pitta individuals tend to lose their temper very fast and are prone for problems with their eyesight or liver. Those with Kapha dosha may be prone for cardiac diseases, obesity and high cholesterol. This is important to know, since healing in Ayurveda focuses largely on prevention of disease. If we know what particular problems we are prone for, we can learn how to live our lives accordingly to avoid them later in life. Our doshas dictate the type of diet, exercise, and other lifestyle practices we should ideally be following.
What might happen if your doshas are imbalanced?
When a particular dosha is imbalanced, there will be telltale symptoms. With a Kapha imbalance, one may feel sluggish, gain weight easily, and have congestion in the throat or chest. An individual with excess Pitta may find themselves easily angered, irritable, may experience skin breakouts or inflammation, and have heartburn. A Vata imbalance would likely manifest with constant worry, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty sleeping and irregular digestion and abdominal gas. The symptoms typically are a good indicator of which dosha is imbalanced, and that will determine treatment recommendations.
How should our dosha affect our skincare choices?
Each dosha type is also going to influence your skin. Pitta skin tends to be oily and prone to inflammations like acne, psoriasis, eczema and rosacea. It is the most sensitive of the three skin types. Vata skin is typically thin and dryer, and tends towards wrinkles and premature aging. Kapha skin is oily, and usually characterized by large pores which can easily become clogged, sometimes resulting in cystic acne. Basically, you will choose your skincare depending on your dosha type. Pitta skin needs soothing, Vata skin needs hydration, and Kapha skin needs adequate detoxing in the form of exfoliation and pore cleansing.
Should I use skincare that suits my primary Dosha or skincare to help improve my imbalances?
In Ayurveda any imbalance is always treated first. The same would be true for skincare choices. If you are experiencing a Pitta imbalance, even though your primary dosha may be Vata, it is likely that your skin may be affected and you may notice signs of inflammation on the skin. You would treat according to the symptoms. There are also other things to take into account, such as the season. Your typically oily Pitta or Kapha skin may be drier as the weather starts changing in the Fall and Vata is dominant, and may need more moisturizing at this time.
What’s your favorite product for when you need pampering or quiet, mindful time?
As I mentioned earlier, my absolute favorite ritual right now is abhyanga. I use the Soulful Body Pitta balancing body oil for this – it is a combination of organic cold-pressed, unrefined coconut and sunflower oils – both of which are loaded with plant-based nutrients which are great for my Pitta skin because they are super light and cooling oils. The essential oils of geranium, lemongrass, and ylang ylang are blended in to enhance the soothing properties and feel so amazing on my sensitive skin. The smell is an added bonus and just makes the self-nurturing experience that much more enjoyable. The act of self massage is truly calming, and my skin feels so amazing after!
Enter to win your own Ayuverdic Balancing Box HERE! Contest ends Thursday, March 31st at midnight EST. Winner will receive the Balancing Box for the dosha of their choosing.