Acne is a disorder of the skin, which has sebaceous (oil) glands that connects to the hair follicle, which contains a fine hair. In healthy skin, the sebaceous glands make sebum that empties onto the skin surface through the pore, which is an opening in the follicle. Keratinocytes, a type of skin cell, line the follicle. Normally, as the body sheds skin cells, the keratinocytes rise to the surface of the skin. When someone has acne, the hair, sebum, and keratinocytes stick together inside the pore. This prevents the keratinocytes from shedding and keeps the sebum from reaching the surface of the skin. The mixture of oil and cells allows bacteria that normally live on the skin to grow in the plugged follicles and cause inflammation, swelling, redness, heat, and pain. When the wall of the plugged follicle breaks down, it spills the bacteria, skin cells, and sebum onto nearby skin, creating lesions or pimples.
Acne types vary depending on the severity of a condition:
Classical Ayurvedic texts teach us that our bodies and the skin are made up of five elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. The Earth element gives structure and firmness to the skin. It is in muscles, collagen, elastin, and connective tissues. The Water element is abundant and gives moisturization and plumpness by being present in intracellular spaces, the lymphatic system, and blood vessels. The Fire element is responsible for metabolism in the skin, the health of blood vessels (red and white blood cells) and skin complexion. The Air element provides speed for the skin metabolism, including water metabolism. It carries oxygen to skin cells and takes out waste products, is responsible for nerve impulses, sensations, and muscle constrictions. Space, or Ether, as an Ayurvedic element, connects everything together and provides space for other elements to fill in.
Doshas, the three biological energies named by ancient Indian scholars as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, are the key ayurvedic concept in Ayurveda. The five elements of Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth combine to make up the Ayurvedic doshas. Every living being is born with a unique combination of these three energies, and this explains why we all have different bodies, including the skin. When doshas go out of balance, this creates skin problems, and when untreated, skin disorders. So, the Ayurvedic idea is logically very simple: we have to work on bringing doshas back to their normal, inherent state.
Composed of ether and air.
Means: “that which moves things.”
Qualities: dry, cold, light, rough, subtle, hard, clear, and mobile.
Excess Vata in the skin makes it dry, thin, flaky, cracked, cold. Vata skin ages quickly and lacks luster, and Vata in the skin is a culprit of fine lines and wrinkles.
Composed of fire and water.
Means “that which digests things”.
Qualities: oily, hot, light, sharp, clear, slightly moist.
Excess Pitta in the skin makes it sensitive, ruddy or rosy, slightly oily, with a tendency toward acne, moles, and freckles.
Skin constitutions refer to the natural tendency of the skin, though normally the effect is slight. For example, Pitta skin feels moister and warmer to the touch than Vata skin that is cooler, rougher, and dryer. Kapha skin is relatively smoother and more lubricated than Pitta or Vata skin. In fact, all skin types look clear and healthy when their inherent doshas are in balance.
All doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) are active in every person, but what makes each individual unique is the balance of doshas we were born with. When Ayurveda says that the doshas are out of balance, it means that there is a disturbance in the innate dynamics among these biological forces. This disturbance is due to a lifestyle, diet and skin care that don’t support the delicate balance of the three doshas. What is good for one person with their unique dosha combination (in terms of food choices, frequency of meals, exercises, hours of sleep, etc.) is not good for another dosha constitution.
|Leading Dosha Disturbance
|Typical Skin Problems
|Very dry skin, very thin, many wrinkles, especially on forehead; dry eczema, dry psoriasis, dull and even gray complexion, sagging eyelids due to thin skin, non-inflamed pimples, cracked lips, lack of skin tone, black circles under eyes.
|Dry acne without cysts, dry rashes, dry red patches, slightly inflamed eczema, slightly inflamed psoriasis, hormonal acne, milia, whiteheads, pigmentation, discoloration, purple circles under eyes.
|Black heads, non-inflamed bumps, lipomas, puffiness, edema, flabbiness, lack of skin tone
|The most inflamed acne among other types, rosacea, acne rosacea, broken capillaries, excessive redness, burning eczema and psoriasis, burning eyes, extreme sensitivity, very allergic skin.
|Similar symptoms as in Vata-Pitta type but more inflamed and less dry.
|Inflamed cystic acne (cysts sit deeply in the skin than in Pitta-Vata type) combined with blackheads and whiteheads; burning, itching and oozing lesions of eczema and psoriasis, allergic skin.
|Puffiness, very deep wrinkles without many fine lines, under eye bags.
|Similar symptoms as in Pitta-Kapha type but the skin is oilier and less inflamed. Cysts sits even deeper than in Pitta-Kapha type.
|Similar symptoms as in Vata-Kapha type but the skin is oilier, more puffiness and flabbiness, more blackheads.
Disease occurs when there’s an imbalance in the doshas. Ayurveda teaches us that almost all diseases have their roots in the digestive and nervous system. Skin reflects what is going on inside the body and gives us a clue about what inner organs or systems have gone out of balance.
A few causes of acne:
|Excess of Dosha Causing Acne
|Non-inflamed acne: dry skin, milia, whiteheads, a few blackheads
|Non-inflamed acne: oily T-zone, dry cheeks, thicker skin, whiteheads, many blackheads
|Rosacea, acne rosacea, extremely inflamed skin, very sensitive, allergic to most products
|Dry and inflamed skin, combination of whiteheads, milia, red pimples and papules, skin is mildly sensitive
|Skin is oilier than in Vata-Pitta type, more redness and inflammation, more red pimples, papules, few cysts, skin is sensitive
|Skin is very oily, many pustules and deep-seated cysts, skin is sensitive and allergic
|A lot of non-inflamed and inflamed pimples, papules, pustules, and cysts
There are three aspects of the Ayurvedic Acne Program that are equally important. The first is a home skincare regimen for you, created according to your specific acne type, severity, skin sensitivity, age, and Fitzpatrick skin type. The second is a series of professional facial treatments customized to achieve the best results. The third is mandatory changes in your diet and lifestyle to eliminate the root cause of the problem. The key to success is to work from all three angles plus your compliance to the prescribed treatment plan.
As an Ayurvedic doctor, Certified Acne Specialist and Licensed Esthetician, I will help you to:
If you are interested in the Ayurvedic Acne Program, you should start with an acne consultation first. The first appointment (acne consultation) will include the following:
The price for the first 60-minute visit is $55.
You can add your first acne cleansing facial for your face or back (60 minutes) to this visit. When booking, please choose
Ayurvedic Acne Consultation & Acne Cleansing Facial ($140).
If you decide to join the program, expect to invest about $150-$180 for a set of Face Reality products (5-6 items for home care), which will last approximately 10-12 weeks.
To get acne completely clear, clients are required to be seen every two weeks or once a month for cleansing facials for the first 12 weeks. Sometimes a client cannot come for treatment due to traveling or other reasons; in this case, we will schedule a phone or Zoom meeting to go over the healing progress, and changes in the home care regimen might be recommended.
10% Off First Facial