The Kapha Dosha is responsible for problems with oily skin

As we have seen in previous articles, Ayurvedic philosophy suggests our body is influenced by 3 energies called doshas. These Dosha are identified as Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each dosha is associated with different skin and hair types. Let’s take a closer look at the third dosha, Kapha, which is responsible for oily skin.

Earth and Water are associated with the Kapha Dosha in Ayurveda

Kapha Dosha is associated with Earth and Water

Is this my Dosha?

Kapha, represented by earth and water, is the energy responsible for the flow of fluids throughout our body and for its general stability. Kapha skin tends to be thick and oily with large, visible pores. Thanks to dense layers of the skin, people with Kapha skin tend to develop wrinkles on the face much later on than with other dosha. However, this soft skin is prone to cystic acne. This is due to an excess of sebum, which mixes together with dirt and clogs pores. Kapha skin generally has a cold and damp complexion and if not addressed properly can often lose its glow.

How do I care for my Kapha skin?

Ayurvedic beauty care prescribes the following three stage routine:

  • cleansing
  • nourishing
  • moisturizing


Kapha skin requires regular cleansing due to its oily nature. Cleansing with soaps or cleansing gels with alcohol should only be a temporary solution, however. These solutions can cause long term damage because they strip away the natural lipid barrier. This is responsible for higher sebum production, which is exactly what we want to avoid.

Create an easy DIY skin cleansing solution by mixing the following ingredients:

  • 1 tbs of gound oatmeal
  • 1 tbs of powdered orange skin peel
  • ½ tbs of powdered milk

This face cleansing powder is long lasting and can be stored. When required, simply mix it with a bit of water and apply it over your face and neck. Massage the skin for about a minute and take care to not scrub too hard. Wash it off with warm water.

In case of white pimples, consider applying a paste of neem powder mixed with water before using the cleanser described above. Neem has anti-bacterial properties and helps with fighting acne.

In addition to this cleansing routine, it is highly recommended to apply a deep cleansing face mask regularly. Sandalwood, chocolate, turmeric, licorice, papaya and strawberries are some key ingredients that work very well for Kapha skin.


While the skin is still a bit wet after cleansing follow up with a gentle nourishing treatment with oils, namely sunflower oil. Sunflower oil works great because it does not clog pores. Consider mixing it with a couple of drops of lavender and bergamot oil. Bergamot has cooling properties and helps heal wounds. Gently massage your face with three drops of this oil mix.


Creams, especially based on cocoa butter work best for oily Kapha skin. Melt 30 grams of cocoa butter and add almond oil or saffron oil. Once the mix cools down add two drops of bergamot oil and 1 drop of camphor oil. Bergamot, together with camphor, is anti-bacterial, improves oily skin condition and does not clog pores. Gently apply cream in the morning and evening.

Ayurveda diet for Kapha Dosha and oily skin

The diet for Kapha Dosha avoids fried foods, red meats and dairy

Kapha Dosha diet

You are what you eat, and your skin is certainly affected by your diet. If you identify with the Kapha dosha, you would do well to avoid fried meals and desserts with a lot of sugar. Limiting red meat and dairy products, which can cause acne, is also beneficial. A well balanced diet will result in your skin regaining a healthy glow. Kapha dosha definitely needs some warmth. Thus, fire (Pitta) and winter (Vata) are needed to balance back oily skin. Kapha can easily digest spicy food. Garlic, turmeric, apple cider vinegar are really beneficial. Smoothies made of vegetables and fruits should also find their place in regular Kapha meals.

Some final words on Dosha skin care

Finishing this series on skin care for the three Doshas, it is important to mention that people are generally a mix of two or even all three doshas. It is indeed rare for people to identify with only one dosha. Usually, our body is ruled by two energies, where one is dominant. Hence Kapha dosha skin type can have features of Pitta or Vata and vice versa.

The Ayurvedic way of balancing our doshas is a process that can take some time and requires us to be systematic and consistent. Above all we must pay attention to our bodies, and apply the best skin care, diet and lifestyle accordingly. Good luck, and let me know your results in the comments below!

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