Vata, pitta and kapha are the three doshas or types of energy that form the back-bone of Ayurveda. All the doshas are found in everyone, however, the proportion of each dosha varies within each person.
The doshas are based on the five Ayurvedic elements: space (akasha), air (vayu), fire (tejas), water (jala), and earth (prithvi). Each dosha is made up of two of the five elements which gives the dosha its characteristics. Individual constitution (health-type) of people is defined by the proportion of their doshas. For some people they may have a constitution (health-type) that is more dominantly vata, while others could have a blend which could be a vata-pitta dominance.
At the heart of Ayurveda is the principle of balance. The three doshas are integral to maintaining the balance of body and mind. When the three doshas are balanced and in harmony it results in complete well-being of the mind, body and soul. Conversely, when the doshas are unbalanced they can cause both physical and emotional distress.
SPACE + air
Vata's elements are space (akasha) and air (vayu). It is the most important dosha as it is the force of all movement and circulation within the body. If you have a vata body, your skin is likely to be thin, dry and rough with a propensity for wrinkles early. Vata skin is prone to pigmentation and tans easily.
FIRE + WATER
Pitta is the dosha of fire (tejas) and water (jala). It is the source of all internal transformation and digestion. People with a Pitta constitution tend to have moist, oily and elastic skin. Pitta skin has a healthy blush, moles and freckles.
WATER + EARTH
Kapha is made up of water (jala) and earth (prithvi). This dosha is responsible for healing and immunity. If you have a Kapha body, your skin is likely to be soft and moist to oily. Kapha's tend to have an even and clear complexion.