India is hailed as the land of the glorious Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, indigenous spices and a culture that is unparalleled. A little known fact about the same is that it is the storehouse of ancient traditions and rituals when it comes to beauty as well. Here are 15 of these Beauty Secrets of Ancient India that have been passed on for Generations:
15. Fuller’s Earth (Multaani Mitti):
You may have seen your mother and grandmother applying a thick paste on their face and magically achieve glowing and clear skin once it is washed off. Chances are that they were using Fuller’s Earth. It is the perfect substitute for your scrubs and cleansers, in fact, it is even better because it is completely natural! You can make a paste depending on your need and add other natural ingredients to enhance its effect-tomato juice, mint leaves, yogurt, sandalwood powder or even turmeric.
This one is no surprise because we have all seen turmeric working wonders to the bride-to-be and groom-to-be after the “haldi” ceremony at their wedding. However vague your beauty problem may be, turmeric always has the cure. Cracked heels, age wrinkles or stretch marks-turmeric is your one-stop natural solution. Coconut oil, castor oil, rice powder, tomato juice, raw milk are other natural substances that can be added to the turmeric paste.
13. Holy Basil (Tulsi):
We worship the Holy Basil in Indian Hindu households and think that it is merely a ritual. Little do we realise that our ancestors wanted us to understand that it has all-encompassing benefits and beauty is no exception to this. With its anti-bacterial nature, it can treat acne and other skin problems when mixed with raw milk. It can also be used to whiten your teeth when dried and powdered.
12. Gram Flour (Besan):
Besan is another ingredient that is as popular in beauty care as in the kitchen. Besan paste, mixed with cucumber juice or lemon juice, powdered almonds and raw milk, works wonders not only on your face but also on your hair. Besan will help you say goodbye to blemishes and lighten your skin!
Neem is a plant whose every part is equally essential in beauty care, again for both hair and skin. It is a natural substance that can be coupled with either yogurt or cucumber to make a face pack that is brilliant for oily skin. What is surprising is that neem works for dry skin too! Neem oil works as a hair oil and a dandruff fighter too.
Honey is a hydrating substance which is a favourite with everyone and not just because it tastes so great! Honey takes a step further and can heal even burn scars! Cream, gram flour, sandalwood and rose water or oil can be mixed with honey to form a thick, consistent paste. This will make your skin soft, smooth and supple and render it a youthful glow.
South India abounds in sandalwood and those who have hailed it as the best beauty treatment product are right in every way. Glowing and clear skin are the results of regular application of sandalwood paste (mix it with rose water and powdered almonds or raw milk). It not only improves blood circulation but also gives your skin a young look.
Saffron is one of the best tan removal natural remedies. Saffron soaked in malai overnight serves as the best treatment for a stubborn tan. In addition, it is known to be a top-notch toner when mixed with rose water. As a skin brightening face pack, it can be mixed with raw milk and sandalwood powder.
Yogurt is an ingredient that is particularly beneficial for the hair, especially if you suffer from dryness. Its effect is enhanced when it is mixed with beaten eggs and hair oil (preferably almond or coconut). Alternatively, it can be used to make your hair more silky by adding lemon juice and honey along with the beaten eggs.
This is one of the most adjustable ingredients and a favourite in those masks and pastes. It refreshes, brightens, lightens, tones and cleanses the skin all at the same time. It also soothes inflamed or reddened skin. Especially in the hot summers, it is easy to keep rosewater in a spray bottle in the refrigerator and use every now and then. No wonder all the queens and princesses used rose petals in their elaborate baths.
5. Coconut Oil:
Most of us dread oil. Even the thought of oiling our hair is so repulsive that we run away from it. But when it comes to beauty, coconut oil tops the list of hair essentials. Thank the mothers who always emphasised the importance of bi-weekly oiling because their kids now have smooth and shiny, long and lustrous hair! It is the one component that balances hair health and beauty.
Lemons are the perfect ingredient for your skin, unless of course, you have over-sensitive skin that stings from the juice of lemons. However, for normal skin that is often oily and filled with blackheads or blemishes, lemons work like magic. The citric acid in lemons brightens the face and lightens the dark scars or spots that one may have.
3. Henna (Mehendi):
Even though this is an ingredient meant for those who wish dye their grey or white hair, it is nevertheless, a natural substitute the chemically filled hair dyes that often damage naturally beautiful hair. So instead of opting for them, go the traditional way with henna! Some may find it a little drying to the hair but that can be taken care of by adding a few drops of coconut, almond or any other hair oil of your choice and liking. Also, make sure to go for pure henna and not the commercially advertised ones because they may have added chemicals.
Potatoes are known to be rich in Vitamin C and even though those aspiring to lose weight run away from potatoes, it is one of the best foods for your skin. All you have to do is cut the potato into half and rub the potato halves on your skin. These are especially beneficial for the areas around your eyes and will lighten dark spots or blemishes as also reduce puffiness of the eyes. Dark circles, wrinkles, sunburns, dry skin and exfoliation of dead skin cells are other purposes that just one slice of raw potato can solve.
1. Indian Gooseberry (Amla):
Amla or Indian Gooseberry is one ingredient that you can use both internally and externally alike. Amla juice is can be consumed to increase beauty and improve the complexion. Similarly, pure juice of the Indian gooseberry can also be applied on the face for exfoliating, reducing the aging process, exfoliating the skin and lightening pigmentation marks. It can be mixed with a variety of ingredients like lemon juice, rice powder, honey, rose water, raw milk or aloe vera gel to suit numerous needs!
So the next time you need a solution to your beauty needs or problems, you need not worry because now you have the secret to all beauty hacks. Make sure that you pass on these to your younger generation lest this beautiful legacy die out!