Obsessing over one’s appearance is something that seems to go back to the very roots of human behaviour, and our ancestors were not unaware of ways and means to alter one’s appearance, the difference however was—back then, side-effects of beauty treatments were unheard of, for there were none. The recipes and procedures used all natural herbs and products unlike present cosmetics which are a concoction of harmful ingredients like parabens, aluminium, triclosan, formaldehyde, phthalates, lead, benzoyl peroxide, emulsifiers, preservatives, thickeners, emollients, colours, fragrances and pH stabilisers.
Here are some secrets to ageless beauty from the treasure trove of ancient India.
- Kesar, Saffron
This might be one of the most expensive spices, but when it comes to that radiant complexion, it is totally worth it.
Remove tan: Take some saffron and soak it in malai or milk cream overnight. Blend the contents in the morning and apply on the tanned area.
Skin toning: Take the required amount of rose water and mix saffron in it (till the rose water gets the colour of saffron). Use a cotton ball to dip in the solution and dab on your face.
Skin brightening: Take a few strands of saffron and soak them in milk for about 30 minutes. Take a teaspoon of sandalwood powder and add to the mixture. Apply the pack on your face and leave it undisturbed for 15 to 20 minutes. And then wash it off.
- HALDI, Turmeric
This ingredient is indispensable to an Indian household and forms part of all things auspicious and a lot of things that are healing, besides of course all things mouth-watering.
Lightens stretch marks: Mix turmeric with besan and yogurt. Apply on the stretch marks.
Anti-wrinkle: Take rice powder, raw milk and tomato juice. Mix them with turmeric to form a paste. Apply the paste and leave it undisturbed till it dries.
Heal the heel: Mix coconut oil or castor oil with turmeric. Before taking bath apply this mixture to the cracked heels and leave for 15 minutes.
- Tulsi, HOlY Basil
An astringent herb, tulsi occupied the centerstage in every household, quite literally, being placed at the centre of the courtyard. It is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to enhancing your natural beauty.
Treat acne: Take some tulsi leaves and blend them into a paste. Add milk to the paste and apply on your face.
Teeth whitening: Take a few tulsi leaves. Dry and powder them. Add orange peel and make it into a paste. Rub the paste on your teeth.
- Besan, Gram Flour
Blemish free skin: Take required amount of cucumber juice and mix it with besan. Apply this mixture on the affected area. Keep it for 20 minutes and then wash it off.
Skin brightening: Take 4 to 5 powdered almonds, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of milk. Mix all these with besan to form a paste. Apply it on your face and keep it for 30 minutes before washing.
- chandan, Sandalwood
Sandalwood possesses antiseptic properties and even helps in the blood circulation under the skin.
Clear complexion: Take finely powdered almonds and mix them with sandalwood (chandan). Add raw milk to this mixture. Apply to face, and even to arms and legs before bath.
Glowing skin: Mix sandalwood with raw milk. Apply the mixture onto your face and leave it undisturbed for 20 minutes. Wash it off with water.
- Shahed, Honey
Cure burn scars: You can apply raw honey to a burn scar, as honey has antiseptic and healing properties. Applying honey on a burn regularly can produce less scarring than usual.
Flawless skin: Mix honey with malai, chandan, besan and rose oil to form a face mask. Apply the mask on your face and neck. Leave the mask to dry and peel it off after sometime. This removes any impurities on the face and also makes the facial skin soft and smooth.
To put in a nutshell, how to maintain those stunning looks? Keep calm and walk into your kitchen. A word of caution, ensure the ingredients are organic, fresh and free of harmful chemicals (through pesticides, herbicides etc).