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Indian kitchens are well-known for their exotic spices and aromas. However, they are also a Pandora’s box of great beauty secrets. From Grandma’s sworn kitchen ingredients to modern finds for a flawless skin, there is a lot more brewing in these pantries for your skin than you may think. Take a look at our list of inexpensive ingredients that are easy to get hold of and find out what they can do for you.
Gram flour commonly known as ‘besan’ in India is a part of a regular skincare routine. Passed on from generations, this kitchen ingredient is a skincare star. Mixed with a pinch of turmeric powder, half a teaspoon of honey and milk that turns into a thick paste, this face pack cleanses the skin and leaves a healthy glow. Left to dry, it is best gently scrubbed off the face with water for best results.
Another product often used in Indian kitchens that is excellent for beauty needs is coconut oil. From time immemorial, coconut oil has been considered to be the best hair oil. Massaged in and left on the scalp for three hours twice a week, the oil will encourage your hair to be healthy and shiny. You can boost the potency of this hair treatment by boiling amla (gooseberries) and adding them to it. Cool and strain the oil into a bottle. Apply from the roots of the hair to the tip, leave for three hours and wash off with your regular shampoo.
The list of merits for this kitchen ingredient doesn’t stop here though. Coconut oil is also a cheap and extremely effective substitute for a make-up remover. Just massage it in, leave on your face for five minutes and wipe off with cotton pads. With innate moisturising properties, this home product will hydrate your skin as well. Just add two tablespoons of this oil to your warm bath for a soak and be ready for super-soft skin. Regular application of the oil on your lips can help avoid cracked, sore lips, too.
One of the most prominent skincare kitchen ingredients, lemon, is both reliable and effective for amazing face and skin care. The benefits of this natural ingredient include fighting acne, helping stretch marks heal and fighting the signs of ageing. A mixture of lemon juice and honey helps you get rid of blackheads as well; apply the same, leave it to dry then gently scrub it off. For a radiant complexion, just apply lemon juice mixed with cucumber juice on your face and let it dry for 10 minutes, then wash it off. Regular and direct application of lemon juice helps stretch marks to become less prominent, too. The easiest tip though is to have a cup of lukewarm water with lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey first thing in the morning for radiant skin.
Turmeric powder is believed to be an extremely effective product for the body, both inside and out, in India. The properties of this natural ingredient fight acne, spots and is also believed to reduce the growth of facial hair. Apply a thick paste of pure turmeric powder mixed with gram flour and water before having a warm bath. Scrub off the mixture when it dries using circular motions to stimulate the blood supply.
Milk is another useful skincare component. A natural cleansing agent, milk can be used with cotton pads for simple facial cleaning. For glowing skin, a face pack made of milk, ground almonds and crushed orange peel is extremely effective and easy to make. Apply the pack to your face for 20 minutes, before washing it off. An ice cube rubbed on the face afterwards can help you have glowing, flawless skin.
Clove, a spice easily found on any spice rack in Indian kitchens, is often used in face tonics. Simmer a litre of water with 7 cloves, half a teaspoonof camphor and some fresh mint leaves until the mixture reduces by half. All to cool and refrigerate, then use as a face tonic.
There is no point in spending extra money on beauty products when you can follow these accessible beauty tips for a healthy and beautiful complexion. So, next time you are in an Indian kitchen, grab these tried and tested beauty components, along with making your favourite recipes.