India is a treasure trove of beauty secrets – from mutlani mitti to haldi to kesar, the list of inexpensive and extremely effective skincare ingredients is endless. When applied topically, these ingredients have amazing benefits with no side effects, and they score so much better over expensive and chemical-laden beauty products in the market. In this post, we list down 15 Indian Beauty Secrets the world should know, and the best thing is they are all single ingredients which can be used in combination with other skin-beneficial ingredients, and easily available in Indian households. So, here comes the list:
1. Saffron/Kesar: Saffron brightens up complexion and makes the skin radiant and beautiful. Saffron when used with milk as a face pack is a very effective skin brightening face pack. In fact, this face pack (Saffron+Yogurt+Gram Flour) is one of the most effective homemade tan removal packs.
2. Malai/Milk Cream: We all know how extensively malai is used in India, for dry skin and for chapped skin in winters. It is even applied on the tummy button overnight, as a cure for dry and chapped lips. It’s one of the most easily available ingredient and can be used in combination with besan and lemon to make skin supple and soft. In fact, it’s one of Kiara Advani’s most favourite pack – read all about it here (5 Beauty Tips To Steal From Kiara Advani).
3. Chandan/Sandalwood: Sandalwood has a unique place in Ayurveda. In India, Sandalwood is used both in beauty and medicinal treatments. It has been used in beauty treatments since ancient times and it is a popular skincare ingredient for all skin types. In fact, Kareena Kapoor swears by this homemade sandalwood face pack (5 Beauty Tips To Steal From Kareena Kapoor).
4. Haldi/Turmeric: Turmeric is a natural and inexpensive way to care for your skin. It is endowed with antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. This is not only used to quickly heal wounds, it is also used extensively in ubtans along with curd, besan and lemon to get pre-bridal glow. Do check out this list of “10 Ubtan Recipes To Get Beautiful Skin.”
5. Multani Mitti/Fuller’s Earth Clay: Fuller’s Earth is commonly known as Multani Mitti and its essentially Multan’s soil.Multani mitti is very rich in minerals and helps to absorb excess oil from the skin. It also improves blood circulation and exfoliates the skin. In India, this is the first choice as a face pack, for oily and pimple prone skin. Read many more fuller’s earth details and masks HERE.
6. Neem: Indian Neem is known to have countless benefits – it has healing as well as anti-microbial properties, excellent to treat acne. Neem has a wide range of application in beauty treatments and this is the first choice for pimple-prone skin as neem acts as an anti-bacterial for skin. Neem is used in the form or oil, or powder or even added to bath water as an antiseptic agent. Here’s a neem and multani mitti face pack that you can make at home.
7. Tulsi/Holy Basil: In India, Tulsi or the Holy Basil has been worshiped for thousands of years now. We also know that tulsi has numerous health benefits. It can fight pimples and acne. It can be used as powder form, added to bath water in the form of the whole leaves, or can be used in liquid form as a toner. Do check out this homemade “neem and tulsi toner” if you have problematic skin.
8. Besan: Besan or chickpea flour has been used in Indian beauty treatments since ages. Besan is extensively used in pre-wedding grooming, its either mixed with curd or used with turmeric and other ingredients as ubtan. This is an ingredient which is suitable for all skin types. Aishwarya Rai swears by besan face packs and you can whip up one from this list of “14 Besan Face Packs.”
9. Curd: Dahi or curd has lactic acid in it which not only gently exfoliates skin, it brightens and evens skin tone, also removes tan. It works wonderfully well with besan and turmeric and a dash of lemon. Homemade curd is extensively used in face packs in India.
10. Shikakai: This has been used in powder form for shiny, lustrous, and long hair in India. Homemade shampoos are made using reetha and shikakai powders and the harm of chemical-laden shampoos can be avoided in the same way. Learn how to make a chemical-free, natural, homemade shampoo here.
11. Amla: Amla is packed with vitamin C and can be eaten with a pinch of salt to add some valuable vitamin C to the body. In India, amla hair oil is used to make hair healthy and strong. Here’s the recipe to make your own amla hair oil at home.
12. Lemon: Lemon is an essential part in our beauty, skin care and health routines, lemon is an indispensable fruit to have at home. Lemon contains citric acid hence is great for treating acne. The vitamin C found in citrus fruits is the key to healthy glowing skin while its alkaline nature kills bacteria known to cause acne. It is essential to all besan, curd ubtans or masks. You can use lemon along with honey to get rid of stubborn tan as well.
13. Kalonji Hair Oil: Hair fall can give sleepless nights even to the most courageous of people out there! More than trying various potions and medicine, it’s best to look for natural remedies because they often work better than medicines and shampoos in treating hair fall. Onion juice is quite a popular remedy to combat hair fall and here’s how you can use it to combat hair fall. But there’s a more effective remedy than onion – it’s black seed oil or kalonji oil. Black seed oil is thought to combat excessive hair fall and help grow back hair healthy, strong, and long. Black seed oil contains a compound called thymoquinone which is an anti-histamine, that helps to hair regrowth and thinning hair. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties boosting hair growth. Other nutrients include essential fatty acids, amino acids, iron, vitamin C, etc., making it amazing for hair. It also seals moisture in the hair strands. Read about different ways to use kalonji to stop hair fall in this post.
14. Henna Hair Pack: The benefits you can derive from applying henna to your hair are many, here a few to list, it provides deep conditioning to the hair, besides giving the hair a pretty sheen and covers grey hair with a brownish tint. It also promotes hair growth, treats dandruff and adds volume to the hair. Here are “DIY 4 Henna Mask Variations for Hair.”
15. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has been a staple kitchen ingredient in most Indian homes for as long as we can remember, but in the recent years, people all around the world are recognizing the worth of coconut oil for the numerous beauty benefits that it offers. Coconut oil is a wonderful beauty ingredient. Not only is it completely safe, natural, affordable and very easily available, it also has numerous healing properties. It has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and deeply moisturizing properties, which make it a power-packed ingredient to incorporate into your beauty routine. Here are “10 Surprising Ways To Use Coconut Oil in your Beauty Routine.”