Nature is not only an expert chemist, but a great cosmetologist, too! Natural ingredients like turmeric, gram flour, yogurt, etc., are known for their beauty enhancing properties for centuries. They have powerful healing properties too and yet, they have a gentle effect.
Gram flour or besan has been traditionally used in skin care to deep cleanse the skin. In fact, it is known to benefit oily skin by reducing oiliness and also cleansing the pores. That is why it also suits teenage skin as it also helps in preventing pimples.
Besan is also a part of the traditional ubtan applied during weddings as a beauty treatment for brides. It is one of the main ingredients of ubtan or a body scrub. It has been used mainly to deep cleanse, exfoliate the skin and remove tan. The ubtan consists of besan, ground almonds, yogurt and turmeric. First, oil is massaged onto the body. Then the ubtan paste is applied and washed off after half an hour while bathing. The washing off and scrubbing away of the ingredients helps to clear the skin of dead cells, leaving it smooth and bright.
Besides being used as a scrub along with other ingredients to exfoliate the skin and brighten it, besan can also be added to face packs to remove tan, cleanse and tighten the skin. Mix besan with yogurt, lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric. Apply on the skin and wash it off after half an hour. Or mix ground almonds with besan, milk and lemon juice. Apply it on the face and wash off after 20-30 minutes.
A besan pack helps to reduce oiliness. It can be mixed with milk or yogurt and applied, washing it off after 20 minutes.
For tanned arms and neck: Apply til oil daily and massage it into the skin. Mix besan, curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric and apply at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour.
For smooth and clearer skin: Mix gram flour with dried and ground orange peels and cream of milk (malai). Apply on the face and neck. After 15 minutes, rub gently on the skin with circular motions. Wash off with water.
Shahnaz Husain is a pioneer and leader of the herbal beauty care movement based on Ayurveda. As CMD of the Shahnaz Husain Group of Companies, she heads the largest organization of its kind in the world with a global network of salons, spas and beauty training academies.