Unlocking ancient beauty secrets

Shonali Bedi lists out a few ancient Indian beauty secrets that every woman should know...

Amla can treat dry strands, prevent hair loss, and protect your natural hair colour.

Ayurveda is the ancient science of life. What makes it unique is that, contrary to popular belief, it does not restrict itself to formulas and tinctures, but looks at a more holistic approach to living instead. With origins dating back to more than 5,000 years ago, it focuses on the benefits of balancing the whole body, supporting digestive health, optimising energy levels, and treating each individual according to his/her specific constitution (dosha) i.e., your life in between the emotional and physical self. With an arsenal of beauty secrets to add to that, there are endless time-tested ancient beauty tricks we can steal from our ancestors to maintain flawless skin and a youthful glow.

Skinfood

Our food choices can have a direct effect on our skin’s health. The outside of your body reflects what’s going on inside of it. With the increasing use of chemicals and toxins in our foods, our skin can’t do its job of eliminating toxins efficiently, which happens because the other eliminative organs are overloaded. Cleanse your body regularly with a detox programme that works for you. You can start by simply eating organic, cutting out sugar, alcohol, increasing fruit intake, and reducing salts in your diet.

Turmeric

Who can deny the long-time love affair we have had with turmeric? Besides its many healing properties, turmeric is known for its ability to soften skin, reduce wrinkles, and clear acne. Ayurveda pays a lot of attention to a clear internal system. And when your digestion and bowel movements are good, you will face lesser skin problems. Chew half a piece of turmeric every morning on an empty stomach to thoroughly cleanse your system. It will eliminate all the toxins from your body.

Amla/Indian gooseberry

Beloved for its hair benefits and richness in iron and carotene, amla can treat dry strands, prevent hair loss, and protect your natural hair colour. Hair oil massages were an important part of the traditional Indian beauty routine, and for good reason. It allows for deeper penetration of nutrients and boosts circulation in the scalp. Opt for formulas that have coconut or almond oils that are infused with powerful herbs like amla, bhringraj and rattanjot for hair that is healthy, strong and gorgeous.

Saffron

A reliable brightening agent, saffron’s healing properties make it one of the most sought-after ingredients in skincare recipes. Whether you’re dealing with a stubborn tan or wish to give your skin a natural boost, saffron can easily be your go-to beauty agent. Instead of trying to make a face pack that is a one-time application, it’s better to incorporate saffron into your everyday basic cleansing and moisturising routine. Just invest in products that have saffron as their main ingredient.

Tulsi/ holy basil

The beauty benefits of tulsi/basil leaves range from treating acne to making the skin appear spot-free. The soothing effects of tulsi leaves can keep skin issues at bay and help you get the skin that you’ve always craved for. Extract the juice of holy basil leaves and apply it on your face every day to get problem-free skin. Chewing a few leaves of basil will keep your immune system intact and cleanse your system thoroughly. It also brings down the stress level considerably. A powder of dried basil leaves makes for an excellent toothpaste.

Yoga

Last but definitely not the least is India’s most famous export — yoga. Practising yoga makes our body healthier and more flexible. While yoga is not exactly a secret, especially in overall wellness, its positive effects on the skin are not widely recognised. Yoga relaxes and calms down the mind and melts your stress away, which helps in making the skin smooth. The best bit? Yoga has anti-ageing effects.

(The author is founder, Gulnare Skincare)

 

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