A woman’s first association with the concept of beauty comes from the motherly figures closest to her. I remember crouching next to my mother’s dressing table and watching her go through all the essential shringaar an Indian woman is associated with. Growing up, we are also imparted with nuggets of knowledge from them on how to keep our skin and hair looking healthy; most of which did not consist of pricey creams or serums.
A lot of these beauty tips have not aged well. For instance, many dermatologists have championed treating acne with salicylic acid rather than slathering on multani mitti and waiting for it to work.
However, there are some ancient beauty rituals that have managed to hold their ground in the age of millennial scepticism. Let’s take a look at some of our own tried and tested tips that are anything but an old wives’ tale!
- The Sunday morning wake & bake
- The besan bath
- Eating raw turmeric
- The cooling effects of sandalwood
- Neem extracts for skin upkeep
The Sunday morning wake & bake
From the ages of two to five, I spent every Sunday morning waiting on my father to massage my hands, legs, face and back with mustard oil. This ritual was followed by a 15-minute sun bake to let all that oily goodness soak in my skin. My parents claimed that it was done to make my bones grow strong and my skin healthy.
Turns out, regular oil massages can do wonders for the way your skin looks and feels. It helps with circulation, toning and elasticity of the skin; making it better prepared to take on external factors. Regular oil massages can help one get rid of dry skin and dirt better than the otherwise popular method of scrubbing. It just calls for some extra effort, which is a small price to pay for keeping early signs of ageing at bay!
The besan bath
The number of times desi moms have put their children in a headlock and scrubbed their young skin off with besan should be quantified and put down in records. This ancient practice of scrubbing in the bath is usually dismissed by young uns’ because it is just too much work.
But the besan scrub is a formulation that works like a charm. Gram flour, when mixed with other liquids, turns into an exfoliating paste that helps fight acne, removes blemishes and slows down the growth of body hair.
Eating raw turmeric
A morning ritual that I personally have been following since my teenage years is to chop up some raw turmeric, chew it down and chase it with some hot water mixed with lemon and honey. Anybody who’s ever taken a bite of raw turmeric knows that it isn’t the most pleasant experience.
Yet, the practice has many benefits. From the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin present to regulating healthy intestines, this practice has a direct and wholesome effect on one’s skin health
The cooling effects of sandalwood
Ever wondered why Hindus put a sandalwood tikka after certain rituals or ascetics are seen with some smeared all across their foreheads? Sandalwood is known for its excellent cooling properties. It also happens to be a naturally occurring astringent in nature, do we have to keep going on?
Neem extracts for skin upkeep
The practice of grinding some neem leaves and having it with milk is prevalent with many cultures across the nation. The antibacterial properties of the leaves help remove toxins and purify the blood, and skin from within. Just add a dab of honey to it and you’re golden; literally!