8 Ancient Beauty Secrets of Indian Women That You MUST Know About!

Smooth brown skin, long black hair, beautiful eyes … remind you of someone? Perhaps your mother? Or your grandmother? Well, I would not blame you. The older generation always seems to have the best beauty secrets at their disposal. The secret behind this mystery lies in the organic ingredients women used long before modern beauty products existed. A beauty product can be expensive, fancy, and chemically formulated for specific treatments, but nothing equates to the resilience, glow, and fine aging natural ingredients give your skin and hair. With the richness of Indian culture and the long years of history, come some everlasting and relevant beauty secrets that have been passed down generations.

Today, we pay tribute to this culture and its hidden beauty secrets for incomparable beauty. We discuss some of the best beauty secrets passed down to us by our grandmothers and mothers, to pass down to our future daughters and granddaughters. Here are 8 ancient beauty secrets of Indian women that every Indian woman must know about!

 

Turmeric

Turmeric has remained a staple spice in Indian recipes for centuries now. And if you’re from a typical Indian household, there is no way you have not been told about how useful and nourishing this spice is for the skin by your grandmothers!

Forget using turmeric as a home remedy, it literally has a popular marriage ritual associated with it, called Haldi. This versatile use of turmeric traces back to Ayurveda. Ayurveda has used turmeric to heal wounds, treat infections, and brighten skin for centuries. Turmeric was one of the first ingredients used by Indians to cleanse and bathe their skin, thanks to its bright yellow color and amazing healing properties.

Turmeric used to be a key ingredient in wound healing ointments.

 

Beauty benefits of Turmeric

  • It gives you an even skin tone- Traditionally, turmeric used to be a key ingredient in wound healing ointments. This means that it can, not only help you with cuts and wounds, but it can speed up the healing of your acne scars, hyperpigmented spots, and give you an even skin tone.  
  • It brightens skin- The bright yellow color of turmeric might be a concern for staining, but many times it proves effective in giving your skin a warm glow. But that’s not all! The anti-oxidant and anti-ageing qualities of turmeric work in your favor to reduce signs of aging, heal and add life to any dull areas, and clean impurities off of your skin to bring back a natural glow that belongs to your skin.
  • It can treat and prevent acne- Turmeric has components that fight off impurities and bacteria on your skin. This is one of the many reasons it is used to treat not just acne scars but also active acne on your skin. It further prevents bacteria and fungus to multiply in your pores - preventing the most dreaded problem of all - acne.

 

DIY Turmeric-Yogurt Face Mask

  • Put about two tablespoons of Dahi in a bowl.
  • Add ½ a teaspoon of turmeric powder. (Do not put too much turmeric powder or the yellowish-ness on your face will be hard to get rid of later!)
  • Mix well. Apply this yellowish paste on your face and neck. Leave it on for about 10 minutes.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water or a mild cleanser.
  • Do this twice a week for acne-free, even-toned skin.

 

Henna

Henna, more popularly known in Indian culture as Mehendi, may have been first brought to the country by Mughals, but has gone on to become a favorite for practically all Indian cultures! Whether it is weddings, big festivals, hair dyes, hair spas, or temporary body art - Henna leaves traces of its beautiful pigment all around.

Mehendi’s rich red-brown pigment is certainly what first catches the eye, but don’t underestimate it - there is more to this fascinating plant than just being a pretty dye. The henna plant is an evergreen shrub and has medicinal properties that are amazing for your hair. Read on to find out how!

 

Beauty benefits of Henna

  • An amazing natural hair conditioner- Henna has natural oils that leave behind a barrier on your hair. It prevents moisture to leave your hair and protects your hair from external damage. This leads to frizz-free, soft, and shiny red hair!
  • Can help prevent dandruff- Henna is traditionally not just applied on hair shafts but used as a hair mask from root to tip. This means that your scalp absolutely does not miss out on its fantastic benefits. The plant is cooling and soothing to your scalp and prevents scalp infections or fungal dandruff to get worse. Think of it as working like an ointment for your irritated scalp.
  • Henna strengthens your hair and prevents hair fall- The henna plant is rich in oils, sugars, proteins, and flavonoids - all of which nourish your hair with everything it can ever need. Regular use of Mehendi on your hair can prevent further greying and hair fall, ultimately leading to shinier, healthier, and stronger locks.

Henna has natural oils that leave behind a barrier on your hair.

 

Simple DIY Henna Hair Mask

For a DIY using henna, you can use henna powder but ensure that you buy it from a trusted brand that does not contain additives. Ideally, it would be wise to dry henna leaves yourself and make henna powder. 

We indeed love coloring our hair in a wide variety of colors, but hair dyes contain harmful chemicals such as ammonia. No matter how nourishing a synthetic hair dye claims to be, it cannot be as nourishing and soothing for your hair as a natural hair dye like Mehendi is. This is precisely why Mehendi was Nani's favorite hair dye!

  • Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of coffee into it.
  • Wait until only one cup of coffee is left in the saucepan. Turn off your stove and add four tablespoons of Henna into the coffee while it is still warm. Mix it well to make a thick, lump-free paste.
  • Let this mixture cool down. Next, take one medium-sized lemon and cut it in half. Squeeze the juice out of one of the halves and mix it into the paste.
  • The hair mask is ready. Now, section your hair appropriately and use a hair-dye brush to apply the paste to your hair from root to tip. Don’t skip the scalp. Make sure you wear gloves and have covered your clothes with a towel to avoid any staining.
  • Once the mask is applied, put a shower cap over your hair and leave it on for 4 hours.
  • Rinse your hair with plain water carefully after the waiting period is over.
  • You can follow your regular hair wash routine.
  • The rich brunette color of coffee and henna will show once your hair is dried!

 

Kumkumadi Tailam

If you haven’t heard of this miraculous ancient serum before, well, now is as good a time as any! The Kumkumadi Tailam comes from the formulations of Ancient Ayurveda and is made up of about 21 - 26 natural nourishing herbs to make a perfect skin-brightening and healing concoction. Traditionally, this serum has been used by Indian queens and princesses to boost skin health.

The key ingredient of this face serum is saffron, which is known for being the most expensive spice in the world. Saffron is an ancient spice not just drunk up with milk for its physiological benefits but also applied on the skin for brightening, healing, and preserving properties. Other amazing natural ingredients added to this serum include turmeric, manjistha, liquorice root, sandalwood, dashamoola, and MUCH more.

 

Beauty benefits and uses of Kumkumadi Tailam

  • Treats hyperpigmentation and acne scars- Kumkumadi tailam has a composition that has been carefully structured to give one an even skin tone. The essential herbs in the serum make sure to lighten your scars, heal existing infections, prevent the overproduction of melanin in pigmented areas and bring you perfectly smooth and glowing skin. It makes up for the perfect skin brightening face serum.
  • Hydrating and moisturizing- Sesame oil is used as the base of the Kumkumadi Tailam, which makes sure to ensure a good proportion of oil on your skin. This is especially beneficial for dry skin that lacks oil.
  • Prevents skin aging- This face serum has a sufficient number of herbs and concoctions that make it anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory. It also creates a barrier on your skin so that external factors cannot harm your skin. Regularly using this miraculous serum can therefore help you preserve the youthfulness and radiance of your skin.

 

How to Use Kumkumadi Tailam

  • Before going to sleep, clean your face with a mild cleanser that suits your skin.
  • Follow with a good toner to close your pores.
  • Now, take about 2 drops of Kumkumadi Tailam and apply it over your face and neck in circular motions. Make sure you cover your under eyes, neck, and back of your neck.
  • Apply your favorite face moisturizer.
  • This routine is to be followed regularly (every day or once every 2 days according to your preferences) and is optimal for those with dry skin. Over time, you will notice a reduction in dark circles, dark spots, acne scars, and smoother, brighter skin with an even skin tone.

 

Amla

The goodness of this super fruit we popularly call Amla is probably not unfamiliar to any Indian woman. This does not just go for beauty benefits, but overall health benefits. The Amla or the Indian Gooseberry is loaded with everything your hair might need - which is why it is so popularly advertised as the key ingredient in so many Indian hair oils, shampoos, and conditioners.

Traditionally, amla is known to be a thirst-quenching, healing, and hydrating herb - which is what makes it a popular ingredient in medicinal kadhas and health drinks. It is commonly added to henna hair masks too!

 

Beauty Benefits of Amla

  • Soothing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial- All three of these qualities in Amla can be credited to its composition of magnesium and Vitamin C. While magnesium is what makes Amla an excellent soother for any irritated areas in your skin and scalp, Vitamin C fights microbes that may be present in your skin. This results in clean, dirt-free skin and scalp. It can treat acne, heal acne scars, fix hyperpigmented areas, and give your skin a natural glow and hair a radiant shine.
  • Hydrating and conditioning- Amla is rich in ascorbic acid which acts as a humectant for your skin and hair. It breaks down and clears dead skin cells from the surface of the skin/scalp, and attracts water to hair and skin. Therefore, after applying Amla to your hair, you will find your hair to be much smoother, softer, and bouncier.
  • Prevents dandruff and promotes scalp health- Dandruff can often be caused by fungal infections and worsened by inflammation. Amla’s anti-microbial and soothing properties prove successful in treating dandruff. Moreover, the rich composition of Vitamins and calcium in Amla promotes better health for your scalp.

Amla’s anti-microbial and soothing properties prove successful in treating dandruff.

 

DIY Hair Mask Using Amla

  • Chop 3 medium-sized Amla fruits into little pieces and add them to your mixer jar.
  • Next, add about 10 curry leaves into the mixer.
  • Grind these ingredients in your mixer. If the consistency is too thick, you can add some water.
  • After grinding, pour the paste into a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of honey into it. Mix well.
  • Use this final paste on your scalp to treat dandruff. You can also apply it to your hair shafts, paying extra attention to your tips.
  • Leave it on for about 15 minutes before rinsing with cold water. Follow-up with your regular hair wash routine.
  • This hair mask can be used regularly once or twice a week as a treatment for dandruff and as an organic hair conditioner.

 

Neem

Neem is a favorite in the organic medicine world. It may be bitter in taste and might have had you making faces when your mother mentioned its fabulous goodness - but it’s true! Neem juice is extremely astringent and anti-bacterial making it perfect to fight infections, clean skin (even teeth), and prevent any damage caused by external impurities. All parts of the neem tree are used to make oils, powders, paste, and juices that treat a variety of health concerns.

 

Beauty Benefits of Neem

  • Prevents and treats breakouts- Neem is especially known for its antimicrobial properties. The astringent nature of neem ensures that any impurities such as oil, dead skin cells, and dirt are cleaned out when it is applied to the skin. This makes it an excellent cleanser. This is what makes it a popular ingredient in many face washes, soaps, and face scrubs.
  • Prevents scalp infections and dandruff- Neem contains flavonoids that are highly anti-oxidant in nature. The plant is also very effective in fighting bacteria and fungus that may stick to your scalp and cause infections or fungal dandruff.
  • Helpful in treating a lice problem- Neem is an ingredient you will find in any anti-lice shampoos or oils available in the Indian organic market. This is because neem’s anti-microbial nature works wonders in killing lice that have leached into your scalp.

 

DIY Neem and Turmeric Acne Treatment

  • Take about 10 to 15 neem leaves and grind them in a mixer to extract their juice. Add water if needed.
  • Add about two pinches of turmeric into this mix.
  • Use this paste directly in areas of your skin where you feel a breakout coming or an active acne breakout. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash with a regular cleanser.
  • You can also add sugar to this mix of neem and turmeric to make an organic face scrub. This will work best for those with oily skin.

 

Milk

Milk being a staple in ancient beauty treatments and therapies should probably not come as a surprise. After all, we are a land that thrives off of agriculture and animal husbandry. Cow milk is an important part of Indian culture and traditions whether it comes to food, drinks, religious ceremonies, or beauty treatments. Being a rich source of calcium, protein, lactic acid, Vitamins, and much more, milk has everything your skin needs for optimal health!

 

Beauty Benefits of milk

  • Moisturizing: Rich in fats and proteins, one application of milk on your skin kept on for even 10 minutes is sure to leave behind a nourishing glow on your skin. Milk or its preserved forms like ghee or yoghurt are often used as a base for many moisturizers because it is excellent for treating dry and flaky skin.
  • Effective for cleansing and tan removal: Milk is rich in lactic acid. Lactic acid is an ingredient that can dissolve into accumulated dead skin cells, oils, and dirt on your skin and wash it all away with it. This removes any tanning and dullness and reveals your naturally glowing skin underneath.
  • Preserves skin health: As mentioned before, milk is rich in proteins and calcium. These ingredients enable it to boost collagen production in your skin while also adding water to your skin texture. The result? Plump, youthful, and radiant skin - that will last for years to come.

 

Milk and Chandan to Brighten Skin

  • Pour a cup of full-cream milk into a bowl. 
  • Add two tablespoons of sandalwood powder (Chandan) into the bowl. 
  • Mix well to make a thick paste. 
  • Apply this paste directly to your face and neck. Leave it on for about 20 minutes. 
  • Use a warm towel to wipe off the paste from your face.
  • Next wash your face with a mild cleanser. I advise you to not skip this step as milk can leave a strong residual smell on your skin. 
  • This can be used as a moisturizing and brightening face pack once or twice a week.

 

Multani Mitti

Did you know that the popular use of fuller’s earth or Multani Mitti for acne and oily skin treatment has roots in the Indian Subcontinent?! Traditionally, this clay-like substance derived from the mud in Multan (now in Pakistan) was used for many purposes ranging from decontaminating medical equipment to producing special effects in movies.

Multani Mitti is rich in several minerals such as aluminum silicates, magnesium, calcium.

Even today, there is no way clay masks are not constantly recommended to you if you have oily or acne-prone skin. This ancient Indian ingredient makes its appearance in face masks, hair conditioners, dry shampoo, make-up, and much more. Here are some of the reasons why:

 

Beauty Benefits of Multani Mitti

  • Cleans and absorbs oils & impurities- The rich texture of fuller’s earth absorbs any dirt, dead skin cells, and oil on your skin. This leaves your skin feeling as good as new, exfoliated, and hydrated (thanks to the heavy minerals). This makes it effective for acne treatment, blotting oil from the face, and preventing build-ups & breakouts on your skin.
  • Excellent for tightening the skin- Multani Mitti is rich in several minerals such as aluminum silicates, magnesium, calcium, and chlorine. Application of this clay on your face leads to better strength and nourishment of your skin cells, thanks to the rich minerals present in it. This leads to tightened skin that is devoid of wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Gives you an even skin tone- With dirt and oil out of the way, you will likely notice an instant afterglow after using fuller’s earth. But that isn’t all - Multani Mitti improves blood circulation to the skin, which means that all your acne scars, fine lines, dark spots, and dark circles are healed with an increased pace. This results in lasting even skin tone.

 

DIY with Multani Mitti for Tan Removal

  • Take 3 tablespoons of Multani Mitti and put it in a bowl.
  • Add enough rose face water into the Mitti so that you can make a thick paste. If you would prefer it to be a little thinner, you can add more rose mist to it.
  • Add a pinch of turmeric into the mix. Mix the paste well so that there are no lumps.
  • Apply this paste all over your face and neck. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Use lukewarm water to wash it off.
  • Do this twice a week if you have oily skin and tend to go out in the sun a lot.

 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an ancient Indian originated ingredient used in food, skincare, and hair care, especially in South India. Derived from the mineral-rich fruit coconut, this oil is a soother for dehydrated skin, especially in summers. It has been traditionally for baby massages, moisturizing skin, nourishing the scalp, treating sunburns, and much more.

 

Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil

  • Amazing moisturizer: Coconut oil is one of the thickest oils out there - meaning there is almost nothing that will moisturize your skin the way coconut oil does. It serves as an organic, fruit-based alternative to mineral oil. No matter how dry your skin is, regular use of coconut oil is likely to help you seal in the moisture.
  • Prevents dry dandruff flakes: For those with dry skin, dandruff flakes often occur as a result of dryness on the scalp that results in too many dead skin cells. While it is not wise to keep the oil on your scalp for too long, massaging your scalp with coconut oil before bed and leaving it overnight can work wonders! It will retain moisture on your scalp and will not leave dry flakes on it, even after you have shampooed. Coconut oil also creates a barrier around your hair, preventing hydration from escaping your tresses. This results in softer, smoother, and shinier hair.
  • Nourishes cracked skin: The high content of lipids in the oil make it a popular base ingredient in organic foot creams and lip balms. Regular usage of coconut oil can heal your cracked heels and lips in practically no time.

 

DIY Coconut-Oil and Beetroot Lip Balm

  • Take one medium-sized beetroot. Wash, peel, and cut it into smaller pieces. Put this beetroot into a mixer to extract its juice. When done, filter out any remaining solid particles using a strainer. 
  • Take a small container (maybe use an old lip balm container) and pour your filtered beetroot juice into it. 
  • Add two teaspoons (more if you wish for a thicker consistency) of melted coconut oil into the beetroot juice. Mix well. 
  • Now, put this container into a refrigerator. Coconut oil solidifies in colder conditions, making your beetroot juice and oil mix into a solidified lip balm with a soft pink tint. 
  • Use this all-natural lip balm whenever you need to, but remember to always keep it refrigerated. It stays good for at least a month this way.

Regular usage of coconut oil can heal your cracked heels and lips.

 

Parting Note

India is a vast land full of diverse cultures, languages, and cuisines. The love for nature and the organic goodness of natural products, however, keeps us all united. All of the ingredients mentioned in this article have a rich Indian history behind them, which adds to their enticing charm.

These ancient beauty secrets of Indian women have been passed down for generations now, preserving the legacy, culture, and beauty of natural ingredients available in our land. Not only do they work just as good as professional products - but many times, they prove to be better. So, if you’re looking to switch up your skincare and haircare routines, all of these 8 ancient beauty secrets of Indian women are guaranteed to come in handy!