Sandalwood, turmeric, saffron, coconut… In India, skincare traditionally comes straight from farms and forests, where women feed it to make pastes, powders, and oils for everything from shiny hair to glowing skin.
It wasn’t an easy process: Gather the ingredients, then work over a hot fire or a heavy mortar and pestle to make the mixtures, and finally the mess of strands dipped in greasy coconut oil or skin covered in turmeric paste.
Fast forward to today, where you can’t pass through the beauty aisle without finding at least 20 bestselling products based on the subcontinent’s 5,000-year heritage.
It’s simple: discover the western world of Ayurveda. And they both adapt to each other.
at the top of the curve
Today, we do not need to go hunting in the forests; Alternatively, we can go to the nearest department store or even order online, which makes Indian beauty more accessible than ever.
And due to new extraction and crafting techniques, textures are lighter and less chaotic. ghee (Refined Butter) comes pressed into a beautiful face balm, while coconut and almond extracts are infused into lightweight oils.
Western science has internalized – and upholds these principles. Turmeric has antioxidant, antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Coconut oil nourishes the hair shaft. Almond oil is also a natural moisturizer.
Today, Indian beauty synchronizes the ancient teachings of Ayurveda with Western scientific research to bring the best of both worlds.
Despite all the changes, one thing remains constant: rely on natural ingredients. So, this is what you want to look for while snorkeling (or deep diving) in Indian beauty.
Ayurveda considers ghee (refined butter) as an ideal ointment for the skin. And the science says why: Ghee is rich in fatty acids that nourish and moisturize the skin, and the antioxidants it contains may also help fight skin damage. It also helps in wound healing and improving the appearance of scars and hyperpigmentation.
Very little, whether applied directly from the jar or as part of a moisturizer, is enough to restore softness and suppleness to even the driest skin.
There are many myths about the aesthetic benefits of almonds. And they endured because these nuts are a skincare treasure trove—a fact backed up by modern science.
Almonds are exceptionally rich in fatty acids, calcium and minerals, making them extremely nutritious. It is also packed with antioxidants that stop environmental damage and help maintain healthy skin. Almond oil nourishes the paste without leaving a greasy residue.
The original Indian skin care recipes require soaking the nuts overnight, then turning them into a paste by rubbing them into a terra cotta bowl. Faster solution for today? Buy a bottle of pure almond oil and use it in place of your usual night cream.
Saffron is the unicorn of the beauty world: rare, powerful and precious. What makes this spice so special for skin care? First of all, it contains two powerful antioxidants: crocin and crocetin. Helps protect against stress and environmental damage that can lead to fine lines, wrinkles and loss of radiance.
The little red strands are also packed with minerals and vitamins and have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. When used topically, saffron not only brightens the skin but also reduces annoying hyperpigmentation.
You’ll find saffron in many products, from masks to moisturizers. But it is a case buyer beware. With international prices for Indian saffron (considered the highest quality worldwide) averaging $1,500 a pound, if a moisturizer sounds too inexpensive, it may be misleading in its claims.
Here, you might be better off with one of our time-tested skincare recipes: Boil six tablespoons of freshly grated coconut with a pinch of saffron and turmeric powder. You will get a beautiful oil that can be used as a moisturizer. All you need is five to six strands, so even the smallest tin will last a long time.
There is a reason why turmeric has transcended its Indian origins and has become a cult ingredient all over the world. This yellow colored spice is a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and detoxifier. result? Keeps skin soft, smooth and glowing. It treats acne. It helps fade dark spots.
But many of us refuse to put turmeric on our skin for fear of looking like a character out The Simpsons. In contemporary times, we do not need to go this way. Instead, look for turmeric-infused moisturizers and masks that contain this powerful spice, without the yellow undertones.
Coconut oil is being praised – and ignited – around the world, with opinions divided on its beauty benefits.
On the one hand, its rich concentration of omega-6 fatty acids means that coconut oil is a powerful skin softener. It also contains vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. and lauric acid, which is an antimicrobial.
This makes coconut oil an excellent ointment for the skin. It can reduce acne-causing bacteria, keep skin soft and supple, and help maintain hydration. The Indians are known to take a small amount of the jar directly and apply it to their faces and limbs.
But contemporary research also shows that coconut oil is clogging and pore-clogging, which means it works by sitting on top of the skin to trap moisture underneath. While this makes it a great moisturizer for the driest skin, it’s not what you want if your skin is prone to congestion and blackheads!
Then there’s the hair factor: Coconut oil is a great hair conditioner. It helps reduce hair breakage by keeping the scalp well balanced and strengthening the hair shaft.
The original Indian method of applying coconut oil, which was to scrape freely and leave it on until the next wash, is no longer a feasible look. Instead, try massaging a few tablespoons of the oil into dry hair, leaving it on overnight, and washing it away the next morning. This way, you can reap the benefits, without the greasy locks.
Indian Sandalwood Oil has been rated as having the highest quality worldwide. It has antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that may help acne-prone skin. Golden Oil also works brilliantly to lighten scars and hyperpigmentation.
As for premature aging? Sandalwood is an excellent antioxidant, protecting against damage at the cellular level. By boosting the skin’s natural collagen, it also protects against wrinkles, fine lines and sagging.
Finally, this precious oil is a powerful moisturizer that helps keep skin soft, supple and plump, without the fat found in many other natural moisturizers.
Hence, sandalwood oil nowadays is used as a base in many moisturizers – or you can go the original method and buy a small bottle of pure oil to soften your skin.