As a global beauty expert and the author of “Passport To Beauty,” there’s nothing more exciting than scouring the globe for the best beauty secrets.
I spent a good amount of my childhood visiting my relatives in India. On those trips, I fell in love with all the beauty rituals I learned from my grandmothers and cousins. Not only had they been around for centuries, but they worked. My hair and skin had never looked so good! And because it was based on the ancient practice of Ayurveda, it was a beautiful proactive approach to beauty from the inside out.
Ayurvedic beauty celebrates balance. It’s the ultimate self-care practice. Once you delve into the power behind it, you realize that beauty is more than skin deep. What you eat, how you deal with stress, and how much sleep you get all play a part in your overall beauty routine. It’s the ultimate 360-degree approach to beauty.
Ayurveda is based on the five elements of nature: Water, fire, ether, earth, and air. By identifying which “dosha” type you are–Kapha (earth), Pitta (fire), or Vata (air), it allows you to truly shine from within while also bringing you the most powerful skincare and self-care rituals that start in the home. You can find out what your dosha is through a number of online quizzes.
Here are some of my favorite Ayurvedic beauty secrets passed down from my family. All of these are easy to make and ones you can quickly add to your beauty and self-care routine.
1. SMOOTH SKIN WITH ALMOND OIL
If you suffer from dry skin, you’re going to love the secrets behind almond oil. Pure almond oil to the rescue for softening and saying goodbye to dry skin in a flash! Use it on your body as a special massage oil either before or after your shower or bath; use a few drops on your face after cleansing at the end of the day.
The best almond oil is made at home, since commercial almond oils have preservatives. Follow my recipe for creating your own almond oil:
Take a handful of fresh almonds, blanch them, and let them dry. Grind them in the food processor, then put them in a fine sieve and press with a spoon until the oil is released. Place in a small bottle and refrigerate. (This oil can turn rancid very quickly if left at room temperature.)
2. YOU GLOW, GIRL
Indian women make their skin radiant with a traditional mixture of chickpea flour (absorbs oil), turmeric (a great anti-inflammatory and antiseptic—and an Ayurvedic powerhouse), and almond oil. This powerful combo instantly exfoliates, softens, and brightens skin on your face and body.
1 cup chickpea flour
3 tablespoons of turmeric (powdered form)
Almond oil (enough to form a paste)
Mix into a paste form. Apply to the face and body and let sit for a few minutes. Remove by rubbing mixture off with your hands. This motion will add to the exfoliation process and also helps with the removal of fine facial hair, better known as pesky peach fuzz. Wash the rest of the mixture off and enjoy fabulous baby soft skin. I personally like to use this mask once a week!
3. SHINIER-THAN-SHINY LOCKS
In India’s cosmopolitan city of Bangalore, it’s common knowledge that the secret to ultra-shiny locks lies within the delicate white petals of the hibiscus. Dry these beautiful flowers and boil them with coconut oil. Apply once a week and leave on overnight. Wash in the morning and walk out of your bathroom with jaw-dropping shiny hair. Coconut oil is a secret to getting full, thick, shiny hair. It’s also great to help strengthen hair if your hair is thinning. Give yourself a hot coconut oil scalp massage once a week to promote growth and wash away tress stress. Coconut oil is great for making hair shiny, strengthening follicles, sealing the cuticles, helping with split ends, and stimulating hair growth. Growing up I can remember my cousins and I lining up to get a good old scalp massage from my grandmother. Enlist the help of a friend or loved one for your own bit of heaven. Heat some coconut oil up in a bowl and give yourself a scalp massage once a week. Sleep with it on and wash in the morning.
Shalini Vadhera is a global beauty entrepreneur, author, and activist. ShalinisWorld.com
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