Beauty by the gram
It’s a shampoo, face scrub and hair remover powdered into one. There is more to besan or gram flour besides making great bhajiyas.
Though besan has been primarily used in the kitchen, it has other uses too. Gram flour or besan is considered safe enough to be used on an infant’s head during their first head bath. It even finds its place in solah shringar or the 16 steps that a bride uses to adorn herself. It is also supposed to be an effective depilatory. Apart from the above, besan or gram flour has many more uses in the Indian system of beauty therapies.
Here is how you can incorporate this powdered wonder in your beauty rituals.
A complexion lightening mask
Take four almonds with a teaspoon and a half of gram flour, a teaspoon of milk and four drops of lemon juice. Mix it and apply it on your face. Leave it on for the bleach to take effect.
Take lemon juice, mixed with gram flour, milk cream and honey for dry skin. Replace milk cream and honey with sandalwood powder and curd for oily to normal skin. Apply it on your face to ensure a clear complexion.
Add milk, rose water, carrot juice and cucumber juice to the above to remove freckles. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse.
A complexion revival mask
Mix together a teaspoon of gram flour with a pinch of turmeric powder, a few drops of lemon juice and half a teaspoon each of olive oil and milk. Apply it on your face. Remove after 10 minutes.
A face wash
Take a teaspoon each of turmeric powder, milk cream, sandalwood powder and besan. Use it daily.
Removing unwanted facial hair
Take a teaspoonful of gram flour and make a paste by mixing water in it. Apply it daily and scrub it off when dry.
Whitening the knees, neck and hands
Mix lemon juice and gram flour and apply it on the knees, hands and neck to whiten them.
A besan pack
Take one spoonful of besan, a pinch of turmeric (haldi), half a spoon of honey and half spoon of olive oil. Mix it well and apply.
A cooling mask
Take a spoonful of besan, two spoonfuls of curd. Mix well, and apply it on the face. Let it stay for half an hour and wash off.
Add curd to gram flour to make a paste and apply it on the face. Completely rub it off before it dries. Repeat every two days. This is also good for removing blemishes. Make curd out of skim milk for oily skin.
Warm some honey and add some besan to it. Apply this paste to your face. Wash with warm water after it dries.
For blemished skin
Add cucumber juice to some besan to form a paste. Apply it to the face and wash off after it dries. This will also tighten the skin pores.
Besan for oily skin
Make a thick paste out of curd and besan. Just apply it on your face and leave it to dry for a few minutes.
Besan for dry skin
Use full-cream milk instead of curd to make a paste with besan. Apply a mixture of the milk and gram flour onto your skin and leave to dry.
To take care of chronically dry skin, mix a teaspoon of milk cream with gram flour and a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of turmeric. Apply this regularly on your face.
A skin glow mask
Soak tamarind root for some time. Grind and mix it with a little gram flour and apply it on your face, hands and other parts of your body. Your skin will have a golden glow after you wash this off after 10 minutes.
For healthy hair (all types)
Mix a cup of curd, two teaspoons of besan, an egg white and the juice of half a lemon. If you have very dry hair, substitute the egg white with a teaspoon of olive oil.
Mix together a tablespoon each of besan and corn flour. Use this mix to wash your face and body. This is an excellent scrub and will remove your dead skin cells, leaving you feeling clean and glowing.
Mix some fresh cream and besan. Apply this paste on to your body. Avoid the area around the eyes, eyebrows and lips. Shower after five minutes. This will make skin smooth.
Unwanted facial hair
Apply a mixture of fenugreek powder and besan on the unwanted hair. Let it dry and rub off.
Mix besan, milk and turmeric (you can add lemon juice and sandalwood powder) and apply on face. Let it dry and rub off in a circular motion.
Mix besan, lemon juice and malai. Apply on areas with excess hair and rub off.
For normal skin
Mix two tablespoons of gram flour and four tablespoons of milk in a clean container. Apply this all over the face and the neck avoiding the area around the eyes and lips. Leave on for 10 minutes and then wash off.
For oily skin
Mix two tablespoons of honey with a teaspoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of rosewater. Apply this all over the face, leave it on for about five minutes and wash off.
For dry skin
Mix a tablespoon of milk powder with a teaspoon of gram flour and two tablespoons of rose water. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and then wash off.
Text: Rehana Khambaty
Image: Wikimedia Commons