Of late, I have become very conscious of not only the things that I eat, but also the things that touch my skin.
I have gradually started lowering my dependence on chemicals. And one of the easiest and most doable things was to kick out the soaps and face washes and start using homemade ubtans (beauty masks).
Ubtan is not a new term for most Indian women. As a child or during wedding, we have all been massaged with ubtans. So, I asked my mother for the various dal (lentil) powders she used in the ubtan. Once she told me, I sourced them, as well as the other additives that go into the making of an ubtan.
These are the four essential powders that I keep in my beauty basket. They are the base to make a good homemade ubtan or beauty mask.
Different dal flours. They are –
- besan – Bengal gram flour
- masoor dal – split red lentil flour
- whole moong – green gram flour
- urad dal – black gram flour
These 4 ingredients are constant in my beauty basket. I keep a spoon handy too in the basket.
Now, every morning, according to my mood and need, I make a fresh ubtan.
- Masoor is good as an anti-tanning agent, brightens up the skin, controls acne, removes dirt and dust from the pores.
- Besan has been used for generations as a cleaning agent. From a new born to a bride, besan ubtan is used as a skin cleanser and skin lightening agent. It has anti-microbial properties, it deep cleans the pores, controls excess oil, reduces blemishes on the skin, removes unwanted hair on the skin, mildly exfoliates the skin and nourishes the skin.
- Urad dal can be used as a very effective scrub to remove dirt and dead cells, it removes tan and treats sunburn, treats acne and lightens the skin tone.
- Moong powder brightens the skin by nourishing and exfoliating it. It removes the dead cells and brightens up the skin. It helps to lock in the moisture into the skin thereby keeping it hydrated and supple. It removes unwanted facial hair. Its bleaching properties removes suntan and lightens up the skin. It prevents acne and pimples.
I don’t have a good quality food processor at home, so I asked a local flour mill to grind these lentils for me. I store these powders in different air tight jars. Black gram and red lentil flours are smooth, while black gram and green gram are slightly coarse to the touch, and that is why they make effective face or body scrubs.
In the next edition, I will tell you what else goes in these ubtans that enhances the skin quality.