We've all seen the notorious haldi ceremony during Hindu weddings -- at least in movies, if not in real life. Smearing haldi, or turmeric, on the bride and groom's skins has traditionally been considered a 'beautifying' ritual among Hindus. And even though the trusty turmeric's role may have become diluted now, thanks to the myriad beauty treatments, lotions, potions and serums available to us for even the slightest blemishes, beauty experts swear by the ingredient and its skin-healing properties. Why, we'd even go so far as to say that haldi is better than Siri, when it comes to multitasking for the skin! And no, it's not just for the bride. This wedding season, here's how you can use this common kitchen ingredient to give yourself a glow that's comparable to the bride's -- at probably a tenth of the cost.
So here are some benefits of turmeric and DIY face masks that can help improve your skin
1. Say goodbye to suntan
Whether it is the scorching summers or freezing winters, some degree of tanning is inevitable in a country like India. To get rid of the rigid tan that refuses to leave your skin, here's our tried and tested remedy: take 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon tomato puree, and 1 tablespoon yogurt. Mix them together and apply this paste to your face and neck. Leave it there for 30 minutes. Turmeric, along with tomato, rich in vitamin C, not only exfoliates but also neutralizes all the damage caused by the UV rays, making your skin healthier and brighter almost instantly. Since this is a fairly acidic face pack, make sure you moisturise well with a mild moisturiser or a serum after washing it off your skin.
2. Dark circles? We've got your back
With the wedding and party season in full swing, it's unlikely you're getting your requisite eight hours of shut-eye. But don't let the lack of sleep and a busy schedule come in your way skin health. This recipe will work wonders to nourish tired under-eye skin a lift. Make a paste with 2 tablespoons turmeric powder, a few drops of tomato juice and some almond oil. Massage this on to your dark circles and leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes. Turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties, along with sulfur and a few vital vitamins such as vitamin A, B and C from tomatoes and almond oil, will give your eyes much-needed nourishment with their fatty acids. We would recommend you add this treatment to your beauty regimen a couple of times anyway -- few among us ever get enough sleep.
3. Acne? Don't sweat it!
We all know that pollution and acne are BFFs, and if one is around, the other will follow suit, sooner or later. Prolonged exposure to polluted air, with all its harmful, harsh chemicals can turn your skin into a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, making your skin break out badly. When acne starts to make an appearance, mix 2 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel with a pinch of turmeric and apply it on your face for 20 to 30 minutes. Turmeric, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, when combined with aloe vera's astringent properties, helps remove excess oil and dirt from the skin and eliminate acne-causing bacteria and viruses.
4. Have dehydrated skin? Don't worry
Due to the lack of moisture in the air, skin can turn dry and flaky in the winters. And dry skin tends to be patchy and sallow. To fix this, mix 1 tablespoon haldi, 1 tablespoon gram flour (besan), sandalwood and some milk cream in a bowl. While gram flour and oil do their job of exfoliating and removing dead cells, the turmeric and milk cream will moisturise and heal your skin, giving you soft, smooth and glowing skin. We recommend you try this pack a couple of times a week for long-lasting results.
5. Facial hair? We know a trick
Mix some turmeric powder, gram flour, lemon,and yogurt together until you get a thick paste. Apply it on the required area and wait for it to dry. Once dry, gently scrub the mask off with your fingers. Use a damp cloth to wipe off the stubborn dry bits. Regular use of this mask will help you get rid of unwanted facial hair from its roots, without any teasing or stretching of skin.
You can also give some of our favourite turmeric face packs a try to get rid of tanned skin and dark circles.
Important tip: For all the remedies above, don't keep turmeric on your face for longer than recommended as it can stain your skin. Discontinue any mask that irritates your skin. If you do end up leaving turmeric on for too long and it stains your skin, wash your face with a gentle gel wash a couple of times to remove the stains.