As someone who tried every product out there to combat acne-prone skin prior to encountering Ayurveda, I’m delighted to share one of my favorite Ayurvedic skin care recipes. It’s made from wonderful ingredients that are just as good for you when applied to your skin as they are when cooked and eaten. This is a great skin care treatment if you’re looking to prevent acne and keep your skin looking and feeling youthful and fresh.
All four ingredients in this DIY facemask (masoor dal, sandalwood powder, turmeric, and saffron) are stars in promoting healthy skin. The time I spend making and applying my facemask is a special self-care home spa time—and is much less expensive than going to a professional spa! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Ingredients for an Ayurvedic Facemask
Sandalwood Powder for Cooling & Soothing
This pleasantly scented powder is cooling and soothing, making it a go-to herb for bleeding and burning conditions in the body. Blood-purifying, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and intellect-promoting, sandalwood is also believed to promote happiness (ahladana in Sanskrit). No wonder it’s one of the most popular Ayurvedic beauty herbs.
Collagen to Nourish Your Skin from Within
Collagen is a key component of the skin’s structure, responsible for keeping it firm and elastic. As we age, our bodies naturally begin to slow the production of collagen, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles, and decreased moisture.
Eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly can help slow the process of collagen loss and dryness.
Research indicates that collagen supplements can also help counteract the natural signs of aging. A group of healthy women with visible signs of aging were given a daily collagen supplement for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, their skin had improved dramatically, with fewer visible lines and wrinkles, and a significant decrease in dryness and scaling.
Turmeric to Improve Your Complexion
Turmeric improves the complexion, tone, and texture of your skin. It’s also an antiallergenic, antimicrobial, antioxidant herb that builds immunity, especially when consumed internally as part of many healing Ayurvedic recipes. Turmeric, like sandalwood, is a terrific blood purifier. Turmeric’s beautifying quality is so famous among Indians that brides dedicate an entire ritual to applying turmeric-based skin care recipes to their skin the day before their wedding.
Saffron to Rejuvenate Your Skin
A wonderful rejuvenating herb, saffron helps heal headaches when applied externally with ghee and consumed internally in warm milk. It’s used in a great variety of cosmetics.
Masoor Dal for Minerals (optional)
This is a superstar reddish-orange lentil that you can buy at any Indian store and many natural food stores. It’s highly beneficial for fevers when cooked and consumed as food, and Ayurveda believes it’s also a great blood purifier when used internally and externally.
Follow This Recipe
Follow these simple steps to make your own Ayurvedic facemask at home.
Excerpted from The Ayurveda Way by Ananta Ripa Ajmera ($18.95, Storey, 2017)
“Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis” by E. Proksch et al., 12/24/13;
“Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology...” by E. Proksch et al., 8/14/13, Skin Pharmacol Physiol