I’m one of the lucky few who has had the pleasure of living with her grandmother since a very young age. The only time I disliked her, however, was when she insisted on giving me a champi with a smelly oil concoction. Or when she mixed up curd and lemon to put on my hair. ‘Nuskha’ she would call it and now that I’m all grown up with a healthy head of hair even after all the hair experiments, I those rituals a big thank you.
What I hated back then is now a part of my self-care Saturdays. Understanding the significance, many beauty brands have gone on to create stand-alone products using the essence of these popular at-home traditional beauty rituals. So from hair care to skincare, here are a few age-old rituals that are now bottled for us to make best of it.
How could I not begin with this one? Sitting on the floor while my grandmother tugged at my hair and tied them into tight braids is a core memory. Back then, her nu ska was mixing warm Coconut Oil with castor oil and aloe vera gel. Thankfully, we don’t have to go through the messy process of mixing oils with products specifically targeted to give you a champi.
The Inde Wild Champi Hair Oil gained popularity because of this very touch of nostalgia, along with its nutritive ingredient list of course. It is an all-in-one hair treatment with a rare combination of 11 ingredients–Hibiscus, Brahmi, Castor Oil, Sesame Oil, Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Indian Argan Oil and Vitamin E. These work in unison to strengthen each strand of hair from root to end.
Another hair oil that fits the bill is the Fable & Mane Holi Roots Treatment Oil. It is infused with potent plant roots like Ashwagandha and Dashmool that help strengthen the scalp and calm the nerves. The addition of Castor Oil makes this product rich in fatty acids, which helps it nourish and moisturise the hair.
Ubtan & Multani Mitti
Be it a gram flour face pack or a multani-mitti one, the glow after remains unmatched. The RAS Farm Fresh Radiance Ubtan is additionally enriched with Saffron to reduce pigmentation, Masoor Dal to naturally exfoliate, Almond Flour to protect against UV rays and Calendula to calm inflammation. An alternative to this is the Bare Necessities Multani Mitti Face Pack which removes dead cells and excess oil, leaving skin feeling clean and refreshed. Both these options can be mixed with either water or rose water, which brings me to my next ingredient.
Who needs fancy toners when we’ve got rose water? Apart from its cooling and refreshing properties, rose water is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. It reduces redness and acne while balancing out the skin’s complexion. This natural toner works well for all skin types, especially for oily and acne-prone skin. The Pixi Rose Tonic not only contains Rose Flower Extracts but also Elderflower to soften and Chamomile to soothe the skin. Sadhev Rose Water and Juicy Chemistry Rose Water are both pure rose water alternatives.
My hatred for ghee aside, it has many skin and lip care benefits. It is rich in antioxidants and helps reduce damage from free radical damage. It is mainly used to soften and hydrate the skin and when applied on the delicate under-eye area, it improves dark circles. The Soultree Lip Balm contains Hibiscus to nourish the lips, Honey to exfoliate them and of course, Organic Ghee to moisturise them.
The Kapiva Ayurveda Ghee Kumkumadi Body Butter promises 24 hours of moisture, crediting its pure Ghee content. It is a lightweight and non-sticky formula that smells of earthy Sandalwood.
Another product that contains Ghee purified by the age-old Ayurvedic process of washing A2 Ghee 100 times is the Shankara Gheesutra Face Emulsion. The rich, buttery texture of this product penetrates into the deepest layer of the skin and rejuvenates skin cells. With regular morning and night use, the emulsion promises radiant, firm and smooth skin.
Neem has been used from time immemorial for its healing properties. No wonder it’s such a popular nuska for treating acne and reducing inflammation. Its antibacterial properties fight acne-causing bacteria and control oil production in the skin. Now, you don’t need to run off to boil a handful of fresh neem leaves in water–you can just use these products. Dr. Sheth’s Neem & BHA Spot Clarifying Serum goes deep into the pores and dissolves the oil and dirt trapped in them. This helps prevent further breakouts and clear the skin.
Blossom Kochhar Neem & Tea Tree Toner is additionally enriched with Niacinamide, Witch Hazel Leaf Water, Tea Tree Oil, Rose Hip Oil and Aloe Vera Juice. All these ingredients together unclog and tightens the pores–leaving the skin looking brighter and feeling softer.
Indians love their Haldi so it’s not surprising that it makes its way into many beauty nuskas. Heck, we have an entire wedding ritual around this ingredient. Turmeric inhibits the production of melanin and cures hyperpigmentation. It helps fade away blemishes and even out the skin. Although daily usage can stain the skin yellow, brands have found away to work around this and make their products daily friendly.
Deepika Padukone’s self-care brand 82°E has come out with a new Turmeric Shield Sunscreen with added ceramides to trap moisture into the skin. Kama Ayurveda Suvarna Haldi Chandan Face Pack is a call back to the use of multani mitti, with added haldi and chandan. This mask works at purifying the skin, curbing excessive sebum secretion and cooling the site of active acne.
Saffron is sold by the gram just like gold because of it’s fragrant aroma and unique colour. It holds antibacterial traits that makes it a go-to ingredient for home-remedies and nuskas. From fighting acne to treating dark spots, this precious spice does it all. The Ghar Soap Sandalwood And Saffron Soap benefits the ingredient’s skin brightening and exfoliating properties. Prolonged usage of this soap promises fading of scars, sun spots, dark patches and blemishes.
The Amala Earth Geranium & Saffron Soap is again, a brightening and rejuvenating soap with Rose, Geranium, Olive and Coconut oil infusions.