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Shama Anwar
Shama Anwar

Try this ancient Indian face mask using ingredients in your cupboard

Shama Anwar shares a traditional Ayurvedic skin remedy

I’ve been living in India for just over a year now and have had some of the most enlightening moments when it comes to well-being and general self-care. Since moving here, I’ve learnt a lot about Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal system still widely practised across the country as well as the globe. 

Ayurveda is said to cure the root of your illness over time, creating a strong immune system in which no outside elements can interfere. This is the opposite to Western practices of what is seen as “short term fixing.” The Ayurvedic thinking goes that by only allowing certain elements to be consumed by your body, you are creating a fixed cycle, which means your body will use these elements to become stronger in the long run.

Taking all my research into consideration, I wanted to slowly adopt some of these practises into my life and I thought the best way to do this is to explore their self-care remedies. I’m a huge fan of face masks and the fact that these are so easy to make at home is a great bonus, especially now. This is a remedy used within Eastern culture, particularly for brides where before their wedding day.

As well as being super easy to make, I find this method really soothing. The key ingredients are Besan (gram flour) which helps even out your skin tone and turmeric which has anti-inflammatory properties, is a natural antiseptic so works well for acne-prone skin, helps reduce dark circles and helps soothe dry skin. Together they make a super natural and effective mask! You can also use this mixture on individual pimples or as an all over body cleanser!

Here’s how you can make it in four easy steps.


For the mixture, you’ll need 3 tablespoons of gram flour (chickpea flour, also known as Besan in India), half a tablespoon of turmeric, and about three tablespoons of lukewarm water which you add in parts to get the paste like consistency you need. In the traditional remedy you would use raw milk, but filtered lukewarm water works really well too if you don’t want to use dairy and it’s still classified as an Ayurvedic remedy.


Mix together in a bowl till you have a thick paste like substance.


Use a brush to apply on your face. I have to admit when it’s drying it can be a little bit painful to stretch your face or talk and you will start to see it crackle. You can either rub off some of the dryer bits before washing, or just go straight onto wash like I do.


Wash and moisturise and you’re done.