India's Skin Care Secret

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Before a friend of mine left for India to continue her studies in Ayurveda, she handed me a small jar of brilliant yellow powder. “It’s cosmetic grade turmeric,” she said. “Don’t eat it; use it to wash your face.”

Having only used turmeric as a nutritious culinary ingredient, I was quite surprised at this new application, but I found the turmeric to be very cleansing without drying out my skin. In fact, it left a skin softening residue that smoothed without clogging my pores. The downfall of turmeric is the very brief yellow stain, so I only use it at night.

With antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s not surprising that turmeric is a common skin care component for Indian and Indonesian women. Juara makes a turmeric facial mask for $39, or you can make your own by blending turmeric and sandalwood powder with any edible oil. Make a thick paste of the ingredients, leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse. The result will be glowing, radiant skin.

Image: babasteve

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