Brighten Your Skin with a Natural Gram Flour Facial Mask
What is Gram Flour?
Gram flour, or chickpea flour, has long been used across India and Southeast Asia as both an exfoliant and a homemade beauty treatment to lighten and brighten skin. Brides were traditionally treated to a sesame oil massage followed by a body scrub made from gram flour, rice flour, almonds, milk, and turmeric as part of their wedding-day rituals.
There are a number of skin brightening recipes that can be easily prepared at home. My daughters and I have tried some of these and loved them, particularly the gram flour skin-lightening cream! If you’re looking for some easy, DIY methods to lighten your skin, then check out the recipes below.
Gram Flour Skin-Lightening Cream
This soft, creamy face mask uses gram flour and milk cream. It’s suitable for people with naturally dry skin as it helps to moisturise and keep the skin hydrated.
You will need:
- 1 tablespoon of gram flour
- 1 tablespoon of milk cream
- 1/2 teaspoon of honey
- A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice (just 2-3 drops is enough)
Mix all the ingredients together to form a paste and apply it evenly over your face. The mask will dry naturally and you can wash it off with lukewarm water after about 20 minutes. Try this face mask daily for 3-4 weeks and then maybe once a week after that. You can apply a little moisturiser or sunblock after you wash it off.
- Unfortunately, this mixture can’t be stored.
- You should also make sure to keep it away from your eyes as it can cause irritation.
- If you don't have any milk cream, you can substitute olive oil.
Alternative Recipe for Gram Flour Skin-Lightening Cream
You can also make a simple body cream by leaving out the honey and lemon juice. Mix some gram flour with cream and apply it all over your body. You can wash it off under the shower after five minutes, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth all over.
Gram Flour and Almond Skin-Whitening Mask
This face mask with almonds and gram flour is great for removing a tan and lightening the skin colour. It will also cleanse and tighten your skin.
You will need:
- 4-6 almonds
- 2 teaspoons gram flour
- 3 drops freshly squeezed lemon juice
- I teaspoon of milk
Soak the almonds overnight and peel the skins off before grinding. Mix the ground almonds with the gram flour and other ingredients to make a smooth paste which you can spread over your face. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes to allow the ingredients to bleach the skin and then gently wash it off, scrubbing lightly.
Gram Flour and Turmeric Acne Cream
This face mask does a fantastic job of minimizing and even eliminating acne scars. Adding turmeric to this gram flour face mask is good for acne-prone skin and can help to lighten any acne scars. It can also be applied all over the body to remove dark spots caused by the sun and will leave your skin feeling brighter.
You will need:
- 2 tablespoons gram flour
- 2 tablespoons of milk (fresh milk, not cream)
- 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
Mix the ingredients well until you have a fine paste and apply to face and neck. Leave the paste on for 20-30 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water.
How does turmeric lighten skin?
Turmeric has been found to inhibit the enzymes that are responsible for producing melanin (dark pigment) in skin cells. It is also an anti-oxidant and helps to protect your skin against environmental toxins.
Skin-Lightening Cream: Gram Flour, Cucumber, and Potato Skin
This recipe uses gram flour in an interesting combination with cucumber, potato, and citrus juices! The juices from the potato and cucumber are natural astringents that are known to lighten facial skin. Cucumber is especially effective for removing those dark circles under the eyes.
It’s easiest to mix these ingredients with a blender or food processor. That way you can get a smooth paste.
You will need:
- 4 tablespoons of gram flour
- 2 slices of cucumber with the skin on
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Juice of one orange (or lime)
Blend all ingredients into a thick paste. Apply just one tablespoon of the mixture to your face and let it dry for 5-10 minutes before washing off. You can also leave this on as a mask overnight for better results. Be careful not to get it in your eyes as the citric acid can burn.
If you want to preserve this mixture you can add sugar and salt to the ingredients in the food blender.
Quick Mask for Acne Break-Out
If you want to help clear up a break-out of pimples try adding 2 tablespoons of cucumber juice to one tablespoon of gram flour. Spread this cool mixture over a cleansed face and leave for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off, gently rubbing with your fingers.
Gram Flour and Orange Skin-Brightening Mask
This recipe involves a little preparation as you need to dry the orange peels in the sun and grind them up first.
You will need:
- Orange peel from one orange (dried and ground)
- 2 tablespoons of gram flour
- Milk cream (enough to make a thick paste)
Apply this mask to the face and neck and leave it on until it dries. Rinse the mask off with lukewarm water for smooth and fairer skin.
If you don't have any gram flour you can also make this mask with just orange rind and milk. Just add a little milk to the ground orange rinds to create a smooth paste and apply this to the face and neck.
More Natural Skin-Lightening Ingredients
Here is a list of other natural skin-lightening ingredients that can be used to treat dark spots, acne scars, freckles or uneven skin tone.
Papaya - Unripe papaya has high levels of papain, an enzyme that helps to remove dead skin cells and lighten the skin. It has long been used to heal wounds and other ailments like acne and dry skin. Papaya also nourishes the skin with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E and contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to smooth the skin and make it more radiant. If you have very sensitive skin, you can also use ripe papaya which has all the same benefits but less papain.
Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) - Clinical studies have shown that niacinamide (or niacin) preserves natural enzymes that are important for cell renewal and growth. It protects the skin from toxins and is effective in reducing hyperpigmentation, rosacea, and acne.
Licorice Extract - Licorice extract comes from the root of the liquorice plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra). It contains glabridin which has been found to inhibit the production of melanin (dark skin pigment) when applied topically and is an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation.
Tomatoes - Tomatoes have natural acids that exfoliate and help to lighten the skin. They are packed with a number of useful vitamins too, including vitamins B1, B3, B6 and C.
Emblica Extract (Indian gooseberry) - Emblica extract is a powerful antioxidant that can protect your skin from free radicals and toxins. It’s gentle on the skin and has long been used as a skin care product in Southeast Asia. Emblica contains effective skin-lightening properties that can be used to treat hyperpigmentation and age spots.
Mulberry Extract - This extract is very powerful skin-lightener and is an all-natural substitute for hydroquinone, the active ingredient in most skin-lightening products. The mulberry extract works by inhibiting the production of tyronsinase, the enzyme responsible for producing melanin.
Bearberry Extract - contains arbutin which is also known to suppress the action of the tyrosinase enzyme.
There are a range of "all natural" skin-lightening creams on the market today, like Meladerm by Civant, that utilise a number of these known skin lighteners. So if you can't be bothered mixing up your own recipes, look for a skin-lightening cream that contains a mixture of natural ingredients, like those listed above.
Be wary of skin-lightening products that contain hydroquinone or mercury as these ingredients are not, generally, considered to be safe.
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Lemon juice is commonly used in skin whitening recipes, to reduce the appearance of dark spots or to lighten the overall complexion, but does it really work?
Here is a list of 8 ingredients from nature that are proven to really whiten the skin and offer an alternative to using synthetic products like hydroquinine creams.