For its construction, Emperor Shah Jahan spared no expense as it was the symbol on earth of his love for his beloved wife Arjumand Banu Begum. We are talking about the wonderful Taj Mahal, described as a tear drop on the cheek of time. It is said that more than 1000 elephants and buffaloes were used to carry jasper, jade, turquoise, lapis lazuli and sapphires that were then expertly embedded in the white marble giving life to minarets, domes and portals. In all, it took 22 years to erect what later became a mausoleum for the emperor's wife. And still today it is possible to admire this example of construction skills, harmony and balance. We don't know much about Arjumand Banu Begum except that she was a woman of incredible beauty but also full of grace and love for the other people, qualities that probably made her even more fascinating. We can only imagine her days at the emperor's court, amidst glittering fountains and curtains with impalpable fabrics. Like all Indian women, Arjumand Banu Begum also dedicated time to her beauty with ancient rituals and ingredients that the earth offered her. But don't be fooled! Often these simple ingredients are also the best and most effective for respecting the skin and fighting blemishes, acne and wrinkles. So, let's take a step back in time, accompany Arjumand Banu Begum in her daily beauty rituals and find out how to make very powerful cosmetics at home using ... chickpea flour!
Chickpea flour for cosmetic use, properties
Chickpea flour, traditionally known in India as Besan, is not only an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine but also an important beauty cosmetic very appreciated by Indian women. In fact, when applied on the face, chickpea flour acts as a gentle exfoliant, which removes dead cells and impurities without attacking the skin. Not only that, chickpea flour purifies the skin and makes it toned. This type of flour used as a face mask absorbs excess sebum and impurities, thus helping in case of greasy and acne-prone skin, but also helps to even out the complexion making the skin clearer and brighter (Saxena Pal et al, The Open Dermatology Journal, 2017 - Helen Markham, Dry skin care solutions, 2013). Chickpea flour contains saponins, which are substances with antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action, therefore very useful in case of skin irritation, acne but also to counteract the aging processes (Young Soo Kim et al, J Ginseng Res, 2011 ). Finally, thanks to another substance contained in chickpea flour, zinc, this flour proves to be an ally in case of dark skin spots but also boils (Gupta et al, Dermatol Res Pract, 2014).
Chickpea flour, how to make face masks
Given the interesting cosmetic properties of chickpea flour, let's see how to exploit them by making face masks for all skin types. If you have irritated, greasy and acne-prone skin, try mixing 1 tablespoon of chickpea flour and a tablespoon of aloe vera gel in a small bowl. You can add a drop of ylang ylang or lavender essential oil. Apply to cleansed face, leave on for ten minutes and then rinse. The rinse, performed with slow movements like a massage, also acts as an exfoliant. In case of mature, dry and dull skin you can instead mix 1 tablespoon of chickpea flour, 1 teaspoon of rose water and 1 tablespoon of yogurt that, thanks to the lactic acid, makes the skin more elastic, luminous and hydrated (Yeom et al, J Cosmet Sci, 2011). Mix and apply on clean face for ten minutes, then rinse and continue with your treatment.