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Indian women are revered all over the world for their thick shiny dark hair, flawless skin and pearly white teeth. Is it the way they brush their hair, wash their face or floss? As a 40+ mother of two I am always interested in learning new ways to preserve my youth. So during my recent trip to India I was determined to find out what exactly are these ancient Indian beauty secrets!

Natural skincare is the norm in India where mothers pass on simple yet effective treatments to keep themselves youthful for generations. Beauty rituals are sacred in this part of the world and in most cases these treatments are based on plants, herbs, fruit and vegetables, which appear to be effective and have stood the test of time.

What the local women are learning is that there is a time for modern technology with quick fixes and a time to go back to the basics of what mother nature has provided for long term effects and without any side effects that you may find in chemical based products.

During my stay at the Amanbagh resort in Rajasthan, India, I spoke with beauty therapist Ibani who revealed some of her favorite treatments for the clearest skin and shiniest of hair.

1. Soft silky hair

Ibani’s secret number one is a homemade and effective hair mask. Overwashing your hair and the use of chemical based hair products can dry out your hair leaving it dull and lifeless. Split ends and dandruff are also nightmare problems to deal with for both Indian’s and westerners alike. Ibani’s solution is to mix 1 egg with fresh aloe vera. Comb this natural hair mask throughout  your hair from roots to end and leave it in for 30 minutes before rinsing. You will be amazed at what a simple treatment can do for those split ends!

2. Combat breakouts

Oily skin is a breeding ground for pimples, which can worsen if you try to pop them, so resist the temptation! Instead, take a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon and rub it over the affected areas for 5 minutes or leave overnight. You will wake up to dried out and smaller pimples that are on their way out. There is no better natural way to take care of pesky zits. This is one of the best Indian beauty tips for your face.

3. Hydrate your skin

Nobody likes skin that’s dried out and dull. Ibani tells us to get used to honey, which will become your new best friend for its hydrating and healing properties. Create your own mask with a simple Indian skin care home remedy composed of a few tablespoons of honey and a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil. Ibani recommends using lemon, mint or lemongrass essential oil for hydrating and purifying your skin. Smooth the mask all over your face and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse. Alternatively, you can sleep with the mask on for optimal benefits, just be sure to use a towel to cover your pillow, otherwise you may wake up to a troop of ants!

Ibani’s secret for all around beautiful skin is to use kumkumadi oil. This Ayurvedic herbal oil improves overall skin complexion, texture and can even combat acne and scars. Rub a few drops in your hand and gently massage into your skin, or preferably, with a moisturizer or blending oil to be sure you do not have a negative reaction. Rinse after 10 – 15 minutes.

4. Goodbye wrinkles

Ibani’s last Indian beauty secret is a completely new one for me. She recommends daily massaging of your face and reminds us to gently apply our products to our face in circles, moving your fingers from the outer eyelid towards the nose and up over your eyebrows to the outer eye again. Westerners generally tend to do the opposite, which Ibani warns enhances eye wrinkles. She also reminds us to always apply our skincare products in upward strokes for a natural face lift. It’s one of those Indian skin care tips that runs counter to our assumptions but has worked for these women for a long time.

There you have it. The four beauty secrets Indian women have revealed to us! Always use caution when applying new products to your skin. It is recommended to do a patch test on the inside of your arm to see if you have any allergic or negative reactions.