Modern life can take it out of you. With work, families and socialising all vying for our attention, it can often feel like there’s no time to keep ourselves fit and healthy, let alone retain the much sought-after youthfulness we’re pressured to maintain.
But perhaps we could take inspiration from other cultures, like India, where life is led at a slower pace. Keeping a healthy diet is an everyday expectation and natural remedies are still commonly used.
Here are some of the daily beauty secrets that keep Indian women looking (and feeling) young.
Some of the herbs and spices that make up an integral part of Indian diets are antioxidant powerhouses. Not just tasty on the tongue, these vital ingredients work away in your body,
purifying the skin and flushing out toxins.
One staple herb used in many Indian dishes is turmeric. This warm orange herb has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidants. Traditionally it is mixed into a paste and applied to the skin on brides faces to draw out pimples and give the skin a warm, healthy glow.
If your skin isn’t quite keeping its youthful plumpness and radiance, dishes containing the slightly more expensive herb saffron will help to promote blood-flow. It can also be applied topically – when mixed with honey and applied to the skin it can brighten even the dullest of complexions.
Western shampoos and conditioners often contain harsh chemicals which can strip the hair of its valuable natural oils, leaving it feeling dry and looking dull. But there are plenty of natural remedies that can lock in that precious moisture.
Honey not only works as an incredible skin purifier when mixed with milk; it can also be used as a moisturising conditioner. Mix a little bit of honey with olive oil and leave on your hair for five minutes. Once you have washed the mixture out of your hair your locks will feel soft and sumptuous, and they’ll smell pretty fantastic too!
For centuries, women in India have used Amal to promote healthy scalps and the growth of full, strong hair. Amal is better known in western countries as ‘gooseberry’. Massage the oil of this vitamin C-rich little berry into your scalp every morning and you will soon see the benefits.
Does your back hurt? Does stress feel like it’s seeping through every one of your pores? Hop on a flight from New York to Goa and sign yourself up for a ten-day yoga retreat. For centuries the meditative practice of yoga has been helping to keep Indians feeling supple and at peace. Not only will this ancient practice help to revitalise your body, but a week spent in the open air, by the sea, paying attention to your physical and mental needs will do you the world of good. Or, if you can’t afford a flight, why not pop down to your local yoga centre? One look at instructors will tell you all you need to know about its health-giving attributes.
So, if you’re in need of restoring your body and rejuvenating your looks, take inspiration from India. And if you’re really in the mood to spoil yourself, why not visit?