Canada's No#1 South Asian English Weekly for 30 Years

10 South Asian beauty secrets to add to your routine


May 18th, 2018

Portrait of an attractive young woman going through her morning routine

For generations, South Asians have been using their own secret recipes as part of their beauty routine. Many have grown up using coconut oil and turmeric as part of their regimen to clear up skin, grow healthy hair, and to get a dewy glow.

 That’s why we asked people in the South Asian community to share their best-kept beauty secrets. Here are 10 tips you can steal for a better, healthier glow.

1. Henna

Henna, one of the most popular plants used for beauty in India, is often used on the hair to replenish and strengthen it. It is known to condition the hair and works especially well for split ends.

 “I make henna packs with henna and coconut oil and apply it once a month,” says 32-year-old Toronto resident, Neha Sharma. “Makes such a difference!”

2. Coconut oil

There are so many ways you can implement coconut oil into your beauty routine, from using it as a shaving cream alternative to defrizzing your hair to removing eye makeup, Brown Girl magazine reports. But Mississauga, Ont. resident Anya Mahajan says she uses it for another benefit.

 “I started using coconut oil on my hair, body and face. I’ve noticed my hair [has] grown stronger and shinier, my face feels supple, and my body is more hydrated,” the 23-year-old says.


3. Turmeric

Turmeric powder has long been used by South Asians to reduce blemishes, scars, acne and dark spots. Indian brides, specifically, tend to apply a turmeric mask ahead of their wedding to get a healthy glow.

To make your own mask, 28-year-old Mississauga native Reeya Suwal advises: You will need two tablespoons of flour, half a tablespoon of turmeric powder, a quarter cup of yogurt, half a tablespoon of lemon juice and honey. Apply the paste to your face and leave on for 20 minutes. You can even add sandalwood to it.”


4. Lemon

“My mum has been using lemon for brightening and exfoliating the skin,” says 21-year-old Torontonian Vanessa Ferns. “The acid helps remove blackheads and works like a charm.”

Lemon juice can also be used on the scalp to get rid of dandruff and flaky skin, as well as boost hair growth, Stylecraze reports.



5. Castor oil

It’s believed that castor oil has moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, Medical News Today reports. That’s why it’s so beneficial in beauty routines.

“Castor oil is a really useful moisturizer for skin,” says Toronto resident Jenny D’Souza, 35.”It helps prevent any wrinkles. It can also be used on your brows if you have really scanty brow hairs.”


6. Honey

Honey has long been used in face masks to give a healthy glow, and for a good reason. “Raw honey is incredible for your skin thanks to its antibacterial properties and hefty serving of skin-saving antioxidants,” natural beauty expert Kim Wallace told SheKnows.

Honey is one of Tara Mascarenhas’ beauty secrets. “Apply honey to a burn or scar as honey has healing properties,” the 47-year-old Oakville native advises.




7. Yogurt

Using yogurt on your skin can make it healthier. In the winter it can be used to hydrate, and in the summer it can be used to even out your complexion. Plus, the nutritious snack can also give you stronger, healthier hair.

“Add yogurt to lemon juice, eggs and honey and make a paste for the hair,” 36-year-old Markham, Ont. resident Diana Singh advises.


8. Gram flour

Gram flour is commonly used in South Asian beauty routines to cleanse and exfoliate the skin, Times of India reports. It can also be used to fade blemishes and brighten the skin.

“I love using gram flour,” says Toronto resident Sarah Goldman, 33. “Add lemon juice and a teaspoon of milk [to] create a paste. Apply it for 30 minutes on the face.”



9. Indian Healing Clay

This deep pore cleanser is known as the “world’s most powerful facial” as the bentonite clay draws out the skin’s impurities. Dajana Gorancic, 28, can attest to the clay’s positive reputation, as can the thousands of reviews on Amazon.

“I love using Indian Healing Clay as it works wonders for clearing my skin,” says the Mississauga native.


10. Fuller’s Earth

“Also known as multani mitti, this is an ancient and popular Indian home remedy,” says 42-year-old Toronto native Jhanvi Wadhwa. “It tightens pores, smooths skin and has intense cleansing properties.”