Saffron or kesar


Saffron or kesar – Get beautiful skin naturally
Saffron or kesar has been used as a beauty ingredient for a

very long time. Your mothers or grannies may have told you about its magical properties to heal the skin and used it albeit sparingly when making face packs. It is possibly the most expensive of spices but saffron has qualities that justify its value. An excellent agent to purify skin, it also has anti-bacterial properties to cure acne. There are many who claim it improves complexion by lightening the skin tone. What it does is improve the quality of your skin by removing the dirt and impurities. The only drawback, if any, is its cost but on the plus side, you only need a pinch of kesar to reap in its benefits.

For glowing skin

The skin tends to get dry and dull in the winters. In order to get its glow back, make a pack using saffron and honey. Take a spoonful of honey and add a few strands of kesar in it. Mix it and apply on the face. The hydrating properties of honey and the healing properties of saffron improve blood circulation adding the glow back to the skin.

For skin brightening
Soak a few strands of saffron in milk for a good half-an-hour to let the milk get its colour and other benefits. Add a teaspoon of sandalwood powder or chandan to this and apply the pack on your face and neck. Keep it for 15-20 minutes before washing it off. Regular use of this pack will help improve and brighten your skin tone.

To remove tan

Soak saffron in milk cream or malai and steep overnight. Blend this in the morning with your fingers and apply on the affected area. This will lighten your tan effectively. It has the added benefit of adding a glow to your skin as well. (Read: Traditional Indian beauty secrets)

To tone the skin

A toner is used after cleansing the skin. If you want a natural one, mix saffron in rose water and let it give its colour to it. After that, dab it on the face with a cotton ball. Many women add strands of saffron to their hot bath water and bathe in it. This keeps the skin look young for a longer time.

To get rid of acne

If your skin is prone to pimples, make a paste of saffron and tulsi leaves (basil) by grinding the two. Its anti-bacterial properties will help reduce the infection. Apply it on the acne and blemish and leave it to dry before washing it off with water. But you will need regular application for the acne to disappear.

How to store kesar

Even a small quantity of saffron is expensive so it is important that you store it well. Keep it in an air-tight container (preferably glass) in a cool, dark place to avoid the effect of moisture and light on it. If stored properly, you can use it for several years before it loses its colour and properties.

How to spot real saffron

A spice like saffron has many fake versions so it is important to be a bit careful in order to not get duped. Many vendors sell low quality kesar mixed with coloured ingredients that resemble saffron. Remember, the highest quality of saffron is deep red with orange tips. It does not have any white or yellow spots.

Another way to detect real saffron is to soak it in water. See how long it takes for the colour to change and the sweet aroma to spread. Real saffron will at least take 15 minutes for these to happen while fake, coloured ones will give out the colour immediately without much aroma. Though saffron is also available in the powdered form, buy the strands as it is difficult to spot if the powder is pure or adulterated

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