When I started my skincare brand Neeta Naturals, I knew it was essential to include Saffron along with other powerful ayurvedic ingredients like Neem, Turmeric, Shatavari, Ashwagandha, and Amla in my wellness line. Growing up in India, I learned the value of incorporating saffron into culinary and beauty recipes. Saffron, both when ingested in your favorited dishes and when applied topically in beauty recipes, supports beautiful, healthy skin.
Saffron is also known as 'kesar' in Hindi and comes from the dried stigmas of the beautiful crocus sativus flower. The long, red stringy fibers are called "threads" and are carefully removed from the flower by hand. That's why saffron may be the most expensive spice in the world.
Once limited to royalty, Queen Jodha of Rajasthan, India was well known for her flawless beauty, it is believed that she used saffron-infused milk baths to lighten and smooth her skin in preparation to meet her beloved Kind Akbar. The benefits of saffron are also mentioned in the New York best-selling book 'Almond eyes lotus feet' by Shalini Holkar. Indian women grew up knowing this beauty secret and incorporate saffron into their daily skincare routines to brighten, nourish all skin types and to soothe an inflamed complexion. Many of Neeta Naturals products contain saffron, Luxuriously Hydrating Facial Oil, and Red Gold Serum, among others.
Below are some skin care recipes, I used some of these to prepare for my wedding. They are easy to make, and although saffron is costly, don't worry, you only need a few strands per recipe. It is worth the investment, as you will love the results.
Saffron contains more than 150 volatile compounds, among them, manganese, Vitamin C, iron, potassium, and other antioxidants. It is known for its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties, and is considered by some to be one of nature's miracle spices.
Saffron can hasten the process of skin
recovery, and with consistent use can help to lighten the appearance of
Recipe: Take 2 tsp of coconut oil and crush saffron into the oil. Apply directly to the scars.
If you prefer a ready to use product, Neeta Naturals Ayurvedic Eladi Light facial oil for sensitive skin contains saffron along with other beneficial ingredients.
Saffron has amazing anti-bacterial and
anti-inflammatory properties for treating acne. If you are suffering from any
type of acne, saffron can help.
Recipe 1: Take a teaspoon of turmeric powder, 4 threads of saffron, and a teaspoon of milk (raw milk). Mix everything into a paste and apply it to the area. Wash off after an hour. Doing this daily will heal the pimples sans any marks.
Recipe 2: Take 3-4 fresh
basil leaves and pinch of saffron strands. Soak them in clean water, make them
into a paste, and apply to blemishes.
Or use Neeta Naturals Ayurvedic Kama facial oil for acne control.
Saffron can be an excellent natural ingredient
for reducing pigmentation and brown spots.
Recipe: Soak a few strands of saffron in clean water. Add this to 1 tbsp of turmeric powder, 1 tbsp of sandalwood powder and make a paste. Apply this on areas you have pigmentation and dark spots.
Glowing Skin Saffron has carotenoids, which can help repair cell damage and reduce the signs of aging.
Recipe: Mix a few strands of saffron with a tablespoon of honey and gently apply with light massaging pressure to your face. Leave the mask on for about 10 minutes before rinsing off. This double-dose of antioxidants will hydrate and heal damaged skin and help to restore a youthful glow.
Saffron has a long history in ancient Ayurveda
traditions to enhance beauty, improve complexion, and promote flawless
Complexion Mask: Dissolve a couple of saffron threads in warm water and mix it into an almond paste (take 3-5 raw almonds, add some water and grind them to make a paste). Apply this Ubtan (natural face pack) to your face and let it dry. Wet hands with water and gently (in small circular motions) rub your skin. Finish by rinsing with warm water.
Neeta Naturals Ayurvedic Ubtan facemask is a ready to use mask and perfect for sensitive skin.
After cleansing your skin, it is beneficial to
apply a toner. Natural toners help to balance soothe and refresh the
Recipe: For a natural saffron facial toner, mix a few saffron strands in rose water and let it sit for a few minutes. Afterward, use a cotton ball to dab the solution on your face. This toner will keep your skin looking bright and fresh.
Or use Neeta Naturals Rose Geranium Toner w saffron for clean, clear skin.
Ayurvedic Beauty Drink
In India, we often drink saffron and
turmeric-infused milk to support the immune system and promote restful
Recipe: Take one cup of milk (cow/goat), add 6-8 saffron strands, and 1 tsp of freshly grated turmeric. For those of you who are lactose intolerant, you can infuse the saffron in tea or water.
Drink 1 cup of saffron milk every day before you go to sleep, your sleep will improve, and the active ingredients in saffron will help to make your skin glow.
Board-certified dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali MD, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. He is internationally recognized as an expert in the fields of cosmetic and medical dermatology, and is a media advisory member for the American Academy of Dermatology.
Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali says because it is an anti-inflammatory, saffron is also ideal for those with sensitive skin, “It’s a calming ingredient and provides great brightening properties,” he says. “As an antioxidant, it can protect against UV damage and pollutants that produce free radicals.”
In other words, saffron is an all-around healing powerhouse, both internally and externally. On the skin, it can brighten, protect and heal.
How to choose quality saffron?
It takes 170,000 flowers to get one kilo of saffron stems and per kilo, it is more expensive than gold. When quality saffron is harvested, it's extracted within 24 hours to stay at its most potent state, maintaining its efficacy in skincare.
Like other exotic spices, some of the saffron on the market is poor quality or has been adulterated. Look for saffron that is deep red with orange tips and does not have any white or yellow spots.
As you can see, saffron has many benefits for skincare. These quick and easy DIY recipes are an excellent way for you to experience the many skin benefits of saffron.