Ubtan is a type of face scrub that was traditionally used by the brides in the subcontinent before their weddings to look fresh and glowing on their big day. It was usually made at home with fresh ingredients that were beneficial for the skin. In fact, a lot of well to do families had special maids who would come every day apply ubtan to the brides to be. Today, most youngsters would rather opt for a scrub rather than ubtan. However, most scrubs and exfoliators available in the market contain irritants and harmful chemicals that can do more harm than good. Moreover, wouldn’t it be more fun to whip up your own ubtan powder at home? Let’s get right into it!
Making ubtan powder is a fun process. There are no hard and fast rules. There are tons of ingredients to choose from and you can mix and match according to your skin concern. So, if your skin is oily, you should look for ingredients that deep cleanse the skin and refine pores. If your skin is dry, you should look for more hydrating ingredients.
I remember the first time I made my ubtan! I looked for different recipes until I found the one I liked. I have come a long way since then. In fact, I have my own ubtan recipe now which I use regularly. I no longer routinely buy scrubs as I believe that ubtan is a good natural exfoliator. If you find the right combination of ingredients which suit your skin, you will not need an exfoliator. That does not mean I am demonizing exfoliators! There are a lot of good ones available in the market. St Ives has some really good one and I even accidentally bought the blemish control one. But trust me, I did not regret the purchase and if you are currently suffering from acne, I highly recommend it. I will do a detailed review of it later on.
Here is a list of ingredients that you may use in your ubtan:
Dried Orange Peels
Dried orange peels are an integral part of ubtan powder. Dried orange peels contain vitamin C which brightens skin tones, diminishes marks, removes hyperpigmentation, and boost collagen production. Orange peels also contain vitamin A which promote healthy skin growth and keep skin healthy. Vitamin A is also good for oily skin. So, basically, orange peel powders are great for people with oily and acne-prone skin.
Making dried orange peels powder is incredibly easy. It’s something I do every winter during the orange season. After you are done peeling an orange, do not throw the peel away. Keep it in a place that receives sunlight instead. I keep mine on a window sill in my balcony. Leave the peels there for about a week or until dry and crispy. Once you feel they are dry, put them in your grinder and grind them into a fine powder. Store the orange peel powder in an airtight box. I make around 2-3 small jars every winter and they last me the whole year. If you prefer not to make your own orange peel powder, I think Organic Orange Peel Powder 100% Fresh is incredibly affordable.
Dried Lemon Peels
Just like orange peel powder, dried lemon peels powder also contain vitamin C. Additionally, lemon peels also contain alpha hydroxy acid (AHAs). AHAs are pretty popular in the skincare world as they exfoliate the top layer of skin and make skin look bright and fresh.
The process of making dried lemon peels powder is similar to that of orange peel powder. Just take lemon peels and leave them to dry in a sunny part of your house for around a week. After that, grind them to a fine powder. If you would rather buy your lemon peel powder, Naturevibe Botanicals has 100% pure lemon peel powder.
Dried Pomegranate Peels
This is a rather new discovery for me. I have been making pomegranate peels powder since last year. Pomegranate powder contains antioxidants and vitamin C. It is antibacterial too. Nutrients in pomegranate peel powder also prevent collagen breakdown and promote healthy skin. You can make pomegranate powder the same way as lemon peel powder. If you would rather buy your pomegranate peel powder, Organic Punica Granatum is selling a half pound pack for $9.51 only.
Dried Milk Powder
Milk powder contains lactic acid which is a popular alpha hydroxy acid. Lactic acid is great for acne-prone skin. It also fights wrinkles and fine lines. Since lactic acid is a great exfoliator, milk powder is an ideal ingredient for ubtan powder.
Almonds contain vitamin E which is great for the healing of acne scars. Vitamin E also reduces hyperpigmentation and brighten skin tone. Ground almonds are a great natural scrub. Powdered almond can exfoliate skin and get rid of dead skin cells.
Dried Neem Leaves
Neem is highly antibacterial so it is great for people suffering from skin diseases and skin infections such as acne and eczema.
To use neem leaves in your ubtan powder, you need to dry them and grind them in a powder. However, neem leaves are not dried under the sun. Wash neem leaves and keep it somewhere inside your house. I kept mine under my bed! Let them dry till they are crispy. Once they feel crisp, grind them in a fine powder.
Licorice Root Powder
Licorice is a natural alternative to hydroquinone, which is used for skin brightening. Licorice also contains glabridin, which inhibits an enzyme called tyrosinase. Tyrosinase causes pigmentation when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Licorice powder can also help reduce dark pigmentation. You can make licorice powder by grinding licorice root.
Also Read: Get Rid Of Acne Naturally With These Tips
Nutmeg has astringent properties and it is highly anti-inflammatory so it is great for people suffering from acne. Nutmeg is a great exfoliator too. It is helpful for getting rid of dead skin cells that make your complexion dull. To use nutmeg in your ubtan powder, crush it into powder form by using mortar and pestle.
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Chickpea flour or besan is a great natural cleanser. Besan works by absorbing excess oil and sebum from the skin. Besan is also an integral part of ubtan.
Rice flour brightens skin and regular use of rice flour can help you fight imperfections such as hyperpigmentation and acne marks. You can make your own rice flour at home but is better to buy it as it is pretty affordable and making your own rice flour can be a hassle.
Along with the dry ingredients, you need liquid ingredients to make it into a paste. You can use olive oil as it contains vitamin E and is very hydrating. However, I do not recommend using olive oil if you have an acne prone skin. If you have dry skin, it is a good to use olive oil in your ubtan.
Another great option for people with dry skin is coconut oil. Coconut oil is antibacterial and antifungal. It is also very moisturizing.
Lemon juice is full of vitamin C, so it is great for brightening skin. Lemon juice can also lighten acne marks and hyperpigmentation. Lemon juice is also a natural bleach.
Milk cream or malai, as it is known in Pakistan, is a great moisturizer. It contains proteins and vitamins which can fight signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine line.
Cinnamon powder is great for people suffering from acne. Cinnamon can kill the acne-causing bacteria. Cinnamon powder dries out pimples and improves blood and oxygen flow to the face.
Any beauty regimen that originates in the subcontinent is incomplete without turmeric! Turmeric is great for acne scars and hyperpigmentation. It is also great for brightening the skin tone. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory so it can be very soothing for your skin. The best part is that turmeric is available in everyone’s kitchen!
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Rose water is a great natural face toner. It is also anti-inflammatory so it can keep skin infections at bay. Rose water is very calming. It is also great for refining pores. If you are not sure which one to buy, try Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater.
My Go To Ubtan Recipe
I have listed a lot of ubtan ingredients above. However, you do not need to add them all to your ubtan. You should mix and match ubtan ingredients according to your needs. I have an oily, acne-prone skin, and following is my ubtan recipe:
- 1 teaspoon dried orange powder
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate peel powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon peel powder
- 1 teaspoon flour (rice/wheat/gram)
- 2 tablespoons of milk
Just mix all the ingredients. Do not add to much milk as we want a paste. Apply it to your face using your fingertips. Leave it on for 5 minutes and then scrub your face and wash off.
If you have a dry skin, I suggest the following ubtan recipe for you:
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate peel powder
- 1 teaspoon cream or yogurt
- 1 teaspoon ground almond
- 1 teaspoon milk
Ever since I have discovered ubtan, I have not looked back. The best part is that it is a very natural exfoliant. It will keep your complexion healthy and glowing. My ubtan powder recipe is fairly simple and it is also really simple to make so do try it!
Share your ubtan powder recipes with us by commenting below!