Even if you’ve never heard about ubtan and its benefits for the skin, you’ll recall it from the auspicious Haldi ceremony that is a part of Indian marriages.


Remember the yellow paste that’s applied all over the body of the groom and the bride?


That paste is none other than Ubtan, a traditional Ayurvedic recipe to detoxify the skin and body. 


Ayurvedic massage with Ubtan (also known as Ubvartan) is one of the vital steps of the ritual of Solah Shringar, the sixteen ways of beautifying the woman’s body during the marriage. 


It’s believed that exfoliating the body with ubtan prepares the bride and the groom to detach from the old life (through the removal of dead cells from the skin) and prepare for the new. 


According to the ancient Indian texts, the origin of Ubtan dates back to the Vedic times. Since those times, Ubtan’s popularly used for beautification and protection of skin.


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What is Ubtan?

Ubtan is an Ayurvedic body cleanser is packed with essential herbs and minerals that yield healthy and fresh skin. The concoction smells beautifully of herbs, spices, cereals, pulses, and nuts that work together to deeply cleanse the skin to reveal a natural glow.


The various recipes of ubtan use different ingredients but some of the most common ingredients are oatmeal, chickpea flour, almonds, turmeric, masoor dal, neem powder, and fennel. Some people even add saffron and sandalwood powder to the ubtan paste to brighten the complexion.


The unique blend of ingredients used to prepare Ubtan softens and smoothes while effectively cleansing and exfoliating.


Before we look at various ubtan recipes, let’s explore the ingredients for ubtan and their benefits for the skin.


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Ayurvedic Ubtan Recipe Ingredients

Though there are many variations that can be made to Ubtan to make it suitable for the specific needs of your skin, the traditional Ayurvedic recipe for Ubtan uses the following ingredients to form the paste.


  1. 1. Oatmeal - The Perfect Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin

Oatmeal is ideal for sensitive skin because it is an excellent moisturizer with skin healing, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and itch relieving benefits. The gritty nature of oats makes it an excellent scrub for sensitive skin that cannot tolerate the usual exfoliators.


2. Turmeric - For Healing The Skin

Turmeric is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent which has Kapha and Pitta balancing properties. Turmeric is also an antiseptic that helps with clearing out skin pigmentation and evens out the complexion. About a pinch of turmeric is added to prepare ubtan paste as per the traditional Ayurvedic recipe.


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3. Almond - For Gentle Exfoliation

Almond replenishes the lost nutrients in the skin, reduces acne and makes the skin look healthier. Almond powder is made by soaking the almonds in fresh cream or milk for a few hours and then grounding the almonds after peeling off their skin. To prepare ubtan, almonds are used in its powdered form.


4. Neem - The Ultimate Remedy For Acne-Prone Skin

Traditionally, neem leaf extract has been used in face packs for acne-prone skin. Due to its anti-bacterial properties, Neem powder is prepared from neem leaves and added to Ubtan. 


5. Sandalwood Powder - For Natural Glow

Sandalwood (Chandan) is also a natural astringent that tightens the pores so that skin appears super smooth and naturally radiant. It also has a soothing smell that relaxes the senses. If you suffer from acne, then the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of sandalwood can help you in reducing and preventing acne. However, it’s not advised to use ubtan on active acne. 


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6. Fennel - For Deep Cleansing

Fennel is a wonder herb from the parsley family known for its cleansing properties. It unclogs the pores by pulling out all the excess oil, dead skin cells, dirt, etc and also helps in fighting wrinkles. 


The cleansing and toning effect of fennel on the skin is especially helpful for those with oily skin. Fennel is also added to ubtan to use it for removing ingrown hair.


7. Green Gram Flour and Chickpea flour - For Nourishing The Skin

Green gram flour or chickpea flour are other important ingredients of Ayurvedic ubtan recipe. They are rich in rejuvenating vitamins such as Vitamin A, B, and C which provide a natural glow to the skin. Either or both of them can be used to prepare ubtan paste. They also serve as an effective skin-lightening agent and reduces skin pigmentation to reveal a healthy complexion.


How to make Ubtan at home?

Now that you know about the key ingredients of Ubtan, you can combine them to create your own ubtan paste at home. 


  1. 1. Ayurvedic Ubtan for body

Grind eight to nine almonds (preferably soaked overnight and peels removed) and grind them to get almond powder. Now, combine them with a cup of gram flour and half a cup of oatmeal. Now, add about a tablespoon of neem powder, a pinch of turmeric and about half a tablespoon of fennel powder. Make a thick paste by adding rose water


Apply this paste all over your body and let it dry for some time. Once the paste is dry, scrub it off gently and wash with normal water. For those having dry skin, milk can be added to prepare the paste instead of water.


If you don’t have the time to collect the necessary ingredients and prepare your own ubtan, then you can use Kama Ayurveda’s Ubtan Soap Free Body Cleanser. It is one of the best Ayurvedic ubtans and has all the key ingredients that balance and retexturize the skin. It’s 100% percent natural cleanser with no harmful laurel sulfates. 


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There’s no simpler way to treat your body with the goodness of Ayurvedic ubtan. You can simply add water to it and apply it all over your body. 


Exfoliating with this Ubtan leaves you feeling alert and refreshed with skin that is noticeably smoother and glowing.


This ubtan evens out the skin tone and reduces the appearance of cellulite. It effectively clears away dirt, oil, and impurities without drying out the skin and hence it’s suitable for sensitive skin as well.


2. Ayurvedic Ubtan For Face

To make ubtan for face, combine one tablespoon sandalwood powder, one tablespoon of oatmeal and 3 tablespoons of chickpea flour (besan) in a mixing bowl. To this, add half a tablespoon of neem powder, half a tablespoon of fennel powder and a pinch of turmeric. Now, add six to seven finely grounded almonds (preferably soaked overnight and peels removed). 


Take the desired quantity of the powder and make a paste by using water. For oily skin, use rose water to make the paste and for dry skin, you can use milk or yogurt.


If you don’t have the time to collect the necessary ingredients and prepare your own ubtan, then you can use Kama Ayurveda’s Mridul Soap Free Cleanser. It is one of the best Ayurvedic cleansers and has all the key ingredients of Ubtan for the face. It’s also 100% percent natural with no harmful laurel sulfates. 


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It is a herbal powder that transforms into a cleansing paste to effectively clear away dirt, oil, and impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oil. It refines facial pores, mildly exfoliates and smoothens the overall texture of the skin.


Brightening ingredients like sandalwood and turmeric help in bringing out a glowing complexion. For this reason, this ubtan can also be used on the brides. Since this is an all-natural and soap-free facial cleanser, it is suitable for sensitive as well as damaged skin. 


Benefits of Ubtan

We all want that glowing skin and ubtan is the oldest and purest cosmetic that can help you achieve your skin goals. 


If you’re still wondering why you should make so many efforts to make ubtan and apply it on your face and body regularly, then a look at these benefits of ubtan will convince you. Let’s look at the few reasons why ubtan continues to be so popular for natural skincare


  1. 1. Ubtan brings out the natural glow

Gentle exfoliation with natural ingredients like gram flour leaves the skin feeling fresh. Sandalwood powder is known for brightening the skin complexion. Regularly using ubtan to exfoliate your body and face will help you get radiant and spot-free skin. Leave the ubtan on your skin for 15-20 minutes to give the ingredients enough time to work on your skin. 


2. Ubtan cleanses the skin deeply

The importance of cleansing the skin well is emphasized in all beauty routines. However, choosing the right cleanser can be a nightmare. Many times, we spend a lot of money on expensive face washes only to be discouraged when they result in skin breakouts or excessive skin dryness. 


You can leave behind all that fuss and count on ubtan for clearing out all the dirt, impurities from within. You will see a noticeable difference even with a single application of ubtan.


3. Ubtan makes you look younger

Turmeric, the key ingredient in ubtan makes the skin appear youthful by reversing the signs of aging. Turmeric has anti-oxidants that work to restore lost luster and moisture of the skin. Turmeric also treats flakiness and heals skin from damage caused by the sun and pollution.

Not only this, turmeric and sandalwood present in ubtan act as natural toners and also prevent acne.


4. Ubtan helps in removing facial hair and ingrown hair

Facial hair and ingrown hair on the body is a cause of concern for many people. While ubtan can not remove this hair perfectly, scrubbing your skin with ubtan leads to natural removal of some of ingrown and facial hair. In the older days, babies were massaged with ubtan to gently remove the hair from their body.


FAQ about Ubtan

Here, let’s answer your most common doubts about using for your skin.


  1. 1. Can we apply ubtan on body daily?

Since ubtan is a 100% natural paste, it can be applied to the body daily. For regular application on face, Mridul Soap Free Cleanser is recommended. 


2.  Are there any side effects of ubtan?

There are no side effects of ubtan and it’s suitable for sensitive skin as well. However, you may perform a patch test.


3. What is Ubtan called in English?

Ubtan originated in India and has its roots in Ayurveda. It’s known as Ubtan only.


4. Does Ubtan remove facial hair?

Ubtan contains ingredients like turmeric and gram powder that are effective in removing hair however, the hair removal will depend on the thickness of hair and the skin type. It’s effective in removing body hair of babies.


5. How to use Ubtan for oily skin?

For oily skin, you can add ingredients like lemon and curd that help in reducing the oiliness of the skin.


6. How to use Ubtan for dry skin?

For dry skin, add moisturizing ingredients like honey, milk powder, milk or cream to your ubtan paste.


7. Are there any readymade ubtans that I can buy?

Kama Ayurveda’s Ubtan Soap Free Body Cleanser is a ready-to-use ubtan. You can simply add rose water or milk to it and start using it on your body.


References

  1. Evaluation of Ubtan- A Traditional Indian Skin Care Formulation
  2. Standardization and Evaluation of Ubtan - a traditional Indian unani formulation
  3. Topical Curcumin: A Review of Mechanisms and uses in Dermatology
  4. Sandalwood for Skin Ageing - A review