I can truly say I that I have never seen so many beautiful woman than I have seen in India!
Not only do they look poised and elegant in their saris, their hair is long shiny and healthy , often weaved with sweet smelling flowers. On many occasions I was surprised to learn their ages, many have youthful skin, despite the hot climate, they definitely seem to have the anti aging secrets!
In South India I'd definitely say coconut was the number one favourite, it's everywhere and grows in abundance there. The woman use it as a beauty product not just topically on skin and hair, but also drinking the coconut water frequently will help to nourish the skin due to its high mineral content and keep the skin rehydrated due to its natural electrolytes.
It's really commonly used for cooking too, in its pure form of raw coconut straight from the dry shell. They literally grate it freshly themselves, avoiding any extra sugars or chemicals in the process. Raw coconut acts to reduce anti inflammation thus aiding the anti gains process, they Also contain medium -chain saturated fats, helping to nourish a dry skin.
It is common for woman to self massage with coconut oil the body before bed too, to increase circulation and nourish, following of course with a head massage of coconut oil.
Another massive Indian beauty must have is turmeric, which I wrote about in a previous newsletter, the beauty benefits internally and externally are due to its high content of vitamin A and beta carotene.
You can mix with the powder with honey or yoghurt and then leave on the skin for 10 minutes as a mask, fair skin should use with caution though, as it's been known to temporary stain the skin! You can also add the tumeric to your warm teas, soups, veggies and dhals for a nutritious boost.
Rosewater, which I also use in my facials is the other big trend amongst woman in India, it's a particularly great way to tone the skin without stripping it, just make sure it doesn't contain alcohol is. It smells divine and is the perfect way of refreshing your skin on a hot day if you keep it in a fridge and then spritz it on to cool you down too.
Being a Pilates teacher means you naturally notice peoples posture and for me this was one if the most interesting things about people watching in India. I really noticed the women had great posture , rather than the slumped shoulders that is so common today, I especially noted too in elderly woman they looked mores youthful and walked with ease. One of my theories is that they often sit on the floor, crossed legged, to sit and chat to friends, to eat, to play with children etc and then they bend forward wth a more neutral spine rather than allowing the spine to 'collapse' down! As humans we weren't really conditioned to sit on chairs so it makes a lot of sense to me.
Next time you see me, hopefully I'll be channeling my 'inner Indian goddess 🤣' .