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7 Indian Beauty Products That Are Huge Foreign Hits

Naaila Khan

A lot of times, we tend to overlook gold that’s right under our noses - whether a cozy little restaurant in your neighbourhood you somehow never discovered, or winning beauty products that you’ve grown up knowing about but never thought to try. Until people from foreign lands start to rave about them, that is (just like how we love French pharmacy beauty). I mean, we’ve had coconut oil in our hair through our childhood but who knew it would suddenly become such a big deal abroad, right? 

So we thought we’d go down memory lane and our mother’s beauty shelves to discover these local gems we never gave a chance. It might’ve taken a couple celebrities to wax poetic about them for us to notice, but hey, it’s never too late for beauty! 

Here’s a list of homegrown products that you should definitely try and why exactly:

 

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DABUR Vatika Coconut Oil Henna Amla & Lemon

Of course, coconut oil tops this list - an eternal favourite of our mothers and grandmothers and now a sensation the world over. There’s nothing coconut oil can’t fix (except maybe a bad breakup). 

You probably hated the smell as a kid (at least I did), but as things go, we’ve now come to appreciate all the wonders it’s singlehandedly capable of -  soft, shiny hair, a ready moisturiser for dry skin, a great makeup remover, an eye cream substitute, a deep conditioner, the list goes on. 

Dabur has an entire line dedicated to a cocktail of fragrant mixes with coconut bases, and this particular one with a blend of herbs including henna, amla and lemon is especially great to give your hair natural nourishment and keep it super healthy. 

 

KAILAS JEEVAN Multipurpose Ayurvedic Cream

Ayurveda is probably India’s greatest contribution to the world of beauty - a natural, holistic alternative that was created by the ancient sages, and a time-tested medicinal system that treats and heals from within. And while we love ourselves some ayurvedic beauty (think Kama and Forest Essentials), it took Priyanka Chopra to remind us of this particular multipurpose cream that’s been around forever.

It can be used externally as well as ingested, and is a cure for “everything from acne and burns to a cough and everything in between”, according to her interview. No seriously, everything in between - piles, constipation, cough, vomiting, burns, acne, boils - it seems like there’s nothing this tube can’t do. 

It’s made with a blend of natural herbs and oils like sandalwood, coconut oil and camphor, and as she puts it, “a dollop of this will keep many doctors away”.

 

 

VICCO Turmeric WSO Cream

You probably only remember this as a jingle that’s been stuck in your head for ages (I literally still know the words to it), but never took it seriously for what it really does, which, as the west only recently discovered, is a lot of stuff. 

Turns out, this drug store dark horse featuring anti inflammatory turmeric as its star ingredient, goes on matte, vanishes into your skin, and rejuvenates it from within, leaving it soft and supple. It prevents and cures acne, pimples, boils, blemishes, fine lines and other common skin disorders - even mild rosacea, according to rave reviews. Sure, it might make your face like a sandalwood incense stick, but small price to pay!

 

DR. SINGHA'S Mustard Bath

You’ve probably heard of mustard oil as a great hair conditioner, but do you think you can handle a spicy mustard bath? While it takes a while to wrap your head around bathing in a condiment, note athletes swear by this stuff to soothe muscles on the reg. 

In addition to relieving stress by increasing circulation and drawing out toxins, this Ayurvedic treatment is also great to rejuvenate skin. This particular brand is the queen of mustard baths: just dunk a large tablespoon of the potent yellow powder (this ain’t no frothy bubbles, FYI) to a hot bath, soak it in for at least 20 minutes and be ready for it to sting a little. All worth it though, because you’re going to come out with super soft, glow skin, albeit with a spicy, lingering scent. Lindsay Ellingson, model and founder of Wander Beauty, is a fan: “You’ll sleep like a baby and wake up as fresh as a daisy!”

BIOTIQUE BOTANICALS Bhringraj Therapeutic Oil

An Indian brand that’s been around for years now (I remember my mother using it religiously day after day), Biotique offers products that are a blend of Ayurvedic therapies and 21st-century biotechnology. All their products are natural treatments and one-stop solutions for all skin concerns, created especially for women living under the tropical sun. 

This oil is made of pure bhringraj, butea frondosa, amla and centella blended with coconut oil and goat milk to help treat alopecia and other causes of hair loss by nourishing the scalp and diminishing greying. They also make a divine sandalwood lotion with SPF 50 which foreigners love taking home with them - has to mean something, right?

 

HIMALAYA Kajal

While Himalaya is best known for its herbal supplements, it also makes a particularly great kajal - a silky, light hued black one with almond and castor oils, Damask rose to cool and Triphala, an ingredient extracted from the Indian gooseberry. Plus, the vintage conical shape really makes you feel like you’re in a charming time warp. If you’ve been looking for a natural alternative to kohl pencil, this is it - especially if you tend to use it daily.

 

DABUR Gulabari Rose Water

Rosewater is great for rebalancing oily or combination skin, especially when it’s used in its pure form. It calms and soothes oily skin and is a great midday pick-me-up. But the great thing about rosewater is that it can be used in a variety of DIY face masks - and we love ourselves some at-home face masks any day of the week!

For oily skin, try combining this with Fuller’s earth and sandalwood for an oil-absorbing treatment, and for other skin types, mix yogurt, honey, and almond oil to Fuller’s earth and rosewater.

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