Show your hands if you keep oil-blotting paper in your bag and regularly use it throughout the day. Although we want a healthy glow, there’s a clear distinction between radiant and feeling like a glazed donut. Blotting papers do the trick – with instant gratification. Just press a sheet where you see your skin emitting a shine and look, now you are more like a mochi than a donut. But if you feel frustrated because your going through them very fast you may want to address the root cause.
It’s helpful to first understand what is the cause of oily skin. Everyone has sebaceous glands under each pore. The sebaceous glands produce a waxy oily substance called sebum. This waxy substance is vital for lubricating and keeping your skin healthy.
Oily and dry skin are like the 2 sides of a coin. Things like your genetics, hormonal changes, and certain medication can cause the sebaceous glands to make too much or too little sebum.
Taming oily skin is not about completely getting rid of it with harsh cleansers and not moisturising. You may be provoking your skin to go into overdrive. When it experiences dryness, it compensates end you end up with overactive sebaceous glands.
The keyword is balance so that the sebum production of your skin stays at a healthy level and you can do that with a simple ingredient. Chickpeas are naturally cleansing and can draw out excess sebum and other dirt out of the pores leaving behind balanced skin.
A little bit about the ingredient
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) or garbanzo or gram are either black, green, red, brown, or beige. Its most common type is Kabouli which is beige in colour. The plant is a legume and belongs to the Fabaceae family. It’s related to soy and adzuki beans.
The name chickpea comes from the Middle French word “pois chiche”. Chiche in turn comes from Latin cicer.
It’s believed that chickpeas were one of the first cultivated crops. The Chickpeas found at a neolithic site in Turkey were estimated to be 7500 years old. They then spread to the Mediterranean region and India.
Chickpeas are still one of the most popular legumes nowadays. You can find all kinds of dishes around the world with humus probably being the most famous. It’s also not surprising that some cultures use chickpeas to make a grain-free and versatile flour for centuries.
Did you know they weren’t food but ground roasted chickpeas were used as a substitute in Europe in the 1700s and later in WWI?
Eating more legumes is a great way to increase your intake of fibre and it’s no different with chickpeas. Fibre helps your digestion process and keeps your skin free from oil.
A range of nutrients is present in chickpeas including protein which your body needs for bone, muscle, and skin health. Other than proteins, they contain vitamins and minerals including
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
Vitamin B5 is also known as panthenol and is key in keeping your skin moisturised while also decreasing oil production and secretion.
Beta carotene together with selenium and saponin present in chickpeas have antioxidant properties which help your body fight the harmful effects of free radicals.
Beauty benefits of chickpeas
Chickpeas are especially great for oily skin types, but it has upsides for everyone.
The bioactive compound saponin makes chickpeas a natural cleanser. While chickpeas remove oil, grime, and other impurities on your skin as well as in your pores, it balances your skin and regulates oil production.
As an excellent source of protein, chickpeas encourage cell growth and maintenance in your body. Growing and repairing cells encourages a glowing complexion. The protein present is also needed for youthful, bouncy skin. Collagen and elastin are two proteins that have the job of keeping your skin firm and elastic. Proteins are also needed to maintain healthy hair and nails.
Healthy cell growth and maintenance are supported by the vitamin B complex.
Chickpeas are a terrific anti-inflammatory both as food and in skin care. This is thanks to the antioxidants such as beta carotene and saponin present. These help neutralise free radicals and decrease inflammation.
DIY skin care with chickpeas
For this at home skin care, you need chickpea flour. Chickpea flour has been long been used in traditional skin care because it’s easy to make. You only need a good blender.
Start by buying dried organic chickpeas. You can either grind roasted or raw chickpeas. Unlike other foods, its nutrients remain bioavailable no matter if it’s cooked, roasted, or raw.
The easiest way is to put a handful of chickpea flour in a muslin pouch. When you need it, just moisten the bag and rub it against your skin.
If you want to up the ante, mix half a cup of chickpea flour with half a cup of oatmeal and 4 drops of hyssop essential oil. Store the mixture in an airtight container. When you want to cleanse, mix one teaspoon of the mixture with a little bit of water. Apply it to wet skin and rinse off thoroughly.
For the exfoliator, don’t grind the chickpeas into fine flour but into a coarse mix. You need about a cup of the coarsely ground chickpeas. Place the coarse mix in bowl and mix it with one tablespoon of rice flour. Again, store the mixture in an airtight container.
Take the mixture and mix it with a little bit of water, milk, or yogurt. Only add as much liquid to turn it into a scrub. You can use this gentle scrub on your face and your body.
You can either take only chickpea flour, or the mixture for the natural cleanser or exfoliator and mix it with a little bit of honey or your preferred tea (such as green tea or rooibos). Mix until you get a smooth paste and apply to cleansed face. After 10 – 15 minutes rinse of rinse off thoroughly.
It can be easy to use harsh skin care but that only drives your skin into secreting more natural oils. Using blotting paper is fine and dandy but it’s just a quick fix. You’re not getting to the root cause. And if you don’t take care of it, you may be laying the ground stones for clogged enlarged pores and ultimately zits.
Not only is chickpea flour a gentle exfoliator it also is an effective cleanser that helps you regulate oil production.