Sunday, January 11, 2015

Lotus for Skin Care


You might be asking why one would want to use flowers, seeds, and herbs for skin care. I totally understand.

To some, it must seem a bit odd.

But stick with me, because the vibrant flower you see above contains skin-loving goodness. Its dried seeds make a powder that may not be much in the way of eye candy, but can be a whole lot in the way of skin pampering.

Today, we're going to take a look at the lotus flower (INCI: Nelumbo nucifera) and examine why it holds such high regard in the world of Ayurveda.


Ayurvedic Roots - Literally

In India, the lotus is the most sacred of plants and a symbol of spiritual development. Its powdered seeds and roots have a history of Ayurvedic use – for example, to help balance nerves, soothe and calm the mind, provide inner strength, and even to combat stuttering. (I'd love to find a few scientific studies on whether or not that last one has any bearing).


For Skin Care

Lotus seeds are so full of oomph that the dried powder comes with cautions and warnings such as 'do not use undiluted'  and 'maximum concentration of 10%'.

In short, the powder packs quite a punch.


The Beneficial Bits

Because it is made up of so many beneficial components, lotus seeds are good for several things. Here are the headlines of what you'll find in the powder

  • flavinoids (offering antibacterial activity and so much more)
  • saponins (offering cleansing properties) 
  • polyphenols (antioxidant darlings)
  • alkaloids (offering possible sebum-controlling action)
  • zinc compounds (great for problem skin)

There's more too - but I'm sure you get the picture.


What The Beneficial Bits Do For Skin

Lotus powder provides a refreshing, astringent experience that leaves skin smooth and glowing. It also offers toning, balancing, and regenerative properties. For problem skin, it's a powerful aid to battling bumps and spots.

Some claim it helps acne, but there are no studies on this. Looking at its components (zinc compounds and alkaloids), it is awfully tempting to conclude that there could well be something to these claims.


What It Works Well With

Combine lotus powder with green tea, orange blossom, lemon, and/or linden for a synergetic effect.

Powdered lotus seeds aren't much in the way of looks, but both the price tag and the claims indicate these looks could be decieving. I hope to discover this as I work more with this ingredient.


Lotus Projects on the LisaLise To-do List 

Luxurious Soak: a handful of the powder in the tub is said to help relax and aid sleep
Lotus infusion: can be used as the aqueous phase of a lotion or cream
Face mask: mixed with orange peel powder, amla, green tea, and clay for a facial cleanser and/or mask

Try my no-soap, ayurvedic powder face brightening cleanser right here.


Lotus Precautions

  • do not use straight up - mix with other powders - recommended at max 10%
  • if you experience a tingling sensation with use, rinse off immediately
  • do a patch test on the inside of elbow before use



Do Tell

Have you worked with Lotus? What are your experiences? How did it work best for you?


More About Some of the Nerdy Stuff Listed Under the Beneficial Bits 

Flavinoids and Skin Health (Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University)
About Saponins (from this blog)
Polyphenols (wikipedia)

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