Besan or Gram Flour – Beauty Benefits & Home Remedies

One of the most common ingredients one can find in Indian kitchens is besan or gram flour. After the wheat flour, besan is the most common kind of flour used in the in the Indian cuisine for mainly the purpose of cooking. It is actually a kind of pulse flour made from chickpeas. These chickpeas can either be roasted or raw. The flour made from the roasted chickpeas is more flavourful and more commonly used as the besan obtained by pulsing raw chickpeas has a slightly bitter taste. There are several tempting dishes which can be prepared from besan (as is widely done in India). However, not many know that this simple ingredient is not just for adding extra flavour, but also has numerous beauty benefits.

This article provides you with all the uses of gram flour which will prove to be helpful to you.

Benefits of besan for our skin

It is beneficial for oily skin

Besan is extremely beneficial for oily skin as it helps to absorb excess oil and sebum from the skin. It dries up on the skin very quickly and in doing so, it helps to tighten open pores. To help with oily skin, a homemade face pack made with simple ingredients including gram flour can be prepared.

  • Besan-lemon face pack

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of besan
  • 2 tablespoons of rosewater, and
  • 5 tablespoons of lemon juice

How to:

  1. Mix besan with rose water and fresh lemon juice. Make sure there are no dry lumps. You will obtain a paste-like consistency.
  2. Apply this paste on your face and neck evenly.
  3. Allow the face pack to dry completely.
  4. This will take about 15 minutes.
  5. Rinse using cold water and pat dry using a towel.
  6. Follow up with a gel-based moisturiser.

Why this works:

  • Besan helps to absorb excess oil from the pores as well as pull out dirt from the clogged pores.
  • Lemon is a natural lighting remedy. Oily skin can look dull due to the accumulation of grime and dirt on the face, especially around the forehead and nose area. Lemon juice helps to remove that dullness.

It is a natural exfoliator

An exfoliator is a substance or ingredient which helps to remove the layer of dead or damaged skin from the body due to its slightly abrasive nature. It is also commonly known as scrubbing. Exfoliating is an important skincare step. While there are plenty of scrubs available in the markets, you can prepare your own facial or body scrub using besan. Due to its granular texture, it acts as an exfoliator for the skin and helps to get rid of dry patches as well as rough skin.

  • Besan-yoghurt scrub

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of besan
  • 1 tablespoon of yoghurt
  • a pinch of turmeric

How to:

  1. Combine the two ingredients well enough.
  2. Begin by cleaning your face using a mild cleanser.
  3. Pat your face dry.
  4. Take the besan scrub and apply this paste evenly on your face.
  5. Let it dry.
  6. After about 10 minutes, wet your hands and start scrubbing your face without removing the besan.
  7. Use circular motions to exfoliate your skin.
  8. Work slowly using wet hands so that you don’t wash away the flour.
  9. Scrub for 5 minutes and then rinse your face using cold water.
  10. Follow up with a moisturiser. You can use this remedy twice a week.

How this works:

  • Besan helps to exfoliate the skin while yoghurt helps to nourish the skin.
  • Using besan alone would be too abrasive on the skin. Hence yoghurt helps to make it milder on the skin.
  • Turmeric is anti-bacterial in nature and helps to reduce acne as well as scarring. 

Helps to reduce facial hair

Different options are available to get rid of facial hair. But these remedies include chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and other bleaching agents which don’t remove the facial hair but only lighten them to reduce their appearance. Such chemical treatments can prove to be harmful for the skin in the long run. Other options like facial waxing and threading are painful and lead to tugging and pulling of the skin. If you are looking for natural alternatives to help reduce the facial hair then besan will prove to be helpful.

  • Besan-fenugreek pack

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of besan
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

How to:

  1. Soak the fenugreek seeds in water for at least 5-6 hours.
  2. After they are well-soaked, put them in a blender. Add the gram flour and honey. Grind into a paste.
  3. Apply this paste to your clean face and focus on the areas with more hair growth such as the upper lips, hairline and cheekbones.
  4. Let this pack stay on your face for half an hour.
  5. Without using any water, scrub the pack around the areas with hair.
  6. Remove the face pack using circular motions while it is dry.
  7. Wash away the residue using cold water.
  8. Repeat this remedy twice a week to see faster results.

How this works:

  • Besan and fenugreek seeds contain compounds that help to reduce the rate of hair growth.
  • Honey contains natural lightening agents which help to reduce the appearance of dark facial hair. 

Helps to reduce skin pigmentation

Skin pigmentation can be attributed to several factors. It can be the result of environmental exposures such as the harsh sunlight or pollution. This can result in facial tanning as well as hyper pigmentation in places such as cheekbones and around the mouth. A poor diet can also lead to skin dullness. However, these issues can be solved with the besan- rice flour skin lightening face pack.

  • Besan-rice flour pack

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of besan
  • 2 tablespoons of rice flour
  • 1/4th cup of lemon juice

How to:

  1. Simply mix all the ingredients together to form a paste.
  2. Apply this paste on your clean face and neck.
  3. You can also use this specifically on the areas with hyperpigmentation.
  4. Let this paste dry and then rinse off using cold water. You can repeat this remedy every day or every alternate day to see results.

How this works:

  • Besan and rice flour are both known to help with hyperpigmentation.
  • Rice flour helps to get rid of pigmentation and results in an even skin tone.
  • Lemon juice helps to lighten the pigmented areas as well. 

Besan- orange pack

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of besan
  • 1 tablespoon of orange peel powder and
  • A few tablespoons of milk

How to:

  1. Mix all the ingredients to form a lump-free paste and apply to the face.
  2. Let it dry completely.
  3. Then wash away using cold water.

 How this works:

  • Orange peel powder is packed with antioxidants which help to reduce skin tanning and soothe sunburns as well.
  • The combination of gram flour and orange peel powder will help to get rid of skin discolouration naturally.

Benefits of Besan for hair

It can be used for cleansing the hair

Gram flour can absorb dirt and excess oil from the scalp without making it dry. You can use it as a mild cleansing agent to purify the scalp.

  • Besan – rosewater cleanser

You will need:

  • ½ cup of besan/gram flour
  • ½ cup of rose water
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

How to:

  1. Add the baking soda to besan. Mix nicely. Add rose water and combine until a smooth paste is formed. The mixture should not be too runny or too thick.
  2. Pour water on your scalp and make it damp.
  3. Remove the excess water with the help of a towel.
  4. After your hair has soaked the water, go on to apply the flour cleanser.
  5. Massage it onto your hair and clean your scalp for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Leave it on for another 5-10 minutes and then rinse off using cold water. 

How this works:

  • Besan along with baking soda will help to remove product build-up from the hair and also help to treat itchy scalp.
  • Rosewater is mild on the hair and will also add fragrance to your cleanser.

It helps to treat dandruff

Dandruff can prove to be very problematic as it results in itching and sore scalp. Harsh shampoos can further dry the scalp and aggravate dandruff as well. Besan can be used to treat this problem efficiently.

  • Besan –curd hair pack.

You will need:

  • 5 tablespoons of besan
  • 2 tablespoons of curd, and
  • 5 tablespoons of lemon juice

How to:

  1. Simply combine all the ingredients together to form a paste.
  2. Wet your hair slightly.
  3. Apply the mask throughout the length of your hair focusing on the scalp.
  4. Let the mixture stay for about ½ an hour and then wash off using cold water.
  5. Use a mild shampoo to remove any residual smell of curd.

How this works:

  • Lemon juice is extremely beneficial for getting rid of dandruff. It also helps to remove any dirt from the scalp and leaves it refreshed.
  • Curd contains acids that will help to balance the pH level. This in turn helps in eliminating dandruff.

Benefits of Besan for health

While besan is quite popular as a beauty remedy, many people stay unaware of its numerous health benefits. It is a highly nutritious food that is rich in many healthy compounds.

  • It contains high levels of protein – chickpeas are high in fibre as well as proteins which help to build muscles and strengthen hair follicles.
  • Lowers cholesterol levels – gram flour has unsaturated fats which help to maintain heart health. It is also healthy for heart patients. It is rich in soluble fibre which aids proper blood circulation.
  • Cuts down the diabetes risk – besan has a low glycaemic index. This helps to keep the blood sugar level in check. In fact, it is recommended for diabetic patients as well. It is a good replacement of wheat flour.
  • It is rich in iron – chickpeas contain a high amount of iron. Therefore besan can be used in several dishes to overcome iron deficiency.
  • Gives an instant boost of energy – besan has healthy carbohydrates which quickly get converted into energy by the body. It is not very hard to digest and therefore, snacks made from gram flour provide quick energy.
  • Can be used as a post-workout snack – consuming besan snacks (preferably baked) is very beneficial after a heavy workout as it will provide a lot of protein. The best way to eat this is making gram flour pancakes. 

Besan pancakes

You will need:

  • 1 cup of gram flour
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped coriander
  • Salt as per your taste
  • Red chilli powder as per your taste
  • Any kind of seasoning

How to:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add water very slowly and keep mixing simultaneously.
  3. Once a paste-like consistency has been achieved, add a few tablespoons of water and mix well.
  4. Keep this batter aside while you heat oil in a non-stick pan.
  5. Once the pan is hot, pour some batter onto it and spread it with the help of a spoon.
  6. Allow the pancake to cook on one side and then flip it.
  7. When the pancake is done from both sides, remove it from the pan and drizzle with the seasoning of your choice. 

Frequently asked questions

  • Is gram flour gluten-free?

Yes, besan does not contain gluten. It can therefore be consumed by gluten intolerant people as well. It helps to prevent many allergies.

  • Can it help to tighten pores?

Besan has a very light texture. Simply making a paste from it and applying it on your face will help to tighten pores. Even though the presence of pores is quite natural on the skin, besan face packs can reduce their appearance. 

  • Does besan cause open pores?

It is unlikely that it will result in open pores. In general, using too many scrubs or using exfoliators daily can enlarge the pores and cause the production of more oil. It is therefore advised to use besan as an exfoliator only twice a week.

  • Is it true that besan helps in improving the mood?

Gram flour/ besan contains vitamin B6. This vitamin plays a vital role in the synthesis of certain chemicals which are responsible for improving mood. 

  • Are there any precautions one must take before using besan?

Besan is a very safe alternative to chemical-based facial products. Allergic reactions to besan are very unlikely. It will not cause any breakouts. However, since it is mostly used as a face pack, it can be quite drying in nature. For people with dry skin, this may not be the best option. If necessary, it can be mixed with raw milk to avoid any dryness.

Consuming besan in the form of food is also safe since it is gluten-free and will not lead to any allergic reactions.

This ingredient can be easily found in most kitchens. With so many benefits to offer, besan must not be ignored and used only for a use or two. Make full use of this flour with the methods listed above.

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