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Chickpea flour is made by grinding dried chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans in the west, into powder. Chickpea is a regular ingredient in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking, and it has received a lot of global attention for its nutritional benefits as well. (1)
Enriched with micronutrients and essential macrominerals, chickpea flour can help improve both your health and beauty through dietary intake and remedies.
This article will focus on the various dermatological benefits associated with chickpea flour and how to make the most of it.
Skin and Hair Benefits of Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour has been used in both traditional (2) and modern-day beauty masks due to its believed benefits.
Please note though that the skin and hair benefits of chickpea flour are purely anecdotal without any scientific backing. Nevertheless, many people have reported positive results after using it as a topical remedy with little to no side effects, unless you are allergic to it.
Therefore, it is recommended to do a patch test before using it on your skin or hair to rule out any allergic reactions.
Here are some ways in which chickpea flour enhances the quality of your skin and hair:
- It can help reduce comedones and papules such as pimples and reduces the risk of breakouts. Its consumption can also keep sugar in check as it has a low glycemic index.
- It can help reduce hyperpigmentation to even out your complexion, fade tanning, and give your skin an instant glow. This effect is useful for treating dark underarms, elbows, and the back of your neck.
- Its granular quality makes it ideal for homemade scrubs that can remove dead cells, excess sebum, and other dirt settled on your skin and inside your pores without causing any irritation. This kind of gentle exfoliation deeply cleanses your skin, gives it a natural glow, and prevents acne breakouts, but it’s best to do it only once or twice a week.
- Chickpea flour has also been used to prepare DIY masks to remove fine facial hair.
- Chickpea flour mixed with hydrating ingredients such as milk cream or bananas makes for a moisturizing mask to relieve dry and flaky skin.
- Some chickpea flour skin masks may help tighten mildly loose skin, although the effect is temporary.
How to Make Chickpea Flour
Here’s how you can prepare chickpea flour at home:
- One pound of chickpeas will give you 2 cups of flour. Take just enough chickpeas to give you the quantity of flour you need, and then rinse them thoroughly with tepid water to get rid of any dirt or impurities. Do not use canned chickpeas as they are dipped in preservatives, which can increase their glycemic index.
- Leave the washed chickpeas to dry overnight. A quicker alternative is to spread them on a cookie sheet and heat them in an oven set at 175°C for 15–20 minutes until they have turned golden brown.
- Divide the chickpeas into small batches, and then grind them in a blender or food processor until they acquire the consistency of flour.
- Sift the ground flour to separate any large unground chickpea chunks.
- Store the chickpea flour in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer so it can last for about 1½ months.
How to Make Chickpea Flour Skin and Hair Masks
Try the following masks made with chickpea flour to improve your skin and hair:
For treating pimples and oily skin
- Mix 1 tbsp of chickpea flour, 1 tbsp of fuller’s earth, ½ tsp of turmeric powder, yogurt, and a few drops of tea tree oil to make a lump-free paste.
- Apply the mask evenly to your face, and let it dry for 10–15 minutes.
- Rinse it off.
The turmeric used in this remedy soothes acne due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties that can be traced back to its chief bioactive compound called curcumin. (3)
For skin exfoliation
- Ground some lentils, walnut, and orange peel to a grainy or beady consistency, and combine them with some chickpea flour.
- Pour in 1 tbsp of cream and cucumber water (optional) to make a thick scrub.
- Apply the scrub evenly to your skin, and then gently massage it in circular motions for 10–15 minutes.
For treating suntan
- In a bowl, combine 2 tsp of chickpea flour, 1 tbsp of lemon peel powder, a few drops of fresh potato juice, and few drops of almond oil.
- Mix all the ingredients well to make a thick paste.
- Apply the paste to your skin and leave it one for 10–15 minutes.
For skin brightening
- Mix 1 tbsp of chickpea flour, 1 tsp of kaolin clay, and brewed green tea to make a thick paste.
- Apply the paste evenly all to your face and neck.
- Leave it to dry and then wash it off.
Hair and scalp masks
- Whisk one egg white in a bowl and then mix in 2 tbsp of chickpea flour to make a paste.
- Smear the paste all over your hair and scalp, and then gently massage it in your head.
- Let the mask sit for a while and then rinse it out.
- You can either shampoo before or after this DIY treatment.
For dry and flaky skin
- Mix 2 tbsp of chickpea flour with 1–2 tbsp of medical-grade manuka honey (which contains moisture-binding polysaccharides) (4) and a few drops of any plant oil that is readily available to you. You can use coconut oil, olive, sweet almond, or sunflower oil. Ground oatmeal can be used as a substitute for these oils and is a recommended addition if your skin is excessively dry such that it itches. This is because oatmeal has anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties (5) that can help soothe the itching and also imparts moisture to parched skin.
- Mix all the ingredients well to form a thick paste.
- Apply the paste evenly to your dry skin.
- Wait for it to dry a little, and then rinse it off.
- Apply a moisturizer.
For facial hair removal
- Soak some fenugreek seeds in water overnight so that they soften and then blend them into a paste.
- Add just enough chickpea flour to the fenugreek paste so that the paste thickens but does not lose its moistness.
- Apply the paste to the areas of hair growth and let it dry.
- Once dried, slowly peel off the mask without using any water on your hands or face. The thin hair that gets stuck to the hardened paste will be plucked out along with the mask.
For skin tightening
- Beat the egg white of one egg and mix in 2 tbsp of chickpea flour to make a paste.
- You can also pour in a few drops of rose water for its antiwrinkling effects. (6)
- Apply the mask properly to your skin and let it dry out.
- You can either peel the hardened mask off followed by a face wash, or you may directly rinse it off with tepid water.
Note: Your skin will instantly feel tighter after using this mask, but the effect is only temporary.
Chickpea flour has uses beyond the kitchen and can be a useful addition to your beauty arsenal. However, no remedy can singlehandedly banish your skin or hair problems for good. In order to see significant and long-lasting results, you must combine it with a stringent skin care regimen, a wholesome diet, and a healthy lifestyle.
Also, some dermatological problems may be rooted in an underlying condition that will require proper medical assessment and treatment. One thing that is certain is this natural ingredient alone can reduce your reliance on expensive, chemical-laden beauty products, thanks to its multiple dermatological benefits. It is known to cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, tighten, and brighten your skin with minimal risk of side effects.
Just take note that most of these claims are yet to be substantiated by scientific evidence, but the use of chickpea flour is highly supported by a lot of general users.
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