While recently only a few knew what it was, today it can be said that the powders, with all their types, different smells and various origins, are experiencing a golden moment. Eco organic cosmetics is becoming more and more popular. This is not only for the benefit of our health, but also for that of the planet, if we consider how much they pollute most of the products normally used to wash body and hair.
But let's see what it is.
Cleaning and Health
Daily hygiene is a necessity, since it is important to eliminate all those substances produced both by our body, such as sebum and sweat, and suffered from the outside, such as smog, dust and so on.
But as the Latins said, in media stat virtus, that is, virtue is in the middle. To exaggerate with continuous stresses and the use of excessively degreasing products, can have even worse results, such as favoring the onset of irritations, dandruff, bad smells, or even weakening the physiological defenses of our skin, making it more sensitive to external attacks and potentially more prone to dermatitis, etc.
So what to do? The millennial knowledge of many peoples, from the Mediterranean to India, can be very useful. One way to wash oneself repeating the physiological balance of the epidermis, in fact, is to use substances that do not excessively lower our ph (or the degree of acidity of the epidermis, which if unaffected - around 5.5 - allows it to defend itself effectively keeping themselves healthy and beautiful) as soaps do, but still capable of removing dirt.
What are washing powders
With the term "powders", or rather "washing powders", we indicate all those products that rise to the function of cleaning the body and hair in an extremely delicate manner, some by binding to dirt mechanically, rather than chemically - as happens with surfactants - and taking it away with it at the time of rinsing, others containing doses and quality of saponin that cannot alter our ph. Often they are herbs, but also clays or real flours, with sebum-balancing properties and the ability to effectively remove dirt, and sometimes, unexpected healing virtues.
Indian cleansing powders
They are various, and all derived from plants. Specifically there are:
-the Reetha (or Aretha or Aritha), or the powder derived from Indian saponiferous nut. It is mixed with water, binding to which it forms a particularly effective foam in cases of hair or oily skin. Excellent detergent even for delicate garments, such as silk.
- Shikakai is an herb of the acacia family. Among the Indian powders it is the most complete, but it is used only for hair treatment. In fact it cleans and at the same time disciplines and softens. A sort of shampoo and conditioner two in one! In addition, it nourishes hair and scalp as a true beauty treatment.
- Amla is a typical fruit of India, from which, among other things, the homonymous powder is obtained. It is very rich in vitamin C and therefore is a real boon for both skin and hair. It cleans the pores and revives the tone, while it seems to be a sort of age for the hair, slowing its graying. It can be mixed with other natural dyes such as henna (lawsonia), which dulls the red, darkening it. This too has conditioning power.
They are all used as a pack. Mix with very hot water to form a paste to hold on the hair for a few minutes and then to rinse (with a little patience). They are often used together to enhance their effects. Amla is also very effective as a face mask.
To get a good result and have a soft and clean skin, you can also use real flours. Yes, just the flour.
Obviously the use of wheat is not recommended due to excessive stickiness. But to wash the skin is excellent that of rice, delicate and fragrant, that of buckwheat, with excellent cleaning power, and that of oats, with the well-known emollient effect.
For hair, on the other hand, legume flours are excellent. To top among these is the chickpea flour, which honestly does not smell very well, but to wash, wash and how.
In order to use them, it is sufficient to mix them with hot water to create a paste that is not too liquid and not too thick to use as a compress and leave on for a few minutes.
For the face, the best are the "greasy" flours, such as almonds or sunflower seeds, which capture the fat of the skin for "affinity", but at the same time leave it soft and hydrated.
Finally, a protagonist among the washing powders is undoubtedly a clay typical of the Mediterranean area: the Ghassoul. This natural mineral is extracted from Moroccan deposits and has always been used in the Middle East and North Africa to wash both skin and hair. It cleans and frees pores excellently and cleanses hair just as well. It has a slower shutter speed than other washing powders, and it rinses better. It can be mixed with other products to better adapt it to subjective needs (yogurt, honey, lemon, various essential oils ...), but it has no conditioning or softening power. Obviously it is also sufficient to mix it only with hot water.
Being a clay it is good to remember not to handle it or to deposit it with tools or metal containers!