Saffron is a rare flower that grows in only a few places in the world. One can literally count the fingers of one hand to name places in the world where saffron grows.
Precise environmental and climatic conditions are needed for successfully farming this beautiful flower that is a light shade of purple. Inside the flower is red thread-like stigmas that make what is recognized as the spice saffron.
I grew up seeing saffron fields in full bloom in autumn. This was during the trips my parents and I made to visit my maternal grandfather and uncle’s family in a village called Balhama in Pampore, Kashmir. Pampore district is where the world’s finest saffron grows. My mother was born into a family of saffron farmers and this connection surely came in very handy as Apsara was born. It is from these family fields that the saffron used in Apsara’s premium ROOP Saffron Bright Skin Potion is sourced.
Anyway back to saffron. It is considered to be one of the world’s costliest spices. But I feel this description is not complete. It is also an extremely valuable skin care ingredient and has been used for nearly 5000 years in Ayurveda as a medicine for many ailments like depression and psoriasis. It has been used as an aphrodisiac as well.
Since I have a lifelong love affair with natural ingredients and their usage in skin and hair care, I will focus on this aspect in this article. I will also teach you remedies to use at home involving saffron.
At the outset, let me clarify that there are not enough (if any large scale ones at all) scientific studies showing the precise way in which saffron works to deliver its awesome results. In other words, we do not know its mechanism of action. But that never bothers me much. In reality, the precise mechanisms of action of most modern days medicines remain a mystery too.
I would like to focus on what people have consistently reported about saffron in skin care over a time period spanning 1000s of years. This is called empirical evidence and I am a big fan of such evidence. I believe if a large group of users reports similar results, then there is something to it that asks for attention.
As a start, here is a video homemade remedy using saffron and turmeric to increase the glow of your skin. Use 1-2 times a week and follow with your serum and lotion. Enjoy!
Alright, so what are the top things that saffron is known to do for skin health and appearance?
1. Offers Significant Anti-Pigmentation Benefits: Saffron has been used for thousands of years to address hyperpigmentation of skin. This could take the form of dark spots, melasma, dark patches, post-acne blemishes etc. I can imagine how in the olden days of Ayurveda a lepa (Sanskrit for face mask) would be put together to be applied on the skin to lighten dark spots. Let me teachyou one. Use it no more than once a week and always follow with your serum and lotion.
3 strands of saffron
2 tsp. of pure rosewater
5 drops of fresh lemon juice
Let this mixture sit for an hour or longer. Then mix well and dab with a cotton ball all over the pigmented areas of your skin. Wash in 15 minutes and never forget to use your serum and lotion for your skin type right after.
2. Boosts Glow & Radiance of Skin: Well if there is one thing that saffron is known to do and do better than anything else, it is to boost the natural glow and radiance of the skin. Saffron might be able to accomplish this by exfoliating the skin quickly, removing dead cells and also by lightening any dark spots and patches of skin.
Here is how to use saffron to amplify the glow of your skin. Use no more than once a week.
2 strands of saffron
2 tsp. of almond milk
1 tsp. of powdered brown sugar
Let this mixture soak for one hour or longer. Then mix well with a fork (add more almond milk or brown sugar if needed) to make a thick paste. Apply on the skin and let stiffen up for 15 minutes. Wash with lukewarm water or warm almond milk. Follow with your serum and lotion for your skin type.
Here is another video in which I teach you how to combine saffron and oat flour to fade dark spots and pigmentation of skin. Use 1-2 times a week.
3. Offers Anti-Aging Properties: Saffron could accomplish this by strengthening the skin’s underlying framework of collagen and elastin proteins, which makes for a firmer appearance of skin. It might do so by increasing blood circulation to the skin’s framework, thereby bringing more oxygen and nourishment to the cells, which helps them function optimally. When skin cells are not damaged or in poor working order, they are able to hold on to far more moisture. This increased hydration makes them look plumper and therefore the look of lines and wrinkles is diminished.
Here is how to use saffron in an anti-aging remedy (use once a week):
1 tsp. of coconut milk
5 drops of vegetable glycerin (available at a natural food store)
Enough almond butter to make a smooth paste
Mix well and set aside for an hour or more. Apply on your face and neck in upward direction. This mask will not dry but will stiffen up somewhat. Wash in 15 minutes and then follow with your serum and lotion meant for your skin type. Find out your skin type by reading this page.
If there is any caution associated with saffron and its usage in skin care, it has got to be related to its hot nature. In Ayurveda Pitta (the fire element) is associated with saffron. Vata is the air element and Kapha is earth water element). It is highly advised that saffron is used very carefully and in very small measure to get most of its benefits. When overused it can cause dryness or a flushed appearance of skin. But if you are using saffron as part of a thoughtfully crafted formula, you may not have anything to be concerned about.
Now in closing, I must answer a question that I know a lot of you might be wondering about.
Question: Given that saffron is so useful in skin care, why is it not commonly used in skin care products?
Answer: It is expensive and does not lend itself easily to the mass manufacturing practices that are geared towards making a product as cheaply as possible. To move away from the mindset of using cheaply made harsh chemicals to using natural ingredients involves commitment towards the consumer and the environment. In the end, making the right choice falls on the consumer.
Learn how to use orange juice, saffron & vitamin E to fade discoloration, dullness & unevenness of skin.
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Go natural. It is good karma!