Arrowroot powder for beauty uses? Yes, you read it correctly! Let us make it clear. Arrowroot powder is considered as one of the most common cooking ingredients having extensive uses in sauces, soups, puddings, baking, etc. It has also been used as a powerful herbal remedy for issues like indigestion, obesity, wound healing, etc. But hardly did you know that it can be used as a natural beauty ingredient too, right? Well, arrowroot powder is extremely good for our skin, which goes deep into the skin, soften it from inside, and makes it blemish-free naturally. In this article, we will talk about some lesser-known yet highly effective beauty uses of arrowroot powder. Also, know about the nutritional profile and health benefits of the ingredient here.
What is Arrowroot Powder?
Arrowroot is a finely-textured powder extracted from the rootstock of a small, perennial, and tropical underground plant named Maranta arundinacea. Native to Americas and originated from China, Brazil, and St. Vincent in the West Indies, arrowroot is a popular food starch that has been in use since 5000 BC. The tuber of the plant is washed, drained, de-scaled, and reduced to pulp. It turns into a milky white liquid, which is strained thoroughly in order to separate the starch from the rest of the components. The starch settled at the bottom is then dried in the sun to form a flour-like, gluten-free, white powder. (1)
Nutritional Profile of Arrowroot
Arrowroot comes loaded with several essential nutrients. Being a starchy root, it contains lots of carbohydrates. The protein content of the vegetable is also very high. It comes with significant amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals (iron, potassium, phosphorous, etc.) too (2). Above all, arrowroot offers almost 102% of the DV (Daily Value) for folate or vitamin B9, which is crucial to fetus development and DNA formation during pregnancy (3). It is a fat-free ingredient with fewer calories.
Arrowroot powder widely used in cooking as a substitute for inexpensive starches like cornstarch, potato starch, rice starch, wheat starch, etc. It is also used in preparing medicines.
Health Benefits of Arrowroot Powder
The medicinal properties of arrowroot are attributed to its unique composition, especially the starch content (around 23% of extractable starch). Following are the potential health benefits offered by the vegetable:
- Arrowroot contains 32% of resistant starch, which remains undigested in the gut and forms a viscous gel by combining with water. This gel acts as soluble fiber and slows down the rate of digestion to keep you full, thus regulating your appetite and promoting weight loss (4). The high protein content of arrowroot also aids feelings of fullness.
- The high starch content of arrowroot powder increases the consistency and size of the stool, which helps in treating diarrhea and associated abdominal pain in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). (5)
- Being a great source of resistant starch and prebiotics (beneficial gut bacteria), arrowroot stimulates the immune system and boosts our immune health. (6)
- Arrowroot is a gluten-free tuber that works as a nice alternative to wheat flour. It perfectly fits a gluten-free diet, which is important for celiac disease patients without compromising the texture and flavor of the food (7).
- As it comes packed with folate, it can fight against the risks associated with the low levels of the vitamin which mostly include birth defects, cancer, etc.
- Arrowroot can also soothe mucous membranes in sore mouth and painful gum linings.
8 Interesting Beauty Uses of Arrowroot Powder
Now, let us move on to some unknown yet extremely interesting uses of arrowroot powder. Who says that you need to be a beauty expert to try new beauty ingredients? Find out how you can include arrowroot powder in your everyday beauty routine by following a few clever tricks only:
1. Use as a Dry Shampoo
We know you are a super busy person and it is literally impossible for you to wash your hair every day. Worry not! Simply sprinkle some arrowroot powder on the roots of your hair, massage onto the scalp with a light hand, comb through your hair, and you are done! The ingredient will work as a dry shampoo and fix your oily hair roots by absorbing the excess oil build-up. However, make sure that you brush the arrowroot residues out of your hair.
2. Make a Revitalizing Face Mask
Arrowroot powder, when used in a facial mask, can improve the absorption of nutrients by the skin to a great extent. To prepare an arrowroot face mask, take 8 to 10 black grapes and crush them well. Add 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder, 1 teaspoon of fresh yogurt to it, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to it, and mix everything together. Spread the mask all over your face evenly and wait for 15 to 20 minutes so that it dries out completely. Then, wash off with tepid water. Using this mask once every week will replenish your skin with moisture and invigorate it efficiently.
3. Heal and Clear Your Zits
No matter how severe your acne and zits are, if arrowroot powder is there, you will get rid of them easily. In fact, it is used as a milder yet equally powerful alternative to baking soda that can dry out breakouts without causing dryness or irritation. Just mix a dash of arrowroot paste with plain water and dab the mixture on your zits. It will soak up extra oil/sebum, thereby reducing inflammation considerably.
4. Find Baby Powder Alternative
Baby powder is a staple in the beauty arsenal of numerous women and arrowroot powder is an amazing natural alternative to it. Most of the traditional baby powders contain talcum powder, which might cause respiratory problems to certain people. The lightweight arrowroot powder is absolutely free of such irritants. Rather, it absorbs all the moisture and gives a soft and silky smooth feeling after application.
5. Thicken Up Skincare Products
Being a thickening agent, arrowroot powder can thicken up your skincare products too. When used in body lotions, moisturizers, or body powders, it enables their active ingredients to penetrate the skin surface easily and makes the skin absorb moisture extensively. Consequently, the skin becomes softer, smoother, and healthier.
6. Formulate Natural Makeup
You can formulate your own natural makeup products at home by using arrowroot powder as the base. To prepare a powder foundation, blend some cocoa powder and cinnamon powder with arrowroot powder. If you skip cinnamon powder in this recipe, you will come up with a mixture that can be used as a bronzer, a highlighter, and even an eye shadow. Adding some beetroot powder or dried hibiscus powder to arrowroot powder will give you an awesome natural blush.
7. Alter Your Makeup Shades
If you have bought a darker shade of makeup, lighten it up by using some arrowroot powder. All you need to do is add it to your existing makeup product gradually in order to find out the perfect shade for yourself.
8. Make Your Own Deodorant
Forget pricey deodorants with an overpowering fragrance. You can make your own natural deodorant with arrowroot powder now. Start with blending baking soda with arrowroot powder and add coconut oil and a couple of essential oils of your choice (optional) to it respectively. Mix all the ingredients together and pour the concoction into a spray bottle.
Both topical and internal applications of arrowroot is known to be safe. It can even be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women in moderate amounts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do You Use Arrowroot Powder in Cooking?
The most common use of arrowroot powder in cooking is as a thickening agent. You can add it to gravies, sauces, soups, stews, etc. in order to thicken them up. Prepare an arrowroot slurry by mixing the powder with any cold liquid like water or non-dairy milk and whisk until it becomes smooth and lump-free. Pour it into whatever item you want to thicken and you are done.
Does Arrowroot Powder Dry Out the Skin?
Arrowroot powder does not steal the natural moisture of the skin. Rather, it softens and penetrates the surface layer of the skin and makes it easier for moisture and other active skincare ingredients to go deeper into the skin. Arrowroot also helps in drying out and eliminating issues like rashes, blemishes, and sores gently.
Does Arrowroot Powder Go Bad?
When stored the right way, arrowroot powder can stay at its best quality for as long as 3 to 4 years. Even the commercially packaged arrowroot powder also does not get damaged but it starts losing its efficacy after the recommended storage time is over.
Is Arrowroot Powder Safe for the Face?
The topical use of arrowroot powder is absolutely safe for the delicate skin of the face. It not only absorbs excess oil or sebum but also promotes natural healing of the skin.
Are Cornflour and Arrowroot Powder the Same?
No, cornflour and arrowroot are not similar ingredients. Cornflour or cornstarch is a fine white powder obtained from ground corn kernels. On the other hand, arrowroot powder is a milky white powder extracted from the roots of the arrowroot plant.
- “Arrowroot“, ScienceDirect.com
- “Arrowroot, Raw“, fdc.nal.usda.gov
- “Folate and DNA methylation: a Review of Molecular Mechanisms and the Evidence for Folate’s Role“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Resistant Starch – A Review”, OnlineLibrary.wiley.com
- “Arrowroot as a Treatment for Diarrhea in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients: A Pilot Study“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Evaluation of immunostimulatory Effect of the Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea. L) in Vitro and in Vivo“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Starch Characteristics Linked to Gluten-Free Products“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov