Arrowroot powder for beauty uses? Yes, you read it correctly! Let us make it clear. Arrowroot powder is one of the most common cooking ingredients, extensively used 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 you hardly knew it could be used as a natural beauty ingredient, too, right? Arrowroot powder is perfect for our skin; it goes deep into the skin, softens it from the inside, and makes it naturally blemish-free. This article will discuss some lesser-known yet highly effective beauty uses of arrowroot powder. Also, know about the ingredient’s nutritional profile and health benefits here.
What is Arrowroot Powder?
Arrowroot is a finely textured powder obtained from the rootstock of the perennial tropical plant Maranta arundinacea. Originally native to the Americas and later introduced to China, Brazil, and St. Vincent in the West Indies, arrowroot has been a popular food starch for centuries, dating back to 5000 BC. The plant’s tuber undergoes a process involving washing, draining, de-scaling, and pulping, resulting in a milky white liquid. After thorough straining to separate starch from other components, the settled starch is sun-dried to produce a gluten-free, flour-like 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 also contains significant dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals (iron, potassium, phosphorous, etc.) (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% resistant starch, which remains undigested in the gut and forms a viscous gel when combined 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 stool’s consistency and size, which helps treat 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 is an excellent alternative to wheat flour. It perfectly fits a gluten-free diet, which is essential 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 low levels of vitamin D, which mainly include congenital disabilities, 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 exciting uses of arrowroot powder. Who says you must 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 you can’t wash your hair daily. Worry not! Sprinkle some arrowroot powder on the roots of your hair, massage it 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 one tablespoon of arrowroot powder, one teaspoon of fresh yogurt, and one teaspoon of lemon juice, and mix everything. 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 quickly. It is a milder yet equally powerful alternative to baking soda that can dry out breakouts without causing dryness or irritation. 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 excellent natural alternative to it. Most traditional baby powders contain talcum powder, which might cause respiratory problems for certain people. The lightweight arrowroot powder is free of such irritants. Instead, it absorbs all the moisture and gives a soft, silky, smooth feeling after application.
5. Thicken Up Skincare Products
As a thickening agent, arrowroot powder can also thicken your skincare products. 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 natural makeup products at home using arrowroot powder as the base. To prepare a powder foundation, blend 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 a fantastic natural blush.
7. Alter Your Makeup Shades
If you have bought a darker makeup shade, lighten it using arrowroot powder. All you need to do is gradually add it to your existing makeup product to find the perfect shade for yourself.
8. Make Your Deodorant
Forget pricey deodorants with an overpowering fragrance. You can make your 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 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. Add it to gravies, sauces, soups, stews, etc., to thicken them. 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. Instead, 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 dry out and gently eliminate issues like rashes, blemishes, and sores.
Does Arrowroot Powder Go Bad?
Arrowroot powder can stay at its best quality for 3 to 4 years when stored correctly. Even the commercially packaged arrowroot powder does not get damaged but 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 safe for the delicate skin of the face. It absorbs excess oil or sebum and promotes natural skin healing.
Are Cornflour and Arrowroot Powder the Same?
No, cornflour and arrowroot are not similar ingredients. Corn flour or cornstarch is a fine white powder from ground corn kernels. 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