A flawless skin is a result of rigorous and consistent beauty practices. If you do not follow a thorough and effective skincare ritual every day, it will become impossible for you to get rid of the three biggest enemies of your skin i.e. acne, dullness, and pigmentation. While the market is flooded with expensive skincare products claiming to provide you with a spot-free fair complexion, the chemicals present in them may take a toll on your skin and sometimes even on your health. Saffron can be a wonderful natural alternative to those synthetic cosmetics. Check out the skin benefits of saffron, on how it helps fight aging, along with the recipes of saffron face packs for flawless skin.
A Brief Overview of Saffron
Saffron is a wonderful vivid crimson spice obtained from a plant called Crocus sativus. It is basically the delicate stigma and styles collected from the exotic flowers of the tree, which is also known as ‘saffron crocus’. The plant of saffron is mostly available across Asia and Europe with Iran being the highest producer of the spice (76%). To extract saffron, the long thin thread is removed from the stamen of the flower and dried out completely for days. Saffron powder is widely used in Indian and Oriental cuisines to add a distinct aromatic flavor to the food. On the other hand, using the threads can create a nice visual impression for your dishes. Apart from seasoning and coloring the food, the pharmacological activity and medicinal properties of saffron are also quite well-known (1).
Saffron is known to be one of the most precious spices in the world. It is because a single gram of the spice needs a high quantity of flowers. The cost of a pound of saffron can range anywhere between $500 and $5000.
Health Benefits of Saffron
Saffron boasts of a plethora of benefits for our health, which are listed below:
- Two primary carotenoids in saffron are crocin and crocetin, which may reduce the risks of cancer with their antitumor effects (2). Hence, it is often used as a potential cancer chemopreventive as well as a chemotherapeutic agent (3).
- It has been found that the extract of saffron has chronic anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, and saponins in it. This may help fight inflammation effectively.
- When it comes to age-related macular degeneration, saffron may improve the condition significantly by enhancing the retinal function (4).
- Saffron supplementation may be helpful in improving the symptoms of depression in adults by treating issues like insomnia (5).
- The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of saffron may work on the cholinergic and dopaminergic systems, thus treating Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease effectively (6). This promotes brain health and attenuates memory disorders.
- Saffron may keep our digestive system healthy with its powerful antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hyperlipidemic effects (7).
- Being rich in thiamin and riboflavin, saffron makes the circulatory system stronger. This keeps the heart healthy and prevents cardiac issues (8). The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the spice also help in maintaining healthy arteries and blood vessels, which is essential for regulating cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Liver metastasis patients may find saffron helpful as carotenoids in the spice inhibit the production of reactive oxygen species (9).
- Saffron may help treat male infertility by working as an aphrodisiac, thus improving sperm morphology and motility (10).
Skin Benefits of Saffron
Saffron is also considered a magical ingredient for our skin. From fading away blemishes to giving radiant skin, it has a myriad of beauty benefits. Check out some of them below:
- Saffron has plenty of flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin, etc.) and phenolic compounds (tannic acid, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid) which may contribute to its photoprotective and moisturizing effects (11).
- It has a unique chemical composition, which helps in whitening the skin tone and enhancing the complexion naturally (12).
- The anti-inflammatory properties of saffron are helpful in keeping the skin healthy by averting issues like irritation, rashes, and swelling (13).
- Active carotenoids in saffron may keep the skin healthy and youthful with their antioxidant and antinociceptive properties (14).
Saffron Face Packs for Flawless Skin
As saffron packs a powerful punch of skin-friendly nutrients, including it rightly in your beauty routine can help you combat the biggest skin issues like acne, pigmentation, and dullness. A a result you can get a spotless, blemish-free, and fair skin. So, try these homemade saffron face packs for flawless skin:
1. Saffron for Acne
Saffron has amazing antimicrobial or antibacterial qualities, which impart medicinal values in it. Moreover, it also holds an excellent exfoliating capacity. Both of these are necessary for clearing up the skin and curing acne.
(a) Saffron, Basil Leaves, and Rosewater
Both saffron and basil are natural anti-bacterial agents, which curbs bacterial growth and shrinks the zits to a great extent (15). Take 2 tablespoons of pure rosewater. Add 12-15 saffron strands to it. Let them soak in rose water for an hour or so. Now, take a handful of fresh basil leaves and make a thick paste of them by grinding with a little rose water. Add the soaked saffron to this paste along with rose water. Mix everything well. Apply the mixture to either the trouble spots or all over the face. Wait for 30 minutes so that it turns semi-dry. Rinse with cold water.
(b) Saffron, Neem Leaves, and Rosewater
Just like basil, fresh neem leaves also have very high anti-microbial properties. So, you can mix it up with saffron too. Take a handful of fresh neem leaves and turn them into a thick smooth paste by mixing with some pure rose water. Crush 10-12 saffron strands and add to the neem paste. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of rose water (as required) to it and combine well to prepare a semi-tight mixture. Apply it to your face uniformly. Let it sit for the next 15-20 minutes. Wash off with plain old water. You must keep applying these packs until the breakouts go away completely.
2. Saffron for Pigmentation
There is no other natural ingredient that can reduce pigmentation and other skin blemishes as effectively as saffron. It is the exfoliating property of the spice, which sloughs off the layer of the dead cells (along with dirt and grime) and reveals a pigmentation-free clear skin.
(c) Saffron, Turmeric Powder, and Water
Being a natural antiseptic as well as a great skin lightening agent, turmeric can work together with saffron and diminish pigmentation marks efficiently. Soak 8-10 strands of saffron in a tablespoon of water (you may take rose water in place of plain water). Add 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder to it. Blend well to make a smooth paste of medium consistency. Apply all over the face as a mask. Wait for 15 minutes. Wash off with plain water.
(d) Saffron, Honey, and Milk
Honey has long been known for its amazing skin benefits. So, when mixed with saffron and milk, it can amplify the results and give a clean, spotless skin easily (16). Take 1 tablespoon of raw milk. Add 10-12 saffron strands to it. Let them soak in the milk for 45 to 60 minutes. Pour 1 tablespoon of pure organic honey to the milk and blend well. Dab the mixture onto the pigmented areas of your skin evenly. Rinse off with water after half an hour.
(e) Saffron, Olive Oil, and Granulated Sugar
Double up the exfoliating quality of saffron with some granulated sugar and make your skin free of all marks and impurities. Take a tablespoon of pure olive oil (can be replaced with coconut oil too). Add 8-10 strands of saffron to it. Also, add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Combine all ingredients to form a coarse mixture. Scrub off your skin gently with it, focusing on the trouble areas. Rinse with cold water. Make sure that you use these masks and scrubs twice to thrice every week to remove pigmentation.
3. Saffron for Fair Skin
When it comes to lightening the skin tone naturally, saffron is considered as the best element of all time. It can eliminate dullness and make your skin glowing in a healthy way.
(f) Saffron, Sandalwood Powder, and Milk
Sandalwood is known for its complexion-enhancing effects, which are combined with the goodness of saffron in this face pack. Regular use of this natural remedy will make your skin smooth and radiant too. Dip 5-6 saffron strands into 2 tablespoons of raw milk. After an hour, add 1 tablespoon of sandalwood powder to it. Make a thick smooth paste and apply it as a face mask. Wait for 20 minutes. Wash off with plain water.
(g) Saffron, Coconut Oil, Milk, Sugar, and Rose Water
All ingredients in this face pack cumulatively work to exfoliate, moisturize, hydrate, and lighten the skin tone. Therefore, the skin turns refreshed and fairer. Soak 2-3 strands of saffron in a teaspoon of raw milk. Leave it overnight. In the morning, add 4-5 drops of coconut oil, a teaspoon of rose water and a pinch of sugar to it. Mix well and apply to your facial skin with a brush. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with water.
(h) Saffron, Milk and Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are full of vitamin E and emollients, which not only make the skin well-hydrated but also turn it lighter. Dip 5-6 saffron strands into 2 tablespoons of raw milk. Put 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds in it. Soak them overnight. The next morning, grind the whole mixture into a thick paste. Apply all over the face as a mask. After 20 minutes, rinse off with water.
Read Also – Expert Review: AuraVedic Skin Lightening Oil
Side Effects of Saffron
When applied topically, saffron has almost no side effects. Just make sure that you do not use it too much to protect the skin from turning yellow. However, too much consumption of saffron can cause a number of adverse effects including headache, weakness, dizziness, loss of appetite, miscarriage in pregnant women, etc.
Saffron is an exotic culinary spice that has a plethora of health benefits. It is also used as a magical ingredient in skincare practices. Saffron can make our skin absolutely flawless by targeting three of its biggest enemies, which are acne, pigmentation, and dullness. There are several simple natural saffron face pack recipes that can treat these skin issues successfully and make the skin blemish-free, fairer, and youthful.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Drinking Saffron Milk Give Fairer Skin?
Having saffron milk regularly will not have any effect on your skin. However, it will keep hypertension under control and regulate cholesterol levels in the blood, thereby preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Can We Eat Saffron Daily?
Yes, we can eat saffron daily by adding a pinch of it to our food. But make sure that you do not have more than 1.5 gm. of the spice in a day.
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- “Crocus Sativus L. (Saffron) for Cancer Chemoprevention: A Mini-Review“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Does Saffron Fight Cancer? A Plausible Biological Mechanism“, ACSH.org
- “Short-term Outcomes of Saffron Supplementation in Patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration: A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Randomized Trial“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and Major Depressive Disorder: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
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