Taking amla as a supplement can benefit your skin from the inside with its incredible range of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients.
This page will focus on using the powdered fruit as a topical treatment to improve your skin and tighten up your pores. Amla facial scrubs have also been reported as effective for reducing acne and controlling oily skin.
Amla is sometimes called amalaki or Indian gooseberry. The whole fruit powder with its chopped up seeds is a brilliant exfoliate with antibacterial and astringent properties. Used as a skin scrub it can help break down the top layer of old, tired skin cells to reveal your natural glowing complexion underneath.
This facial treatment can also help to shrink enlarged pores and restore skin firmness by stimulating collagen production with its vitamin C content and other beneficial antioxidants. I’ve personally found it to have an amazing effect on my overall complexion and use it twice a week in one of the facial scrub recipes I’ll share below.
Precautions for Dry and Sensitive Skin
Before sharing these recipes a couple of precautions.
Due to its astringent properties, this amla powder scrub may be a little too tightening for people with particularly dry skin. There is a recipe ahead that should mitigate this but it still may not be appropriate for skin that is very dry.
As with any new skin treatment there is a small chance of an allergic reaction. I haven’t ever read about anyone having an allergy to amla, whether taken internally or used topically, but if you know that you have sensitive skin it would be advisable to do a patch test before using it.
To do this, make up the mixture below and apply a small amount to your inner arm for 10 minutes. Wash it off and wait for an hour. If you do not have a bad reaction then you’re much less likely to have one applying it to your face. Of course every person’s skin is different so there is no way to be sure of the result you’ll get unless you try it for yourself.
How to Make an Amla Facial Scrub
The basic amla face scrub is very easy to make. Simply place a teaspoon of powdered amla (this is the one I use) in a bowl and slowly mix in, with the spoon, a small amount of hot but not boiling water until you make a wet paste. Around the consistency of yogurt is good to aim for, but don’t worry too much as long as you can spread it easily and it remains moist.
Four Variations for Different Skin Types
1. For oily skin add in half a teaspoon of raw honey and half a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice (lemon juice is powerful and a quarter of a teaspoon may be better for only mildly oily skin). Mix them both into the amla paste with a spoon so they’re well blended.
Scrubs with lemon juice can sting a little when first applied but if this is excessive or increases then wash it off with some warm water and moisturize, ideally with aloe vera gel. People with sensitive skin should probably avoid lemon juice.
2. For acne prone oily skin modify the recipe above by adding a small sprig of fresh parsley, chopped finely and crushed up in a mortar and pestle or on a chopping board. Parsley flakes may also be effective if you don’t have fresh parsley.
For this scrub mix the hot water into the parsley first, perhaps crushing it up even more with pestle to get as much of the juice out as possible. Then mix in the powdered amla and stir them up well. Add to this half a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and half a teaspoon of raw honey, preferably anti-bacterial manuka honey which is particularly effective against acne.
Using scrubs on areas of skin that are already suffering from heavy acne outbreaks isn’t advisable. Additionally, the lemon juice in this treatment is likely to sting any pimples.
However, if you can use this scrub when your skin isn’t showing too many large spots it may help clear out your pores and lessen future acne problems.
3. Dry skin should be careful using scrubs too often and the recipes above using lemon juice are not recommended, even if you do have acne.
A better recipe that could be applied once a week with a gentler scrubbing motion would use yogurt and honey. Add half a teaspoon of real bio-active yogurt (not the flavored fruit brands) and half a teaspoon of raw honey. Once again, manuka honey is excellent if your skin is prone to blemishes.
4. Sensitive skin is generally cautioned against using all but the gentlest of facial scrubs. Amla powder, with its finely chopped seeds, really sloughs off the dead skin cells and is not particularly gentle. This effect can be softened by adding a teaspoon of pure aloe vera gel and mixing it in well. I’d still recommend performing the patch test mentioned above first if you have sensitive skin.
Using Amla Scrubs for Smaller Pores and Glowing Skin
Once you’ve made up your Amla powder paste with hot water and any other additions, allow it to cool for a minute then take it into the bathroom.
Wash your face first with warm water and ideally a chemical free cleanser. To still damp skin, apply the scrub to your face and neck, gently rubbing upwards in circular motions.
I usually start at the jawline with both sets of fingers and work upwards, concentrating on the cheeks and nose but avoiding the eye area. Coming up to the forehead, start from the center before heading up an out and then use the remaining scrub on the neck from the base up to the jawline.
The amount of ingredients used in these facial treatments is quite small. You may find you want to increase them to have more scrub available. This is fine, just maintain the basic ratios. Personally, I don’t think you need it that thick and feel the amount is enough for the size of my face (and we’re probably pretty similar in this department).
It can be good to leave the scrub on for a little while to do its work. Recipes with lemon juice may sting a little bit though. Once you’re finished, wash the facial treatment off thoroughly and moisturize. I like this active vitamin C moisturizer or coldpressed avocado oil in the evenings.
Twice a week seems to be a good schedule for clearing out and tightening up your pores and for healthier skin in general. While there should be some initial improvement, it may take a few weeks of scrubs to really start seeing the full benefits in the new skin coming through. Please share your results if you make it up yourself.
Of course external facial scrubs can only do so much. Really glowing skin comes from good internal nutrition. If you’d like to read about how the amazing Indian gooseberry can help here as well the page on What is Amla has the details.
Next are some deeper treatments to improve your skin with amla face mask recipes you can make at home.
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