By: Jessica Perez-Beebe
January 13, 2017

On my bathroom sink just to the right of my toothbrush, is a plastic cup of ground chickpea flower.

I’m not brushing my teeth with it. But I am washing my face with it!

Now you might use chickpeas in more traditional ways, like eating it and well, eating it!

Chickpeas are delish as a side dish, tossed in warm or cold salads, and of course in their most famous form – as creamy hummus.

I like eating chickpeas too. But I especially like to put it on my face!

Not the way you might be thinking. I’m not slathering hummus on my cheeks!

Instead, I’m mixing the dry flour with a little warm water, or oil, or rosewater (more on that later), and massaging it into my skin to remove dirt and makeup.

Sound crazy?

It’s not really. Apparently, people (in India especially) have been doing it for hundreds of years… an age old beauty secret passed on by mothers and grandmothers.

I stumbled upon it last year while studying one of my Ayurveda books, and soon found that this natural remedy (along with many others using basic kitchen items), would come up again and again in every single one of my Ayurveda books and studies.

Chickpea flour is one of Ayurveda’s Go-To ingredients for a healthy meal AND a healthy skin care product.

And for good reason!

What is it exactly?

Gram flour, also known as garbanzo bean/chickpea flour/besan, is a gluten free flour made by grinding dried chickpeas. It is commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine and it is naturally higher in protein than any wheat-based flours. It is popularly used in Southeast Asia as a natural skin and hair care product.

How does it help my skin?

Gram flour contains a high amount of saponins, which are natural cleansing agents also found in oatmeal, that help deep cleanse skin.

Gram flour isn’t just used as a non-foaming face and body wash. It makes an excellent exfoliator, and can be combined with other ingredients to make various face masks, and with turmeric(one of my favorite spices) to treat acne. I’ll post that recipe soon!

As a Facial Cleanser

It removes dirt, exfoliates skin, smoothes the skin texture, and has no chance of drying the skin. Basically, it’s a thousand times better than any commercial face wash! My face feels so clean and smooth after every wash. And I love knowing there aren’t any chemicals left behind on my skin.

Because of that, you can cleanse your face as many times a day as you want, without the fear of over drying or over stripping your skin.

HOW TO Facial Cleanser:

Store gram flour in an air tight container and scoop out half a spoon. Add a few drops of water (I try to use spring) or rose water, and gently massage your face with the paste.

I’m still kind of shocked by how quickly and easily it removes my makeup, which is a thin layer of liquid mineral foundation and sometimes a little pressed powder or bronzer. I tend to avoid my eyes since I like to remove my mascara with just water and a swipe of oil. HOWEVER, I did rub it gently across my eyes a couple times when I wore a little eyeshadow, and it wiped right off!

For dry skin, or during harsh winters, add a drop of one of the following oils to the paste before usage.

I have sensitive skin. Personally, I alternate between sunflower oil and coconut oil to moisturize my entire body and face daily. I’ve been doing this for the past year and a half, and at 40 years old my skin has never looked better!

Well, except for when I’m traveling a lot or going from one extreme climate to another (hot to cold), as in my most recent trip back to the east coast from Mexico. Those conditions often leave me with dry dehydrated skin and a few break outs. Luckily though, I have my handy home remedies that help me handle those issues in a matter of days. In the past those conditions would wreak havoc on my skin for weeks or more!

I plan on posting about my new All Natural, No-Product Skincare Regimen in a future post. Lots of great stuff to share!

And I know what you’re thinking…”Isn’t oil bad for oily skin?” NO. Absolutely not. But again, I’ll get to that later on when I share my healthy skincare regimen.

For now, get out those dry garbanzo beans and start grinding!

And while you’re at it, you might as well save some money (and your skin) by shelving those store bought chemical cleansers.

Once you begin using this super affordable one-ingredient skin loving powder, you’ll wish you’d found out about it sooner.

I know I did!

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