Ubtan: the world’s first known cosmetic
Looking beautiful has been an obsession of men and women throughout the centuries, but it differs from one country to another and also according to the time and way of life. The desire to look beautifully charming laid the foundation for the world’s first known natural cosmetic – ‘Ubtan’, which initially began as a ritual in India. The ritual of ‘Ubtan’, also known as ‘Battne di Rasam’ in Punjabi, and ‘Kappumanjal’ in Tamil is one of the vital components of the concept of ‘Solah-Shringaar’ (Sixteen ways of beautifying the body). ‘Ubtan’ is a body app used for body beautification, which dates back to the most remote antiquity and is the legacy of rich Indian heritage.
It is believed that during the Vedic era, it was prescribed by Vedic Physicians for the protection, nourishment and beautification of the skin. The apparent results obtained with the application of ‘Ubtan’ gave it wide publicity for what perhaps it became a fashionable routine for men and women, those days, to apply it for skin beautification and later established its credibility as a ritual for brides and grooms before marriage.
‘Ubtan’ that is used to give a charming look to the skin, is the mixture of turmeric paste, saffron, sandalwood, gram of bengal and yellow mustard seeds, mustard oil and water, it is applied by brides and grooms while they recite ‘Ved Mantras’ or traditional folk songs, as an important marriage ritual in India. This paste is prepared in various ways to lighten the skin and nourish it from within. On the occasion of social and religious festivals, the preparation of ‘Ubtan’ itself is quite an enjoyable task for the ladies in India. The paste is applied all over the body for 25 to 30 minutes, then rubbed in before taking the usual bath. Helps improve and tighten sagging skin and keeps skin radiant for a long time. Previously it was also customary to make special cosmetics for ladies of high rank and social class, adding various other aromatic herbs, yogurt, heavy cream, honey and flower essence. Various other ingredients such as rose and jasmine petals, Khus-Khus, a drop of lemon juice and other herbs are also added for a unique beautifying lotion.
‘Ubtan’ is a powerful exfoliating treatment that stimulates the underlying tissues of the skin. After scientific investigations of its ingredients, it has been discovered that ‘Ubtan’ not only improves beauty, but also has defined medicinal values by virtue of its antifungal, antibacterial, antiperspirant, deodorant and skin toning properties, thus ruling out the possibilities of skin infections. It fulfills the multipurpose function of cleanser, astringent, stimulant and skin toner, all at the same time. By its revitalizing, refreshing and refining actions, ‘Ubtan’ helps the complexion to glow and make it appear delicious. It also provides protection against various skin problems such as acne, pimples, blemishes, white spots, freckles, blackheads, etc. Its regular use prevents the appearance of premature wrinkles, eliminates scars and helps clear up open pores. The natural ingredients of ‘Ubtan’ accumulate sagging and sagging tissues, improve blood circulation and skin texture, provide anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, anti-rash, anti-blemish, anti-bacterial, anti-tan effects. the skin and nourish it.
As a beauty aid, curcumin – The alkaloid content of Ubtan’s main ingredient, turmeric, prevents and heals pigmentation, maintains pH balance, and makes skin glow. The santalol in sandalwood helps inhibit the growth of microorganisms and prevent skin infections. The woody fiber and vitamin C in Bengal gram open up blocked pores, maintain gland secretions, and whiten sun freckles. Due to its sandalwood content, ‘Ubtan’ acts as an astringent and helps tighten pores. The crocetin content of saffron increases the shine of the skin and makes it glow. The rough nature of Bengal gram powder cleanses it by removing infected dead skin parts. It is also used to promote the healing of chapped and inflamed skin.
The blazing glory and astonishing pharmacokinetics of ‘Ubtan’? Were our ancestors really aware of them? It seems they really were. Congratulations to them!