Ayurvedic Ubtan: What Is It & How Do You Make It?

As you know, I’ve been studying Ayurveda for the last few months extensively, however, we haven’t learned about Ubtan as of yet, it’s actually something that I learned about when I was a kid. I’ve been making natural beauty treatments and products for as long as I can remember, and when researching traditional Easter methods, Ubtan came up as one of them.

Ubtan is an ancient Indian cleansing ritual that I love to use both in slight variations all year round. Because my skin is much drier now than usual, I mix it with oil.

What is Ubtan? It’s a lentil based powder that is mixed with herbs, dried citrus peels and flour, which is then mixed with milk or oil, spread on the skin to dry and then rubbed off to reveal clear and glowing skin. It’s often used by Indian brides before their wedding day. The mixture is soap-free, and scrubs away dirt and dead skin cells while exfoliating. In the summer it controls oil build up, and sloughs off all the rough bits. I like to use it in between bath days. For example, if I have a bath on day 1, I’ll use Ubtan on day 2, then a bath on day 3, etc, etc.

Ubtan is also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial (thanks to the sandalwood and rosewater), making this treatment incredible for clearing pimples or troubled skin. If you’d rather not make this yourself, you can buy it remade.

Kalp makes an incredible blend that’s super fresh and smells amazing. It’s made in Canada, and is one of the best pre-made versions that I’ve used.

1 tablespoon gram flour (besan aka chickpea flour)
1 tablespoon rice flour
2 tsp sandalwood powder
1 1/2 tsp dried orange peel powder**
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp neem powder (optional)
1 drop coriander oil*
1 drops lavender oil*
1 drop lemongrass oil*
Rosewater OR coconut oil

Make a thick paste using the rosewater, or use coconut oil and almond milk if you have very dry skin. Once it’s well mixed, get naked in the bathtub or shower, and and apply it to your body. Once it dries, scrub it off with water (or without if you’re using oil) in circular motions. Rinse off and don’t follow with soap.

*In regards to essential oil brands, I prefer doTERRA.
**To make dried orange peel powder, use dried orange peels and break them into small pieces before grinding them into powder (I like to use an electric coffee grinder).