“100 x washed ghee” Moisturizer
Have you ever tried a face cream, which your skin seems to just soak in within minutes without leaving a trace of greasiness and leaves you with this deep hydrating feeling that stays with you all day? If you are like me, and are not using conventional skin care products, you probably haven’t had that experience for a while. Sure, coconut oil has amazing benefits all around, but when I slather it on my face, it seems to sit there forever, and actually dries out my skin. I love shea butter, but if I put it on my face in the evening, it’s still there in the morning. It feels more like a mask to me than a gentle moisturizer. Cocoa butter is probably one of the better alternatives as far as absorption but getting it to the consistency of a cream is close to impossible. Even diluting the heavier oils and butters with lighter ones like jojoba or apricot kernel never gave me a sensation of truly nourished skin.
Let me introduce you to a traditional Ayurvedic remedy called ‘Shata-dhauta-ghrita’ or ‘100 times washed ghee’. It is done by placing ghee into a copper vessel and mixing it with purified water, washing it ten times, then the water is poured away and this is done literally one hundred times. The result is an odorless cream of whipped butter consistency that penetrates all seven layers of the skin. It is an excellent anti-aging treatment that smooths wrinkles, fades sun spots, heals burns, and soothes inflammation of rozacea, eczema, and acne.
Of course, I tried it immediately after studying about washed ghee in Ayurveda School, and– the result completely amazed me. What I got was a beautiful silky odorless creamy wonderfulness that went into my skin without any oily residue and left me with deeply moisturized feeling that stayed with me until I washed my face again. I really wondered how this worked from a scientific basis, and found a couple of studies that looked at Shata-dhauta-ghrita. I was quite impressed. It starts as a lipid (fatty) emulsion and with each introduction of rinsing water, as the pressure from mixing gets applied to fat particles, it splits them and makes the emulsion more aqueous (water infused). This ‘fat splitting is the process in which, fat is hydrolyzed in the presence of water to yield free fatty acids and glycerols’ (1). Copper acts like a catalyst to promote fat splitting, and also increases the copper content in the emulsion, and copper is known to have anti-inflammatory effect on skin (2).
A study done by the British Journal of Nutrition (3) suggests that 100 times washed ghee should become a base for pharmaceutical topical preparations since, opposite to inert constituents like beeswax, stearic acid or paraffin that don’t have any therapeutic value, washed ghee possesses a number of healing factors in itself, and due to its small particle size, may be able to deliver pharmaceutical ingredients deep into skin tissue.
Ghee is rich in a short chain fatty acid called butyrate, which is linked to an immune response that’s linked to decrease in inflammation. It’s the same stuff that’s added in hydrocortisone creams, you know – those that knock out acute inflammation in like three minutes (but have a lot of adverse effects). Well, this is butyrate made by nature, the good stuff. And this explains why Ayurvedic practice recommends it for inflammatory skin diseases. Ghee is also rich in fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, all good for you and your skin. It is also one of the best sources of CLA, or congulated linoleic acid, when made with milk from grass fed free range cows (that’s the only milk you get, right?), which makes your skin more resilient to the external factors, especially as you age (3).
This cream is absolutely amazing, and after a good exfoliation mask, my skins feels like I just had a facial.
Get your Ingredients for Washed Ghee Together
Bowl & Spoon – You will need a large clean bowl. There will be a fair amount of splashing and sloshing. Also, the ghee will expand in volume. So, a large bowl helps. It is better to use a copper bowl. You will need a clean spoon as well.
Ghee – I used ghee that I made but you can also use store bought cow ghee at room temperature.
Water – I used filtered ice cold water.
Towel – The process can be a bit messy so it is a good idea to have a large towel around. I wore an old tee and spread the towel on my lap.
Container – I transferred my ghee from a glass container to small glass jars. Choose the prettiest container you like for your DIY cream!
Washing the ghee with water
Pour the ghee in your bowl and add an equal amount of water. Use your hand (after washing really well) and swirl the ghee in the water 10 times. This is where the splashing and sloshing happens so be careful. I stirred the ghee and water clockwise five times and then anti clockwise for another five, then throw out the water. There is no logic here. The change of direction ensures my wrist and fingers get exercise and the count helps me track time. That is all.
Strain the ghee
Once you have drained out the ghee, add more water to it and keep washing it till the ghee expands in volume and develops a sheen. I generally wash at least 10 times with the same water. The rinse and repeat and drain. It’s a several hour process to wash the ghee a hundred times.
After the last drain, transfer your washed ghee in a container. Ensure that it is air tight. I prefer to store the cream overnight in the fridge. That firmly sets it and dries off any water still in the ghee. The ghee lasts for two months easily even in the hot humid summer. If you can store it in the refrigerator, it will have an additional cooling and soothing effect on the skin.
So that is it!! Have you tried making it? What was your experience like?
Inspired by Valeria from www.beetsandbones.com
1. Seshpande.D. (2009). Shata-dhauta-ghrita A Case Study. Journal of Traditional Indian Knowledge. Found online at: http://nopr. niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/5074/1/IJTK%208(3)%20387-391.pdf
2. Beveridge, A.(2010). Copper and Zinc in Inflammatory and Degenerative Diseases. University of Newcastle, Australia. Found online at: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-94-011-3963-2_9#page-
3. Daichi Oikawa et al. (2005). British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 94, Issue 2. Modification of skin composition by conjugated linoleic acid alone or with combination of other fatty acids in mice.