Beauty benefits of khus (vetiver)
Feb 5, 2021
Meet Just Herbs’ ingredient of the month – Khus (Vetiver). Environmentalists love this densely tufted grass with aromatic roots, as it prevents soil erosion and rehabilitates polluted land. So do skincare experts but for a different reason. Vetiver is a natural coolant with an unparalleled ability to reduce the appearance of dark spots resulting in a brighter, more even-toned and younger-looking complexion.
Come summer, and the green-coloured decoction made of Khus syrup and water makes an appearance in most of the Indian households. Much before we had coolers and air conditioners to beat the heat, the trick was done by a glassful of Khus sherbet. This summer cooler not only quenched the thirst but also kept the skin hydrated inside out.
A native to India, Khus or vetiver is also commonly found in South Asia such as Burma, Ceylon and also some parts in South Africa. The plant grows well along riverbeds, rich marshy soil in the plains and in the foothills. In Northern India, it is cultivated in Rajasthan, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh, whereas, in South India, it is grown in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. A dense perennial variety of grass, Khus grows up to a height of 1.5 metres. It is extremely resilient plant that can survive in heat as well as in frost. Khus can even withstand drought-like conditions due its extensive network of interlinked roots. Years before sustainability was a buzzword, Indians had discovered natural air conditioners. Blinds prepared from the aromatic reeds of the Khus plant were hung on doors and windows to reduce the temperature of the room. These are natural alternatives to air conditioning which didn’t dehydrate and make our skin dry.
It is the oil distilled from Khus roots, which is used in skincare formulations. The earthy, woody and herbaceous aroma of vetiver oil makes it one of the most grounding essential oils in aromatherapy. It strengthens the nervous system, reduces anxiety and tackles depression and insomnia. That’s why Vetiver has been traditionally used to address a number of health conditions, including arthritis, muscle aches, rheumatism, and irregular and painful menstruation.
Khus is used in Ayurvedic remedies for its anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing and astringent properties. Like most plant oils, vetiver oil is loaded with antioxidants which inhibit the impact of environmental aggression on the skin.
Explaining further, Dr Neena Chopra, co-founder and Director Beauty and Technical, Just Herbs, says, “In Ayurveda, pitta (heat) and rakta (blood) vitiation are held responsible for impairment of skin health, lustre, colour and complexion. Therefore, herbs improving these two will act as kanti vardhaka or complexion enhancers. Through its ability to inhibit the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase, crucial in melanin production, vetiver helps control hyperpigmentation and thus acts as a glow booster.”
But the benefits don’t stop there. Besides lending a glow, vetiver also helps to balance the secretion of sebum, which is responsible for both facial shine and the formation of comedonal and inflammatory acne lesions. While conventional over-the-counter medication helps in absorbing sebum from the face and controlling the symptoms temporarily, Khus facilitates balancing sebum production which eliminates the cause itself. Vetiver oil helps in clearing acne and acne marks too. It is a popular ingredient in anti-acne ayurvedic skincare as it soothes and alleviates irritation and inflammation. A face wash with Khus extracts gives freedom from frequent acne outbursts.
Khus is a handy antiseptic which prevents the growth bacteria responsible for causing sepsis and eliminates them. In a tropical country like ours microbe and bacteria multiplies fast due to the hot and humid conditions and hence a body wash with vetiver extracts will help to nip the infection in the bud.
Will you like to try skincare products with vetiver? Here are some of our best sellers which pack in the goodness of vetiver!
WhatsApp us for bespoke skin and product consultation