Persian Inspired Skin Care

Simple Persian beauty secrets

Credits: jill111 at
Edited By:
Raja Sivamani , MD, MS, AP

There are many ingredients and items that are prevalent in everyday Persian life. These items are rich in culture and tradition and are staples in any Iranian household.



The harvest of fragrant flowers to make perfumes and other items originated in Iran. It is heavily used in Persian desserts and religious ceremonies. A bottle can be purchased at any middle eastern grocery store. Rose water and oil can be used as a moisturizer and for skin redness because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also be used as a toner to minimize pores, and as a stress reliever if used as aromatherapy.

Credit: Marc Smith at  

SAFFRON (za - faran)

The biggest use of saffron in Iranian culture is in food. It can always be found mixed in rice to give it a sunny yellow hue, or in ice cream along with rosewater and pistachios. Saffron is quite an expensive spice but is always brought from Iran for loved ones by family members who travel there. Its skin properties include increasing rates of healing by aiding in the disappearance of acne scarring and spots, and some studies have shown that it can help with reducing the appearance of skin cancers in mice.

Credit: ulleo at


EXFOLIATION (Key-seh and Sefidab)

As a young child, I will never forget my grandmother scrubbing every inch of my body with a special cloth known as “Kiseh”. Every Iranian household’s shower has an exfoliating glove used to get rid of dead skin and dirt, along with sefidab which is made of animal fat and natural minerals. The sefidab is rubbed on the mitt and then used to exfoliate the body. The dead skin can be seen leftover on the mitt, known as “chairk”. Regular body exfoliation is key to super smooth skin. Those with dry and sensitive skin or eczema should refrain from exfoliating frequently because it can further irritate and damage the skin.

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