Home Care For Skin

By: Roma Kapadia

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Famous skin expert Shahnaz Hussain says, “It always helps to be aware of the look and feel of your skin and hair to know which ingredients will benefit you.”

Since time immemorial, women have been borrowing from nature’s bounty to care for their skin and hair. Many herbal products that are available today are based on these ancient natural beauty recipes. The modern use of turmeric in creams, for instance, is founded on its traditional usage as a skin softening remedy. Indeed, nature is the best cosmetologist. It has provided versatile ingredients that not only enhance beauty, but also have amazing curative properties. Many of these ingredients can be found right in your own home…on the kitchen shelf, or in the refrigerator. Common ingredients and food items, which are found in most homes, can be used to beautify skin and hair. Among these are milk, yogurt, honey, eggs, tea, spices, oils, almonds, oatmeal, rose water, fruits, vegetables, and so on. For almost every beauty need, one can find a corresponding natural ingredient.

Many beauty recipes have evolved from traditional remedies. It is said that henna, being a natural coolant, was applied on the forehead and on the soles of the feet to bring down high fevers during ancient times. Thus a remedy became a beauty treatment, one that is still a tradition in South Asian wedding ceremonies.

Famous skin expert Shahnaz Hussain says, “It always helps to be aware of the look and feel of your skin and hair to know which ingredients will benefit you. In other words, choose your ingredients, or treatments, according to individual skin and hair type, as well as specific needs.” Read on for easy do-it-yourself skin care treatments for every skin type, designed to leave your skin glowing and gorgeous.

For Dry Skin

  • Cleanser for Dry Skin: Take half a cup of milk and add five drops of any vegetable oil (sesame, olive or sunflower oil). Put this in a bottle and shake well. Apply it on the skin using a cotton pad and then wipe off with a moist cotton pad. Keep leftover mixture in the refrigerator. Remember that home recipes should not be kept for more than two to three days.
  • Skin Softener for Dry Skin: Take four tablespoons of honey, one cup of milk, four teaspoons of wheatgerm oil. Mix together and keep in a glass jar with a lid. Keep this in the refrigerator. Apply a little of this lotion on the face, neck and hands daily. Rinse off with water after fifteen minutes.

  • Mask for Dry Skin: Take two teaspoons of plain yogurt, half teaspoon of honey, half teaspoon of lemon juice, and one-fourth teaspoon of wheatgerm oil. Apply the mixture and leave on for fifteen minutes. Rinse off with water.

  • Scrub for Dry Skin: Take two tablespoons of almond powder and one tablespoon of honey. Apply on the face and leave on for five minutes. Rub gently on the skin and wash off with water.

For Oily Skin

  • Cleanser and Scrub for Oily Skin: Take half a cup of oatmeal and one tablespoon of plain yogurt. Mix together and apply on the face. Wash it off after twenty minutes.
  • Deep Cleanser for All Skin Types: Mix together one-fourth cup of ground walnuts and one-fourth cup of plain yogurt. Apply on the face and rub gently on the skin. Wash off with water.
  • Mask for Oily Skin: Mix together two tablespoons of oatmeal, two teaspoons of Fuller’s Earth, one teaspoon of lemon peel powder, and enough plain yogurt to mix into a thick paste which does not drip. Apply on the face. After twenty minutes, moisten with water and gently scrub it off the face, adding more water. Then rinse off.

Skin Toning

Toning of the skin is part of routine skin care. It can be followed after cleansing or nourishing the skin. The main purpose of toning is to stimulate the skin and improve the circulation of blood to the skin surface. It refreshes and refines the skin, closing the pores. Toning  adds a glow to the skin and is particularly useful for dull, oily and sluggish skin, although skin toning is necessary for all skin types. Toners also help to close the pores and improve skin texture. Rose water is a powerful natural skin toner. It can be applied on the skin with cotton pads.

  • Skin Toner for Normal and Dry Skin: Take 100ml of rose water and add a half teaspoon of pure glycerin. Put the ingredients in a glass bottle and shake well. Keep it in the refrigerator and use daily.
  • Skin Toner for Oily Skin: Mix rose water and cucumber juice in equal quantities and apply on the skin. Rinse off with water after twenty minutes.
  • Skin Toner for Normal to Dry Skin: Mix three parts of rose water with one part of witch hazel. Soak cotton pads in the mixture and wipe the skin with it.
  • Skin Toner for Normal to Oily Skin: Mix rose water and witch hazel in equal quantities. Soak cotton pads in the mixture and wipe the skin with it.

Natural Astringents

Astringents are needed for oily skin, and the oily areas on combination skin. They help to tighten the pores, reduce oiliness, and also tone the skin. They are particularly useful for normal to oily skin.

  • Grated cucumber or cucumber juice can be applied on the skin for an astringent effect. Keep it on for fifteen to twenty minutes and wash off.
  • Tomato juice can also be applied on oily skin for an astringent effect. It also helps to lighten skin color.

Natural Antiseptics

  • Turmeric is one of the most powerful antiseptics. Add a pinch of turmeric to milk cream for normal to dry skin, and to yogurt for normal to oily skin. Wash off after twenty minutes.
  • Take one cup of basil (Tulsi) leaves. Add the leaves to one quart of water. Simmer it on a very low fire till the water is reduced to half. Strain the water and use it to wash the face. The leaves can be ground into a paste and also applied on the face. Basil helps to prevent pimples and reduce oiliness.
  • Mint (Pudina) leaves can also be used the same way. Wash them thoroughly before simmering.

Did You Know?

Plain yogurt is a wonder ingredient and has several beauty benefits. Yogurt contains natural enzymes and has a cleansing action too. It contains lactic acid, which helps to restore the normal acid-alkaline balance of the skin and scalp. Apply it on the face daily and wash off after twenty minutes. This helps oily and combination skin and has a healing action on skin with acne. It is said to have a lightening effect on skin color, if applied daily over a period of time. Yogurt can also be applied on the hair half an hour before you shampoo it. It cleanses the scalp and helps to add body to the hair.

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