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Natural ingredients for great skin

Natural ingredients for great skin
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Skin care products often can be significant contributors of harmful ingredients, toxins and chemicals, here is a list of natural ingredients which...

Skin care products often can be significant contributors of harmful ingredients, toxins and chemicals, here is a list of natural ingredients which help in getting a radiant and smooth skin

Turmeric
Turmeric (haldi) is a part of our traditional medicinal and beauty aid since the ancient times, due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It also helps to reduce pain and swellings. It has been used in beauty care since the ancient times too, when it was added to body packs, or “ubtan”.

To remove tan: Add a pinch of turmeric to curd and apply daily on the face. Wash it off after 20 minutes

As a body pack: Mix besan (gram flour) with curd and a pinch of turmeric into a paste. Apply on the arms and legs three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour.

For facial hair: Apply a paste of turmeric powder and milk and rub this on the skin with a circular motion. It is said to discourage facial hair over a period of time, but it may leave a slight yellowish colour on the skin.

To minimise stretchmarks: First apply olive oil and massage it on the areas. Then mix besan, yoghurt and turmeric and apply on the area. Wash it off after half an hour.

Cucumber
Cucumber has several beauty benefits. It is an astringent and helps to tone and refresh the skin. It closes the pores and reduces oiliness. It also helps to lighten skin colour over a period of time. The effect of cucumber is gentle on the skin. That is why it is a traditional remedy for the delicate skin around the eyes, helping to reduce dark circles and brighten the skin. Applying cucumber also helps to lighten dark patches and freckles. Cucumber is a natural coolant. It also has cooling and soothing effects on the skin.

Grated cucumber, or cucumber juice may be applied daily on the skin around eyes, washing off with plain water after 15 minutes. For a cooling face pack, mix cucumber juice (or pulp) with two teaspoons powdered milk and one egg white. Put the ingredients in a blender, for a smooth paste. Apply on face and neck and rinse off with water after half an hour. It will also help to remove tan. To tone the skin, mix cucumber juice with rose water in equal quantities.

Apply on the face and wash off with plain water after 20 minutes. Another way of using cucumber is to liquidise it in a blender. Strain and use the liquid as a cucumber skin toning lotion. The pulp may be added to face packs.Cucumber can also be mixed with mint for an ideal summer skin tonic. It is cool and refreshing and also tones the skin.

Milk
Milk has been a favourite beauty aid for generations. For one thing, it is so easily available in every home. Secondly, its properties are well known and also valued. This common home care ingredient has many benefits for skin care. Milk has softening and nourishing properties. We all know that milk is full of nutrients. It contains different kinds of proteins. Milk also contains fats, which help to soften and smoothen the skin.

It contains many vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for healthy skin. Milk also contains alpha hydroxy acid, which actually helps to reduce blemishes and has an anti-tan effect on the skin. Cotton wool soaked in cold milk can be used to wipe the skin to remove tan and soothe the skin. Cold milk applied daily, using cotton wool, not only helps to soothe the skin, but also keeps it soft. It also makes the skin colour lighter over a period of time, if used daily. It would suit normal to dry skins. Milk also contains lactic acid, which nourishes and moisturises the skin and helps to delay the visible signs of ageing. Milk can be added to face packs very easily. However, it suits normal to dry skin more.

Gram flour (Besan)
Besan has been traditionally used in beauty care, mainly to deep cleanse and exfoliate the skin. In fact, it used to be one of the main ingredients of “ubtan” a body scrub that was a traditional beauty treatment for brides. The ubtan consisted of besan, rice flour, ground almonds, yogurt and turmeric. First, the body was massaged with sesame seed (til) oil. Then the “ubtan” was applied and washed off after half an hour, while bathing. The washing off and scrubbing away the ingredients helped to clear the skin of dead cells, leaving the skin smooth and bright, with a translucent quality.

Besan can also be added to face packs for removing tan, cleansing and tightening the skin. Mix besan with yogurt, lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric. Apply on the skin and wash it off after half an hour. Mix ground almonds with gram flour, milk and lemon juice. Apply it on the face and wash off after 20 to 30 minutes. It helps to remove tan and lighten skin colour. A besan pack helps to reduce oiliness. It can be mixed with milk or yoghurt and applied, washing it off after 20 minutes.

For pimple prone skin, mix besan with sandalwood paste, turmeric and milk into a paste. Apply on the face and wash it off after 20 minutes. For dark arms and neck apply til oil daily and massage it on the skin. Mix besan, curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric and apply at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour. Then apply til oil and massage it into the skin, as recommended.

Mix a cup of curd, two teaspoons of besan, an egg white and the juice of half a lemon. If you have very dry hair, substitute the egg white with a teaspoon of olive oil. For smooth and fairer skin, mix gram flour with dried and ground orange peels and cream of milk. Apply on the face and neck. After 15 minutes, rub gently on the skin with circular motions. Wash off with water.

By: Shahnaz Hussain

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