Skin and Hair Care – The Natural Way

With industry of beauty and skin care having reached epitomic heights in our day and age, we bring you this new column on skin and hair care. In this section we speak about natural remedies, naturopathy and the age-old ayurvedic methods for better skin and hair care. It also tells you how to deal with skin and hair problems, treatments and remedies all the natural way. So, you need not go under the knife or spend tons of money on products and treatments. Just log on every  week for a better understanding.

  • Natural Skin Care For This Season

    It’s humid and hot in India these days. The scorching heat is not only taking its toll on our glucose level, but also bringing down are ‘skin age’. This time is the most alarming time for ‘skin health’ and one needs to take special take.

    For starters cleanse your skin often, at least three times a week. Use the following exfoliating scrub. Make equal portions of gram flour, sandalwood powder and multani mitti. Mix these with rose water and scrub your face. It helps keeping your skin clean, soft and not so dry.

    When it comes to moisturizing you skin as per seasons, there is nothing better than season fruit facial masks… How should you do this? Well, cut the pulp of the fruit or squeeze it into the blender and then apply it on your face as quickly as possible before the vitamins in the fruit lose their potency.

    Mango pulp is great to cure acne problems in this season.
    Grapes and litchee’s are great to use on wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. It helps in moisturizing, detoxifies and nourishes skin.
    Papaya pulp is useful on blackheads and blotchy skin.
    Cucumber on the other hand is extremely cooling and improves dull and oil skin. One can also mix the juice of one small cucumber with one teaspoon of rose water to make a great moisturizer application for the skin.
    Watermelon juice as an application on the face is a great skin toner and makes the skin fresh and healthy.
    Another key skin ingredient for skin care this summer is Coconut water, if rubbed on the skin it lightens and brightens the skin. It is also instrument in getting rid of heat rash. It can be applied as a lotion and left on the skin and then washed with cold rose water.

    This summer, take special care of you eyes and under eyes. Sleep well and before sleeping put a drop of rose water in each eye. It soothes the eye as well as brightens it.

    With regard to your face this is the best summer skin routine to follow. But, one needs to take care of the rest of the body as well. Here are a few rules you can follow while bathing to take care of your body skin…
    Add a cup of buttermilk to your bath if you have large open pores it helps tightening them.
    To nourish and soothe your skin, use this bath formula. Mix 2 teaspoons salt with 1 and half teaspoon almond oil and half a teaspoon vinegar. Apply this on your body before your bath.
    If your skin is prone to getting tanned or is already tanned apply a mix of equal quantity of almond oil and vinegar an hour before bathing. You will be surprised with the results.
    In case of sunburn use a yogurt mask to cure it. Leave it on for ten minutes on the affected area. Rubbing ice cubes also is an immediate cure.
    In case of a heat rash one can apply a mix of corn starch with cold water. It will help a great deal.
    After telling you all about skin care this summers lets move on to our next article: Clearing up pigmentation the natural way.

    Tip of the Day:

    Don’t apply lipstick on chapped lips, a lip balm or gloss several times a day is what you should opt for. A home remedy for chapped lips is to crush rose petals mixed in a little butter. Apply while going to bed. See your problem vanish in a few days.

  • Clearing up pigmentation naturally

    For all those who don’t know what pigmentation is, well it’s a skin disorder where one’s skin discolors. This usually happens due to the malfunctioning of the endocrine glands and the liver. This occurs as either an excessive coloration or darkening of the skin all over or in patches and spots. It is a wide spread disorder found in most middle aged women. Very rarely do younger women suffer from it and if they do also it is very minimal barring a few exceptions of course.

    Pigmentation takes place due to many internal and external reasons. Some of them being… Internal Reasons: Menopause, Amoebiasis (intestine disorder) or deficiency of iron, calcium, vitamin A, E and B. External Reasons: Excessive exposure to the sun, use of bad or old cosmetics and side effect of some oral medication.

    There are many ways to clear pigmentation in a natural way-

    One can bleach that area; milk is considered one of the best natural bleaching agents. So buy your self some milk powder. Take two tablespoons of that, add hydrogen peroxide to it to make a thick paste. Add two drops of glycerin to it and apply on the pigmented areas. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and then rinse it off.

    Vitamin E helps reduce pigmentation. One can break a vitamin e capsule and mix it in a few drops of castor oil and apply it on the area it will surely help.
    Mix half a spoon of granular sugar with your cleansing cream and rub it on pigmented areas this will lightening the pigmentation as well as get rid of the dry and rough skin in that area.
    Almonds are great for pigmentation. Make a thick paste of almonds and apply it on the area it will help a great deal.
    If your entire face is discolored apply the following mask twice a week. Grate the skin of a papaya and mix half cup of multani mitti and 2 broken vitamin E capsules to it. Mix into a paste and apply of the face for twenty minutes and rinse. OR. Make some carrot pulp, mix that with multani mitti and add two drops olive oil make it a thick paste and apply on the affected areas.
    Be sure your skin does not get too dry from pigmentation. To take care of the dryness one can follow these precautions;

    Pat butter milk it is a gentle bleach and moisturizer.
    Equal parts of vinegar, cucumber juice and rose water make a good cleanser for your pigmented areas.
    To moisturize take two tablespoons of grated radish reduced in milk and make it into a thick paste and apply.
    Besides all this, follow these precautions…

    Make sure you’re having enough calcium, vitamins and iron.
    Vitamin A and E are great for pigmented skin. So make sure you supplement yourself with these enough.
    Make sure your see a doctor if the pigmentation is excessive.
    Do not use cosmetics which are coloring agents, try avoid make-up as much as you can. Wear sun-block at all times during the day even if at home.
    Avoid stress and anxiety as much as possible.
    After learning about all the natural ways of clearing up pigmentation, next week we bring to you another vital aspect of beauty How to deal with open pores. Look out for it.

    Tip of the Day:

    Zinc oxide is really effective in lightening the blemishes, so if you go in for a cream from the market make sure it has this component.

  • Identify your skin type

    A person’s skin is the greatest indicator of good or bad health. Primarily, the one thing that every one should begin with when it comes to skin care is categorizing your skin type.

    The prerequisites for all skin types are a well balanced diet and maintaining skin hygiene. When it comes to diet one must avoid excess of carbohydrates, sweets, fried and alcohol which cause blotchiness and blemishes on our skin. Always see that your skin is replenished with the basic vital vitamins like Vitamin B which aids in clearing acne, Vitamin C which is needed to purify ones skin, Vitamin E which keeps the skin glowing and youthful and lastly Vitamin A which aids circulation that stops skin from drying up.

    Drinking 8 to 12 glasses of what is also a requirement for great skin. It keeps one skin hydrated and in turn improves one’s complexion.

    Now, let’s come back to the focal aspect for today: Identifying one’s skin type.

    It is an essential to know your skin type so that you can choose a skin care routine as per your skin type. There are 4 basic, broad skin categories and the point to know here is that each one of us belongs to one of these categories. They are…

    Normal Skin

    A normal skin type is one that is unblemished, smooth and supple. It is by far the best skin type with the least problems, but also requires skin care to maintain its normalcy. This skin types suffers from no problems like enlarged pores or flaky dead cells. Of course, normal skin also has its occasional pimple problem due to hormonal change but it is not acne prone. All you need to do is cleanse your skin with rose water the first thing in morning and keep your skin moisturized all day. Apply a mild sunscreen through out the day as it will protect your skin from environmental evils like UV rays, dirt and pollution.

    Dry Skin

    This skin type is flaky, dull especially around ones eyes and cheeks. Dry skin has a tendency for flakiness, red patches and sore skin especially in cold weather. This skin type needs special care. To begin with one should have plenty of water and fruits to keep the skin hydrated. One needs to cleanse tone and moisturize this skin type regularly twice a day or else one will see wrinkles and fine lines very soon. Besides the CTM routine one needs to scrub this skin type once or twice a week depending on severity of the dry skin.

    Greasy Skin

    A person with this skin type has a shiny oily face which is dull colored. A person with this skin type also suffers with enlarged pores and is prone to acne and blackheads. One aspect that needs to be looked into with this skin type is it requires a lot more cleansing as the enlarged pores get clogged with dirt and grease from the environment. Make sure you splash your face with water at least three times a day if not more. Using toner is also essential on this skin type, but it should be a mild one. Moisturizing this skin type is not really necessary.

    Combination Skin

    This skin type is usually a mixture of dry and greasy skin. Usually a person with this skin type has dry cheeks and a greasy t-zone which is forehead, nose and chin. You need to take care or treat this skin type as a person who has two individual skin types. The t-zone will need loads of cleansing and toning whereas the cheeks would need moisturizing.

    These are the skin types and each of us belongs to one of these categories. Once you have identified your skin type we can tell you how to treat it. Even the most flawless of skin has problems such as dry and oily areas, oily patches, clogged pores, uneven color and allergies. Skin constantly undergoes changes depending on weather conditions, artificial conditions, environmental pollution, nervous tension, insomnia etc and all these factors accelerate to a great extended skin problems and the process of skin ageing. Thus, our next column will be a three part column on the basic skin ritual, which each of us should follow to keep our skin health in check, that of Cleansing, Toning and Moisturizing. Part one of this column is coming up next Tuesday: Cleansing your skin naturally.

    Tip of the Day:

    Milk is one of the biggest skin care essential it makes for a great cleanser, toner and moisturizer.

  • Cleansing – A Skin Ritual

    The first step in taking care of your skin health externally is cleansing it. Perspiration, dust, grease, make-up and bacteria all collect on your skin and need to be removed completely.

    For starters splashing your face with water is a great cleanser. It makes your skin clean as well as fresh but does not get rid of all impurities. For that you need to take more pains and more care.

    Most importantly one needs to know how to apply a cleanser. Well, a cleanser should always be massaged into the skin with light upward and outward movements paying particular attention on areas that have open pores like the nose, neck and ear lobes.

    It is necessary that one uses cotton wool to cleanse ones face and you need to be particular about the cotton. It should be moist while cleansing. Repeat the process till the cotton is clean and has no dirt on it.

    When it comes to cleansing, rose water is the best cleansing agent. Take cotton wool dab it with rose water and apply it on the face to feel fresh and clean immediately. Taking steam is beneficial for cleansing all types of skin too as it gets rid of the surface dirt and unclogs pores.

    Naturopathy suggests masks as one of the oldest beautifying cleansing treatments. You can make a natural cleansing mask made up of…

    ½ tablespoon of yogurt
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    1 teaspoon orange juice
    1 teaspoon carrot juice and
    1 tea spoon olive oil
    Mix these ingredients into make a paste, apply it on your face for 15minutes till it dries and then wipe with out with cotton wool dipped in cold milk. Wait for five minutes and the wash your face with water. You can use this mask twice a week.

    Another cleansing mask that has great results is the Papaya Mask.  Mash two large pieces of ripe papaya and apply it evenly on your face. Rinse off after 20 minutes with warm water. After doing this take a small piece of cotton moist it with butter milk and apply on the face using outward strokes for 5 minutes and then wash with cold water.

    Now, if you have dry skin besides cleansing one needs to Scrub their skin. While scrubbing always use small circular movements as scrubbing stimulates the skin, brings blood to the surface, removes dead cells and cleans the skin. The best natural scrub is either an Oatmeal scrub where one takes grounded oatmeal powder mixes it with a little milk making it a thick paste and apply it or a scrub made of one teaspoon of finely grounded orange peel and grounded almonds mixed in little warm water or butter milk to make a thick paste. Apply these and scrub for 5 to 10 minutes and then wipe off with rose water followed by cold water after 10 minutes.

    I have given you many cleansers for your face but to cleanse ones body skin you can add some ingredients to your bath water as well. For example if you have itchy, dry skin add a cup of vinegar to your bath water. It is exceptionally helpful.

    Adding a spoon of honey to your bath water relieves you of tiredness and sleepiness, it also makes your skin extremely soft and clean. A mixed herb bath is also great for good skin. Add a few aloe vera leaves, tulsi leaves, mint leaves and a pinch of salt to your warm water and see your skin glow.

    Lastly I want to suggest a brilliant mixed herb pack for cleansing one’s body and face. Take 1 table spoon of grounded orange peel

    1 table spoon of grounded lemon peel
    2 table spoon of grounded almond
    A pinch of salt
    1 table spoon of grounded thyme
    Almond oil or olive oil enough to make a thick paste
    Apply this paste on your face and body liberally to cleanse your skin, make it supple and add glow.
    After telling you all about cleansing your skin naturally lets move on to our next skin care essential- Toning. Part two of this column is coming up next Tuesday: Toning your skin naturally.

    Tip of the Day:

    Potato contains Vitamin C it helps in cleansing skin of blemishes. Mix 1 tablespoon of potato juice with multani mitti and apply it on the face it makes for a great cleanser. Multani Mitti absorbs dirt and grease from one’s skin.

  • Toning Your Skin Naturally

    After all the low down on cleansing you skin naturally, lets come to our second part of the CTM routine. Always make it a point to follow your cleansing routine by toning. Toning removes greasiness that remains after cleansing, closes pores, refines the skin and makes the skin’s texture smooth. It also stimulates the blood supply. One should tone the skin in order for it to look fresher.

    Make sure you avoid using very strong toners available in the market these days as the harsh action of alcohol in these toners toughens and makes coarse ones skin, preventing it from functioning normally.

    One should always use toner with a piece of cotton wool, but in case your skin is looking listless then pat it on with brisk slapping movements.

    Skin tonics are generally composed of herbs, flowers, vinegar (ideal skin tonic) and rosewater (the oldest skin freshener). So, here are a few natural toners that one can use and make at home.

    Herb Tonic. Mix 2 tablespoon of dried herbs or flowers in a pint of water. Bring the mixture to a boil in a covered pan. Let it cool, while covered for 12 hours and then strain and keep in a bottle as your toner.
    Cucumber Tonic. Wash and liquidize 2 small cucumbers. Put the juice in a saucepan bring to a boil. On low flame add cinnamon and cloves to this mixture for two minutes. Cool. After cooling add a small cup of rose water. Stir well. Strain in a bottle and use.
    Vinegar Tonic. Take ½ cup vinegar, ½ teaspoon cloves, 1 tablespoon lavender essence or dried lavender, 1 tablespoon fresh rose petals and 1 tablespoon rosemary and ½ cup rosewater mix them in a covered pan and bring to a boil. Then cool for 12 hours and strain in a bottle. It makes an excellent toner.
    Lemon Tonic. Take ½ a lemon, two tablespoons of castor sugar, 2 slices of an orange and put into a pan with half cup milk. Bring the mixture to a boil. When it cools it is ready to be used. Store it in the fridge though.
    Mint Tonic. Take 1 cup of water, add fresh mint leaves, parsley and neem leaves to it. Bring it to a boil. After cooling strain in a bottle to use. This tonic is great for acne prone skin.
    Olive oil Tonic. Take ½ a cup of water, ¼ cup rose water, 3 tablespoon soap flakes, 1 table spoon glycerin and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix together and apply on your skin it’s a great tonic for dry skin, but one needs to wash it after 15 minutes you cant keep it on.
    Carrot Tonic. Mix ¼ cup cabbage juice, ½ cup carrot juice, 2 table spoons of wheat germ and ¼ cup rose water. Strain and put in a bottle. It is a great nourishing toner.
    Besides these other natural products that can nourish skin are Almonds .It contains Vitamin A, which keeps the skin soft and free of wrinkles. Tulsi water makes for a great toner too. The juice of fresh fruits and vegetables tone and provide enzymes that help balance and cleanse the skin.

    All in all a good toner is a non-alcohol refresher that helps remove dirt, it refines the pores and tauten and tones the skin , making it ready for moisturizing treatment.

    After telling you all about how one should tone one’s skin naturally lets move on to our next skin care fundamental Moisturizing. Part four of this column is coming up next week: Indispensable for one’s skin, Moisturizing!

    Tip of the Day:

    The simplest and cheapest toner is splashing your face with cold water.

  • Indispensable for one’s skin, Moisturizing!

    The main requirement for all skin types is moisturizer, which helps to soften it and keep it youthful. For dry skin moisturizer is vital though oily skin needs less moisturizing, but needs it too. The drier your skin the more lavish you should be with your use of moisturizer either in cream or liquid form. Make sure you apply moisture after cleansing and toning for best results. Also before applying any kind of make up always apply moisturizer.

    Experts believe a thin film of moisturizer is helpful under a face pack also as it gives moisture to skin cells.

    When it comes to moisturizing there are few things that you should know. One important aspect is sleep as that’s the time there is no outside influences to bother the skin. So, every night a nourishing cream or natural moisturizing paste must be smoothed upwards over the face and from the chin downwards to relax tight muscles and accelerates circulation. One of the best natural moisturizer to apply in the night and sleep is almond oil put a few drops on your hand and apply it on your face.

    A few moisturizing packs or creams that you can opt for are…

    Onion. Mash and sieve an onion. Mix that juice with a tablespoon of multani mitti. To this mixture add a teaspoon of honey. It makes a great moisturizer.
    Garlic. Beat one egg white, add 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon multani mitti, 1 teaspoon carrot juice and 1 clove garlic. Mix together to make a cream and apply once a week for great results.
    Plum. Mash the insides of 6 boiled plums with 1 tablespoon of almond oil. This makes a great pack and especially for those who suffer from acne.
    Lemon. Take 2 large tablespoons of lime juice; take a small tablespoon of orange zest grated, 1 table spoon of olive oil and a dash of honey. Mix them together and apply it. It’s a great moisturizer for combination skin.
    Apple Mask. Take ½ an apple with the peel, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and a dash of multani mitti. Mix together to make a paste apply for 30 minutes and rinse of with rose water. It makes a great moisturizing skin pack.
    Sesame. Grind 4 tablespoons sesame seeds to powder and mix it with one cup of rose water in a bottle. Keep for 24 hours. Strain and add 4 tablespoons of Vodka and then apply on skin that is pigmented or burned. It is a great moisturizer for this skin type.
    Milk Powder. Mix 1 tablespoon of milk powder and 1 tablespoon of besan. Add 1 teaspoon of curd and enough rose water to make it a thick paste. It makes a great skin pack.
    Besides these packs that are great you can make your own moisturizing cream for which you need 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, 3 ounces of olive oil, 1 ounce of cocoa butter and 2 ounces of rosewater. To prepare it warm the oil and cocoa butter together and separately. Warm the rosewater and aloe vera gel. Place all the ingredients in a blender and whip in to a fabulous cream. If you want to make it a great night nourishing cream decrease the amount of aloe vera and add vitamin e tablets (liquid). Always store this cream in an air tight jar in a cool place.

    After learning all about the CTM beauty routine, now its time we move on to another basic of beauty care which is Natural ways of beautifying one’s eye and teeth. Next week look out for it.

    Tip of the Day:

    Apricot is a magical fruit for all kinds of skin care it contains Vitamin A which has a rejuvenating effect on the skin. It also contains polyunsaturated fats and thus is widely used in skin creams. It smoothes away wrinkles and lightens stretch marks.

  • Natural ways of beautifying one’s…

    Eyes

    Bright eyes indicate good health and vitality. If you are unhealthy the first feature that shows signs of strains is eyes. The first and most basic requirement for healthy eyes is a good diet which is rich in Vitamin A also known as the eye vitamin. Sleep is another essential for healthy and great sight. Eight hours are a must. Lack of sleep can make the eyes look red and puffy.

    Strain, glare, dust particles and pollution are among main enemies for one’s eyes. Sunrays are also something eyes need protection from. The best way to deal with eye strain is to take care. Especially in our times when working on the computer is inevitable.

    Putting regular eye drops and eye- lotion is must for all. One of the most well tried methods of relieving eye strain and removing eye exhaustion is cupping or palming with the hands.

    Make sure never to put heavy night creams, moisturizers or nourishing facial masks around the delicate eye areas.

    Natural ingredients for eye care are…

    Grate half a cucumber, strain it and keep in the fridge to cool. Take two pieces of cotton wool dipped in rosewater and the cold cucumber juice and place these on your eyes. You can do this up to twice day. One should make sure to lie down and relax and keep the mind tension free.
    Apart from relaxing your eyes, cucumber juice will lighten the darkened area around the eyes, especially when combined with lemon juice.
    Prepare black teas and allow it to cool. Soak cotton is cold tea and use as eye pads.
    Crush mint and apply around eyes. This will take away the darkness around the eyes.
    Another very effective way of taking care of one’s eyes is to massage them. Do not rub the skin around the eyes when you apply cream around them. The correct method is to start from inner side of eyes moving towards the other side. Exactly the same method should be applied for the upper lid.

    To maintain eye-health and lower eye tension, there are several easy exercises. For the self lubrication of eyes, either blink your eyes rapidly for fifty times or rotate eye balls in complete circle, first clockwise and then anti clockwise, several times.

    Teeth

    An attractive smile is the most important aspect of being beautiful. Brushing your teeth twice a day (morning, night) with a good tooth brush in downward strokes is a must. Besides that a mouth wash, gum massage and regular tooth checkups are also extremely vital in dental health.

    When it comes to teeth another aspect one needs to look into is the diet. Soft, sticky, sweets, sugary drinks, cakes all leave sticky deposits on teeth. One must avoid them. Always end a meal if possible with fresh crunchy food like an apple or piece of carrot. Always chew your food well and rinse your mouth with water after having a meal.

    Natural ingredients for dental care are…

    The best natural mouth wash is rose water infused strongly with mint. It’s a great anti-bacterial and mouth freshener.
    Another great mouth wash can be made of ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup wine, ½ cup honey and 1 tablespoon powdered cloves. Its great for dental health and cleanliness.
    After learning about all the natural ways of beautifying one’s eye and teeth, next week we bring to you another vital aspect of beauty- Hair Care, look out for it.

    Tip of the Day:

    Carrots are the best source of Vitamin A for your eyes, whereas rubbing regular salt on your teeth is the best way to ensure sparkling white teeth in a few minutes time.

  • Hair Essentials!

    Lovely, shinning, thick healthy hair is one of the greatest beauty assets. Hair is most definitely the body’s barometer indicating good health or lack of it. The health of one’s hair is indicated by a healthy scalp. There are many reasons for a scalp not being healthy, some of them being inadequate blood supply or even due to hormonal problems. Hair is a precious beauty asset which requires good care. Our column today will tell you the basics when it comes to hair care and hair type. The beauty of one’s hair depends on good health. A high protein enriched diet will always keep your hair healthy and strong.  Vitamin B Complex is important for hair health. The best sources of  B Vitamins are whole grains, greens, milk, nuts, meat, fish, poultry, liver etc.  Iron is also very important for healthy luscious hair.

    Let’s begin with the first essential in hair which is Identify your hair type. There are four types – normal, greasy, dry and greasy dry.

    Normal hair is usually shinny but not oily and fairly easy to manage.
    Greasy hair looks great for a day or two but needs regular washing as it becomes lank very easily. If you have greasy hair avoid fried and fatty foods concentrate on eating green vegetables, salads, meat, fresh fish, liver, eggs and cheese.
    Dry hair is the most difficult to manage. It has dry- split ends and usually looks dull. For dry hair add a little vegetable oil to your diet. Dandruff is usually a problem with such kind of hair. A well-balanced diet and less stress can eliminate dandruff permanently.
    Greasy dry hair is usually long hair where the scalp is oily but the hair tips are dry.
    When it comes to hair care an aspect that most people talk about and have to deal with is Dandruff. Today, we give you a few great tips to get rid of this enemy of healthy hair…

    Mix two tablespoons of vinegar and six tablespoons of hot water. Dab with cotton into the scalp, parting the hair with a comb. Try and do this before you sleep so that the ointment can work all night. Do this twice a week and see results within a month.
    Hot oil therapy is known to be the best method to cure dandruff, but there is a way to do this. Massage hot oil into the scalp at bedtime. Next morning an hour before your have your hair wash, rub lemon juice mixed with vinegar 1: 2 ratio into the scalp and then wash your hair with an egg shampoo. You can buy one from the market or make your own. Beat two eggs of water and thoroughly massage this into your wet hair for five to ten minutes. This will give your scalp the needed protein and get rid of your dandruff quicker. Make sure you rinse of the egg shampoo thoroughly but using cold water. People with dandruff should never wash their hair with warm water.
    Rinsing your hair every now and then using the juice of one lemon in a cup of hot water is extremely good for hair that has dandruff. One can do this every wash.  .
    Stroke your hair every night before sleeping if you have dandruff as every hair root had a sebaceous gland that supplies oil to keep hair soft and gleaming. Press the bristles of the brush against the scalp to exercise those glands. This will help reduce your dandruff naturally.
    Give your hair a hot steam bath. Massage hot oil with a damp towel and leave it on the head like a turban so that the steam can fight dandruff.
    Apply a mixture of almond oil and gooseberry juice with finger tips on the scalp.
    Apply  warm mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and coconut oil. Do a steam -towel- wrap for 15 minutes and wash the hair with a shampoo.
    Apply a paste of fenugreek and mustard to the scalp.
    Crush the leaves of five petal hibiscus flower and take the juice. Wash the hair with this juice.
    Add 1 teaspoon of camphor to half a cup of coconut or neem oil. Store it in glass container. Dosage: Massage this oil into the scalp before bed.
    Mix 1 teaspoon of castor, mustard and coconut oil each and massage into the scalp.
    After learning about the basics hair essentials, next week we bring to you Natural Hair Shampoo’s and Conditioners.

    Tip of the day:

    After giving your hair a good wash, boil five teaspoons of dried used tea leaves in lime water and use it as a last rinse after shampoo. This will give your hair a shine and nourishment too.

  • Natural Hair Shampoos and Conditioners

    After discussing a few hair essentials last week, this week I wish to tell you about natural hair care. Over and above the daily brushing, it is necessary to remove dirt and secretions of the sebaceous glands which accumulate on one’s scalp. The one basic that everyone needs to know when it comes to shampooing and conditioning one’s hair is: Always shampoo only the scalp, massage and cleanse and always condition only the hair tip, massage and rinse!

    Another potent question is: How often should one shampoo? Women are advised to shampoo once in every 3 days if normal hair, once every 5 days if dry hair and once in 2 days if oily hair, as frequent  washing of hair can in the long run damage one’s hair.

    One can make their own shampoos at home; I suggest a few recipes…

    Rum Shampoo: Combine two egg yolks with two large tablespoons of sesame oil or odorless linseed oil (painting oil) and two large tablespoons of rum. Apply it on your hair for about an hour and rinse of with warm water. This is especially good for dandruff and dry hair.

    Egg Shampoo: This is one of the oldest and safest hair recipes. Eggs are full of protein and that’s great for your hair. Beat two eggs yolks in a glass of hot water with a small teaspoon of fenugreek seed paste. Strain and massage into you scalp. Leave in for about an hour. Rinse off with warm water. See your hair become healthy with just two applications.

    Tonic Shampoo:  Mix a 100gm each of reetha, shikakai and amla powder with a glass of water. Keep it mixed for 24 hours.After which you bring it to a boil and then cool and strain it. Put it in a bottle and use it like a regular shampoo for every wash.

    Herb Shampoo: This shampoo is for all hair types and works wonders. Take a hand full of basil leaves, 5 to 6 almonds (soaked and peeled), 4 walnuts, a few dried olives about 4 to 5 and soak them overnight. Next morning boil them and strain. This shampoo will help keep your hair soft and shinny.

    As we all know hair reflects one’s general health. Tension, overwork and illness affect one’s hair. Short hair is normally healthier than long as it is easy to maintain. Breaking hair or hair with split ends is usually badly treated. That’s the reason hair should be regularly conditioned. I have listed below a few home made conditioners that would help make your hair healthy…

    All Hair Type Conditioner:  Take 3 tablespoon castor oil, ½ table spoon coconut oil, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon glycerin and 1 teaspoon liquid soap and 1 egg. Make it into a liquid and apply it on your hair tips it brings back the luster of one’s hair.

    Quick Hair Conditioner:  Mix together 1 egg, 2 table spoon castor oil, 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Whisk them making it into a thick liquid. Massage it into the scalp. Wrap your head in a hot towel and steam the hair and then wash it off. This helps in making the hair thicker, shinny, soft and manageable.

    Toning Conditioner: Beat up an egg and 2 tablespoons of brandy or rum, massage into the scalp. Leave for 10 minutes and rinse off.

    Nourishing Conditioner: Specifically for dry or oily dry hair types. Beat up an egg with 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Massage it into your hair. Steam your hair and then shampoo. It will help your hair a great deal.

    Unique Conditioner: Cut a medium sized onion into half a cup of rum. Leave it ferment for 24 hours. Now strain the onions and massage the liquid on your scalp. This is great for people who have scanty hair or suffer hair fall.

    Avocado Conditioner: Mash one avocado which is recommended for its hydrating benefits and proteins and mix with one-tablespoon lemon juice, one teaspoon of sea salt, and one tablespoon of pure aloe until it becomes a paste. Comb through hair with your fingertips. Cover hair with a plastic shower cap or bag, and wrap a towel around it to seal in the treatment. Leave in for 20-30 minutes. Unwrap you newly conditioned hair. Rinse, shampoo and rinse again for soft, luxurious hair!

    Of course there are other fruits like strawberries, figs, apples and banana that you can use for your hair treatment. But the step you do is the same like those that have been described above. You will have good looking hair by the time you check the Internet for more natural hair care products.

    After learning about a few natural Shampoos and Conditioners, next week I bring to you a column on 10 Beauty Recipes. Log on next week AND don’t miss this one.

    Tip of the day:

    There is an emergency recipe for hair glamour. Take an old stocking or thin pair of old socks, cover your brush bristles with it. Spray it with any good quality leave in conditioner and brush your hair vigorously, it will give your hair a bounce and a natural shine making it look great.

  • Ten Beauty Recipes

    For the last few columns, we have spoken at length about skin, skin texture, skin essentials, hair, hair texture and hair essentials, so, to break away from this mould and yet not deviate too much I though I’ll write you something lighter, yet extremely insightful this week. Thus, I bring to you 10 beauty ingredients and recipes, which are essential for all who love looking beautiful and like taking care!

    Here are some fascinating food recipes for you to try…

    Eggs: By far, one of the oldest of beauty aids. The white of the egg is used for toning and tightening one’s skin where as the yolk is great at nourishing and enriching it. An age old facemask and my grandmother favorite is egg white mixed with grounded barley and honey. It is great and very useful for all skin types. Egg being multipurpose is great for one’s hair as well, thus the yolk mixed with 2 tablespoon almond oil, dry skimmed milk and a drop of camphor makes for a great hair cleanser. Egg also has conditioning properties as we all know. Beat two eggs in a glass of rum or brandy or olive oil to get your hair shinning.
    Milk: Another marvelous beauty aid. Half a pint of milk, mixed with one lemon’s juice makes a great night cream. Milk has always been used as a soothing agent, as when there were no creams for sunburns experts would suggest ¼ pint of milk, into which you add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. Milk is also great for nourishing, so if you have dry skin a mask made of milk and honey mixed with ground almond is very useful, whereas for oily skin a mask made of a spoon of bakers yeast and milk is excellent.
    Lemon: It would be absolutely right to say that lemon has bleaching and astringent qualities like no other food item. It is good for dry, sensitive and parched skins, but it is extremely good for oily and blemished skin. Add milk and lemon juice to oatmeal to make a mask that will deep cleanse your skin. If you have colored hair apply lemon juice in the final rinsing water and see your hair glow.  Most people have dark grey elbows; use a mixture of 1 teaspoon lemon juice and two tablespoons of rose water to whiten that area like never before.
    Curd  or Yogurt (Dahi): It surely has many beauty uses. A famous naturopathy recipe is curd and mint mask, this is useful for all skin types. It is easy to make as well, mix one tablespoon of curd with a tablespoon of multani mitti add a teaspoon of crushed mint leaves. Apply 15 minutes and wash off you will see an instant glow. Curd is great for frizzy and unmanageable hair. Massage it through the hair for 3 minutes then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Curd helps in making the skin soft one can apply as it is on the face, hand, legs, whole body it will cool, soften and refresh your skin.
    Butter Milk (Chaas): It’s a great beautifier; mix one or two tablespoons oatmeal with enough butter milk to make a smooth paste apply on the face it’s a great scrub to exfoliate your skin. For open pores soak a cotton wool pad in butter milk and pat on the face. Leave the milk for about ten minutes and wash of with cold water. To get rid of freckles pat on butter milk and leave to dry.
    Honey: It is used in many beauty treatments; it is excellent for smoothing the skin and softening lines. Spread it as a film all over the face. Leave it for 15 minutes and remove with cotton wool pads and warm water. Another way is to mix it with other ingredients to make face packs. For dry skin, a honey and egg mask is very useful. Mix to a paste ½ teaspoon honey, one egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk powder, apply on the face for 20 minutes and rinse off. Whereas for oily skin, mix ½ teaspoon honey with a dessertspoon lemon juice and mix into a paste with multani mitti and rose water.
    Apples: Its excellent toner for oily skin, use as a face mask, cut a large apple very finely and spread a layer all over your face leave for 15 minutes and wash. If you want to move around while doing this take 1 large tablespoon of apple juice mix it with olive oil, almond oil or rosewater and apply on the face.
    Almonds: Almond oil is great for dry skin and dry hair. For large pores mix a tablespoon of finely grounded almonds and rose water to make a paste. Rub it on the face for 15minutes and wash it off. For dry hair and dandruff one can apply almond oil half an hour before washing ones hair. To soften dry skin of hands and face add a cup of cold milk to 20gms grounded almonds and strain then add 10 gms  sugar and use the mixture to smoothen face and hands.
    Avocado: A fruit that is rich in oil, it is again great for all skin types. Eat the fruit first and then rub it all over your body to make your skin subtle and fresh. To make an avocado mask, mash one ripe avocado with a teaspoon of lemon juice and then beat into the white of an egg. Leave for 20 minutes and then rinse off.
    Barley: Powder barley and mix it with two teaspoon full of lemon juice and milk to make a nourishing face pack. This will improve the circulation of blood and give a deep cleanse. For making a hand and skin cream mix 1 tablespoon honey, white of an egg, 1 teaspoon of glycerin with grounded barley and rub on to the skin.
    I call this my top ten beauty ingredients. As you read the column you will notice how each of these ingredients rely on the others to make different packs, masks and products. Keep your homes stored with these items for great skin. Next week, look out for  Ageing skin column, which will be broken into 6 parts dealing with problems of ageing skin.

    Tip of the day:

    Beside food items herbs are great for skin too. One such magical herb is mint or pudina. It is easily available and can be grown in your own backyard.  If added to your bathing water it helps cure skin disorders and revitalizes the bather.

  • skin and its aging

    Skin ageing is the process of the skin becoming dry as the sebaceous glands become less active. The skin loses its elasticity as the elastin fibers hardens and wrinkles appear due to the cross linking and hardening of collagen fibers. The epidermis (the outer most layer of the skin) grows slowly and the skin appears thinner. Broken capillaries appear, especially on the cheeks and around the nose. The facial contours become slack and muscle tome is reduced. Blood circulation slows down which interferes with skin nutrition, and the skin may appear sallow. Metabolism slows down. Collagen production breaks down. Hormone production is reduced. Patches of irregular pigmentation appear on the surface of the skin. Dark circles and puffiness may occur under the eyes.

    Fine lines are shallow grooves in the epidermis which can be made to look less obvious by the use of cosmetic products that improve hydration and suppleness. Wrinkles are of two types: permanent and non-permanent.

    Permanent wrinkles are present as a deep wrinkle on sun-exposed skin such as face and neck and they do not disappear on stretching.
    The non-permanent wrinkle is a shallow wrinkle that develops on sun-protected skin such as abdomen and bottom, where skin becomes thin and wrinkles easily. As the subcutaneous fat tissues decrease with age these wrinkles disappear easily on stretching.
    A truth that many people are unaware of is that cosmetic products cannot reverse wrinkle development as wrinkles are the effect of changes in the dermis. As we grow older, fine lines and wrinkles begin to develop and one cannot stop it. One can only prevent it and keep it at bay. So, the question is how wrinkles can be prevented? The best way to prevent skin damage is to avoid episodes of excessive exposure to sun during the hours of 10am to 4pm. Harsh ultra violet rays from the sun hastens the process of ageing, causes wrinkles, skin burns and may finally cause skin cancer. Another way of taking care is a daily preventive skin care routine. As part of a regular routine, it is advisable to wash the face with a mild soap that contains moisturizers. Alkaline soaps should be avoided. The skin should be patted dry and immediately lubricated with a water based moisturizer. Many creams and lotions are available for wrinkle protection, although very few have been proven to be effective. Soap that contains salicylic acid can help remove old skin. It is very important to rub gently. Rubbing perpendicular to the wrinkle mechanically removes the outer layer of dead skin cells and is particularly effective. Exfoliation helps a great deal too. Using scrubs however causes certain conditions, such as acne, sensitive skin, or broken blood vessels. One should also make sure they re-hydrate their skin to combat ageing. This service includes skin cleansing with a cream, steaming, deep cleaning to remove impurities and rejuvenation massage up to the neck.

    Ayurveda- the spiritual health science gives traditional herbal ways to rejuvenate and maintain youth. Skin through the science of ayurveda is broken into three doshas- vatta (dry), pitta (sensitive) and kapha (oily).

    For vatta: To prepare the pack, collect one teaspoon each of almond powder, dry milk, ashwagandha powder and sugar. Make a fine paste with rose water or sandal water or milk. Apply a thick layer on your skin for 15 to 20 minutes then wash with plenty of water. Another body pack is prepared by mixing pulp of two ripe bananas with mashed water melon and ½ teaspoons honey and glycerine. Apply thick paste on body, wait for it to dry and then wash.
    For pitta: Mix 1 teaspoon each of orange peel and manjistha with ½ teaspoon each of daruhaldi and neem. Add to it neem or triphala water and apply the paste in the body till it dries. Another pack is prepared by mixing ½ teaspoon each of dhania powder and manjishtha and 1 teaspoon each of chandan powder and trifila powder with honey or coconut water or cucumber water. In case of blemishes on the skin, apply a paste mixing apple, cabbage, grapes and tomato.
    For kapha: Mix 1 teaspoon each of barley and lemon with half teaspoon each of orange and lodhra. Add to it neem or mint water to make a paste, apply and allow to dry. Do not scrub, wash or remove with water. Another pack is prepared by mixing 2 teaspoons salamli with ¼ teaspoon alum powder and fresh aloe vera gel. Apply for 15 minutes till it dries and wash. The third type of pack can be prepared by mixing 1 cup fresh pineapple with ½ cup fresh papaya and 2 teaspoon honey. Apply pack to full body. Allow to dry 30 minutes and take a bath afterwards.
    Tip of the Day:

    Around and after age of 40, skin cells begin to take longer to regenerate due to the change in hormones and decreasing levels of Vitamin E. So, please increase the quantity of vitamin E after 40 by having a vitamin E supplement.

  • How to deal with open pores

    Most of us talk about skin pores, but are unaware of their function and how to deal with them. Well, in laymen terms skin pores are tiny outlets not visible by the naked eye, these pores carry out the important function of eliminating water, salts, uric acid and oily secretions from our body. Dermatologist state an inadequate elimination of these body toxics lead to poor health, skin infections and other skin disorders.

    Many times when our skin pores have to deal with an unusually high and excessive excretion, they enlarged in size becoming visible to the naked eye.

    In other cases, when blockages appear in the skin pores, it results in the over- accumulation of the secretions within the glands in our skin. These are finally released by rupturing of the skin leaving gaping pores behind.

    There are many reasons behind pores getting enlarged, mainly being…

    Picking and touching of acne
    Improper cleansing of the skin
    Wrong use of certain cosmetics
    Large pores can be easily dealt with proper cleansing and frequent toning of the skin. A large number of vegetables, fruits and herbs help in tightening the enlarged pores. Steaming the face five minutes before toning is also very helpful. One can also try a skin tightening mask. Peel a cucumber and whip it up with two egg whites. Add one teaspoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of brandy and half a teaspoon of ground mint. Make sure the paste is nice and thick and then apply generously on the large pores leaving it on for 20 minutes. Repeat this mask twice a week for quick results.

    Another magical pack for open pores is: Take a pinch of camphor p^owder, add a tablespoon of honey and few drops of brandy to that. Apply it on the face and leave it on for twenty minutes before rinsing it off. One can use this daily.

    A great remedy to control open pores is tomato juice and honey mix them and apply it, it will surely help a great deal.

    There is another grandma’s recipe for open pores: Make a thick paste of corn meal or dahlia in some butter milk or cucumber juice. Apply it on the face for fifteen minutes and rinse it off. Apart from treating open pores this mask helps in improving the texture of the skin as well.

    Cleansing your face well and then apply a natural large pore astringent like cucumber juice, rose water or fresh orange juice will keep your skin fresh as well as close the open pares.

    Besides these remedies a few aspect one should look into are…

    Don’t pick or squeeze acne, white heads etc.
    Apply minimum makeup if skin is oily. Only water based make up is advised.
    Cleanse your skin well at least twice a day.
    Apart from that vinegar and water, milk, yogurt, tomato and almond meal are other food products that are effective in treating skin pore condition. They can be used in form of lotions and facial masks.

    After learning all about how to deal with open pores, next week we bring to you another vital aspect of beauty. Look out for it.

    Tip of the Day:

    Alum powder is a great skin tightening agent one can mix it with honey and water and apply it on open pores it helps a great deal.