Fresh face forward
Amid your busy schedules, take a few minutes to pamper your skin with ingredients directly from the heart of nature, says BRINDA GILL.
M onsoon and the humidity surely call for some special care and extra pampering for your skin. And who knows pampering and care better than Mother Nature? In the face of all the cosmetics our markets are flooded with, natural ingredients stand strong in their effectiveness. Here are some face scrubs packed with natural goodness for you to battle the monsoon woes.
TOMATO AND SUGAR
Low on calories, great to taste and packed with vitamin C, beta carotene, folate and potassium, tomatoes are enjoyed raw and cooked, as a juice and in various dishes. Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant present in tomato skin, is credited with improving immunity and slowing down damage to cells caused by ageing and disease. Apart from being a great food, tomatoes are also super for your skin. Add a dash of sugar to tomato paste and you have an easy and effective scrub to cleanse your face. Topical application of sugar is believed to heal, hydrate and moisturise the skin.
“Use the tomato-sugar scrub before you go to the beach or the pool on a summer day. The scrub helps clear dead skin and also reduces fine lines, tan and open pores. It is safe for people who have acne,” says beauty professional Leena Khandekar, Owner, Lee’s Beauty Centre & Spa, Pune. Leena says a few drops of essential oils such as lemon and citronella can be added to the scrub. The scrub should ideally be used fresh or else it is best stored in the freezer. She suggests mixing one cup of granulated sugar to one medium chopped tomato, slowly adding 1/3 cup coconut oil for skin nourishment followed by 3-10 drops of essential oil.
For those short on time, Leena recommends cutting a thick slice off the top of a tomato, dipping this into some sugar, and gently scrubbing the face in a circular motion.
MARGOSA AND SANDALWOOD
Regarded as an air purifier, the margosa or neem tree offers a wealth of benefits derived from extracts of its leaves, seeds and bark. Neem leaves have long been used in Ayurveda for their healing attributes; leaves are consumed, their decoction sipped and paste applied on the skin for treating boils and other skin afflictions. Sandalwood is another time-honoured natural remedy for different ailments as well skincare. Available in red and white varieties, sandalwood is popularly used for its antiseptic, cooling, toning and moisturising attributes. So a neem-sandalwood scrub offers a host of benefits!
“Neem is available mainly in three forms — leaves, powder and oil. The sandalwood-neem scrub helps to gently exfoliate the skin. Other natural ingredients such as rice powder, a bit of tulsi, turmeric, besan, honey, coconut oil, milk and rose petal powder may be added to the blend to get a wonderful, inexpensive clarifying scrub. These ingredients draw out excess body heat, protect the skin from the negative effects of environmental pollution, soothe irritated skin and relieve itches and dryness thus keeping skin clear and healthy,” says Leena.
The amount of milk or rose water added should be minimal to keep the scrub thick in consistency. The scrub may be applied once in two weeks for the desired results. It works in all seasons and for all skin types.