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.

Hair - - The Focal Point -

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.


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.

Ex­pert Speak

“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.

Tip Talk

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.


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!

Ex­pert Speak

“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.

Tip Talk

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.

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