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 Beauty Aids from the Kitchen Caboose

Heal India

Beauty salons offer a bewildering variety of treatments and almost every day one or the other type of skin care product is launched. A good number of these cosmetics flooding the market are synthetic based and do us more harm in the long run. “Back to basics” is the mantra for modern beauty and the search is for things rooted in nature. For sure, nature at its best never comes in a sealed tube or a jar attested by a precise date. A better source is the kitchen shelf where you have the liberty to create things using the best of ingredients that will provide greater healing properties and higher nutrients. A careful creation can surpass the best of commercial cosmetics. Commercial cosmetics are all about convenience at a price. A safer alternative is grandma’s concoctions, passed down generations that continue to be beauty essentials that have been tried and tested for years. Many of our grandmothers had to make their own cosmetics and the attestations to their beauty tell us that they did it well. For sure the kitchen cosmetics are the best route to a healthy skin and glowing complexion naturally.

For Glowing Complexion - Use Cleansers

Loaded with exfoliating acid, yogurt is ideal for polishing your skin. It peels away dry patches and imparts a dazzling glow. After cleansing, simply spread a teaspoon of plain yogurt on your face and allow it to dry (15 mins) and then rinse. Yogurt can be combined with honey to make a face mask. Prepare a paste by mixing two teaspoons of gram-flour, a pinch of turmeric and reasonable amount of curd. Cover the face with the paste for five minutes and then wash off with tepid water for a soft and supple complexion. Papaya and pineapple make wonderful cleansers. Apply the pulp on the face and wash them off after 20 minutes. This is specially recommended for oily skin. Another option is to allow egg white spread on your face to dry up and then wash it off with luke warm water. In fact Henry III of France went to bed wearing this mask made of egg whites mixed with flour. For dry skin, An ideal weekly mask would be a teaspoon of olive oil mixed to an egg yolk and beaten thoroughly. Allow the mask to dry (20 mins) and then rinse away with cotton dipped in warm milk. Wash your face at least thrice a day. Prefer rinsing it with fresh milk and then washing it off with water after few minutes. Milk is an ideal remedy for sun-burnt skin and should be applied after prolonged exposure to sun. It further helps to remove oil and dirt and adds sparkle to your face.

Exfoliation

Is vital to skin care. One should consider it as a weekly regimen so that all the dead cells make way for effective use of cleansers, toners and moisturizers. It is a must for those with oily skin. The most simple way to exfoliate is to use a teaspoon of white sugar mixed with two teaspoons of cold water. Yes cold water or else sugar granules will dissolve soonest. Gently massage your face using circular movements and then rinse with warm water. An oatmeal paste prepared in water is another good exfoliate. A more complex preparation requires 1 teaspoon of ground almond, 2 teaspoons of honey, 4 teaspoons of lemon juice, half of a cucumber and a quarter of banana. Mash them up and massage the paste on the face. Clean it up with wet cotton. It will effectively clean the skin and rid you of all the skin debris.

Body Care (Skin Toners)

Before bathing consider rubbing your arms and legs with a paste made up of milk, gram flour (or wheat bran) and turmeric in equal ratio. This will soften your skin. Another recipe for soft skin is a teaspoon of honey added to your bucketful of water. Alternately, you can follow the Japanese style Nuka bath. The Japanese prefer hot bath as a perfect way to unwind. They wrap a few handfuls of fresh rice bran into a cloth bag and drop it in the bath. The vitamin rich oils of the rice will cleanse your skin thoroughly and leave it soft and silky. Any vegetable oil can be added to bath water to prevent dryness. Indians prefer to massage themselves with mustard oil, especially in winter. Better still, if mustard, olive and sesame oil in equal parts are mixed and massaged an hour before bath to ensure a soft and smooth skin. Rosewater is a superb skin freshener and its inexpensive. Apply from cotton wads in circular motion from the chin upwards in a clockwise direction. It calms the skin and imparts a sense of good feeling. Add a Chamomile tea bag in boiling water and then allow it to cool. Once it is tepid, remove the tea bag and splash the tea water onto your face. It calms our skin and makes the skin feel good.

Moisturizers

Egg yolks are acknowledged as nature’s best moisturizers. Almond or avocado oil works equally great. Simply massage a spoonful of almond oil and ensure that you don’t overdo it. Almond oil is a time honored moisturizer and suitable for all skin types. It is widely used in cosmetics as it is quickly absorbed. It lubricates but does not leave behind a greasy feeling.

Eye Make Up

Prepare an eye makeup remover by mixing one tablespoon of castor oil and an equal amount of olive oil to two teaspoon of corn oil. Apply this oily mixture around your eyes with cotton to remove make up around the eyes. Grape seed oil is ideal for skin around the eye area. It effectively removes the most stubborn mascara and even waterproof.

Astringent

An ideal home astringent can be prepared by mashing up a peeled cucumber and then adding glycerin, eau de cologne and rose water in the ratios of 1:2:3 tablespoons.

Hair Conditioners

Egg yolks make great conditioners. A simple way is to mix it with 2 teaspoon of castor oil, followed by a massage into your hair. Alternately, mix the egg yolk with equal volume of yogurt and allow them to remain on the hair for a while before washing it off. This oil is a basic ingredient in most of the expensive eye care products. For dark circles and puffiness around the eyes, the age old remedy is potato. Simply slice it and rub it around the eyes. One can apply it all over the face and see its magical effect as it cleanses and tones up the skin. If you use a whole egg whisked with a little lemon juice and condition your hair with this concoction, it will add shine also. For oily hair prepare egg shampoo by mixing two of the egg yolks to 200 ml of rum. Apply this mixture and let it stay for 20 minutes and then give it a final rinse with few drops of vinegar tinged in water. Alternately use lemon juice for a mug of water. For the silky touch consider rinsing hair with water in which used tea leaves have been boiled and cooled. Another simple recipe for shiny hair calls for a teaspoon of olive oil and baking powder to be mixed thoroughly to the avocado pulp. Leave the paste on the hair for 20 minutes and then wash out. Another fruity option is to prepare a paste of banana, cucumber and tomato and bit of curd. Apply the paste half an hour before bathing. An emergency hair gel can be prepared by boiling 2 teaspoons of sugar in half a cup of water. Let it cool and then apply to hair. 

Lip Gloss

To protect your lips from drying out and for the extra shine mix a teaspoon of fresh aloe vera gel, half a teaspoon of coconut oil and few drops of vitamin E oil. Store it in a small container and apply it on the lips with a lip brush.

Originally written for Heal India, edited and distributed by DesiDieter.

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