Replenish dry skin with a cleanse

Every month, Living features a column by our grooming expert, Shahnaz Husain. Readers can send in their queries to dhliving@gmail.com.

FACTS: The skin will  respond to treatments faster in  summer to make up for winter loss.

In spring, nature renews herself. After the harsh winter months, so do our looks. Dry skin suffers from extreme lack of moisture, leading to skin-sensitivity, with rough, red patches.

The coming of spring can also mean skin problems like itching, rashes and eruptions.  The skin is the first to bear the brunt of environmental changes.

 It is never late to start a daily care routine and you will be surprised at how well the skin responds. Start giving your skin daily cleansing, exfoliation, toning and moisturising, according to skin type. Here are some tips to help you tide over the change of season.

For normal to dry skin

Prepare a cleanser at home by mixing half a cup of milk with half a teaspoon of any vegetable oil, like sesame seed (til) oil, olive  or sunflower oil. Leave the mixture in a bottle and shake well. Wipe your skin with this, using cotton wool and keep the remainder in the refrigerator for the next two or three days.

Skin toning

Skin toning helps to improve blood circulation at the surface and adds a glow. Mix half a teaspoon of alum with 50 ml of rosewater and a teaspoon of pure glycerine. Keep this in the fridge and apply daily with cotton wool.

Grate a slice of cucumber. Add yoghurt and apply it on the face. Wash it off after 20 minutes. This tones the skin and removes winter tan.

Daily nourishing

Take pure almond oil and massage it on the skin every night after cleansing, in outward and slightly upward movement, for two minutes. Wipe with moist cotton wool.

Tulsi is useful in fixing skin eruptions. It helps to soothe rashes and eruptions. The paste of tulsi leaves can be applied on the skin and washed off after 15 minutes.

Sandalwood paste can be applied on the eruptive conditions. Or mix sandalwood with a little rose water and apply it on the entire area. Wash it off with plain water after 20 to 30 minutes.

Pimples/acne

Add two drops of tea tree oil to two tablespoons of water or rose water. Apply this on pimples.

For itchy skin, add a tablespoon of vinegar to a mug of water and pour it on the affected area. It helps in relieving itchiness on the skin.

For acne, add a little turmeric paste to milk and apply on the rashes for quick healing.

Neem: Boil a handful of neem leaves on very low fire in four cups of water for an hour. Leave it overnight. Next morning, strain the water and make a paste out of the leaves. Apply it on eruptions and rash. The water can be used for rinsing the area.

Neem contains organic sulphur compounds with versatile healing actions that are of particular benefit to the skin.

A fruit mask works on all skin types. Mix together ripe papaya pulp, grated cucumber, grated apple, mashed banana and apply on the face. Wash it off after half an hour. Curd and oats can also be added to this.

Clays like fuller’s earth (multani mitti) have a cooling and soothing effect. Mix it with rose water into a paste and apply on affected areas.

 Bicarbonate of soda helps to relieve itchy skin. It can be added to the multani mitti pack. Apply it on rashes and eruptions and wash off after 5 minutes.

Body scrub: Twice a week, apply a body scrub. Mix sesame seeds (til), dried mint (pudina) leaves, curd and honey. These ingredients are not normally used, but they have a remarkably rejuvenating effect on the skin.

Crush the sesame seeds coarsely and powder the dried mint leaves. Mix them with a little honey and curd and apply on the face. Rinse with water.

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