Of soaps and scrubs

BEAUTY CORNER

Of soaps and scrubs

During summer, the skin tends to lose its glow and thus begins the challenge of trying to infuse life into tired-looking skin. This is more so in the case of oily skin. This is where exfoliation with scrubs and natural soaps plays an important role. It keeps the pores free of clogged oil and removes dead skin cells. Scrubs also help to lighten a tan. Some common kitchen ingredients such as lemon juice, lemon rind, curd, milk, turmeric and almonds  help to lighten skin colour over a period of time. 

The shedding of dead skin cells and formation of new ones is a constant process. Healthy skin is capable of renewing itself completely in about 28 days. In fact, the shedding of dead cells encourages the birth of new ones. However, due to several reasons, the process of cell renewal may slow down. This could lead to the collection of dead cells on the skin surface, leaving it rough and dull. Skin tone also becomes uneven. Exfoliation speeds up the cell renewal process and delays signs of aging. 

Exfoliation of the skin can be done with facial scrubs and cleansing grains or soaps. These are grainy substances that should be rubbed gently on the skin and then washed off. Cleansing grains can be mixed with a skin tonic and rubbed gently on the skin, in a circular motion. Soaps can be made at home. The grains or scrub must be washed off with plenty of cool water. 

Oily skin benefits from exfoliation, as it keeps the pores free of clogged oil and discourages blackheads. Enlarged pores may gradually shrink.
If you have oily skin, use a scrub every day, immediately after cleansing or washing your face. However, scrubs and grainy substances should not be used if you have pimples, acne or rashes.

There are several ready-to-use face and body scrubs in the market which contain ingredients like walnut, aloe vera and lemon oil. They help remove dead epithelial cells, leaving the skin cleaner, brighter and healthier. They also improve skin texture. They may be used twice or thrice a week. While walnut cleanses and nourishes the skin, aloe vera is a powerful natural moisturiser. Lemon oil helps clean the skin and keep it healthy.

Summer scrubs

Commonly available ingredients can easily be used to exfoliate the skin. Ingredients like almond meal (ground almonds), oatmeal, rice flour, wheat bran and sesame seeds can be used as face or body scrubs. Cucumber, pumpkin seeds, orange and lemon peels can be dried and powdered and added to scrubs. They should be mixed with water, rose water, curd or milk. For dry skin, facial scrubs should be used only once a week. For oily skin, they may be used twice or thrice a week. Here are some simple recipes:

*Mix together one teaspoon of ground dry orange and lemon peels, one teaspoon oats and one teaspoon ground almond. Add rose water or yogurt. Apply this paste on your face and rub gently with a circular motion. Rinse off with water. 

*Mix oatmeal with honey and apply on the face in the same way. For open pores and blackheads, mix oatmeal with egg white and apply on the area. When it dries, wet your the skin with water and rub gently with a circular motion and rinse with water. Both egg white and oatmeal help reduce oiliness and brings great relief during the hot months.
 
*For a nourishing scrub, mix a tablespoon of almonds, one tablespoon of honey and egg white. Apply it on the face and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Wet your face with milk or water and gently scrub. 

For all skin types

*Take two tablespoons of coarsely ground almonds and one tablespoon of honey. Mix together and apply. After five minutes, massage your face and then rinse with water.  
nTake half  a cup of sugar and three tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix and scrub your hands with it.  It helps to lighten a tan.

*The best body scrub is the age-old  ubtan. It contains wheat bran, gram flour (besan), curd or cream of milk (malai) and a pinch of turmeric (haldi). Mix well together and apply on the entire body. Leave it on for 20 minutes before you shower. It helps clear away dead cells and make the skin clean, soft and smooth.

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