Lotions and magic potions

Last Updated : 08 October 2010, 13:04 IST

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The skin on the elbows and knees is thicker and darker than other parts of the body and it tends to become excessively dry, dark and hard. So, your bath time is the right time to pamper your skin and supply it with nourishment. Applying body lotions and creams soon after bathing, while the skin is still damp, helps seal in moisture.

A variety of creams, lotions and oils are available in the market today.  Get yourself a hand and body lotion, or a rich cream, depending on the extent of dryness. A lemon-turmeric cream is helpful in treating cases of extreme dryness on the elbows and knees.  It not only helps soften the skin, but also lightens skin colour over a period of time. You would also need a loofah or rough towel to give the skin a rub, after applying oil or soap. This helps even out rough skin and improve blood circulation.  In winter, use soapless bath gels or glycerine.

Before a bath, treat yourself to an oil massage. This helps soften the skin. Sesame seed (til) oil can be used, or you can use any vegetable oil. While bathing, go easy on the soap and avoid hot water.  Give your knees and elbows a rub with a loofah or rough towel. If the skin appears to be excessively hard, use a pumice stone, rubbing it gently over the skin. But do not use metal scrapers or wire brushes.

Immediately after your bath, apply body lotion while the skin is still damp. If the skin on the elbows and knees is excessively dry, use a rich cream. Massage the cream  on these areas.

Another area is the underarms, which tend to darken over time. This happens mainly due to shaving or excessive use of hair removal creams. Both methods can cause discolouration of the skin. Shaving does not remove hair by the roots. Hair growth  becomes harder, thicker and coarser, giving it  a dark look. Some hair removal creams are also known to cause skin discolouration. The best option of hair removal for the underarms is waxing.

Wax, for hair removal purposes, contains lemon juice and sugar. This combination helps lighten skin colour. Waxing also removes hair by the roots. This is said to gradually lessen hair growth. Mix besan (gram flour), curd, lemon juice and haldi (turmeric). Apply the mixture on your underarms at least thrice a week. Rinse after half an hour.

You must repeat the routine for a few weeks at least to see notable changes. If you treat your skin to some daily care, the results are bound to show.
To treat dark elbows and knees, take two lemon halves and rub them on the skin daily. Wash with plain water.

Use a body scrub twice a week on the elbows and knees. The scrub should be rubbed on the skin. This helps remove dead cells.

Make a scrub at home, using rice flour and curd. The mixture will remove dead cells and help lighten skin colour.

You may also use lentils (dal) to make a body scrub. Soak urad or moong dal (without skin) in a bowl of water overnight. Remove the soaked dal and grind it with milk and use it as a scrub. Wash thoroughly with water.  This scrub can be used on any part of the  body.

You may also make your own massage oil and use it on your knees and elbows. Mix almond oil with sunflower oil and add a few drops of rose or sandalwood essential oil. This mixture has a pleasant fragrance and is better than commercially available, perfumed massage oils. 

Published 08 October 2010, 13:02 IST

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