Beauty without a cost

Getting clean and clear skin with a perfect glow without breaking your bank is possible, writes Pooja Prabbhan

No beauty product will help if you are not healthy from the inside. Take care of your body.

Don’t we all just wish to go filter- free and rather flaunt an au naturel glow? The perpetual pursuit of an outer-worldly glow is real, and the same is evidenced in the popular beauty buys and extreme diets of the ‘Broque AF’ millennial. Because let’s get this straight: nobody wants their skincare nightmares to play out, and most of us are willing to go the extra mile for that glow. But, what if we told you that you needn’t necessarily blow up your monthly pay cheque to achieve healthy skin that glows inside out?

Here, beauty experts tell how the ‘beauty without a cost’ concept is achievable for real and everything else you need to know…

Patience is key

Slow and steady wins the zero-budget beauty race: “Something that’s categorised as a ‘natural remedy’ doesn’t equate to being ineffective. Natural remedies don’t always take ages for the results to show. It depends on the formula and product. Although, in general, you will not see an overnight or instant result, patiently waiting until four to five uses to see the changes will have your skin thanking you in the long run,” begins Shubhika Jain, founder of Ras Luxury Oils.

She reveals her favourite anti-acne tip: “A thick paste of turmeric and lemon juice will work wonders. A drop of tea tree oil can also be added to that paste. Use a ripe banana, honey and rosewater to make your own face mask at home, which will nourish your skin with its emollient properties.”

Thinking along similar lines, Yogesh, creative director, Blown, adds, “For those battling dandruff issues, dilute one tablespoon of lime juice with water. Apply this solution to your scalp once a week. And, for natural conditioning, mix basil, multani mitti, neem power and milk. Apply this onto your hair every alternate week. Most people who follow a regular beauty and diet routine can see positive results in a month’s time.”

Raid your kitchen

Time to go back to the kitchen: vouching for the beauty properties of underrated kitchen ingredients like salt and coconut oil, Bhavya Chawla, chief stylist, Voonik, reveals a few lesser-known hacks, “Dissolve salt in water to make a concentrated solution. Using a clean towel, apply it on your face and leave for 10 minutes. You will see that this your skin looks refreshed. This also helps to reduce puffiness on your face. The salt treatment can be done every alternate day to keep the skin looking refreshed and hydrated. Similarly, coconut oil is an excellent primer — apply a small amount before starting with your base or foundation, your make-up will remain even and smooth all day.”

Natural is the way

What’s in a ‘soap’? Addressing one of the oft-raised queries, that is, whether soap is good for the skin or not, Sharmeen Fathima, founder of Chennai Soap Company, Chennai, opines that it is better to use a natural/homemade/organic soap than a facewash. “Always use two soaps, one for your face and one for your body. Facial skin is sensitive and thin. You must choose a mild soap, like castile or 100% coconut oil.  For oily skin with acne, we recommend unscented olive or coconut milk. This is because it is very mild and non-irritating and yet, offers deep cleansing at the same time.”

Clearly, there’s no shortcut to looking beautiful. Addressing how the ‘natural’ tag doesn’t equate to a fresh fix and isn’t always a sure-fire way to deem something as safe, Shubhika avers, “These days, several natural products have been formulated for their high efficacy and high-performance ingredients which are super effective while being completely natural. But, let’s not forget that some people are allergic to several natural compounds and a patch test must be conducted before use.”

Opining how one should also take a reality check and come to terms with how ageing is a natural process, Charumathi G R, celebrity make-up and grooming expert, adds, “The complete elimination of wrinkles, dark spots, and sagging are false expectations. While there is no magical or overnight formula to youthful and beautiful skin, raid your kitchen shelves, look into those jars of lentils, cereals and spices, and rummage through your vegetable trays and fruit baskets so that the next time you can’t make it to a salon, you can make do with ingredients such as turmeric, honey, ginger, eggs, cucumber, papaya, banana, gram flour, tea, coffee, cinnamon, avocados and for that ‘perfect’ skin. When we talk about beauty procedures, it’s often pegged as something that one does to the skin. For a change, try gulping down whatever you intend on putting on your face. Real radiance comes from within, through a good diet.”

But again, the rule remains: “Beauty should be inside and out. Drink plenty of water, and eat healthy. No beauty product will help if you are not healthy from the inside. Take care of your body. If you are internally fit, it will reflect on your face and your skin will look healthy and glowing. Also, it’s very important to meditate, do yoga and indulge in some sort of physical exercise for at least half an hour for that glow to really show,” concludes Sharmeen.

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