You don’t need to break the bank for great skin! While nothing beats the convenience of a store-bought product that suits the needs of your skin, you can also look to your pantry for cues. Everything you need is probably at home on hand – you’re just not using it right.
Here are some hacks for every conceivable issue – from acne to fine lines, from suntan to burns.
1. Baby Oil For Makeup Removal
2. Cow’s Ghee For Mild Burns
3. Freshly-Cut Tomato For Tan Removal
4. Toothpaste For Ant Bites Or Acne
5. Egg White Mask For Facial Hair Removal
6. Turn To Your Pantry
Baby Oil For Makeup Removal
Astringent-based makeup removers can dry out skin that’s already suffered the ill-effects of makeup. Heavy oils can clog pores, causing breakouts and acne. Any good baby oil is an apt substitute because it is light, and also safe to use since the ingredients are hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin. It leaves the skin nourished, doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and does the job effectively! You can also use extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin coconut oil if you have dry skin.
Actor Shilpa Shetty makes her own makeup remover, which is a blend of oils. Take equal quantities of a baby oil of your choice and pure coconut oil. Mix the two together and smooth with your hands all over the skin. Then using cotton wool, gently wipe it off, until all the makeup is out. Wash with your night cleanser, moisturise with your night cream and you’re good to go!
Tip: Apply any pure, light oil of your choice over the skin, then wipe away with a cotton ball until the makeup is out.
Cow’s Ghee For Mild Burns
While whipping up something in the kitchen if you accidentally scald yourself, the general tendency is to use cold water on it. However, that’s not too effective as the affected area will still blister. Instead, use this ingredient immediately before blisters start to form – cow’s ghee! Even if the burn has formed, ghee can be used to treat the affected area, and it will heal beautifully, without too much scarring.
Note though, that this is only for minor scalds and burns. For more serious ones, you should see a doctor. Ghee is generally useful in the healing of all kinds of skin wounds and should be kept handy in one’s pantry and a first-aid kit.
Tip: Apply cow’s ghee the minute you get a burn, to stop it from blistering.
Freshly-Cut Tomato For Tan Removal
If you’re looking to alleviate suntan and soothe your sunburnt skin, applying raw tomato on the affected area is a great hack. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that offers many benefits, including protecting the skin from harmful UV rays and even skin cancer. It has cooling properties that soothe sunburn and also astringent benefits that tighten large pores.
The lycopene content also stabilises blood vessels under the epidermis, which result in more even-toned skin. Make a hand scrub with tomato pulp and gramflour (besan), and use it at least twice a week, or after prolonged sun exposure. You can also use cucumber slices, which boast skin lightening benefits or rinse your hands with lauric acid-rich coconut water.
Tip: Rub freshly-cut tomato all over the exposed area, to remove suntan.
Toothpaste For Ant Bites Or Acne
Toothpaste traditionally contains triclosan, a chemical formula that kills acne bacteria and drying up pimples. In addition, it also contains other ingredients like baking soda, alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, which could dry up pimples. However, this is great if you know the toothpaste won’t react adversely, and cause any other skin complications, so always run a patch test.
Also, a long-term solution for acne is to use ointments that contain salicylic acid, topical retinoids and other medically-certified compounds for acne.
For ant bites, dab traditional white toothpaste (not the gel variety) onto the affected area. It will subside much faster. This works for all kinds of bug bites and mosquito bites.
Tip: Apply white toothpaste on any kinds of bug bites or zits, to see it subside much faster.
Egg White Mask For Facial Hair Removal
For those of you looking to remove fine, unwanted facial hair at home here’s an instant remedy. Egg whites are the perfect ingredient for this in more ways than one! Here’s how it works – the sticky texture of the egg white form a film over the face that sticks to the skin. When you peel out the mask, it pulls out the very fine, thin hair on the face, leaving your skin smooth.
To make a peel-off mask, take the white of one egg, add one teaspoon each of sugar and cornflour and stirs into a smooth paste. Apply it all over the face, and peel off once it dries up. The sugar and cornflour add to the stickiness. In addition to removing excess hair, eggs are also a great source of protein for the skin and contain B vitamins that promote cellular health.
Tip: The sticky egg white helps remove facial hair; when it is used as a mask and then peeled off, the hair comes out.
Turn To Your Pantry
Your home is a natural haven for beauty products, since most kitchens house basics that double up as skin essentials. Turmeric, for instance, is an Indian cooking staple known for its potent health benefits. This comes from curcumin, a bioactive compound that is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant in nature. The ancient ritual of applying haldi on the skin is grandma’s wisdom at its best. It adds a glow to the skin, boosts collagen levels, and is great for acne.
Curd is a probiotic with good bacteria that make your skin look more youthful. It is a natural moisturiser, skin-brightener, and also packs in oodles of protein, calcium and vitamin D for the skin.
Honey is a natural antibacterial and soothing agent, which reduces inflammation and speeds up the healing of skin cells.
Avocadoes are rich in vitamin E, great for mature and dry skins that need the extra nourishment. It’s also a great idea to keep an aloe vera plant in your kitchen and use the juice for all kinds of issues plaguing sensitive skins – from rashes to sunburns and fungal infections.
Tip: Turmeric, curd and honey are among the many home remedies for skin in your kitchen.
Q. Which herbs make for good home remedies for skin?
A. You can use a variety of herbs on your skin for their medicinal properties. Tulsi or the holy basil is a natural astringent and toner. It improves blood circulation, soothes irritation, and prevents premature ageing. Lavender has antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic benefits for skin with acne and other issues. Neem is another good antibacterial, and more easily sourced. Mint is a natural anti-inflammatory, great for dry skin.
Q. How can cold water or ice be used for skincare?
A. If it’s good enough for Katrina Kaif, it’s good enough for us! She dunks her face in a bowl of icy water for skin benefits. Ice water or ice cubes improve blood circulation under the epidermis, and keep the skin refreshed and rejuvenated. It is also a great way to get rid of breakouts and blemishes, thanks to the cooling effect on the skin. Ice cubes can also be rubbed under the eye, to do away with dark circles.
Q. What are the uses of rosewater in skincare?
A. Pure distilled rosewater makes an excellent cleanser sans the harsh chemicals. It also helps maintain the skin’s pH balance, closes facial pores, and prevents the appearance of blackheads and whiteheads. This miracle ingredient is suitable for all skin types.
Here’s a simple rosewater-based DIY mask. Take 2 tablespoons rosewater. Add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil or sweet almond oil, a teaspoon of pure honey and stir in well until it forms a smooth mixture. Add 2-3 crushed and ground mint leaves. Apply all over the face and neck and leave on for ten minutes.
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