“To a true artist only that face is beautiful which, quite apart from its exterior, shines with the truth within the soul.” - Mahatma Gandhi
It is true that real beauty is not just skin deep, but having a beautiful skin on the exterior too, is an added bonus which most of us would sacrifice an arm and a leg for! The skin is the largest and most visible organ on our body, weighing about 15% of the complete body weight. Taking care of our skin and keeping it healthy and nourished should therefore be our prime concern. Exposed to the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun, dust and pollution, the skin is subject daily to nothing less than third degree torture! Even though skin cells keep rejuvenating on a regular basis, our skin starts wearing out with age, due to stress, weather, pollution, and harsh chemicals, causing wrinkles, dark eyes, dull patchy skin, and pimples.
Effects of Chemicals on the skin
There are hundreds of skin care products available in the market, which promise to convert you from this shy, introverted and ugly duckling to an outgoing and beautifully fair person in just seven days! Little do we realize the harm we are doing to our skin, as most cosmetics have ingredients in them which are so deadly and dangerous that, despite their short term benefits, has a disastrous effect on the skin later on?
Bleaches and fairness creams contain chemicals like mercury and hydroquinone that help to instantly lighten the skin, but have deadly long term effect as they cause wrinkles and sagging of the skin and could even cause cancer later on if used regularly. Similarly, most other chemicals used in cosmetics like mineral oil, Ethylene Oxide and chemicals to make synthetic fragrances cause premature ageing, wrinkles and sagging skin.
Tips for Glowing Skin: Off the Kitchen Shelf
Why do we have to punish our skin by using such dangerous chemicals when there is a much natural, cheaper and safer way to have a glowing skin? Look around in your kitchen and you will find that what you use in your daily cooking and diet to keep your body healthy and nourished, is in fact useful in producing dramatic and beautiful effects on your skin too. From the humble turmeric to the more exotic avocado, these fruits, vegetables and condiments will ensure a long lasting, and more beautiful you, with no side effects.
Turmeric is an age old ingredient that finds its place of honor in most of Grandmas recipe for a blemish free skin and is effective in getting rid of acne. Honey is also great in giving a glow to your skin. Oats and ground orange peel are great for exfoliating the skin and getting rid of dead cells and impurities. Fruits are the best and cheapest way to pamper your skin. They are cheap and easily available and are a natural way to have wrinkle free skin, free of toxins. Bananas are rich in vitamin A, B and E a great anti – ageing agent. (Read more benefits of Banana) Lemon contains Vitamin C, and helps to lighten skin. It is a great skin astringent and also helps to remove tan. Oranges are also rich in vitamin C. They also contain collagen which has anti ageing properties. The skin of the Papaya is an antioxidant and contains an enzyme called Papain which helps to get rid of dead cells and clears impurities from the skin. Milk cream and curd can also be used for moisturizing and removal of tan. The juice of tomato is an excellent toner and gives an instant glow to the skin. Most vegetables like cucumber, potatoes and even spinach could be used to enhance skin texture. The powder of pulses like Chana Dal and Green Gram Dal are also effective in getting rid of unwanted hair and are regularly used even on infants.
Tips & Home Remedies for Glowing Skin
Given below are some combinations of these kitchen products, which when used can give a dramatic effect and cause your skin to glow.
The Natural way to Bleach Skin:
- Few drops of lemon juice added to a tablespoon of milk and massaged on the face and neck will soften the skin and also bleach the face. Rinse the face after 20 minutes for better results.
- A tablespoon of cucumber juice, with a few drops of lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric powder can be used to whiten the facial skin. Apply this paste on the face and the neck and allow it to remain for 30 minutes. Rinse with water.
- A slice of unpeeled potato, soaked in water for five minutes can be rubbed on the face to brighten the skin. Potato is a natural bleaching agent.
- Paste obtained from grinding cucumber with lemon juice is a good astringent, which can clean and bleach the skin.
- A paste of milk, with sandalwood powder and turmeric powder applied daily on the face for 5 minutes improves the complexion.
- Apply 2 tablespoons of Fullers Earth, mixed with 1 teaspoon each of lemon juice and buttermilk. Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse with water. Helps in lightening the skin.
How to get rid of Blackheads the Natural way:
- Make a lotion with equal parts of lime juice, almond oil and glycerin. Apply to your face. Not only does it helps to clear the blackheads but reduces the discoloration spots on the face too.
- Apply an inch- sized amount of toothpaste on a toothbrush, and after wetting the affected area, gently scrub the area for some time. (No, you cannot use the same toothbrush you use for your teeth, and yes, please do sterilize the toothbrush by soaking in boiling water, before use). Wash face with warm water.
Keep wrinkles at bay the natural way:
- Mash 2 tablespoons ripe papaya, with 1 tablespoon of gel from the Aloe Vera plant. Apply on face and neck for 5 minutes and then rinse with cold water. Read more home remedies for wrinkles
Glowing skin tips for dehydrated and mature skin:
- To an egg yolk, add 2 tablespoons of honey and 10 drops of almond oil. Whip together until creamy and apply on face for 10 minutes. Wipe off.
- To an egg yolk add I tablespoon of yogurt, I tablespoon honey and mix gently. Apply to a clean face. Wash off with tepid water after about 20 minutes. This is known as the Heavenly mask and promises a great glow to your face!
Glowing skin tips for people having Oily Skin:
Oily skin is shiny, dull, and is prone to blackheads, pimples and blemishes. Excess oil is produced by the sebaceous glands in this type of skin, which oozes out giving an oily texture to the skin.
- Mix ½ teaspoon lime and ½ teaspoon cucumber juice and apply on face for ½ an hour before your bath.
- To clear away excess oil, use Fuller’s Earth (Multani Mitti) with 1 teaspoon honey. Leave on face for 15 minutes and rinse with warm water.
- Mix equal parts of lemon juice and water. Pat on your face and allow to dry. Rinse with warm water, followed with a cold water rinse. This can be done twice a day.
- In a cup of plain yogurt add 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed orange juice and 1 teaspoon carrot juice. Apply on face for 10 – 15 minutes. Rinse with tepid water.
Glowing skin tips for people having Dry Skin:
Dry skin is identified by small flakes and dry patches that appear on the skin. This condition is common in the cold and dry winter months and can also be seen in older people. Several home remedies such as applying moisturizers and lubricating the skin after shower can help to reduce this problem.
- For a dry skin facial: gently massage I tablespoon of oatmeal on your face and rinse. Then apply a mask by mixing yogurt and ½ mashed banana, by spreading it evenly on your face. Leave on for twenty minutes and rinse.
- Banana Cream Mask: Mash ½ ripe banana. Add 1 tablespoon honey and 2 tablespoons sour cream. Apply to skin and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Exfoliating your skin:
Exfoliating is an important part of your skin care regime. Done at least twice a week, it helps to remove impurities and dead skin cells from the face and other parts of your body. The scrub, after being applied to the face has to be gently rubbed into the skin in small circular movements with your finger tips for at least five minutes.
- Take 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of yogurt and ¼ teaspoon of honey. Combine and apply on face for 5 minutes. Rinse with water.
- Blend a few strawberries with some olive oil and add 2 tablespoons of sugar. Apply on face for 10 minutes. Wash with water.
- Blend 2 tablespoons of oatmeal with a few drops of olive oil and rub into your skin for five minutes. Wash with water.
Tips for a Healthy and Glowing skin:
- Do drink plenty of water. Drinking six to eight glasses of water everyday enables the toxins from the body to get flushed out more effectively, causing the skin to look fresh and hydrated.
- Avoid junk food, and excess caffeine.
- Get at least eight hours of sleep every day. The stress caused by sleep deprivation causes the release of a hormone called cortisol which is one of the reasons for oily skin and which causes acne.
- Do not try to scrub your face to get rid of acne. Acne is not caused by dirty skin, but due to hormonal imbalances.
- Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarettes can destroy the elastin and collagen in your skin which can cause your skin to sag and lead to wrinkles. It also affects and constricts the blood vessels, causing loss of sufficient oxygen to the skin, making the skin sag.