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Home Remedies for a Beautiful You

by Dr Deepak Acharya and Dr Garima Sancheti(more info)

listed in skincare, originally published in issue 149 - July 2008

The presence of chemical compound as basic ingredients in many cosmetics and skin care products is a matter of growing concern. Few years back, an epidemiologic survey in the UK revealed that 23% of women and 13.8% of men experience some sort of adverse reaction to a personal care product over the course of a year.1 Synthetic beauty care products contain more than 500 chemical compounds, which one need to be careful about, as they are both toxic and dangerous and can easily penetrate our skin and into the blood stream. Eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis are just few a few of those health ailments caused by the application of such harmful chemical skin care products.2,3 Several skin care products contain harmful chemicals in the form of foaming agents, artificial fragrances, artificial colours, emulsifiers, preservatives, imidazolidinyl urea formaldehyde, parabens,4 carrying agents, porpylene glycol, and few other ingredients such as PVP/ VA copolymer, stearalkonium chloride, petrolatum, paraffin and allergic metals.5 The adverse effect of these compounds can lead to dizziness, skin irritation,6 brown tinges to the skin,7 risk of skin cancer, nerve damage, and brain, liver and kidney problems.

coconut tree
coconut tree


Fortunately, people are now becoming more conscious and aware of the side-effects of synthetic cosmetics. There is now a dramatic comeback of herbal treatment on the stage. Clinically proven records and data has raised it to the top of the popularity graph.8 Culinary and kitchen herbs can play an important role in the safe application of cosmetics.9 Many of us know that our kitchen cabinets contain many hidden beauty secrets for perfect healthy skin, but lack of time and sheer ignorance makes us devoid of the benefits of such easy and effective home remedies. Chemically-based cosmetics and synthetic products won’t support your beauty for long if your skin is not cared for properly. Stressful lifestyle, irregular sleep, overwork, chemicals and pollution, etc, result in premature ageing, pimples, dark circles and dryness. In short, an Unattractive Skin! Diets deficient in one or more nutrients, greasy and spicy food, excess tea, coffee and alcohol consumption also add to such problems. This article looks at some of the home remedies that can be easily made and used to treat common skin problems.

Skin Tonic

•    Banana (Musa paradisiaca) pack is a good moisturizer for the skin. Mash the fruit and apply on the face. Wash after 15 minutes;
•    Application of Red Sandalwood (Pterocarpus santalinus) paste makes the complexion glow;
•    To refresh your skin, cut up Strawberries (Fragaria virginiana) and rub all over your face. Rinse off after ten to 15 minutes;
•    Add two teaspoons Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) juice with half teaspoon honey and leave it on the face for 20 minutes.
•    Prepare a face pack with honey, Gram (Cicer arietinum) flour, Olive (Olea europaea) oil and milk cream. Leave it on ten minutes;
•    Mix two teaspoons tomato juice with four teaspoons yogurt and apply on face and neck. Keep it on for ten to 15 minutes;
•    To treat rough skin, mix one teaspoon Almond (Prunus amygdalus) oil with half teaspoon each of milk cream and Lemon (Citrus limon). Apply every night on face and neck;
•    Mixture of honey and milk makes an excellent tonic for glowing skin;
•    To tone up your skin, apply a mixture of Pineapple (Ananas comosus) and Carrot (Daucas carrota) juice for 15 minutes.

Skin Softener

•    Take two teaspoons honey with one teaspoon lemon juice. Apply all over face.  This nourishes and softens the skin;
•    Crush a few Aloe (Aloe barbadensis) leaves and add lemon juice to its gel. This application of the gel softens skin;
•    Make a paste of red sandalwood powder with Coconut (Cocos nucifera) milk. This does wonders for the skin;
•    Stir a cup of boiled milk with one teaspoon glycerin and squeeze lemon into it. Leave it for 30 minutes. Apply this mixture on the face, hands and feet before going to bed at night. This treatment makes skin healthier and causes it to glow.

Acne

•    Crush a few Garlic (Allium sativum) bulbs and mix with half teaspoon honey and one teaspoon yogurt. Apply it carefully over pimples, wash face gently;
•    Application of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and Neem (Azadirachta indica) paste on the face reduces pimples;
•    Mix together two teaspoons oat-meal (Avena sativa), three teaspoons yogurt, two teaspoons olive oil and one teaspoon lemon juice. Apply this on areas affected by acne; Let it dry and wash after eight to ten minutes;
•    Daily application of garlic juice on pimples cures and prevents their occurrence. 
•    Roast a few Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) and make a paste using yogurt. Apply it on pimples and wash when the pack dries;
•    A mixture of crushed Mint (Mentha piperita) leaves and oats helps get rid of acne;
•    Tomatoes are acidic in nature and, hence, can be used as an astringent for oily skin. Make a tomato puree and refrigerate it in an ice-tray. Rub these cubes over acne prone skin everyday;
•    Add a teaspoon of honey to Apple (Malus pumila) juice and rub gently over acne. Follow this treatment regularly (twice a day). This removes acne as well as left over ugly marks;
•    Application of a face pack prepared from Sandalwood (Santalum album) and turmeric powder in Rose water (Rosa indica) reduces acne;
•    Make a powder of ten almonds. Mix with two teaspoons olive oil. Use this formulation twice a day;
•    To cure pimples, apply fresh mint juice on the face every night;
•    Acne happens frequently on oily and dirty skin. To keep skin clear and young looking, take two teaspoons Orange (Citrus reticulata) peel powder and prepare a paste with yogurt. Rub it on the face in circular motions. Wash off with cold water. This removes excess oil, exfoliates the skin and opens blocked pores.

Blackspots

•    Take one teaspoon coconut oil and mix into it ground Betel (Piper betel) leaf. Apply this on the face to remove black spots;
•    Acne leaves behind ugly marks. To treat these, grate two Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) and mix with two to three teaspoons cold milk to make a paste. Apply this on the skin twice a day. Wash when dry.
•    Grind four to five almonds and mix in one teaspoon each of milk, carrot and orange juice. Apply this paste on face and neck and leave on for 15-20 minutes;
•    Regular use of glycerin with half teaspoon lemon juice reduces dark spots;
•    Grind dry leaves of neem, Basil (Ocimum sanctum) and mint together. Make into a paste with rose water and apply on the spots;
•    Make a paste of Saffron (Crocus sativus) and add some honey, and apply this mixture on the spots.

Oily Skin

•    Mix one teaspoon multani mitti (Fullers earth), half teaspoon sandalwood powder and make it into a paste with rose water. Leave it till the pack gets dry. This face pack absorbs excess oil from the skin;
•    Prepare a mixture of oat meal and egg white. Apply on the face and wash after 15 minutes;
•    Cut lemon into two halves. Rub it over the face in a circular motion. Wash off after ten minutes;
•    To get rid of an oily shine, mix one teaspoon Cucumber (Cucumis sativa) juice with half teaspoon lemon juice and a few drops of rose water. Apply on the face and neck and leave on for 15 minutes. Wash off with water;
•    Cut a few apple slices and rub on oily skin. This helps to keep the grease under control;
•    Add a few drops of lemon to one teaspoon tomato juice. Keep it on for 15 minutes. This treatment shrinks enlarged pores, thus controlling excess secretion from sebaceous glands that causes oily skin.

Skin Tightening

•    To tighten skin, make a paste from apple and milk. Massage all over face and neck. Leave it on until it dries;
•    Mash two tomatoes and make a paste with yogurt and Barley (Barleria prionitis) flour. Apply on face and remove after 20 minutes. This tightens and cleanses the skin;
•    Stir two teaspoons honey in two teaspoons orange juice and apply over face and neck. Remove it after 20 minutes with a cotton ball dipped in milk. Follow this treatment before going to bed;
•    To tighten and moisturize skin, take white of an egg and add two teaspoons glycerin and rose water. Apply on skin and neck.
•    Stir an egg with one teaspoon olive oil and apply on face and neck. Wash off when dry;
•    Stir white portion of egg with lemon juice. Apply on face and neck and wash with lukewarm water after ten minutes. This reduces wrinkles and causes skin to glow.
•    Grind two to three almonds and mix with egg white and half teaspoon of lemon juice. Wash off when the pack dries;
•    Mix together half cup Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var capitata) juice, half teaspoon yogurt and one teaspoon honey. Apply on face and neck. Wash with lukewarm water when dry;
•    Grate two carrots, add milk and apply as a face pack for 20 minutes;
•    Apply a paste of Rice (Oryza sativa) flour with milk and rose water on face and neck. To make it effective do this treatment thrice a week.

papaya fruit
papaya fruit

 

Pigmentation

•    Grate a cucumber and add lemon juice to make a paste. Apply and leave it on till the skin feels dry.
This treatment should be followed everyday to get rid of blackspots;
•    Take some mint leaves and crush it. Apply its juice on the face to get rid of ugly spots;
•    Make a paste of mint leaves and blend it with a banana. Daily application of the paste helps reduce dark spots on the face;
•    Crush two to three Papaya (Carica papaya) slices, add one teaspoon each of turmeric powder and multani mitti. (Fullers earth) and apply on the face. Follow this treatment thrice a week;
•    Grate a potato and tie in a cotton cloth. Rub it all over the face. Wash face after ten minutes. Instead of grating, you can also cover your face with potato slices. This helps remove scars and spots from the skin.
•    Dry orange peel in the shade and then make a powder of  it. Add two teaspoons yogurt and apply
over face. Wash when the pack dries. It will keep the skin flawless;
•    Before going for a bath, apply two teaspoons coconut oil with one teaspoon Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) powder. This application lightens the spots caused by burns;
•    Mix one teaspoon Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) powder with yogurt sufficient enough to make a thick paste. Apply this paste on blackheads and wash after five to ten minutes.

Dark Circles

•    Cucumber is another tried and tested home remedy for healthy skin. Cut thin slices and refrigerate. When cold, place over your eyes and relax for ten to15 minutes. Rub the slice over the dark circles and wash off;
•    To escape problems like dark circles, relax your eyes with lemon juice and iced water (three teaspoon each). Soak cotton balls in this liquid and place over eyelids for ten to15 minutes;
•    Cut potato slices and keep over eyes for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash with cold water;
•    To lighten dark circles, mix one teaspoon tomato juice with one teaspoon lemon juice. Apply over the dark area. Wash after ten to 15 minutes.

Sun Tan

•    Prepare a puree using two tomatoes and one cucumber. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice. Apply it over the face. Wash with cold water when it dries. This remedy not only treats sun burns, but also causes the skin to glow;
•    Blend a cucumber in a grinder. Add one teaspoon of cold milk and apply the paste over sun-burnt skin. Wash it after 15 minutes. Repeat this three to four times a day;
•    To remove suntan from your face, apply a facemask of egg white and honey;
•    Boil cabbage and drain its water. Mash its leaves and apply over the affected areas of skin. Wash after 15 minutes.
•    Take Onion (Allium cepa) juice and add a pinch of common salt and one teaspoon milk. Apply it on your face with a cotton ball, then wash when dry. This is excellent for removing sunburns.

Skin Cleansing

•    For a natural skin cleanser, mix cucumber juice with milk. Soak cotton ball in it and apply on the face and neck. Rinse after ten minutes;
•    Make a lotion of quarter teaspoon lemon juice with one teaspoon milk and cucumber. Apply on the face and neck and wash off after ten minutes. Do this every night before going to bed;
•    Milk is a natural cleanser. Take two teaspoons raw milk in a bowl. Cleanse your skin with cotton wool soaked in it;
•    Take half cup milk with half teaspoon common salt. Soak a cotton ball in it and apply on face and neck. Massage in circular motions and wash after few minutes. This cleanses and removes dead skin;
•    Mix half cup White Gram (Cicer rotundum) and one teaspoon turmeric powder in half cup milk. Apply on face and neck. Wash after two minutes. This is an effective cleanser for oily skin;
•    Boil lemongrass in water. Strain and refrigerate the water in an ice-tray. Rub the cubes everyday on your. This remedy opens and cleans clogged pores.

Skin Fairness

•    For a fair complexion, prepare a paste of sun-dried and powdered orange peels with milk. Leave on for 20 minutes then wash off with water;
•    Radish (Raphanus sativus) is a natural bleaching agent. Grate a radish and add lemon juice to it. Apply on the face and wash off after 15 minutes;
•    Mix one teaspoon of gram flour, quarter teaspoon lemon juice, half teaspoon olive oil and half teaspoon milk with a pinch of turmeric powder. Apply the mixture and leave for 20 minutes, before washing off with water;
•    To improve a dark and dull complexion, prepare a mixture of raw turmeric and milk cream. Apply on the face and wash it off after 20 minutes;
•    Mix Orange peels (sun dried and powdered) with milk. Apply this paste for 25 minutes, then wash off with water;
•    Apply tomato pulp liberally on the face. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash off with water. Although home remedies do provide solutions for skin problems, a nutritious diet plays an equally important role in maintaining healthy skin. Consume lots of green vegetables, fruits, grains and cereals. Supplement your diet with protective foods like milk, honey, yogurt and yeast. Go for a diet rich in vitamins A, B and C, proteins, iron and iodine, as these play a pivotal role in aiding skin health. Follow a regular exercise regime. Learn to meditate and manage your stress level.

References

1.     Orton DI and Wilkinson JD. Cosmetic Allergy: Incidence, Diagnosis, and Management. Am J Clin Dermatol. 5(5): 327-337. 2004.
2.     Draelos ZD. Treating the Patient with Multiple Cosmetic Product Allergies. A Problem-Oriented Approach to Sensitive Skin. Postgrad Med. 107(7): 70-72, 75-77. 2000.
3.     Dirschka T, Weber K and Trinnier H. Topical Cosmetics and Perioral Dermatitis. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2(3): 194-199. 2004. 
4.     Robb-Nicholson C. By the Way, Doctor. I Notice that Parabens are Found in Many Cosmetics and Skin Care Products. I Heard that They’re Carcinogenic. Is That True? Harv. Women’s Health Watch. 12(7): 8. 2005.
5.     Bocca B, Forte G, Petrucci F and Cristaudo A.  Levels of Nickel and Other Potentially Allergenic Metals in Ni-Tested Commercial Body Creams. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 44 (5): 1197-1202. 2007.
6.     Johansen JD, Rastogi, SC, Andersen KE and Menne T. Content and Reactivity to Product Perfumes in Fragrance Mix Positive and Negative Eczema Patients. A Study of Perfumes used in Toiletries and Skin-Care Products. Contact Dermatitis. 36(6): 291-296. 1997.
7.     Cetta F, Lambert GH and Ros SP. Newborn Chemical Exposure from Over-The-Counter Skin Care Products. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 30(5): 286-289. 1991.
8.     Acharya D and Acharya GS. Beauty Secrets Hidden in Indian Herbs. Positive Health. 131: 27-31. 2007.
9.     Acharya D and Acharya GS. Kitchen Garden: A Clinic in Your Backyard. Positive Health. 140: 30-32. 2007.

Comments:

  1. sadaf said..

    for pigmen


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About Dr Deepak Acharya and Dr Garima Sancheti

Dr Deepak Acharya is a microbiologist turned ethnobotanist. He is the Director of Abhumka Herbal Pvt Ltd (www.abhumka.com) in Ahmedabad, India. He has been documenting ethnobotanical knowledge of tribals of Central and Western India for past many years. He has written more than 35 research papers in National and International journals of repute. He writes popular articles for web and magazines too. His company validates herbal practices of healers from two remote pockets in India. He has done extensive documentation of Bhumkas of Patalkot valley (www.patalkot.com ) and Bhagats of Dang district (www.thedangs.in) South Gujarat and prepared a digital traditional herbal knowledge library. His book entitled "Indigenous Herbal Medicines: Tribal Formulations and Traditional Herbal Practices" is being appreciated all over the world. He has been associated with many Universities and colleges as a Member, Board of Studies. His work and dedication for the tribal welfare has been well appreciated by several print media. He is a Feature Writer/ Member- Editorial Board and Reviewer for many scientific journals and magazines. He can be contacted via email at info@patalkot.com info@abhumka.com. For more information about him, log on to www.patalkot.com .

Dr Garima Sancheti
is a PhD in Radiation and Cancer Biology, from University of Rajasthan, Jaipur-India. Her subject of research involves new drug development based on herbal practices of remote tribal healers. She has to her credit more than 15 research papers in National and International journals. She is also working as a science counselor, content writer and freelance writer. She is a contributing author for many online and print magazines. She may be contacted via email at garima@patalkot.com.

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