Looking for a good detox plan for your skin? Turn to nature, says Gita Hari.
For generations, our ancestors have sported flawless skin but the past few decades have witnessed an explosion in skin troubles such as acne, eczema, rashes, discoloration and pigmentation. Although there are various medications or treatments for your skin troubles, it is good to try a homemade recipe for glowing skin.
Each of these ingredients has specific properties that enhance, nourish or just moisturise the skin. Follow our expert tips to put nature’s gifts to best use, and a healthy, glowing and rejuvenated skin is all yours.
To start with, Dr Apratim Goel, Dermatologist and Director of Cutis Skin Studio, illustrates the therapeutic properties of argan oil. “Argan oil is rich in vitamin E and also contains fatty acids and linoleic acid which are great for moisturising. It moisturises your skin without leaving an oily residue. After cleansing your face, pour a drop of argan oil on your palm and apply it gently on your face and neck. It is also great for reducing the frizz in your hair and is perfect to use as a leave-in conditioner.”
Multani mitti (fuller’s earth)
While there has been a lot of progress in the science of skin care, it is important to go back to our roots to find solutions. “The first step is to get rid of all the harmful toxins that have been entering your skin pores using mineral-rich clay called multani mitti. It is a traditional ingredient that not only exfoliates your skin but also unclogs pores thus preventing the formation of acne, reducing oil, naturally moisturising your skin with minerals and eventually giving you a beautiful glow,” advises Sukoon Rajani, Founder of Beauty and The Blowout Salon.
Dr Saurabh Shah, Dermatologist, Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai throws light on the benefits of charcoal. “Activated Charcoal helps remove accumulated dirt, toxins, pollutants and impurities from skin surface and also cleanses the pores. It is also used as a natural make-up remover. Charcoal masks are routinely used after cosmetic procedures for rejuvenating the skin surface and also to get a glow. Charcoal can be mixed with multani mitti and their detoxing abilities used to cleanse oily and acne-prone skin. The mask extracts dirt and blackheads from the pores. It also destroys acne-causing bacteria which give rise to blemishes. Oatmeal and honey are also good as scrub and cleanser.”
Green tea is known for its calming effect and is particularly useful for red, flaky skin. “It is an antioxidant and helps to calm the skin by neutralising the free radicals. Mix green tea with rose water to make your own mist. “Immerse tea bags in boiling water for five minutes, cool, mix with half a cup rose water and pour it in a bottle to spray. Refrigerate the rest,” advises Dr Goel.
A cup of coffee perks up not just your morning blues but also your face. The antioxidant properties of coffee are used for skin-brightening procedures and to minimise cellulite thereby imparting a youthful glow to your skin. No matter how much we work out or how naturally thin we are, cellulite is something we all struggle with. “A coffee scrub can be immensely helpful in minimising the appearance of cellulite, as the exfoliation and massage work together to help drain the lymphatic, stimulate blood flow and tighten your loose flabby skin,” informs Dr Saurabh.
Tea tree oil
Dr Shuba Dharmana, Dermatologist at Lejeune Medspa, Bengaluru, vouches for tea tree oil and its benefits. “Tea tree is fast finding its place in skin care products such as cleansers, toners, moisturisers and masks. The oil has anti-septic properties and hence is used to treat cuts and wounds and to heal acne. Mix 3-4 drops of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of coconut or olive oil and use it in your bath for antiseptic and detox effect. You can also use a few drops of tea tree oil in your favourite toner or cleanser.”
Aloe vera is used to treat a host of skin and hair issues. Rightly called as the plant of immortality by Egyptians, it has beneficial properties for skin. “Aloe vera is ideal for summers and used in the treatment of sunburnt or sun-irritated skin. Owing to its cooling and soothing properties, it reduces inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and eczema. The hydrating properties in aloe vera make it a natural adjuvant in moisturisers and is used to treat dry skin conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis,” advises Dr Saurabh.
Our favourite DIY aloe vera skin remedy includes the overnight moisturising facemask. Take a few drops of vitamin E oil and add aloe vera gel to it (works best if its fresh aloe gel removed directly from the plant). Mix well, apply it to your face and leave overnight. Aloe vera dries up very quickly so wash your face with lukewarm water after getting up the next morning. You will wake up with fresh, supple and even-toned skin.