Beauty basics with SHAHNAZ HUSAIN
Fuller’s Earth, or multani mitti, has been used in beauty care and treating ailments for centuries. It is natural clay and is used extensively in homemade packs. Clay is said to be beneficial for the skin and scalp due to its great capacity to absorb and heal. It is said to reduce oiliness and absorb sebum, the skin’s natural oil. This helps in preventing eruptions and acne conditions.
Clays can also absorb toxins and impurities and thus detoxify the skin. In fact, they can be very relevant dealing with high levels of pollution in cities. Some clays have a cooling effect, while many are rich in minerals.
Clays cleanse and refine the skin and also tone and tighten it, performing the functions of an ideal face mask. Another benefit is the nourishing effect of clays as they are rich in minerals.
Applying packs is an integral part of skincare as it is an ideal way of preserving the good health and youthful qualities of the skin. Fuller’s Earth has a drying effect, so moisturising ingredients like honey, aloe vera, fruit pulp, etc., may be added to clay packs, especially if the skin is normal to dry.
Multani mitti is easily available in the market. It becomes dry when applied on the skin, tightening the skin and serving the purpose of a useful face pack.
For oily skin: Mix Fuller’s Earth with rose water into a paste and apply on the face, avoiding the lips and the area around eyes. Wash it off when it is dry.
For acne-prone skin: Mix Fuller’s Earth with sandalwood paste, rose water and neem leaf powder into a paste. Apply the same way and wash off when dry.
For acne marks: Mix Fuller’s Earth with one teaspoon lemon juice and rose water into a paste. Apply on the face. Wash it off when it is dry.
For normal to dry and normal to oily skin, mix 1 teaspoon of multani mitti with aloe vera gel into a paste. Apply on the face, avoiding the lips and the area around eyes. Wash it off after 15 minutes with plain water. If there is acne, add 2 drops of tea tree oil to the mixture.
For normal to dry skin, 2 teaspoons of multani mitti may be mixed with one teaspoon each of honey, yogurt and almond oil into a paste. Apply and remove the same way.
Mix 2 teaspoons of multani mitti with 2 teaspoons of rose water, half teaspoon pure glycerine and a pinch of turmeric; apply on oily, pimple-prone skin and wash off when it dries, or after 15 minutes.
Activated charcoal can be used with multani mitti. To discourage blackheads and reduce oiliness, mix one teaspoon each of Fuller’s Earth, baking soda and active charcoal. Add rose water or mineral water to make a paste. Apply on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off after 15 minutes.
You can mix a pack at home, but keep your skin type in mind and add ingredients accordingly.
Haircare for summer
An oily scalp is a breeding ground for dandruff in summer. Dandruff can only produce itself with oil as the pores become clogged with hardened oil. It can also trigger hair loss. Excessive oiliness on the scalp can cause itching and redness.
If your hair is oily, it may need to be washed every third day, or even more frequently during summer. Since the summer heat increases oil production on scalp, it is important to wash your hair frequently. Tea tree oil, green tea extracts, lemon and menthol-based hair products can be beneficial. Avoid oil applications if the hair is oily.
Avoid hot showers during summer as it can take away the natural oils from your hair and may not rinse the shampoo along with conditioner fully. Cold shower helps to decrease oil production. Avoid using hair products with silicones. They can adversely affect your long-term hair health by clogging the pores.
There are shampoos designed to manage oiliness or dandruff. Take one teaspoon of shampoo for long hair and half teaspoon for short hair. Dilute it with a little water and then apply. If you are going to use dry shampoo, use it only on the crown and comb it into the tresses.
You can also try using talcum powder on your scalp if you don’t have dry shampoo. If your hair is light-coloured, baby powder also does the trick. Avoid chemical treatments like hair botox, keratin, colour or spa during this season.
Coconut milk is the healthiest natural ingredient for healthy hair. Mix freshly extracted coconut milk with a squeezed lemon and 4-5 drops of lavender essential oils. Leave it on for 4-5 hours and then rinse it off.
Mix 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel and a cup of shampoo and use it as a shampoo. Do it twice a week and you will get to see the changes in your hair texture.
To remove bad odour, add the juice of a lemon and half a cup of rose water to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse after shampoo.
A few drops of Eau de Cologne can also be added to a mug of water and used as a last rinse. It also has a cooling effect.
Avoid hair styling products like gels during humid weather, especially if the hair is oily. A hair rinse is more suitable during summer. It provides a conditioning treatment to the hair, giving it body and bounce.
Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. Or, add the juice of one lemon to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. This helps to reduce oiliness and add shine to the hair.
Add a handful of fresh or dried marigold flowers to two cups of hot water. Allow it to stand for one hour. Strain the water and cool it. Use it as a hair rinse.
Have a tea-water and lemon rinse. Take used tea leaves and boil them again in water. You should have about 6 cups of water. The amount of water depends on the length of the hair. Strain and cool the water. Add the juice of a lemon to the tea and use it as a last rinse after shampoo. Tea contains tannin which adds shine to the hair and makes it silky. Lemon reduces oiliness.
Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts, and yogurt in your daily diet. Drink plenty of water. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning.