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How to pamper your skin at home

If this post sounds slightly haphazard, forgive me. I was quite excited about putting it together – and here you go – Anney and Always Happy and everyone else!

Looking good is always a welcome way to feel – and facepacks are a convenient way to get into the skin, clean it up and keep your skin looking great without sagging.  Homemade beauty tips are even better, because all the ingredients are sitting right there on your kitchen shelf – and are free from chemicals or unknown stuff! Especially handy, if, you, like me, are too lazy to take yourself to a beauty parlor. My grandma and Mom wouldn’t have approved, and anyway, they were so full of home remedies that were enjoyable and worked – that I wouldn’t bother with external help!

In fact, my mother would make special oil which was a mix of three different oils and eighteen-odd ingredients. Yes, I have the recipe and know how to make it.

So here are the face-packs:

Oats (powdered and mixed in milk) makes a great face-pack

Fruits – the over ripe kind – are great for use as a face-pack. Think papaya, banana. They nourish your skin, especially if you suffer from dry skin.  Just mash them and apply them.

Mashed apples + honey,  work well for oily skin.

Honey, sandalwood and ripe banana are a good mix for glowing skin. Some people claim red sandalwood is more effective. But the regular one smells better. Sandalwood cures acne.

An aunt of mine, had five daughters – beauties, all, with gorgeous long silky hair and fab skin. The skincare and hair care regime they followed was awesome. Loads and patience and the will to keep looking great. Every night, before they went to bed, they’d have this ritual of grinding sandalwood (the round stone and the broad slab of sandalwood). Then they would all apply it on their faces in turn and sleep as it dried. They’d wash it off in the morning. On Thursdays, they’d all make this special hair paste with henna, etc, etc. and apply it in their hair, and wash it off. On Fridays, the traditional “oil-bath” when they’d apply gingelly (til or sesame) oil and wash it after two hours with special shikakai (that had lime powder, hibiscus and whatnot). Well – they were all breathtakingly beautiful with swishing jet black hair past their knees. Sigh.

On with our face packs:

To get rid of wrinkles, soak almonds in milk overnight and grind them into a paste in the morning. Rich in vitamin A and pampers your skin when you use this paste as a face pack, while cleaning your skin.

If you’ve got marks on your skin, massage honey on your face and wash it off after ten minutes. Wash your face with cold water to close the pores. Did you know honey heals the skin and gets rid of scars? Honey is used on wounds. The sugar helps in the healing.

Mix Orange plus lemon juice and apply on your face. Good for closing pores.

You already know the benefit of cucumber slices on your eyes. Cooling. While getting rid of those black circles.

Want to get rid of a tan? Use curd on your skin. Or honey+lemon+turmeric powder. A ripe tomato is great for tanned skin. Just cut it and apply on your skin.

A natural scrub for your face can be made from Curd + besan (Gram flour) + turmeric.

I grew up bathing with moong dal flour, by the way, until my skin was introduced to soap at the ripe old age of ten.

Here’s a big secret (not any more though) a Shahnaz Husain trainee told me – camphor (used in puja) is a great skincare item. Take one piece of camphor, pinch it hard to powder it – mix with a few drops of water and massage your face with it. Apart from the lovely feeling on your skin, it clears blemishes and makes the skin glow.

Cucumber + oatmeal + curd to make a paste for oily skin

Substitute curd with the cream off milk for dry skin.

Turmeric + gram flour + sandalwood powder + almond oil (or ghee) + a little water to make a paste. This can be used on your face and your body for a great makeover. Think brides and grooms J

After you remove these face masks, rinse your face with warm water, then alternate with cold water for tightening the skin.

Multani miththi (Fuller’s earth) available as weird looking lumps makes a great facepack mixed with rosewater to form a paste. Gets rid of dirt and cleans up your skin. I used to do this regularly.

Neem powder also makes a great face mask.

By the way, neem powder, orange powder, hibiscus powder – are all available in super markets as sachets.

I am a big fan of Aloe Vera gel – this feels just fabulous on the skin. Apply it and leave it on your skin. Then wash it off after about half an hour. You can buy aloe vera leaves and cut them to squeeze out the gel, or buy jars of gel. This is great for healing burns, wounds, etc.

The best time to apply these packs is about half an hour before you bathe…so you can just wash it off without setting aside specific time.

A real quickie face care regime: take five drops of gingelly (til – sesame) oil in your palm, add four drops of water to it. Rub your palms together to work it into froth and apply on your face. Gently massage. Wash off after ten minutes.

Your feedback is welcome. I’ve tried all these through my life (yes, I am a fossil. Really) and they all feel great. There’s nothing to equal the feeling of having pampered yourself. Even if you end up eating most of the ingredients, that’s perfectly fine, too!

So go make that skin glow.

Stay healthy!

0 14 December, 2010 Health December 14, 2010

About the author

Vidya's healthy concoctions (read: health posts) makes the perfect cup of GingerChai for body and soul of our readers. Follow @vidyasury You can read her personal concoctions in her personal blog, Going A-Musing

View all articles by Vidya Sury


  1. Anney

    Oh! Thank you!Thank you!Thank you!
    They sound lovely…am off to try of some this during the weekend with Anjali…its gal time!

  2. Anita Gracias

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m looking forward to trying out some of these home-made recipes!

  3. Anita Gracias

    Thank you for sharing this with us, Vidya. I’m looking forward to trying out some of these home-made recipes!

  4. Nandini

    simple & effective tips. I use oats and it makes a great facepack with its good scrubbing properties. Tx again for this wonderful series.

  5. Bhavia

    Thank you so much for sharing these tips.
    Here is a tip which I use for a smooth skin.
    Take a handful of rice and powder it in mixie using the chutney jar so that rice is not fine powdered.
    Oil yourself before using it.
    Mix turmeric and little olive oil.Once in a week,take bath using this mix.
    You can feel the smooth and silky skin 🙂

  6. Always Happy

    Thanks ever sooooooooooooooooooo much Vidya. Really appreciate it. Very very useful. Thank you very much indeed. I didnt know about Camphor and its effect on the skin. I will try some of these.

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