I’m not one to indulge in chemicals when it comes to beauty and skincare. I stopped when I became aware of how they’re everywhere in our daily life, be it food, water, kitchenware, clothes… the list goes on. I realised this while I was doing my graduate studies, so it’s been a good decade since I got onto the ‘all natural, nothing artificial, no chemicals’ bandwagon, long before it became a trend (dare I even say marketing gimmick) for new brands. And while I do love (and need) the ease and time-saving that comes with ready-to-use beauty products, I believe in going back to nature for ‘how to get flawless skin’.
So homemade facials, pedicures, masks, scrubs, face washes, shampoos — you name it and I would’ve made it in my kitchen-lab. But there are three desi ‘remedies’, more of habits to be honest, that I have religiously stuck to for two-three years. And am happy to report that these have worked marvelously, not just for me, but for anyone I suggested them to. The only caveat: The process is slow. Don’t expect overnight results; it takes months (minimum three. Can be more as it’s different for each person) of dedicated use to see a difference. But once you see and feel it, it’s hard to give it up. So here’s the skincare I found in my kitchen, which hopefully will help you too.
Why I started it: For stretch marks. I started in college, when ‘loving your body for what it is’ wasn’t a big movement. From just using it on areas with stretch marks, I graduated to replacing body lotion with ghee. This is because my skin tends to be dry, demanding moisturising every day. And in my quest for using as few chemicals in or on my body, this was a perfect fit.
My regime: I use ghee made at home, and use it daily after a shower just like a body cream. The amount can vary basis your skin type. Mine is dry so I use it through the year, but change the quantity with seasons.
How it turned out: My stretch marks are negligible now. But more than that, what made me a lifelong fan is that it has actually helped heal a second-degree burn. It’s a small area, just about 2 cms in diameter, but of course the coarse skin never made me happy. But regular use of ghee has made it as smooth as the rest of my skin. However, between all of these, using ghee for removing any sort of marks takes the longest to show results. A lazy snail circumnavigating the Earth, is faster.
In my case, the burn took over a year to show considerable results. Now, almost three years down the line, the patience and practice has paid off. As for any other mark, it depends on the intensity, but best to begin applying as soon as you get it so the ghee can start countering it before it has a chance to make home in your skin.
And even if you’re blessed and have none of that to fight, but would love to have smooth skin with a natural glow, ghee it up!
Why I started it: First things first, I refuse to call it turmeric latte. And coming to the point, started drinking this for increasing immunity.
My regime: One glass of warm Haldi Doodh in the morning, five days a week.
How it turned out: From someone who used to catch the flu with the change of every season, I now can’t remember the last time I fell sick. It’s an acquired taste, can’t contest that, but the results are worth making it a regular in your diet. Also, considering there’s a whole pre-wedding ceremony around haldi for that bridal glow, what better than drinking it and letting it work it’s magic from the inside out? Forget the haldi masks, having haldi doodh regularly helps brighten the skin, keep the inflammations at bay, and give you that glow for longer than a day. I even tried going off it for a few months to confirm the effects, and the boost of energy and not-catching-colds was very obvious in my case when drinking Haldi Doodh. I’ve continued this practice for over two years now, and intend to never quit it.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Why I started it: To get rid of acne blemishes.
My regime: Use as toner (after face wash, before moisturiser) every morning and night.
How it turned out: Truth be told, there had come a time when I’d given up on the fight against acne and just hoped for the blemishes to vanish. Because nothing I tried was working. But this ‘letting it be’ didn’t either. So as one final try, I attempted the Apple Cider Vinegar route. And thankfully, it’s not a dead end this once. I started out meekly, what with all the warnings of it being too acidic, and did a 1:4 ACV and green tea ratio. The spots showed some improvement in three months. I stepped up to 1:1, and after two years I’m at 4:1, suffice to say that the holy grail of natural health community is working well for me. As with ghee, its effects depend on the intensity of the blemish or scar, the more nascent it is, more easily is it removed. The stubborn ones usually take six or more months to go away (for me, at least), however, I can’t think of a better naturally occurring substance that helps with this issue, can be used seamlessly in your daily routine, and has no side effects (unlike lemon causing discolouration) in the process.
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