We’re at the heart of the 2020 flashback – wake up, work, sleep and practice. With the city under siege thanks to Lockdown 2.0, we lock ourselves inside except the occasional kirana run around the neighborhood. Just as we work from home, train at home, and have dinner at home, we will also be performing our grooming and skin care routines at home. With little to no salon, dermatology, and skin clinic visits, it’s safe to say we’ll be doing this DIY style.
So what better time than now to revive old fashioned techniques and use pantry staples that our grandmothers vouch and vehemently recommend? Simple, safe and effective on the skin, these can be done at no additional cost and will result in perfectly clear, naturally radiant skin – you will be the star of every Zoom call.
Here are three things readily available at home that you can incorporate into your skin care regimens:
1. Skin steaming
Back in the days when skin care methods weren’t as technologically advanced as they are today, steaming skin was the humble treatment of choice that our mothers and grandmothers have. mothers swore for naturally radiant, flushed skin.
Around now, smoldering skin is making a comeback. Having gained popularity over the past year at home, it’s simple and the results are consistent. Steam makes your pores malleable and helps melt debris (resulting from dirt, product scraps, and pollution) hidden in your pores to prevent acne buildup. The heat from the steam will also increase microcirculation to stimulate the production of elastin and collagen for a dewy glow. Plus, the steam boosts hydration, strengthens the skin barrier, plumps your skin and softens fine lines. This is a one-step skin care regimen to hydrate, clarify, and detoxify.
Here are some examples of the dos and don’ts of cleansing the face:
- Use a mild cleanser before and after steaming – before as it will remove any dirt that might seep into your open pores and cause irritation and acne. After because it prevents sweat from steam and other impurities from encouraging bacterial growth, causing rashes and irritation.
- You can add an exfoliating serum or a face mask before steaming – this will ensure better absorption of the product.
- Use a cold sheet mask after steaming to retain moisture. If you don’t, it will lead to dehydration instead.
- You can do this once or twice a week for 10 minutes. Stand a safe distance from the steamer. If you don’t have a steamer, you can use a container with hot water.
- Use non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) products after steaming – they can penetrate deep into your skin and cause pore blockage.
Not to do
- Do not try pore extraction at home – it is better to leave it in the hands of experienced and fast experts.
- If you have skin conditions such as rosacea, avoid steaming – it can inflame and further irritate your skin.
While the western world has now co-opted turmeric (Golden milk lattes, anyone?), We have used this all-star ingredient in our foods and for topical application for centuries. A staple in most Indian households, turmeric is a powerful player due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities which can benefit our skin and health in multiple ways. It helps treat skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis and is used to heal wounds and scars. Containing the antioxidant curcumin, it also lightens pigmentation while slowing down the skin aging process to reduce wrinkles and improve the elasticity of your skin.
With turmeric easily available, make this easy DIY mask at home combined with other superfoods.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder with two tablespoons of yogurt and add a pinch of honey to it.
- Stir the ingredients and apply the paste on your face. Keep it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
- Note: Turmeric can stain your skin yellow, so use kasturi turmeric instead to avoid the colour.
Turmeric also has immunity boosting properties which are especially vital at a time like this – mix turmeric in warm milk or take a dose of turmeric to get the most of its powerful antioxidant properties. Here’s how we take it:
- Mix ½ cup of coconut water, ¼ cup of orange juice and a tablespoon of turmeric powder in a jair. Add a pinch of black pepper.
- Stir well and take a photo. You can refrigerate the rest.
You pour it on French toast, add some to your oatmeal, sweeten your tea with it, and now you can smear it all over your face. An essential part of the pantry, honey is a natural humectant – it draws moisture from the air into your skin, hydrates it, and nourishes it. For this reason, it’s an elixir for dry skin that needs a bit of TLC.
Great for all skin types, its antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties heal rashes and soothe sensitive skin – a winner for acne-prone skin. A quintessential multitasking, it also helps cleanse your pores, exfoliate your skin, and reduce hyperpigmentation and stubborn acne scars that refuse to fade.
The best way to include honey into your routine is to use it as a gentle cleanser. Stick to raw organic honey for safe and optimal results.
- Make your face wet to prevent the honey from getting too sticky on your skin.
- Take a tablespoon of honey and apply a thin layer on your skin.
- Before washing it, leave it on for a few minutes. You can also use it as a mask and leave it on for 20 minutes.
- Note: You can also mix honey with milk and apply it on your face as a cleanser.
Using honey as a cleanser will ensure supple, well hydrated skin that will gently cleanse without removing the skin’s natural oils. It’s a great way to ensure naturally glowing, fresh, and soft skin, especially for those of you with dry, sensitive skin.