Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Everything affects it: what you eat/drink, put inside your body, what you put on top of your body and the kind of emotional stress you take on.
Therefore it is important to take care of it. Often, it isn’t enough to simply shower and wash away dirt from your skin. You may have clogged pores, be facing the effects of sun burn, acne and more … all of which need more serious attention.
You can provide that attention by doing a little extra in your skin-care regimen. It’s important to scrub not only the skin on your face but also the rest of the skin on your body to keep it in shape.
Instead of stocking up on over-the-counter cosmetic products that often contain chemicals that aren’t good for your skin (or your wallet for that matter) we decided to ask three beautiful and hard-working women from Pakistan’s entertainment industry what their recipes and key ingredient is for their favourite do-it-yourself homemade scrubs and this is what we got.
Sanam Saeed: Porridge
Theatre and television actor and model Sanam Saeed’s homemade scrubs are as simple as the actor is in person. One is to take ground whole-grain porridge (oats are a great option) — the slow-cooking one not the instant one — and mix with some water.
Apply the mixture to your face and scrub. Other than the fact that they’re packed with nutrients which are good for your health, oats contain natural cleansers that remove dirt and oil from pores without causing irritation. This makes them very effective in fighting dull, flaky skin and dryness as they contain polysaccharides that have a gelatinous quality when mixed with water.
Sanam Saeed, Ayesha Toor and Meesha Shafi share their recipes for homemade skin scrubs that they love to use
Oats have also been used for thousands of years for the treatment of poison ivy, eczema, insect bites and skin infections. They have numerous anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.
“It’s the best pore-tightener and the gentlest scrub ever,” said the actor, “The other is basin ka atta, haldi and lemon for summer and add yogurt in it for use in winter.”
Ayesha Toor: Salt
“The best one I’ve used at home is a mixture of sea salt, honey, olive oil and baking soda,” said the dusky beauty.
|Ayesha Toor.— Photo Courtesy: fashioncentral.pk|
Sea salt is natural salt left behind after water from the ocean is evaporated. It isn’t processed like iodized salt and therefore contains a lot of vital nutrients that nourish your skin. It contains a large amount of vitamin C and magnesium which makes the function of antioxidants smoother — therefore it detoxifies your skin cells by absorbing dirt, dust and toxins from them resulting in a softer and healthier skin.
Honey helps moisturize skin, fights ageing and bacteria. It’s full of antioxidants and nutrients for your skin and protects your skin from sun damage as well.
Olive oil has been used as a product in beauty treatment since its discovery 5,000 years ago. It’s loaded with nutrients and is closer in chemical structure to the skin’s natural oil. That is why it’s a great moisturizer for dry skin and areas prone to dryness such as the knees and elbows.
Perhaps the best quality of olive oil is its skin-regenerative ability. Regular usage makes your skin remain firm and toned while also being soft and smooth.
“Sea salt gets rid of dead skin. Honey kills bacteria. Olive oil softens the skin. Lemon gets rid of the bad Karachi sunburn and discoloration. Finally, baking soda gives a glow,” said Ayesha Toor of the benefits of the scrub. “Follow it up with a good mustard oil massage and you’ll end up with gold, honey skin.”
Meesha Shafi: Coffee
“When you have an hour of ‘me’ time on your hands, try out my do-it-yourself spa treat,” wrote Meesha Shafi while sharing her favourite routine to pamper herself with.
|Meesha Shafi.— Photo Courtesy: koolmuzone.pk|
You start off with dry brushing your entire body in long, sweeping strokes towards your heart for not more than 10 minutes. Dry brushing is when you take a brush with a long handle with non-synthetic bristles and brush your body starting from your feet.
You must always brush towards your heart. It helps to stand on a tiled surface or inside a bathtub to catch the falling skin. Dry brushing helps unclog pores and excretes toxins that become trapped in the skin.
|Coffee beans.—Photo Courtesy: Friendlycuponlie|
Step two is to soak in a tub of hot water with two cups of Epsom salts for 20 minutes. Other than its detoxifying properties, Epsom salts are known for their healing properties: helps relieve pain and muscle cramps, prevents the hardening of arteries, etc. It is also used in the removal of splinters as soaking in Epsom saltwater brings the splinter (and ingrown hair) closer to the surface.
Then take a handful of coffee grounds, moisten them with coconut oil (organic, unfiltered and cold-pressed) and scrub the mixture on your body. Coffee contains powerful anti-oxidant agents which protects skin from free radicals and reduces the risk of skin cancer.
It also removes dead skin cells and tightens pores, resulting in a younger looking skin. Needless to say, it also has anti-wrinkle properties. Coconut oil is used as a base in many skin products and is full of vital nutrients for your skin and hair.
After you’re done scrubbing your body, rinse it and finish off with an application of the same coconut oil (without the coffee) while the body is still damp.
“This routine is great for exfoliation, circulation and skin toning,” related Meesha, “It tackles cellulite and leaves you with skin that is smooth as silk and smells like freshly-baked cookies. What more do you want?”
Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, January 25th, 2015