In the fast – paced lifestyle of two-minute face packs and do-it-yourself beauty treatments, go back to basics to rediscover the roots of skincare. Nancy Varghese takes a peek into nature’s basket to bring you some of the most essential and effective methods of treating beautiful skin
In a world where your lemonade may contain artificial flavours but your dishwashing soap has essence of real lemons, pause and think how chemically enhanced beauty products make a point to advertise ‘natural glow’ for your skin. ‘Natural’ is not always code for ‘better’. Just as there are good and bad synthetic products, natural products have their own set of cons if you’re not familiar with the effectiveness of the ingredients on your skin. Skin care experts, however, can vouch for certain natural ingredients that have proven to work wonders for all kinds of skin ailments from battling breakouts, soothing irritation, treating uneven pigmentation, to even preventing sun damage, in some cases. Next time you go shopping, scan the labels for some of nature’s best solutions.
Oats in plenty
Oatmeal is one of the few natural ingredients that the FDA has approved to treat skin irritation such as eczema, dry skin, poison ivy, poison oak, and insect bites. Oat lipids and proteins help replenish and maintain the skin barrier and they contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemicals. Oats are also a healthy option for children who suffer problems with asthma. While there is widespread belief that introducing solid foods to children too early may cause later health problems, a Finnish prospective study of 1293 children found that those introduced earlier to oats were in fact less likely to develop persistent asthma. Adding oats to a gluten-free diet may enhance the nutritional values of the diets, particularly for vitamins and minerals.
To be young forever is what most of us would use our genie-granted first wish for. And while that may be physically impossible, healthy habits like eating a papaya daily will prolong the process and may make you look five years younger than you are. Papaya is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E and antioxidants which help prevent your skin from free radical damage keeping wrinkles and other signs of ageing at bay. Papain, an enzyme found in papayas and pineapples, gently eats off dead skin cells, decongesting clogged pores and helping with skin texture. You can blend up a fresh papaya and use it as a mask, or crush some papaya enzyme tablets into your moisturizer to make a hydrating, gently exfoliating mask.
Extracts from the neem oil along with the leaves reveal antibacterial and antiseptic benefits. The leaves may be used in paste form to treat many different skin conditions for example acne, rashes, psoriasis and eczema. The Neem Foundation reports early Indian practice was to bath in warm water with submerged neem leaves to heal skin conditions. Small scrapes and cuts can be treated with neem leaf extract to prevent bacterial disease and redness.