A long and hectic work week can leave your skin and hair listless. Give them a booster shot with these at-home rituals. All you need is an hour, says Eva Pavithran
Stress can suck the glow off your face and make your skin look worn out. Fix it stat with these little miracle workers.
Dead skin cells are the nemesis of a glowing complexion. Stress and lack of a dedicated skin-care routine can cause build-up. The problem with a layer of dead skin is that it prevents the absorption /penetration of your moisturiser into the deeper layers of the skin.
Off the beauty shelves:There are many exfoliating creams available that come with microbeads or otherwise. Use them once a week to reveal glowing skin. The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion, Neutrogena Deep Clean Daily Scrub, Nivea Gentle Exfoliating Scrub and Garnier Pure Exfoliating Face Wash are some of the more popular choices.
ALMOND-SUGAR FACIAL SCRUB
• 3 tbsp fresh cream,
•1 cup white sugar
•11/2 cup brown sugar
•1/2 cup ground almonds
• 2 tbsp olive oil
Mix all ingredients well and apply it onto dry face in a circular motion. Wash your face with warm water, followed by cold water. Pat it dry. Refrigerate the excess paste for future use.
Choose a scrub that best suits your skin type—milder ones for dry and sensitive skin and heavy duty options for oily skin.
Your pores are exposed or open after exfoliation, so it’s crucial to follow this up with a good toner. This will prevent products from clogging the pores and causing breakouts or white / blackheads.
Off the beauty shelves:
Daily toning is great for the skin. Tone after cleansing and before moisturising during the day and at bedtime. Some options you could try out are Clarins Toning Lotion, L’Oréal Paris Hydra Fresh Toner, Vichy Normaderm Purifying Astringent Toner and La Roche-Posay Effaclar Toner.
• 3 tbsp dried basil leaves
• 1 cup boiling water
Crush dried basil leaves and mix them into a cup of boiling water. Once the mixture cools, strain out the leaves, pour the water in a spray bottle and spritz on your skin. Use a cotton ball or pad to spread the toner gently all over your face, daily before cleansing.
*This is perfect for those with an acne problem. The basil acts as an antiseptic, helps clear acne-causing bacteria, and improves circulation to the skin.
If you have dry skin, use non-alcohol-based toners to prevent further drying of the skin.
Stress and environmental factors rob your skin of moisture. And hydrated skin means one that’s dewy and youthful. A moisturiser is an anti-ageing must—besides helping your skin retain moisture, it also works like a temporary filler for wrinkles, making your complexion look smooth.
Off the beauty shelves: The trick is to massage the moisturiser into your skin with your fingertips, in small circular motions for 10 minutes. Start from the cheeks, then move to the chin and then the forehead. Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, Vaseline Total Moisture Nourishing Lotion and Olay Total Effects Daily Moisturizer are some of the best ones out there.
• 3 tbsp fresh cream •1/2 avocado
• 1 tbsp honey
Put all the ingredients in a blender and puree to a smooth cream. Leave it on the face for at least 25 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Add a bonus cool trick to wake up tired eyes. While waiting for this hydrating face pack to do its trick, place some chilled cucumber slices on your eyes. Or cotton pads soaked in chilled rose water.
Weekends are the best time to put your tired feet up and give them a much-needed break from stilettos and all the running around. Soak, scrub and top it off with cream.
Off the beauty shelves:
A weekly soak, scrub and foot cream should take care of your feet along with that monthly pedicure appointment. Choose from The Body Shop Peppermint Foot Scrub, L’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream, Himalaya Smoothing Foot Scrub, Iraya Purifying Soak Fizzy and Biotique Bio Costus Foot Cream.
LIME-MINT FOOT SOAK
• 2 cups epsom salt
•1/2 cup baking soda
• 1 large bowl lime zest
• 3 to 4 drops of essential lime oil
• 3 to 4 drops of essential peppermint oil
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spatula and store it in a jar and use within a few weeks.
Soak your feet in warm water with some rock salt. Then use a scrub and clean up with a pumice stone. Finish up with a foot cream.
Seasonal changes and a hectic schedule can make your hair dull and rough. Rejuvenate it with the following to give your tresses a kiss of good health.
OIL IS THE WAY
Off the beauty shelves:
Dove Elixir Hair Oil, Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment, L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil and Kerastase Elixir Ultime Hair Oil are options to consider
CURRY LEAVES AND COCONUT TONIC
Boil some fresh curry leaves and coconut oil until a black residue starts forming. Apply this on your hair and scalp once a week to replenish your tresses and help it grow faster!
Soak some cotton in the oil and apply it onto your scalp. Make sure you don’t overdo the oil bit because this would mean more shampoo to get it off, thereby stripping the hair off its natural oils. Wrap your head in a hot towel, and shampoo once the towel cools down.
When it comes to hair, nothing works hard at showing it some love like a good conditioner. A deep-conditioning mask or at-home remedy will keep your hair smooth, shiny and hydrated.
Off the beauty shelves:Popular choices include TIGI Bedhead Urban Anti-dotes Resurrection Conditioner, Schwarzkopf Bonacure Repair Rescue Conditioner, TRESemme Smooth & Shine Treatment Masque, Pantene Pro-V Total Damage Care Intensive Hair Mask and Wella Professionals Enrich Moisturizing Treatment.
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 tsp coconut milk
Mix all of the above together. Apply it on your scalp and hair, and cover your head with a shower cap or plastic wrap. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse well.
Shower call:Take this weekend pampering yourself with a de-stressing shower. Make sure the bathroom is dark (close the curtains, if you have them) and light a sweet-smelling candle and feel fatigue wash away. Add a body scrub into the mix to slough the dead skin away.
PHOTOGRAPH: MASTERFILE INDIA, SHUTTERSTOCK