Looking for baby-soft skin and a complexion to wow the natives? Think beyond those expensive pots and potions of snail slime and bee venom, K-sheet masks and bubble foaming cleansers. The most local you can get is your kitchen. Yank out those overripe fruits and discards to upscale them into face masks and body scrubs.
Folklore goes that an Indian princess pampered herself every day with her ladies-in-waiting, applying ubtans, pure floral extracts, fragrant oils and more on her during the bathing routine. Yet, whatever she did, her complexion couldn’t quite beat the lustre of one of her attendants. She had her shadowed to find out the secret ingredient that made her skin luminous. There was no secret, reported the espionage. The girl simply applied what was left over—watermelon peels, cucumber juice, gram flour, honey—and washed it off a few minutes later for a glowing skin.
Peach peels invigorate and soften your skin, just like a pudgy avocado can moisturise efficiently. Those browning bananas make for great tootsie spruce-ups. Says dermatologist Dr Madhuri Agarwal of Yavana Aesthetics Clinic, Mumbai, “Overripe bananas bring in antioxidants and silica to fight free radical damage. Mash it up, add half a tablespoon honey and apply as a foot pack to soften your soles. You can wrap a clingfilm for added benefit and wash it off after 15 minutes. Apply papaya with honey as a face pack to exfoliate, moisturise and beat the tan. Papaya contains natural enzyme called papain that helps in skin lightening.”
Instead of discarding ageing tubers, slice and place the raw pieces on your under-eye area. Unused green tea bags are great undereye squatters for banning raccoonish dark circles. When that coffee jar plays truant and gleams with a coagulated mess within, especially during the monsoon, scrape off and mix in a dot of milk to rub all over your face. Wash off after 15 minutes. “Coffee brings in an astringent effect, depuffing your skin. It is a natural toner,” explains Dr Agarwal.
The next time you keep sour curd aside to make kadi the next day, think again. “Khatta dahi with honey works as a skin softener and hydrator,” Dr Agarwal adds. Says Dr Madhur Bansude, dermatologist, Apollo Clinic, Pune, “Expired dairy products like milk can be used on the face for reversing sun tanning and cleansing. For an acne curing face mask, grind leftover orange peel and add yoghurt. Leftover Greek yoghurt is a superb exfoliator. Add two tablespoons Greek yoghurt and one tablespoon of honey. Mix it well and apply it evenly on the face. Wash it off after 15 minutes with warm water.”
Watermelon with its cool quotient calms inflammation. “Rub watermelon skin on your hands and face to energise it and also to reduce the redness. Rubbing slightly browning lemons on your elbows, knees and underarms helps in skin lightening,” says Dr Bansude, adding, “You can even cut a squishy tomato and rub it all over your skin, making sure the juice penetrates into the pores. Leave on for 20 minutes and wash off with plain water for skin lightening.” If you foxed about what to do with a few cracked, leaky eggs in the home-delivered item list, fret not. “Egg yolks contain fatty acids which moisturise the skin, while the egg whites contain albumin, a simple form of protein that tightens the pores and removes that excess oil from the skin,” adds Dr Bansude.
Shilpi Madan for Sunday Standard