As anyone who reads my blog knows, I am a big fan of using simple, natural ingredients to cleanse and nourish skin and hair. Much of this stems from my childhood in India, where I would watch the women using milk, fruit peel and all sorts of other leftovers to add shine to their hair, or softness to their skin.
I remember seeing my grandmothers washing their hair in yoghurt. They would also use it to clean their bodies. It may seem bizarre here in the UK, but yoghurt is actually a very effective cleanser and moisturiser in one. The natural fats really help to feed your skin and hair, so it’s not surprising that milk protein is a key ingredient in many beauty products. You can, of course, use shop-bought yoghurt, just make sure that it’s full fat, with nothing added to it. However, even better, why not make your own?
Adding gram flour, which is made from ground chickpeas, to the yoghurt, along with a pinch of turmeric, gives you even better results. Massage the mixture all over your face and body, before rinsing, for a truly glowing complexion.
Turmeric is often used in traditional Indian beauty routines, as well as in Ayurvedic medicine. Ground turmeric mixed with water or aloe vera can really help to reduce puffy eyes if you leave it on overnight.
I mentioned using full-fat milk as a cleanser last week. It also makes an effective hair conditioner, or try mixing it with porridge oats for a gentle exfoliator.
Honey is such a good allrounder when it comes to beauty, as it’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. It makes a great face mask, particularly when mixed with other beneficial ingredients, such as egg yolk, or avocado. Try combining it with olive or coconut oil for an all over skin treat or hair mask. You can also dissolve a couple of teaspoons in hot water to add to the bath.
People have been using natural ingredients to keep their skin and hair healthy for centuries. I’m not keen on the term ‘anti-aging’, but I do believe that we should consider the long-term effects of any beauty routine. Certainly there are quick fix products out there, and they’re all very well for a special occasion, but ultimately, you want to know that you’re protecting your skin for the future. This is one of the reasons that I only use natural ingredients in my products – roots, leaves, fruits, flowers and so on. They can really ‘feed’ your skin, making it stronger, more resilient and better able to fight off stress and pollution. Used regularly, you’ll not only see results in the short-term, you’ll benefit from them for years to come.