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Ban that acne, banish those wrinkles
Dr Parul Kolhe
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July 13, 2007

It's the first impression that counts, you've been told time and again.

And you don't want that first impression marred by unseemly acne or other skin-related problems.

Many of us have specific skin issues we want to target. These could be anything from fine wrinkles to acne to blemishes. Alternately, we may just want to make our complexion lighter or condition our skin.

Here are some specialised face packs that can help you tackle skin-related needs.

Whitening/ Anti-tanning packs

~  Crushed tomato pulp mixed with milk powder is a very good tan removing pack. You can use it on face and your arms, legs, etc.

~  Freshly ground turmeric (1/2 teaspoon), mixed with 2 teaspoons of besan (chickpea flour), 2 teaspoons honey and 2 teaspoons milk is an excellent whitening agent. Use 4-5 times a week.

Anti-ageing/ Tightening masks

~ Take a medium-sized ripe peach. Dip in hot water to blanch and remove the skin. Blend the pulp in a mixer with an egg white and apply on your face for half an hour. Wash off gently with warm water.

~ Take half a cup of ripe strawberries. Wash well and remove the hull (leaves, etc). Blend with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a mixer and apply immediately. Leave on for half an hour.

Conditioning and softening pack

Blend an egg yolk with 2 teaspoons of honey, 5 ground almonds, a tablespoon of milk cream and a few strands of kesar (saffron). Leave on for 15-20 minutes. Wash off gently to reveal instantly softened skin.

Exfoliating/ Blemish removing masks

~ Equal quantities of olive oil and coarse sea salt can be used as an excellent exfoliating scrub for the face and the body. Alternately, use sugar granules instead of sea salt. It takes off dead cells and the dull layers of skin. Use daily if possible.

~ Mash � a banana with 10 coarsely ground almonds and apply. Scrub off vigorously after 15 minutes.

~ Mix 2 teaspoons of oats with ground almonds, honey and a teaspoon of full fat yoghurt till you get a paste like consistency. Apply for 10-15 minutes, then wet and scrub for another 10 minutes before rinsing.

Acne reducing masks

~ Mix fuller's earth (multani mitti) with rosewater. Add a little Glyco-A (12%) cream (Rs 95, available at all chemists) and apply all over your face for 30 minutes. This mask not only controls acne, but also helps to get rid of marks left by old acne lesions.

~ Two teaspoons of besan mixed with 1 teaspoon lime juice, � teaspoon turmeric and 3-4 teaspoons cucumber juice makes a great acne pack. It removes excess oil and acts as an antiseptic against acne causing bacteria.

Whatever your need, there's a pack for you.

However, do remember to be realistic -- a face pack can't transform your into Aishwarya Rai [Images] or get rid of serious acne or pigmentation problems or stop wrinkles.

For specialised treatment, do consult a dermatologist.
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