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Say goodbye to dull, dry skin
Dr Parul Kolhe
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June 18, 2007

Face masks are a great way to re-hydrate and refresh your skin. If you suffer from dry skin that feels stretched and rough through the day, using a facemask specially designed to moisten and rejuvenate it might be just the thing you need.

Face masks for softening dry, rough skin must contain hydrating agents, natural agents, natural moisturisers (like milk cream or honey), skin softeners and conditioners, along with ingredients to balance out the oil so as not to make them too greasy.

Dry skin is usually undernourished and these ingredients, if used in the right proportion, will provide the necessary nutrients.

Here are some great facemasks for those of you who have a dry skin:

Mediterranean softening mask

Take half a ripe avocado and puree in a blender with two teaspoons of olive oil. Apply liberally; leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse.

Pina Colada face pack

Blend coconut cream (easily available at all grocery stores, either freshly prepared or packaged will do) with a few cubes of pineapple, adding enough oatmeal to make a thick paste. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse with warm water.

Oh honey!

Probably the best natural skin softener and emollient that exists, honey also has anti-tanning properties. Mix two teaspoons of honey with an egg white, a few drops of olive oil and a little rosewater. Apply evenly and rinse gently once dry.

Tomato pack

Blend one tomato and strain lightly (you can save the liquid for cooking). Add two teaspoons of glycerine to the pulp and apply gently.

Almonds

These are rich in essential fatty acids, much needed by dry skin. Crush 10 almonds coarsely in a blender and add oatmeal and milk cream to make a moisturising and exfoliating pack.

Eating a few almonds everyday will help if you have dry skin.

Good old aloe

The much hyped wonder plant -- aloe vera -- does indeed work wonders for dry, sensitive and irritated skin. However, one must use it correctly.

Make sure to use only mature aloe leaves (from a plant that is at least three years old). Peel off one side of the thick covering and scoop out the flesh inside with a spoon. You can use the flesh as it is or blend it with a few drops of an essential oil (chrysanthemum, marigold or jasmine) for a fragrant and relaxing home spa face pack.

These packs should not be allowed to dry up completely as removing crusts can damage dry skin. For the best results, wash off the pack when it is still slightly moist.

Always rinse off the pack with warm water (neither too not nor too cold). Follow it immediately with a toner and moisturiser. Avoid using soap for at least 4-5 hours.

If you suffer from dry skin, remember to keep yourself well hydrated with lots of water, juices and natural drinks like coconut water to regain your skin's healthy glow.


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