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Got great looking skin? Keep it that way
Dr Parul Kolhe
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June 25, 2007

By definition, if after two hours of washing your face your skin is neither too dry nor too oily, you have balanced or 'normal' skin.

People with a balanced skin type are lucky, since they do not suffer from problems like acne and 'oil shine', or excessive dryness which causes flaking and dullness on the skin. However, do not take your skin for granted. You need to care for your skin to ensure that it doesn't fall prey to the heat, humidity and dust.

Here are some face packs to help refresh and rejuvenate your skin:

1. An apple a day
Blend half an apple into a puree, add two teaspoons of honey and squeeze in a capsule of vitamin E. Mix well and apply for 10-15 minutes.

2. Carrot-honey scrub
Wash and peel a medium-sized carrot and blend in a mixer along with two teaspoons of honey. Add a teaspoon of coarse rava (semolina) and a few drops of lavender essential oil (optional), and apply immediately. Scrub off with circular movements of your palms after about 15 minutes. This works as a skin conditioner while exfoliating your skin.

3. Orange-yogurt mask
Whisk three tablespoons of full cream yogurt with three teaspoons of orange juice. The lactic acid in the yogurt helps peel off dead skin cells and is a whitening agent. The orange juice acts as a skin toner, tightening up open pores.

4. Pumpkin-egg yolk nourisher
Take a two-inch cube of ripe orange pumpkin and puree it. Add an egg yolk and blend well. You can add a few drops of rose or sandalwood essence to disguise the odour of the egg. Egg yolk contains vital nutrients that nourish the skin and pumpkin is a rich source of vitamin A.

5. Grandma's sandal pack
The age-old recipe for beautiful skin -- sandalwood paste -- does indeed work wonders. Crush a small piece of sandalwood (available at shops selling pooja supplies) till you get half a teaspoon of brown paste. Mix this with besan (gram flour) or Multani mitti (Fuller's earth) and a few drops of milk to make a thick paste. Apply over face and neck and leave for 15 minutes. Use this pack at least twice a week for best results.

Even with normal skin, there may be seasonal fluctuations. For instance, your skin might feel a slightly drier in winter or a stickier in summer, so vary your face pack accordingly by adding an extra ingredient or two. You can add milk cream or olive oil in the winter to your routine pack to increase its moisturising capacity. Conversely, a few drops of lemon juice in the summer take care of any excess oiliness.

Remember to pay attention to the way your skin reacts to various face packs and their ingredients. With time and experience, you can tailor-make your face pack to perfectly suit your skin.


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