Summer brings along tanning, sun burns, pigmentation, prickly heat and acne breakouts. Specially during this season, when skin is immeasurably exposed to the harsh sun rays, radiation and of course the toxic polluted environment, your skin needs regular/weekly gentle exfoliation to remove the dead skin particles to allow the regeneration of cells and slow down ageing and wrinkling.
Here are three of my favourite ‘Summer Face Masks’ made from everyday ingredients from India’s Summer Kitchen. They are all easy to make and of course completely natural. Compared to store bought alternatives these are inexpensive and literally good enough to eat!
Try and use organic ingredients where possible since your face skin is thinner compared to the rest of your body and thus absorbs almost all that you put on it. So go ahead and choose your mask and safely welcome the summer.
Keep in mind these Do’s and Don’ts
- Wash hands really clean before making and applying mask.
- Test for allergies, by applying a bit of the prepared mask on your wrist before your face.
- Tie your hair off of your face with a headband or scarf.
- Ensure your face is washed and dry before any mask.
- When it’s time to wash the mask off, put a strainer in your sink to avoid clogged drains
Mask 1: MANGO & CHIA (SABJA) HYDRATING MASK
As summer temperatures soar, the Indian kitchen gets stocked with freshly squeezed Aamras (Mango juice) and Sabja seeds (also known as Basil seeds or Tukmaria or falooda seeds). As tasty and cooling as these are, they are also the ideal ingredients for a face mask that’s overflowing with antioxidants from the Chia seeds and nourishment from Mangos.
Great for all skin types (especially those with dry skin), this mask revitalizes and rejuvenates by balancing and moisturising your skin especially during summer months. With minimal preparation and just three ingredients this is a simple yet effective mask to pamper yourself and give your skin the royal beauty treatment it deserves.
Vitamin-C rich mangoes are ideal to promote skin elasticity and their high moisture content, when applied topically, hydrate skin cells thus slowing down skin aging and make it look healthy and lustrous. The ‘king of fruits’ protect and moisturise with naturally occurring beta carotenes and are a storehouse of powerful phyto-chemicals and antioxidants that will give your skin the nourishing boost it needs.
Chia seeds are highly concentrated with omega-3 fatty acids and are thus ideal to soothe skin ailments since they decrease inflammation, reduce redness and itchiness and protect our skins top layer from infections. Among the many beauty benefits, Chia seeds are known to be very effective on blemishes and scars as well as being anti-aging and boosting the tone and glow.
Aloe Vera’s hydrophilic property helps in binding moisture into the skin lending to decrease in the appearance of fine lines. Aloe Vera gel is ideal for soothing sunburns, rashes and eczema.
- 2 tablespoon Mango pulp
- 1 teaspoon Chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon Aloe Vera Gel
Blend/mash half a mango until smooth and creamy. Take care not to add in any mango peel since the peel contains urushiol, an enzyme which may irritate skin. Soak the Chia seeds in 1 tablespoons of cool water. Mix with whisk, and let stand 4 minutes. Whisk again, and let stand 10 minutes. Whisk the mixture again and let it sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or till they expand into a gel.
Scrape the gel fresh from the inside of Aloe Vera leaves. In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients well. Adjust the amount of Chia seed gel as desired for thicker or thinner consistency. Using clean fingertips, spread on your face and leave on for about 15 minutes. When the face mask dries up completely, use a warm moist washcloth to remove it. Rinse off with cold water. Pat dry with a soft towel.
Mask 2: SABUDANA & LIME EXFOLIATING FACE MASK
Summers also remind me of Sabudana kheers and khichdis, eaten to keep the body light and cool. But did you know that Sabudana (also called Tapioca pearls or Sago) are famous in skin treatments especially for their whitening and cooling effect? A much needed relief to combat tanning and heating of skin, wouldn’t you agree?
A wonderfully thick and gentle exfoliating mask that will do wonders to your skin leaving it clean, smooth and soft! While this pack is good for all skin types it works best for sensitive and oily skin. It cures acne scars, soothes skin and to makes your skin smooth and soft.
Sabudana balls give a gentle moisturising exfoliation while its starch tightens the surface of the skin.
Demerara sugar is also a mild exfoliater and gently removes dead skin cells that dull complexion thus also softening the skin.
Lime juice contains natural acids that clarify and brighten the skin while Multani Mitti or White Kaolin Clay gently draw out impurities from pores while still maintaining oil balance by not over drying or over “pulling” the natural oils from your skin.
- 1 tablespoon small tapioca (sago)
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or Demerara sugar
- 1 teaspoon Multani miiti (Fuller’s Earth) or White Kaolin clay
Add tapioca and lime juice in a pan and a small saucepan and let it thicken over low fire, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let it cool. In a small bowl, mix with the other ingredients. GENTLY massage scrub on your face while avoiding eye area. Then spread over the face and neck areas while avoiding the eye area. Relax and let it dry on the skin for 10-25 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. Make your final rinse is a cold one, to close your pores. Don’t forget to moisturize.
Mask 3: KHUSKHUS & COCOA MASK
This mask is effective in nourishing your skin and reversing sun damage.
- Two tablespoons of khuskhus (poppy seeds)
- Two tablespoons of cocoa powder
- Three tablespoons of raw milk
- Three tablespoons of oatmeal powder
- Half teaspoon of mint powder or two drops of mint essential oil
Soak the khuskhusin raw milk overnight and the next morning grind it to a paste. If you don’t have oatmeal powder, simply blend some oats in a processor. Mix all ingredients and apply the paste on the face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Massage in the upward direction for a few minutes. Place some cucumber slices on the eyes. Let the scrub stay on the face for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a warm and moist washcloth to remove the mask gently. Follow up with a splash of cool water on the face to rinse completely and pat dry with a soft towel. Follow up with a moisturiser.
Do you have a favourite DIY mask too? Share it with us and we will publish it in our social medias.
This post has been previously published by IANS and has appeared in Hindustan Times.
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