By Shahnaz Husain
Looking beautiful on the wedding day is not merely a matter of make-up and the dress you wear. It needs weeks of care. If a skin care programme is followed four-six weeks before the wedding, it can really help to reinvent your beauty. For a “Monsoon Wedding”, it is all the more important.
For a Monsoon bride, high humidity poses a problem, especially for those with oily or combination skins. Oily skins look even more oily and dull, due to sweat and secretions being deposited on the skin. Sweat on the skin also attracts dirt and pollutants from the atmosphere more easily.
Deep pore cleansing with facial scrubs is important to keep the pores free of clogged oil and dirt. It also helps to brighten the skin. After washing or cleansing the skin in the morning, use a facial scrub twice a week. Apply it on the face and rub gently on the skin, using a circular motion. Then, rinse off with plenty of plain water.
You can also make a facial scrub at home. Mix ground almonds with curd, add dried and powdered lemon and orange peels, as well as dried and powdered mint (pudina) leaves and use the mixture as a scrub. For oily skins, use the scrub daily. For dry skin, use it twice a week. For extremely dry and sensitive skin, avoid scrubs.
It is important to rinse the face well with water to get rid of all residues and sweat deposits. In fact, during Monsoon, wash the face several times with plain water. Night time cleansing is a must to remove the impurities that have collected on the skin during the day.
A flower-based skin tonic or freshener is a boon in humid weather. Rose water can be mixed with witch hazel to make a refreshing skin tonic. Witch hazel is available at pharmacies. For oily skin, mix them in equal quantities. For dry skin, mix one part witch hazel with three parts rose water. Or, you may use a rose-based skin tonic.
Keep the mixture in a bottle in the fridge. Wipe the face with it, using cotton wool pads. It not only refreshes the skin, but also helps to tighten the pores and prevent spots and pimples. A rose-based skin tonic would be ideal.
In humid weather, the skin can be prone to blackheads and eruptions. A facial scrub should be used on the blackhead-prone areas. But do not apply scrubs on acne, pimples or rash. The scrub can also be applied on open pores and the marks left by acne. Or, mix oatmeal with egg white and apply on the face twice a week. Wash it off when it is dry.
Stubborn blackheads should be removed at a skin-care clinic, by a trained therapist, using proper methods. Pinching blackheads, or trying to remove them at home, not only leads to infection but also scarring.
A multani mitti pack is useful during the monsoons. Mix it with rose water into a paste and apply on the face, washing it off when it dries. If there are eruptions, add sandalwood paste to the mask.
For a monsoon face mask, you can also mix three teaspoons oatmeal with egg white and one teaspoon each of honey and curd. If you don’t want to use egg white, add rose water or orange juice. Apply it on the face and wash it off after half an hour. Use it twice a week.
(Shahnaz Husain is a noted beauty expert who promotes herbal remedies. The views expressed are personal. www.shahnaz.in)