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Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

Tea and Indians have an unbreakable bond; we need it every time. While drinking black tea has some health benefits to offer, it is said that applying it on your skin and hair is equally amazing. The anti-oxidant, anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties present in tea helps keep your skin healthy and glowing. Green tea and black tea contain caffeine and are super-rich in catechins and polyphenols, two antioxidants that are known to fight acne and ageing. Tea makes for an amazing toner and helps soothe your skin; thanks to the presence of coolant properties. If you are planning to sip a cup of tea anytime soon, add it to your beauty routine, too, to give your skin and hair a boost. Let us look at tea benefits for beauty and hair and a few packs to ensure a glowing you.

Tea Benefits For Beauty and Hair
1. Reduces Puffy Eyes And Removes Dark Circles

The caffeine content in tea helps to shrink blood vessels underneath the skin and further eliminate dark circles around the eye. The tannins in the tea can help reduce puffiness. All you need to do is to wet two tea bags and place them on your eyes. Keep them for about five to ten minutes. Make sure you use them regularly for reduced puffy eyes and lightened dark circles.

2. Soothe Sunburn Or Blemishes Caused By Excessive Sun Exposure

It is the presence of tannic acid in tea that helps your skin get rid of sunburn and blemishes. You will need to brew some tea in a pan. Once the water has cooled down, dip a towel into the tea and place it on the affected area for up to 30 minutes. You can, in fact, apply tea bags directly on your face to reduce redness.

3. Acts As A Toner

If you are out of your toner stock, you can trust tea bags or tea leaves to do your job. The astringent properties of tea make it an amazing toner. It makes the face less-greasy and helps it keep clean. Wipe a tea bag over your face and then wipe it with a clean towel.

4. Can Act As A Scrubber

If you have been discarding your tea bags away, you are losing out on an excellent scrub. Take a used tea bag and let it dry properly. Now, cut it open and use it like a scrub and wash it off. Moisturise well after you have washed your face. Your skin will feel smooth and soft; thanks to the presence of antioxidants in the tea leaves that will give your skin that perfect glow.

5. Soaks Up Extra Oil

Jasmine tea comes packed with lot of oils that are beneficial for the skin. It has anti-microbial properties and is great for soaking up the excess oil. Brew some jasmine tea, let it cool and apply to acne-prone, oily skin. It combats with pimple-causing bacteria and further helps maintain skin's pH level.

6. Skin Soother

If you are looking to soothe your skin from excessive irritation and inflammation, then chamomile tea is your go-to elixir. It helps relax tense and irritated tissues. In fact, it can be used for alleviating itchy rashes or dry, flaky patches of redness on the skin. Apply the tea bag on your face regularly to reap the maximum benefits.

7. Face Cleanser

White tea, which is a less processed tea, has more antioxidants than green tea may have. It helps purify and enrich the skin; thanks to the nutrients it contains. Brew some white tea and separate the leaves from the actual brew. Now, blend the damp tea leaves in a blender in order to create a thick paste. Let the paste cool; apply the mask and see you skin glowing!

8. Amazing Fix For Your Chapped Lips

Green tea is said to alleviate the sting of dry and chapped lips. All you need to do is to apply a green tea bag that is soaked in warm water over your lips. This will help relieve the burning sensation and further hydrate the lips like never before.

9. Makes For A Great Hair Rinse

Black tea makes for an amazing cleanser for hair. In order to stop your tresses from shedding, brew some black tea and let the concoction cool. Spray it into your hair so that it cleanses your scalp, making your hair look lustrous.

10. Acts As A Wonderful Hair Colour

If you are thinking colouring your hair black, then try adding black tea to henna and see the difference. It helps make the colour more intense. Black tea does make an excellent temporary hair dye for those with grey hair.

There are many reasons to add tea to your diet as well as beauty regime. Let us know if you have any other way to use tea for beauty and hair in the comment section below.

Most of us are now busy preparing for the festive season. There's so much to do! Between decorating the house, buying new clothes, looking for recipes for a festive feast and organising and attending many parties - we've got our hands full! All this can get pretty exhausting and one has to take care of oneself, remember it isn't just about looking good but feeling good too and that requires some effort. I have come to believe in recent years that many of us don't even enjoy our festivals anymore because we are so tired and weary by the time we have organised everything that although we may be smiling through our pujas and parties our skin and hair looks tired and so do we from inside. So, what are some of the things that we can do to look and feel better during the festive season? Simple things that won't take up too much time and if done consciously and regularly will make a difference to the way you look and feel? Here's what I would recommend:

Festive Skin and Haircare | Simple Steps To Help You Look and Feel Fresh
Dry-fruits are an integral part of most Indian festivals. Along with all our festivals, come a lot of dry fruits that we pack away in jars to be used later. Here's a better way to use those almonds, and one that will not lead to weight gain! Soak at least 10 almonds and have these daily after peeling them. If you don't have time for this then make a small packet and mix in a handful of raisins, figs, almond, walnuts and cashews and keep in your handbag at all times. Munch on when you feel the need to snack on oily savouries.Almond milk also is excellent and can be made very easily at home in your everyday mixer. Try and have a small glass of this daily to keep your energy levels high.

The festive season and changing weather impacts the skin by making it patchy and dull. Dry fruits can also be used to make a wonderful face scrub that will wake up your skin and nourish even the driest and patchiest of skins.

Festive Season Scrub | Almond & Walnut Scrub
2 tpsp almond powder
2 tsp walnut powder
2 tsb oatmeal

Mix all of the above ingredients with enough cold milk to make a thick paste and apply on clean skin. Once it has dried completely, dab with milk and scrub in a rotating manner gently scrubbing areas that may be discoloured and patchy.

Another excellent scrub, and I think scrubs are important for this weather, is one of my all-time favourites for normal to combination skin.

Fig Fresh Scrub | All-Season Scrub For Healthy Glow
10 figs
1tsp chironji
2tsp kaolin clay
1tsp rose water
1tsp yoghurt

Grind the dry fruit in a dry grinder and add the rest of the ingredients to make a thick paste. Apply to cleaned skin and leave on till dry, dab with water and scrub off.

Simple Remedy For Stress-free Skin
Stress levels can be quite high during the festival season as we tend overtire ourselves with inadequate hours of sleep. I think some soothing chamomile and lavender teas can be great ways of unwinding after a long exhausting day or in between chores.

Did you know Pooja flowers can also be used to look after you skin? Marigolds and roses are some of the most common flowers used in the festive season, this year don't throw away these flowers but use them to make some nourishing masks for your skin and hair.

Marigold flowers are wonderful for treating falling hair, reducing dandruff and dryness and improving texture of the hair. Make the following super-duper hair mask and see how your limp lifeless hair comes alive!

Flower Power Hair Mask
3tsb aloe vera gel
Paste of 10 marigold buds
2tsb almond oil
2tsb rosemary paste

If you can't get rosemary, use 2-3drops of rosemary oil. Mix everything well and apply from scalp to ends of hair and leave on for an hour before shampooing normally.

Rose Rejuvenation Mask
3tsb rose petal paste
1egg white whipped till it peaks
1tsp avocado oil
1tsp rice flour
1tsp honey

Mix well and apply to cleaned skin and let it dry completely. Avoiding talking or any facial movements during this time. When it has dried completely, you will be able to feel the stretch on your skin. Wash off with cold water and pat dry.

Keep Eating Fresh Fruits

Raw foods have a great effect on the body. Not only do you feel your energy levels go up, fresh foods have a positive impact on the way your skin and hair looks too. So, when you are buying fruits for puja don't give away everything as prasad, keep some for yourself too. Make it a point to eat at least 5 pieces of fresh fruit a day be it an apple, orange, a bowl of pomegranate, papaya or kiwi.

Pick up salad sticks between your organising chores. I always feel stocking up on healthy alternatives to munch on in the fridge helps make eating healthy and easier. Be it carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers or raw radish, eat as much and in plenty to keep your metabolism and energy levels high!

Things to avoid this festive season should be the following:

Too many late nights
Too much alcohol
Excessive heavy fried foods and sweets
Sleeping without removing make up is a complete NO
Too less sleep
Inadequate water intake

Enjoy the festive season. After all its you, your family, friends and loved ones that will make it something to remember by. And look after yourself to be able to look after them. Believe me these simple but effective tips will help you for a long, long time to come!

Keep glowing naturally!

During winters, our skin and hair start to feel dry and undernourished. The condition worsens as we enjoy all the winter 'comforts' like heaters and blowers, being out in the sun and bathing with hot water. An overall lack of external and internal nourishment can all lead to itchiness, dry and parched skin and generally unhappy looking skin.

For years, I have maintained that our skin is like Mother Earth; it requires nourishment otherwise it gets parched and many a time the skin starts to look leathery and dull. Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise are the 3 most important things you can do! To help you with this, there are plenty of kitchen ingredients that will make your skin and hair nourished. All you have to do is know which ingredients have moisture giving properties to create the magic.

Here Are 7 Ingredients That Are Wonderful, And All Natural, Moisturisers For Your Skin And Hair:

1. Honey As A Moisturiser | Honey For Winter Skin Nourishment

Honey is one of the most powerful natural ingredients that is commonly found in Indian households for various culinary purposes. But did you know that honey is also one the nature's most powerful moisturisers? Yes, you read that right! Honey not only helps moisturise our skin but also helps in removing those fine.

Take a bowl; mix one teaspoon of fresh cream and one teaspoon of honey in it and apply it on your face. Use this mask to your face regularly to have a fresh look with soft and supple skin. You can also massage one teaspoon of honey on your face for five minutes and wash it off with normal water. Additionally, for the ones with dry hair, mix 2 tsp of honey in 200 ml of water and use it post shampoo as a conditioner.

2. Oatmeal As A Moisturiser | Oatmeal For Winter Skin Nourishment

Oatmeal is widely used in skin care and skin care products. Not only does it have a soothing effect on skin but when mixed with water, this can also cleanse our body and face. Mixed with honey or yoghurt, oatmeal is an excellent softener for dry hands and skin. Oatmeal is also known to soothe skin conditions like eczema and itchiness.

3. Banana As A Moisturiser | Banana For Winter Skin Nourishment

A simple and easily available fruit, banana is one of the best natural ingredients that you can use for your skin. It helps tighten and soften the skin as well as cleanses and refreshes it. Mash bananas and mix them with egg white or honey and apply it to your skin. Keep it for about 15 minutes and wash off with normal water. This face mask will give you soft, supple and glowing skin.

4. Almonds As Moisturiser | Almonds For Winter Skin Nourishment

When talking about skin moisturising, almonds are always on top of my list. I always keep a stock of powdered almonds with me. To make almond face scrub, all you have to do is to mix almond powder with milk and make a thick paste. This face scrub will help exfoliate your skin and give you soft and glowing skin. Alternatively, take 50gms of almond powder and mix it with half a cup of oatmeal, rice powder and milk. This scrub will help reduce dark dry patches on your skin, especially on knees, elbows and knuckles.

5. Mayonnaise As Moisturiser | Mayonnaise For Winter Skin Nourishment

This one is especially for the ones who are always in a rush and have no time to hit a salon. All you have to do is to apply a tsp of mayonnaise on your face and leave on for 10 minutes. Wash it off with tepid water and pat dry. This easy yet effective face mask will give you a glowing soft skin in just few minutes. You can also use mayonnaise for your hair. Take half a cup of mayonnaise and mix with 2tsp of olive oil and apply it on your hair - from roots to the ends of the hair. Cover with a shower cap and leave on for about 40 minutes before washing them.

6. Milk As A Moisturiser | Milk For Winter Skin Nourishment

One of the most powerful natural moisturisers, milk is used in many beauty treatments from time immemorial. It cleanses and nourishes our skin and gives a soft, supple and glowing skin. Did you know you can use raw milk and water to clean your face daily? All you have to do is to mix raw milk and water in a bowl and massage it on your face. You may also add 2 tsp of mashed papaya to it to treat blemishes and dryness.

7. Fresh Cream As A Moisturiser | Fresh Cream For Winter Skin Nourishment

Applying fresh cream on your face may sound little messy but I have had amazing results with it. This is one of the best natural moisturisers for the ones with dry and patchy skin. You can use fresh cream directly on your face. All you have to do is to massage it on your face and leave it for some time before you wash it. Better still, you can mix 1 tsp of honey and 1 tsp of whole-wheat flour with fresh cream and apply on your face. Leave it on your face till it dries, and then dab a little milk with a help of cotton ball and scrub the mask off gently. This mask will help remove dead skin and will give you a soft and clear the skin instantly!

Most of the ingredients that are mentioned above are easily available and are cost-effective. They may seem humble and common but are magical when paired with the right ingredients and can protect your skin from the harshness of winters. Use them regularly and see the results yourself.

Gram flour has been used in recipes all over India since time immemorial. In fact, I can think of very few states that do not use this amazingly tasting and healthy flour in a variety of dishes, be it pakoras, kadhi, chillas or mithais. So many of us are also familiar with gram flour, or besan as it is more popularly called in India, as a beauty ingredient too. When used in the correct way, and for the appropriate skin-type, besan can work wonders to improve the quality of your skin.

Besan is a very versatile ingredient, and when mixed with certain other ingredients it can treat and take care of many skin issues. Not only can gram flour be used in masks for different skin types, it's also an important ingredient in many natural and homemade body ubtans that are great for polishing and nourishing the skin. Other benefits of besan include removing tan, removing patchiness on the skin and even removal of hair! Versatile and easily available in any grocery store, gram flour should definitely be one of the key ingredients on your beauty shelf!

Gram flour Hair Removal Ubtan
Firstly let me use this magical ingredient to make an ubtan for the body that helps reduce hair growth-

Things You Need:

Half a cup of besan
The juice of 2 lemons
1tsp turmeric
1tsp fresh cream
Water to make a smooth paste


Mix well and apply onto arms or legs.
When dried completely, rub in the opposite direction of hair growth. This is especially effective in young growing girls who have not entered puberty and should be done as a ritual 3 times a week.

Gram flour Mask- Dry Skin
If your skin is dull and dry and you want an instant wake-me-up mask, try this amazing mask and you will get hooked onto gram flour as an ingredient-

Things You Need:

3tsp besan
2tsp honey
1tsp fresh cream
A little milk to make a smooth paste


Mix all the ingredients and apply to clean skin and let dry.
When it has dried, dab with cold milk and scrub off to get smooth, soft and lighter skin in no time at all!

Gram flour Oily Skin Scrub
Most people who suffer from T-zone and oily skin problems do not know that gram flour when mixed with the right ingredients can not only reduce oily skin but also whiteheads and blackheads that can be a result of increased sebum production in the skin. Make the following scrub effectively to treat oiliness, blackheads and whiteheads-

Things You Need:

3tsp gram flour
2tsp red masoor lentil powder
The juice of half a lemon
Half a tsp of camphor powder


Mix with rose water to make a thick consistency scrub and apply onto clean skin.
When dry, dab with water and scrub off in a rotating manner very gently.
After removing this scrub, you can very gently squeeze out stubborn blackheads.

Gram flour Body Polishing Ubtan
The skin very often looks patchy, dry and dull and you yearn for a silky soft feel wanting to get rid of dead skin. This wonderful natural gram flour ubtan will help polish and nourish the body and leave it feeling like baby soft skin!

Things You Need:

Half a cup of gram flour
Half a cup of green moong lentil powder
Quarter cup of rice flour
Half a cup of orange peel powder
2tsb honey
2tsb fresh cream
2tsb almond oil
Full fat cream milk to mix to a smooth paste
8 drops essential oil of rose


Before bathing, apply this all over the body and let it become semi-dry.
Scrub off and rinse with water and the day you use this ubtan, do not use soap on your body.

Gram flour Neglected Area De-tanner Mask
I have always felt that we often neglect our feet, knees, elbows and hands and these areas are so important for a well-groomed look. Dark patchy areas like hands and feet look so ugly when left unattended. Travelling outdoors and driving can play havoc with the skin and a natural de-tanner with gram flour will work wonders! Apply the following-

Things You Need:

6tsb gram flour
4tsb yoghurt
Juice of one full lemon
2tsp almond paste


Mix well and apply to the hands, feet, elbows and knees. Let it dry and dab with milk when semi-dry and scrub off.

Most of us underestimate simple, easily available but highly effective ingredients. Use them wisely and to your advantage to see fabulous effects on your skin and I can assure you gram flour will be one of your favourites!

Red wine is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks around. Humans have been consuming the ruby red vino since time immemorial. The drink, which has been an instrument of leisure and relaxation for wine lovers, also comes with a number of health benefits. Some of the most well-known benefits of the red wine are credited to the presence of antioxidants in the drink. Apart from being great for the skin, red wine has also been known to be heart healthy and one of the healthiest drinks to partake in, while on a weight loss diet. This is because it has very less calories and the antioxidants and tannins present in the drink fight inflammation in the body. A number of scientific studies have vouched for the health and beauty benefits of that occasional glass of red wine. It is also used in a number of luxury facials and spa treatments around the world.

However, its most important and direct benefits are for the skin. Red wine is believed to be one of the best anti-ageing drinks, not only because it may reduce risks of heart diseases, strokes and reverse cell damage, but also because it may have long-lasting effects on your skin and hair health.

Here are some purported health benefits of red wine for your skin:

1. Helps fight skin ageing: Red wine may just help you age better. The presence of antioxidants like flavonoid, resveratrol and tannins fight skin ageing by restoring collagen and elastic fibres, reveals Anshul Jaibharat, a Delhi-based nutritionist.

2. Helps you catch some beauty sleep: Red wine may also help you sleep better, due to the presence of melatonin, the hormone which regulates our sleep cycles.

3. Improves complexion: Red wine may also help you get an even skin tone and regain that elusive glow on your face, which often gets lost due to excessive stress and pollution.

4. Fights acne: Red wine also has antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties and can help fight acne breakouts. Applying red wine topically on your face can clear pores and hence, prevent acne.

How To Do Red Wine Facial At Home:

A number of salons and spas across the world offer wine facial services and these often tend to be quite expensive. You can re-create the effects of these expensive facials at home, at a relatively lower cost. All you need is a bottle of a good quality red wine and some basic ingredients which are readily available in almost every kitchen. Also, the results of the facial depend on the quality of the wine used, as different types of red wine, have different types and levels of antioxidants. For example, Pinot Noirs have the highest levels of resveratrol. Meanwhile, Shiraz, Cabernets and Merlots are rich in the antioxidant procyanidin. Red wine can be used in all the steps of a facial; right from cleansing, toning, scrubbing and even for normal facial massages.

1. For Cleansing: Start out by cleaning your face with a clean, damp cloth. Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice with three or four tablespoons of red wine. Dip a clean cotton ball into this mixture and apply it all over your face. Gently massage the cleansing lotion on your face and after some time wash it off with a clean tissue paper.

2. For Scrubbing: You can use red wine to create an exfoliating paste as well. Mix the wine with a good natural exfoliator, including ground rice, coffee, sugar, etc. Mix a few tablespoons of red wine with your exfoliator and mix it to make a rough paste. Apply this paste in circular motions to remove dirt and dead skin cells.

3. For Massaging: Take some aloe vera gel or rose water, a few drops of any essential oil of your choice and a tablespoon of red wine. Mix all three ingredients properly and massage it on your face gently. Use your fingertips to massage the paste onto your face and make sure you focus on all areas of the face including forehead, chin and under eyes. This will help improve blood circulation on the face and will also let your whole face benefit from it. Massage your face for at least 10 minutes and then wipe the paste off.

4. For Red Wine Face Pack: Red wine face pack can be made using two tablespoons; each of red wine and yogurt and one tablespoon of honey. Mix all the ingredients, apply it on your face and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off with a damp cloth and notice the difference yourself.

So there you have it! You can use any of these steps independently or in combination, to improve the quality of your facial skin.

Dr. Annasaheb Labade
Dr. Annasaheb Labade
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, 19 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sandeep Darunde
Dr. Sandeep Darunde
BAMS, Optician Ophthalmologist, 3 yrs, Pune
Dr. Shilpa Jungare Tayade
Dr. Shilpa Jungare Tayade
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda Dermatologist, 8 yrs, Pune
Dr. Arati Bayas-Pawar
Dr. Arati Bayas-Pawar
BPTh, Physiotherapist Homecare Physiotherapist, 12 yrs, Pune
Dr. Tushar Suryavanshi
Dr. Tushar Suryavanshi
BAMS, Garbh Sanskar Panchakarma, 21 yrs, Nashik