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

If you have an oily skin type, then it is time for you take extra care of your skin. Summers can be harsh to your skin - the dry, humid heat leaves you with stretchy, leather-like, patchy skin, and huge pores. Furthermore, the constant sweating can make your skin oily, which may lead to various common skin-related problems like acne and pimples. In order to steer clear of the same, you can bring a bevy of kitchen ingredients to your rescue. Various citrusy fruits can come to great help in keeping oily skin at bay. One such citrus fruit is orange. Oranges are known to work like magic on the skin and can benefit the skin in numerous ways. When applied topically on the face, oranges have the capability of absorbing additional oil from the face.

Here Is A List Of 3 Orange Face Packs That Can Do Wonders For Your Skin:

Orange And Neem Face Pack

Things You Need:

Orange Pulp - 3 tbsp
Milk - 2 tbsp
Paste of neem leaves - 3 tbsp

Method:

To begin with, take a bowl and add neem paste and milk to it. Combine the two ingredients and add orange pulp to it. Once a paste-like consistency is attained, apply it on your face. You may apply it on your neck as well. Allow the pack to stay for around 20 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water.

Orange And Besan Face Pack

Things You Need:

Besan Powder - 2 tbsp
Rose Water - 2 tbsp (optional)
Orange Juice (without pulp) - 3 tbsp

Method:

Take orange juice in a bowl and mix besan powder in it. Mix the two ingredients till a grainy paste is attained. You may even add rose water in this mixture as it will give your face a refreshing feel. Keep it on your face for 20 minutes. Once it dries off, wash it with cold water or dab some cotton balls in water and clean your face using them. For best results, apply this face pack thrice a week.

Orange And Oatmeal Face Pack

Things You Need:

Oatmeal - 1 tbsp
Orange Juice - 2 tbsp

Method:

Take a bowl and mix both the ingredients in it until you get a grainy scrub-like mixture. Apply it on your face in a circular motion and wait for 10-12 minutes. Rinse off your face with cold water.

So, without further ado, bring these skin-friendly face packs to your rescue and bid goodbye to oily skin.

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
milk

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
Stress

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!

Aloe vera is extensively used in beauty products and for good reason. It's got antiviral and antibacterial properties, and the ability to help treat everything from constipation to diabetes. The green-cactus looking plant that sits out in your garden isn't just a plant with its roots in folklore, it's the crux of a million dollar industry that extends from beauty creams to healthy juices and diet supplements. Over time, aloe vera has seamlessly integrated itself into everything we use. But, what makes this miracle plant so distinguishable? There are some incredible benefits of aloe vera. So, keep reading to know what we are talking about.

The aloe vera plant is about one or two feet tall with prickly and bitter leaves, which act as a defence to keep animals and insects from feeding on the plant. The leaves hold a gooey translucent gel, also extremely bitter, and known all over the world for it's unbelievable healing properties.This translucent gel is made up of around 96% water, some organic and inorganic compounds, a type of protein which contains 18 of the 20 amino acids found in the body and lastly, Vitamin A, B, C and E. Another part of the aloe vera plant which is used is the 'sap', a yellow-coloured liquid stuck to the skin of the plant from the inside. When dried and purified, the powdered aloe is often used as a laxative, though it's effectiveness is questionable.

One of the most crucial elements found in aloe vera gel is a complex carbohydrate known as acemannan. It allows nutrients to reach the cells, nourish them and at the same time relieve them of toxins.Ayurveda, Chinese herbal medicine and British herbal medicine have all advocated aloe vera as a healer, when applied or consumed orally. Let's go over some of its most prominent benefits.

Here are some benefits of aloe vera for hair, skin and weight loss:

Aloe Vera For Skin
There are many aloe vera uses, like aloe vera for face and skin. Bill C. Coats writes, "Since the skin needs nutrition of its own, Aloe Vera, when formulated into a properly designed personal care regimen, can treat, exfoliate, restore, reveal and provide constant, impressive nutrition to the human skin." And we're about to show just how you can do that. Once you move past the slimey texture of natural aloe vera gel and apply it to your skin, you'll notice how soothing and cooling it is. And it's for these exact reasons that Ayurveda refers to aloe vera as the miracle herb that can be used to treat wounds, minor cuts, dry skin and severe burns.


Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, Delhi-based dermatologist says, "Aloe vera is rich in vitamin C, E and beta carotene which gives it its nourishing and anti-ageing qualities. It can moisturise the skin without making it greasy, which makes it a great buy for those with oily skin." She also suggests drinking aloe vera juice early in the morning on an empty stomach because it improves digestion and cures any kind of stomach trouble. And, you know that if you've got a healthy inside, it'll give you a glowing outside which in this case is radiant skin.

Aloe vera or aloe vera-based products can be used in the winter as well as in the summer and by people of all skin types. Aloe vera treats the cells on the epithelial level of the skin which is why it's recommended by dermatologists to remove tan, treat sunburn and stretch marks. One way to use aloe vera is to apply the gel directly, another would be to make a pack using aloe vera along with some other special ingredients from your kitchen. So, now you know that aloe vera for face is like a magical gel that has an amazing impact on your skin.

1. Aloe vera for dry skin - Take some aloe vera, a pinch of turmeric, a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of milk and a few drops of rose water. Blend this mix till you get a paste. Apply it and leave in for about 20 minutes or so.

2. Aloe vera scrub - Grab half a cup of fresh aloe vera gel, a cup of sugar and two tablespoons of lemon juice. The sugar will help exfoliate and scrub off dead skin, the aloe vera will deep clean the skin and the lemon will help fade out scars and tan. Stir the three ingredients together and use it to scrub both face and body.

3. Aloe vera for acne - Take some aloe vera gel, blended walnuts with a flour like consistency and honey. Aloe vera's healing properties coupled with the anti-oxidants from honey will leave you with smooth and clear skin.

4. Aloe vera for sensitive skin - Grab some aloe vera gel, cucumber juice, yogurt and rose oil and blend them to a paste. Apply and leave for around 20 minutes, then rinse it off.

Aloe Vera For Weight Loss
It's not just the beauty industry that's obsessing over the benefits of aloe vera, the health industry can't stop raving about it either. Known as ghritkumari in Hindi, the plant has millions of takers around the world and is used in the form of gels, cream and juices, due to the aloe vera's wondrous health benefits. According to Britt Brandon, the author of The Everything Guide to Aloe Vera for Health, "Aloe vera can improve the effectiveness of your diet and maximise your weight loss potential. With ample amounts of vitamins and minerals that contribute to weight-loss, as well as amino acids, enzymes and sterols, aloe vera ensures your diet is not only supportive of weight loss, but also improves the body's absorption and utilisation, improving overall health as well as weight loss success."

Aloe vera is used in a wide range of health products, like diet supplements, juices etc. It's rich in anti-oxidants which means it helps cut out free radicals in the body and boost your immunity. It's also a good source of protein so it helps muscle development and gives you copious amounts of energy. There are countless studies that prove how effective aloe vera is for weight loss, but it should be consumed regularly and over a long period of time for it to really work.

How to drink aloe vera juice: The natural taste of aloe vera is so bitter that you wouldn't think of consuming it as is. Take the gel, dice it into small pieces and blend. Now. mix a bit of this with some other fruit or vegetable juice that's preferably sweet. You can also use the leaves of aloe vera, blend them, strain and drink. If you find it too bitter then mix it up with honey and drink. You can also add some lemon to this mix.
Aloe Vera For Hair Fall
Aloe vera contains something called proteolytic enzymes which repairs dead skin cells on the scalp. It also acts as a great conditioner and leaves your hair all smooth and shiny. It promotes hair growth, prevents itching on the scalp, reduces dandruff and conditions your hair. Diane Gage, author of Aloe Vera: Nature's Soothing Healer says, "Keratin, the primary protein of hair, consists of amino acids, oxygen, carbon, and small amounts of hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulphur. Aloe vera has a chemical make up similar to that of keratin and it rejuvenates the hair with its own nutrients, giving it more elasticity and preventing breakage."

The perfect pack: Here's a delicious hair mask that you should apply once a week or every fortnight.

Mix equal quantities of aloe vera juice and extra virgin coconut oil. Apply and leave it in for as long as possible for strong, smooth and bouncy hair. Aloe vera is a natural ingredient that brings with it a treasure trove of benefits. The best way to enjoy it, without the fear of added chemicals, is to grow it in your own kitchen garden or balcony. It takes very little to look after an aloe vera plant, but the benefits you get in return are many. So go ahead, invent your time and money into a healthier you today!

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.

These days, taking care of the skin has become no less than a task. This is primarily because of the continuous exposure to the sun and pollution which has led to numerous skin problems. From skin tanning to stubborn pigmentation spots, there is no end to the types of skin problems that are occurring these days. Pigmentation occurs when dark spots are formed on the skin making it look dull and uneven. In order to get rid of those stubborn pigmentation spots, we often resort to various BB creams, concealers and many other artificial creams. However, these chemical-based creams can do more harm than good to your skin. Hence, it is always better to go for natural ways while treating such skin conditions. Here we have got you some natural home remedies to get rid of those stubborn pigmentation spots. Read on to know more about them.

1. Potatoes

Potatoes are known for their anti-pigmentation properties. They are known to work quite well on pigmented areas and blemishes. You would require 1 raw potato and some water. Cut potato into half and dip the sliced part into water. Rub the potato slice on the affected areas in a circular motion for about 10 minutes. Wash off your face with lukewarm water. Repeat this procedure twice or thrice in a week for better results.

2.Yogurt

Yogurt has lactic acid which helps in shedding the dead cells from the skin. To diminish the pigmentation spots, you would require one tablespoon fresh yogurt. Apply the yogurt on the affected areas and leave it for 20 minutes. Rinse off your face with some water.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil helps replenish the dead skin cells and also protects it from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Firstly, wash your face to remove any excessive dirt. Apply the coconut oil to your face and massage it well so that it penetrates deep down the skin's layers. Once you're done with the massaging, leave the oil on your skin for about 20-25 minutes so that the extra oil gets absorbed. Wash your face and repeat this method thrice in a week.

4. Papaya

Papaya has excellent exfoliating properties. It helps in eliminating the dead skin cells and promotes the growth of new cells by curing hyperpigmentation. To make a papaya face-pack for yourself, you would require 3 tablespoons of papaya extract, milk and organic honey. Take a bowl and add these ingredients. Mix well until they are properly blended. Apply it on your face and allow it to stay for about 20 minutes. Rinse off using cold water.

Sandalwood

Sandalwood is great for your skin as it helps lighten the pigmentation spots to a great extent. To use sandalwood paste for your skin, you would require some sandalwood and rose water. Take a bowl, add both of these ingredients and mix well. Apply this paste on your entire face and leave for about 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water in the end.

So what are you waiting for? Bring these natural and chemical-free kitchen ingredients to your rescue and make the most of them! Disclaimer:

Dr. Kalpesh Wani
Dr. Kalpesh Wani
BAMS, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 8 yrs, Pune
Dr. Suryakant Bhise
Dr. Suryakant Bhise
BAMS, Ayurveda, 11 yrs, Pune
Dr. Dharmendra Singh
Dr. Dharmendra Singh
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Cardiologist Diabetologist, 1 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sheetal Jadhav
Dr. Sheetal Jadhav
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, Pune
Dr. Yogeshwar Sanap
Dr. Yogeshwar Sanap
MD - Homeopathy, Family Physician Homeopath, 12 yrs, Pune
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