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Winter is here and the sheer joy of walking around in the warm winter sun and enjoying the outdoors is a pleasure we all look forward too. There are plenty of traditional treats to be enjoyed and lots of fun and frolic with family and friends planned, right? That said, perhaps the most common issue related to this season is dry, patchy skin. And of course, you cannot afford to follow the same summer skin care routine in winter; it will only make your skin feel worse. Ditch all your summer skin care routines and try homemade face-packs that will help you get a glowing skin during this time of the year too. If you have no idea how to start, we have your back. Here are some natural face-packs that you should definitely apply on your skin to look radiant during this chilly weather.

1. Milk cream and honey

Milk cream or malai is one of the best natural moisturizing creams that you can apply on your skin to make it supple and soft. Trust honey to clear your skin off the bacteria that are responsible for the growth of pimples and acne on your face. All you need to do is to take a tablespoon each of milk cream and honey in a bowl and mix them well. Apply the mixture on your face and skin and leave it for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Pat dry your skin and see the result; your skin will feel moisturized like never before. Follow the regime regularly.

2. Cocoa butter and olive oil

Nourish your skin with the goodness of olive oil and cocoa butter for an amazing moisturizer. A dash of ginger paste will help remove the excessive dirt off the skin. Make a past of one tablespoon each of cocoa butter and olive oil and a half teaspoon of ginger paste and apply it on your skin, especially face and neck and leave it for 15-20 minutes, before washing it off with lukewarm water.

3. Banana and milk

If your skin is dry and patchy, it is time you hydrate it with a combination of milk and banana, but if your skin is excessively oily, you can replace milk with rosewater too. Banana helps in peeling off dead skin and milk is a clarifying agent, so in case your skin has lost the glow, you know what to do. Take one whole mashed banana in a bowl and add one tablespoon of milk and mix it well. Apply it on your face and neck and leave it for 20 minutes and wash it off with warm water.

4. Aloe vera and almond oil or sesame oil

If you have been complaining of too much dead skin, bring aloe vera and almond oil or sesame oil to your rescue. This face pack works best to ensure hydration. All you need to do is take about 8-10 drops of almond oil or sesame oil and one teaspoon of aloe vera gel and blend them between your palms. Now apply and rub the mixture on your face in circular motions for at least 15 minutes and leave it overnight. Wash your face the next day and you will find your face extremely soft and lively.

5. Papaya and raw milk

Papaya is power-packed with essential nutrients and minerals that make your skin supple and soft. Milk, on the other hand, is rich in vitamin E, which adds moisture to dry and dull skin. All you need to do is to take half ripe papaya that is cut into pieces and raw milk; mash it with a fork and make a puree with a coarse texture. Apply the pack on your face and neck and leave it until it becomes dry and wash it off with tap water.

6. Carrot and honey

This face pack helps lighten the dull and patchy skin, thanks to beta-carotene present in carrots. Honey acts as a moisturizer for the skin. This pack will help remove dead skin cells too. All you need to do is to take one peeled and pureed carrot and one tablespoon of honey and mix them well. Now apply this mask on your face and rinse it off after 15 minutes.

Go on, try these natural face-packs, made from easy-to-find ingredients in your kitchen, for soft and supple skin even in winters!

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Almond oil comes from pressing the seeds of the almond tree (almond nuts) and extracting oil from what comes out. Almonds have been valued in many ancient cultures for their healing and health properties, including high levels of protein, omega-9 fatty acids, and vitamin E. These properties suggest that almond oil can improve the shine and strength of your hair. Sweet almond oil is the oil most commonly sold and recommended for use as a hair product. Keep reading to find out if sweet almond oil is something you should try to make your hair look healthy.

Benefits of almond oil for hair
Almond oil softens hair
Almond oil is an emollient, meaning it can fill in gaps in your hair at a cellular level. That makes your hair feel smoother to the touch. Using almond oil on your hair gives it a softer texture over time. Once almond oil is incorporated into your hair care routine, you may also notice that your hair is easier to comb through and style.

Almond oil strengthens and repairs hair
Using certain oils to treat hair can make it less prone to breakage and diminish split ends. The lubricating properties of nut oils, like almond oil, diminish friction during hair styling. A study on Brazilian nut oils (many of which contain oleic acid and linoleic acid, just like sweet almond oil) showed improvement in hair’s resilience when it was treated with small amounts of oil ingredients.

Almond oil could make your hair grow
There aren’t clinical trials that prove that almond oil is effective in making hair grow. But here’s what we do know: almond oil can make hair stronger and less prone to split ends, which means your hair growth won’t be slowed by losing hair that becomes damaged. Almond oil contains high amounts of vitamin E, which is a natural antioxidant. When antioxidants combat the environmental stress around your hair, your hair looks younger and healthier.

Almond oil treats scalp conditions
Almond oil can also be used as a treatment for flaky scalp (seborrheic dermatitis) and scalp psoriasis. While we don’t have studies that show how almond oil treats these conditions, almond oil has been used to treat dry scalp conditions in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Rubbing a small amount of almond oil directly on your scalp increases blood flow to the area and introduces powerful antioxidants to the skin on your head.

Uses
You can apply almond oil directly to your hair, rubbing a small amount in between your palms before applying it. If you’re looking to increase shine and softness, pay special attention to the ends of your hair. Massage the oil into the end of the hair shaft and leave the oil on your hair after styling it.

You can also use almond oil as an ingredient in a conditioning hair mask. Mix 2 parts room temperature coconut oil with 1 part sweet almond oil and a creamy, natural conditioning agent, like avocado. Apply this potent hair mask to clean, dry hair, and leave it on for up to 40 minutes.

Some people use almond oil in a capsule or liquid form as an oral supplement. We don’t know if this directly impacts the health of your hair. But it does give you a big dose of protein, vitamin E, and omega-9 fatty acids that could improve your overall health. You can find almond oil supplements in almost any health food store.

Potential risks and side effects
Almond oil is generally safe for anyone to use on their skin. Anyone who has a severe nut allergy should not use almond oil on their hair, or for any other purpose, as the allergic reaction it triggers could be a serious one.

Don’t put pure almond oil on your hair before heat styling. The oil will heat up around your hair follicle and could burn your scalp or the hair shaft itself.

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Macadamia oil can strengthen hair

Macadamia oil penetrates hair more efficiently than some other oils, like mineral oil. Mineral oil can build up on your scalp. Over time, it can make your hair feel heavier and look duller.

But vegetable and fruit oils (for example, coconut oil) have been found to penetrate the hair follicles more effectively. Macadamia oil shares this property.

When macadamia oil binds to the hair shaft and infuses it with fatty acids, your hair follicles may be left stronger and healthier. Macadamia oil also contains antioxidants, which help hair to recover from environmental exposure to things like pollutants in the air.

Macadamia oil can smooth hair
The emollient qualities of macadamia oil can help smooth hair, giving it a shinier appearance. Anecdotally, hair that’s treated daily with macadamia oil may hold its sheen and become glossier over time.

Macadamia oil can make curly hair more manageable
Macadamia oil is especially popular for curly hair. Curly hair types can be especially vulnerable to damage from the environment. Curly hair that’s dried out and damaged is very hard to style and can break easily.

But macadamia oil helps restore moisture to the hair shaft, locks it in, and adds natural protein to the hair. Curly hair that’s properly moisturized is easier to untangle and style.

Are there any risks?
Macadamia oil is a safe ingredient for almost everyone to use on their hair.

If you’re allergic to tree nuts, it’s possible that you’ll have an allergic reaction to macadamia oil. However, the oil contains less of the tree nut proteins that trigger a reaction, so there’s also a chance that you won’t react to it.

Otherwise, using macadamia oil for long-term hair treatment shouldn’t cause problems with your hair or scalp.

If you have a history of allergies or are concerned about an allergic reaction to macadamia oil, do a patch test of the oil on your skin before trying a full application. Put a small amount on a dime-sized spot on the inside of your arm. If there’s no reaction in 24 hours, it should be safe to use.

If you do develop allergy symptoms, discontinue use.

Using macadamia oil as a treatment
You can use macadamia oil on your hair using several methods. You might want to start by trying pure macadamia oil on your hair to add shine after blow-drying or straightening it.

It’s not a good idea to apply macadamia oil to your hair before heat styling because the oil may damage your hair if it’s heated above a certain temperature.

Take a dime-sized dollop of virgin, cold-pressed macadamia oil. Rub it between your palms and then smooth it throughout your hair. Pay careful attention to getting the oil to the ends of your hair to help repair split ends and damage.

Pure macadamia oil can be purchased in a small amount specifically for this purpose. Shop for these products here.

You can also purchase or make your own deep-conditioning hair mask using macadamia oil.

Mix macadamia oil with a fresh avocado and let it sit on your hair for 15 minutes. Then rinse your hair well. This may thoroughly moisturize your hair while restoring essential proteins.

If you’d rather buy something than make your own, shop online for hair masks now. Shampoos and conditioners that contain macadamia are also easy to purchase online.

Does it work?
Macadamia nut oil should make hair look shinier and stronger within one application. If you continue use, the consistency of your hair may change to be healthier and easier to maintain.

For curly hair and natural hair types, macadamia oil may be an especially valuable tool to combat frizz and flyaways. But we don’t have solid clinical evidence to understand the mechanism that makes macadamia oil work.


Macadamia oil vs. other oils
Macadamia oil contains high concentrations of palmitoleic acid. This makes it unique in comparison to the other tree nut and plant oils, many of which are richer in linoleic acid.

Macadamia oil is much more expensive to purchase and use than coconut oil, avocado oil, and Moroccan oil. While it promises similar results, we have less research to tell us how macadamia oil influences hair strength and health.

Compared to other popular hair oil treatments, macadamia oil is one of the lesser studied plant oils. It would appear, though, that macadamia oil is one of the more efficient treatments for curly or natural types of hair.

Natural remedies for hair growth

Your hair is said to be your crowning glory, and it’s normal to want to improve your hair if it’s not to your satisfaction. If you’re trying to regrow hair that you’ve lost or would simply like to improve the hair that you have, try some of these natural remedies. Their proven benefits can help to stimulate growth and enhance the hair that you have.

1. Massage
Massaging the scalp can help to restore hair growth and can be used in conjunction with hair oils and masks. This stimulates the scalp and can improve hair thickness. Taking the time to massage your scalp each day can also help you relieve stress and tension. It’s thought that stretching forces during the massage encourage hair growth and thickness in the dermal papilla cells.

2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera has long been used for treating hair loss. It also soothes the scalp and conditions hair. It can reduce dandruff and unblock hair follicles that may be blocked by excess oil. You can apply pure aloe vera gel to your scalp and hair a few times per week. You can also use shampoo and conditioner that contain aloe vera.

3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil contains fatty acids that penetrate inside the hair shaft and reduce protein loss from hair. Coconut oil can be used either before or after you wash your hair depending on your hair type. If your hair tends to be oily, you can do a leave-in treatment overnight or for a few hours before you wash it. Massage coconut oil into your scalp and all of your hair. If your hair is dry, you can also use it as a leave-in treatment. There needs to be more research on coconut oil as a promoter of hair growth, but it’s been shown to improve the health and luster of hair and has been used for centuries.

4. Viviscal
Viviscal is a natural hair-growth supplement that promotes hair growth in people with thinning hair. It contains a marine complex known as AminoMar C. This is made of minerals, vitamins, and shark and mollusk powder. These ingredients help to regenerate new cells and strengthen existing cells. You have to take the pills twice a day for at least six months in order to see results. Viviscal also makes a shampoo and conditioner.

5. Fish oil
Consuming omega fatty acids can help to improve your hair from the inside, since they are filled with nutrients and proteins. Taking an omega supplement along with antioxidants helps to improve hair density and diameter. It also reduces hair loss. Omega fatty acids help your cells to work correctly and can boost immunity, leading to better overall health. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage.

6. Ginseng
Taking ginseng supplements can promote hair growth by stimulating hair follicles. Ginsenosides are the active components of ginseng and are thought to be responsible for its positive effect on hair. Always take as directed and be sure to check for any possible side effects.

7. Onion juice
If you can handle the smell of onion juice, you may find that the benefits are worth it. Onion juice has been shown to successfully treat patchy alopecia areata by promoting hair growth. Onion juice is also thought to improve circulation. Animal studies show improved keratin growth factor and blood flow to the cuticles. You can blend a few onions and squeeze out the juice. Apply the juice to your scalp and hair and leave in for at least 15 minutes. Then shampoo normally.

8. Rosemary oil
Rosemary is one of the first essential oils people choose to promote hair growth and reduce hair loss. Rosemary oil stimulates new hair growth and can be used to treat androgenetic alopecia. Mix a few drops of rosemary oil into a carrier oil and massage it into your hair and scalp before rinsing. Do this a few times per week. Add a few drops of rosemary oil into your shampoo and conditioner on a daily basis. Do not use essential oils directly on the skin. Always mix them in a carrier oil or shampoo.

9. Geranium oil
You can use geranium oil to promote hair growth and boost circulation. Mix a few drops into a carrier oil and use it to make a hair mask. You can also add a few drops to your shampoo and conditioner. Geranium oil can help to strengthen, hydrate, and restore your hair.

10. Lemon
You can use fresh lemon juice or lemon oil since they are said to enhance hair quality and growth. Lemon oil can help you to maintain a healthy scalp and encourage hair growth. Apply fresh lemon juice to your scalp and hair 15 minutes before you shampoo. You can use lemon essential oil diluted in a carrier oil as a hair mask.

Winter is here and along with it, comes dry and flaky skin. Dry skin can turn out to be quite annoying. If you have been looking for ways to get rid of that flaky dry skin; fret not, we're here to help. A lot of ingredients that are easily available in Indian kitchens can come quite handy in keeping dry skin at bay, especially in winters. Two such ingredients that can possibly do wonders for your skin health are milk and banana. Banana helps in peeling off the dead skin; whereas, milk acts as a clarifying agent. Both the ingredients complement each other quite well and are used in a variety of beauty rituals, including skin care and hair care rituals. Both the ingredients are all-natural, so you can easily use them without worrying about the side-effects. Here is a face mask using these two humble kitchen ingredients that you may bring to your rescue:

Ingredients Required:

1 Banana
1 tablespoon Milk

Method:

To begin with, take a bowl and add one whole mashed banana in it.

Then, add in one tablespoon of milk in the bowl and mix both the ingredients well.

Once you get a thick paste-like mixture, apply it on your face and neck.

Allow the banana-milk mixture to stay for around 15-20 minutes.

Once done, wash it off with warm water.

Note: In order to get amazing results, you can use this face mask twice a week. After washing your face, you can apply a mild moisturiser to make it look more supple and radiant.

Dr. Vijay  Badgujat
Dr. Vijay Badgujat
MD - Homeopathy, Homeopath Family Physician, 7 yrs, Pune
Dr. Aniket Joshi
Dr. Aniket Joshi
BDS, Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentist Dental Surgeon, 11 yrs, Pune
Dr. Shweta Muley
Dr. Shweta Muley
BHMS, Homeopath, 6 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rajendra kadam
Dr. Rajendra kadam
BAMS, Ayurveda, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Vikas Kumar
Dr. Vikas Kumar
Specialist, Gastroenterologist, Pune
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