Here are some tips by Shahnaz Husain to take care of your body during this season
All of us want to look good, no matter what the season. But, coping with the skin is a daily affair. It requires a little knowledge about the kind of treatment the body deserves to look its best. The skin is influenced by seasonal changes and the different conditions, like heat and humidity, or lack of it. For instance, by the end of the winter months, you may find that your skin has become rough and flaky, after the dry season. Or, you may find that your skin is highly sensitive, with rough red patches. During the change of season, there can be problems for people with allergies, including skin problems like itching, rashes or inflamed skin. Pollutants and pollen in the air may be responsible, leading to problems like skin-sensitivity, rash, allergies, etc.
A variety of creams, lotions and oils are available for the body. You can get yourself a hand and body lotion, or a rich cream, depending on the extent of dryness. You would need a loofah or rough towel to give your body a rub, after applying oil, cream or lotion. This helps to smoothen rough skin and also improves blood circulation to the skin surface, leaving the skin glowing. It is particularly helpful on rough areas like the knees and elbows. For extreme dryness, avoid soap. Soapless shower gels are better. Or, you can use glycerine soap. Before your bath, apply oil on the body and massage it on to the skin. Sesame seed (til) oil or olive oil may be used, or you can use any vegetable oil. Warm the oil before use.
A traditional home pre-bath treatment is to mix “besan” (gram flour) with a little milk or curd and a pinch of “haldi” (turmeric) into a paste. Rub the body with this before your bath and wash it off while bathing. This cleanses the body well. While bathing, give your body a rub with a loofah or rough towel, especially on the knees and elbows. If these two areas are dark, rub two lemon halves on them before your bath. After bathing, wipe off and apply a body lotion, or thicker cream, paying special attention to the feet, back of the hands, knees and elbows. Rub the lotion or cream into the skin on these areas. Particular aromatic ingredients can be added to massage oils, in order to have a calming effect on the mind and promoting general well being. Sesame seed (til) oil can be used to massage the body. According to Ayurveda, it is a balanced oil. It also has antioxidant properties and has a soothing effect on sun-damaged skin.
Fragrant Massage Oil: Take 25 ml each of almond oil and sunflower oil or sesame seed (til) oil, to make 50 ml oil. To this add 2 drops of rose or jasmine essential oil. Essential oils should never be used by themselves. This oil will leave the body with a pleasant fragrance.
Body Scrub: Take four tablespoons gram flour (besan) or oats, one teaspoon sandalwood powder, one teaspoon rose water. Add milk to make a paste. Wet the skin and apply. Rub on the skin and wash off with water. For itching on the body due to dryness, add 2 tablespoons vinegar to a mug of water and rinse the areas after your bath.
To remove tan on arms: Mix gram flour (besan) with curd and add a pinch of turmeric. Apply this on the arms 20 minutes before your bath.
To brighten the hands: Take fresh orange peels and pierce them with a fork. Rub the peels on the hands.
For the Nails: Mix almond oil and honey in equal parts and massage into the nails and cuticles.
For dry Nails: Warm any vegetable oil (sunflower oil, or sesame seed oil or olive oil) and soak fingers in it for ten minutes. Wipe off with a moist towel.