At a time and in a place where moisturizers, face creams and other beauty products (not to mention the money to buy them), were scarce, my mother and my aunt kept their young skins fresh and fit by making good use of whatever was in their kitchen.
A simple mix of honey and lemon juice, for example, was a wonderful skin toner and glow creator. A bit of tomato left over from the preparation of a lunch time curry, mashed up with a couple of teaspoons of yogurt and a pinch of gram flour, cooled the face, restored moisture and smoothed out tiredness after a long day spent walking around under the harsh Indian sun, while the cream skimmed off the top of the fresh milk that had been boiled earlier in the day made for the perfect night time moisturizer.
Over the years, the global beauty industry grew and then boomed, taking India, my mother, and my aunt along for the ride. But no matter the creams and moisturizers these two women bought, they always stayed true to the home-based beauty regime of their youth, and their skins are a testament to the powers of nature.
I was brought up on homemade beauty treatments, and really, I find there’s nothing easier than mixing and matching what’s at my fingertips. It may sound like a time consuming endeavor and not something that busy women for whom every second counts should be doing, but really, making good use of nature’s bounty is second nature to me, and is an easy fit into my day.
Take, for example, the fact that I slice up fresh oranges for my kids every morning. Well, all I need for a great facial wake-me-up is to squeeze a few drops out of a couple of segments and mix in a little bit of Vitamin E oil, which I keep handy on a small shelf in the kitchen. As I’m making breakfast and packing school lunches, I can feel the soft moisture of this beautiful oil, and the wonders of pure Vitamin C on my skin.
After stacking the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, I layer on a face pack of yogurt mixed with powdered almonds and keep this on as I do my 15 minutes of Ballet Beautiful. Or, I might smash up a leftover half avocado with a tablespoon of olive oil and layer that on instead. And then on the days I wash my hair, there’s nothing like rubbing some warm olive oil into my scalp and letting it soak in as I get on with my morning.
Everything I need for lasting (or so I hope) beauty is right there in the kitchen. And although my dresser is loaded with many different creams, using what’s readily available has and always will be a part of my day.
Have you any home made beauty treatments to share?