Nourishing Your Face: The Natural Way

It’s 10 AM on a Saturday. You have a party to attend in the evening. You have been running around all week, with no time for a facial. You look in the mirror. Your eyes are tired. Your face is pale. You are wondering, “What do I do now?”. Well, look no further that your own pantry and refrigerator!

Curry LeavesIndia is home to some of the best natural remedies. For centuries, people have used plants, vegetables, herbs and leaves to nourish their skin and bring out their beauty.

I remember a Sunday morning ritual growing up. My grand mom would heat up curry leaves, cooked in coconut oil, with fenugreek seeds. My mom would mix cream of milk, turmeric, lemon juice and chickpea flour. I would pick Hibiscus leaves from our backyard, crush it down for its juice, and mix it with shikakai (herbal powder).

I would wash my face with milk and a pinch of salt (cleanser). I would then apply a face pack with my mom’s special mix (cream of milk, turmeric, etc). My grand mom would then massage my hair with the hot curry leaves oil, for an hour. It was divine.

TurmericAfter the massage, it was time for a bath with chickpea flour, turmeric and hibiscus mix (no soap or shampoo at all). I always felt fabulous, with skin soft as butter, and hair that was black, silky and clean.

Here are some other natural facial recipes that I use. Remember, everyone’s skin is different. Please test it, and make sure your body does not react adversely to it.

Natural Cleansers (to clear your skin)

Cucumber and yogurt: Grate half a cucumber and squeeze out the juice. Add the pulp to a tablespoon of yogurt and mix. Apply this to your face, neck and forehead and leave it on for 10 minutes or so. Then wash it off.

Milk and salt: The most natural cleanser available. Mix ¼ cup of cold milk with a pinch of salt. Using a cotton ball, gently dab it all over your face and neck. Wash thoroughly.

Natural Exfoliate (to remove dead skin)

Apply a mixture of oatmeal (1/2 cup, coarsely ground), cold milk and a pinch of turmeric on the face. If you have sensitive skin, leave out the turmeric. Scrub as you go along in a circular motion. This removes dead skin and small facial hair. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes and then wash.

LimeAstringents and Toners (to seal the pores, and tone the skin)

Here are some options:

a) After a good scrub, rub your face with ice cubes (toner), which will seal the pores.

b) Squeeze a lime and add it to cold water and rinse your face with the solution.

c) Cucumber and rose water: Grate the cucumber and squeeze out the juice and add a few drops of rose water. Use it to tone your skin.

The Grand Finale: My Face Pack Recipe

This will tighten and brighten your skin. Give it the glow that it deserves.

Avacado (1/2 the pulp, no skin) or Papaya (1/2 cup, no skin) or Banana (1/2)
Egg White: 1
Lime Juice: 1/2 of a Lime

PapayaBlend the ingredients to a smooth paste. Apply to your face and neck. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes. Wash it off for a clean, fabulous face.

After a good shower or wash, you will feel crisp, clean and shiny like a fresh salad!!!

Some More Face and Hair Tips

Tired and Puffy Eyes

I keep a few cold used tea bags in the refrigerator. I place this over my eyes, to remove the tiredness. I also use ice cube, placed in a soft cloth, which I rub over my eyes.

Hair Care

As we get older, this area needs special attention. I apply henna once every fortnight. I make a big batch of my Henna recipe; keep it in the refrigerator for use twice.

A Simple Henna Recipe

It is important that you oil your hair a few hours prior to your application, as henna tends to make the hair dry and brittle.

Henna Powder - 1 cup
Black tea - Enough to make a paste
Lime Juice – 1 Tbsp
Olive Oil – 1 Tbsp

Blend together in a cast iron bowl. Leave it to soak for 2 – 4 hours. I let it soak over night, and then apply it early morning. After applying, leave it on for 2 – 3 hours and then wash it off. Use a mild shampoo and conditioner on your hair to remove the excess oil.

Rose WaterGrandma’s Hot Oil Treatment

Hot oil with fenugreek seed and curry leaves: Heat ¼ cup coconut oil with 10-15 curry leaves, 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds and strain. You can make this ahead of time and just heat it up and massage it on your scalp. This helps hair growth and removes dandruff.

Hair conditioners

Mayonnaise: Yes, the one you spread on your sandwich is an absolutely fabulous conditioner. Apply ½ cup of mayonnaise to dry unwashed hair. Leave it on for ½ hour and rinse thoroughly.

Beer: Yes, beer is a great conditioner, but it does stink! Wash your hair with beer, and then rinse it off with limejuice and rosewater.

Finally, none of these will really be effective, unless you get enough rest and sleep, and drink plenty of water!

Are there natural recipes of yours that you would like to share with us?

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23 thoughts on “Nourishing Your Face: The Natural Way

  1. Hi Prabha, R pointed me onto your blog. I can see how you keep yourself looking fabulous. Am more inspired to take more care of myself now.

  2. Please post a few (before and after) pictures of yourself or some models, so we know what to expect before we experiment :)

  3. Rohini,
    Thank you for your comment. Since all of us have different types of skin (normal to dry), I would suggest that for the face packs, you can try it on your forearms to see how your skin reacts to it. I will try to get a few photos up…

  4. Hey praba,

    These luscious recipes sure makes me want to put them all in my mouth–never mind the face/hair!

    However, I am dying to do anything with my hair…since it is so sparse! :-(. This curry leave/methi recipe you have, –do these need to be dried and crushed and then cooked in the heated coconut oil? else how will their ‘nutritive’ value disperse into the oil?

    Also each time I have tried Henna–I feel my hair gets completely FRIED. Will pre-oiling it prevent that? I am afraid to even try again. Finally which brand of Henna does one buy locally?

  5. Kirti,
    Here are some tips…
    1. The curry leaves and the methi seeds have to be steeped well in the oil, so that the color of the oil has a tinge of green. Therefore, place the oil in a small sauce pan on low heat and let the curry leaves and methi seeds cook in it. Once the oil is completely heated the curry leaves would be fried in it. Then squeeze and strain out the leaves and seeds.
    2. Pre- oiling before henna, definitely helps. Also adding a little oil to the henna also helps.I use Reshma henna.
    Hope these help…let me know.

  6. Hi Prabha: No wonder you look so fresh and radiant all the time.

    I never seem to have the energy or the time to relax and enjoy a face pack, or head massage nowadays, with my 10 month old monkeying around the house. But your quick recipes for exfoliating and toning the face are really easy and I am looking forward to trying some of these tomorrow morning.

    I am sure these tips are a face saver for a lot of us!

    Another edition with more of these tips might not be a bad idea at all. thanks a lot.

  7. Praba,

    These are great tips. I’m going to try some of them. Thanks for sharing. You have a great site!

  8. Dear Praba,
    te tips are reallyy great.Ihave streaked my hair..so if now i apply henna to my hair which is naturally black will it look bad?my streaks are of burgundy colour.it will be greatt if u can help me out.thanks!

  9. my hair is very dry and curly , it breaks quite often what are the natural remedies to make my hair silky and straight
    i am have very dark or black face , can i get some tips to be white

  10. my facial skin is extremely sensitive…I tried out the facial pack with egg,banana…my skin felt superb…..tx

  11. Hello Prabaiyer,
    I am currentley detoxing my hair. I have heard that Chickpea Flour can be applied to remove excess oil. Do you have any information on this technique. Much appreciated Carolyn.

  12. Hi Carolyn,
    Chickpea flour does helps in removing oil. Make a watery paste of chickpea flour and water. Then apply it. It takes a few rinses to get off the flour from your hair. Hibiscus leaves can also be used to remove oil. Crush the leaves with water in a blender and apply the soapy paste to your hair. Again, takes a few rinses to get it off. This is the most natural form of shampoo.

  13. hello mam ,
    i m a b.tech student . i don’t have enough time to do these tips because of so many problems .like i m staying in hostel and so many contains of your tips can’t available there..so send me some more easy tips ……..
    i face is black and i want it glow with some less black…………..
    i will be very thankful to you ……………..

  14. hi prabha,

    I accidently came to your website and found the herbal skin care tips to be extremely useful. I was wondering whether you could apply the face packs directly after cleansing your skin or do you have to steam your face each and everytime before a facepack.

  15. i have a gray in my hair and i try henna but it dosn`t cover
    my gray
    can you please if you have idea to cover gray hair.naturally

  16. thanks for your idea i will try all this thing.
    please i want to know if there is somthing to cover gray hair.
    i did try henna red henna dark henna no one it work for me.
    loubna

  17. Hi praba..it was intresting to know that Mayonnaise can help in hair conditioning…i will surely try out this..are there some tips for a home made hair spa…??

  18. I’ve tried the avocado and mayonnaise solution for my face…so I’m just waiting to see results! But thanks for the Gr8 tip!

  19. Hey hi Prabha! I accidentally came across your website and upon reading the 1st paragraph itself I knew it will be worth reading :) and truly your DIYs are fabulous,your way of writing is appreciable(well I do sub consciously end up noticing it :) few queries:-1)Any other oil except coconut oil would do 4 this recipe?2)for how long do I need 2 heat the oil+curry leaves+methi seeds concoction? Thanks 4 bringing this amazing post 2 my notice…keep up the good work!

  20. Thank You Nidhi for your kind words. 1)Coconut oil is highly recommended for hair growth. You can use olive oil to deepen the color of your hair.
    2) I usually heat up a cup of cold coconut oil with the curry leaves and methi and let the color seep in on low heat. About 10-15 min. You will notice that the curry leaves are fully fried and the methi seeds have darkened. Take Care

  21. Hi Praba! So am back to your blog once again courtesy the lovely content you’ve put up :) Have a few queries again:-1)In the milk and salt cleanser recipe,by milk do you mean ‘Raw and unboiled milk’ and by salt ‘the ones we have at home for culinary purposes’? 2)By mentioning ‘a pinch of salt’ can I assume it to be equivalent to half a tablespoon of salt?(I’ve this strange uncanny tendency of being no. Specific,so you’re allowed to pop your eyes out on this query of mine) :p 3)Immediately upon adding salt,shall I use the mix on my face or wait for 2-3 mins for letting the salt dissolve in milk? That’s it for now :) I’ll be back with my barrage of questions once u come up with another DIY ;) (And I insist do it often) :)

  22. Nidhi, In terms of milk, we get pasteurized cold milk here. No need to boil. I just use that. A pinch is less than 1/8 of a teaspoon. The salt will exfoliate the skin along with the milk. If you can get sea salt that’s the best. But regular table salt is ok too. There is no need to dissolve the salt. In fact the salt helps to scrub the dead cells off. Tc

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