When I moved back to Delhi about seven months ago, I had, for the first time in four years, a fully stocked kitchen at my disposal. The prospect excited me, not so much because I can cook, no (I can barely boil water without burning it), but because I’m a big one for homemade beauty recipes.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than treating my (sometimes non-existent) beauty problems with things I can find in the kitchen. I’ve annoyed my mother by using her expensive, all-organic, cruelty-free honey by the dollop for my body packs, and I’ve finished the last bit of besan in the house for my skin-brightening masks. Here’s the thing, though: these remedies actually work! Whether it’s a tan you want to remove after a good holiday or just brighten up dull skin after a long day, in my experience, homemade masks work better than any product you can buy off the shelves.
‘Well,’ I decided one day, rolling up my sleeves, ‘I’ve neglected my skin enough in the past few months. Time to give it the pampering it needs.’
I knocked on my flatmate Kritika’s door to ask her if she minded my using the honey and besan for something non-food related, not wanting a repeat of what had happened with my mother. I got a surprising response: ‘Can you please make the face pack for me as well?’
‘Well, of course,’ I said, very pleased to encounter enthusiasm rather than vague scepticism for my home remedies.
I set about concocting my face pack. About four tablespoons of besan (chickpea flour) and four tablespoons of curd went into a big bowl. I added a tablespoon of honey and squeezed in half a lemon as well. A pinch of turmeric completed my face pack. They were all, as you see, ingredients that you can find easily in your kitchen. While honey is full of antioxidants and great for glowing skin, lemon is a natural bleaching agent to fight pigmentation. Besan takes care of tanning and turmeric is great for glowing skin.
Kritika and I set about applying the face pack, which is when our third flatmate, Ananya, walked in to find out what the commotion was all about. Not one to pass on the chance of getting people to try out my brilliant face pack, I asked her if she would like to try it too. She agreed.
We applied the face pack and washed it off after 15 to 20 minutes, and all of us agreed that it was indeed an excellent one. We all have different skin types, but this pack worked for all of us! If nothing else, our skin felt instantly brighter and softer.
Since then, using this face pack has become a Sunday ritual of sorts. Kritika, who has oily skin, has tweaked the recipe a little - she uses rose water instead of curd, since that works better for oily skin. We use it without fail at least once a week, and it has shown visible results. It’s one of the few ways in which we can take care of our skin without too much hassle, given that all of us are working and don’t have a lot of time for elaborate skincare regimes.