Looking beautiful on the wedding day is not merely a matter of make-up and dress. It needs weeks of care. If a skin care programme is followed a few weeks before the wedding, it can really help. The skin type and the season should also be taken into consideration. For instance, in winter, even oily skins may feel dry, while dry skins need more moisturisation and nourishment with creams and oils.
For your daily facial care routine, cleanse your skin twice a day. Night time cleansing is more important, in order to remove pollutants and make up before bedtime. So, cleanse the skin daily at night and rinse well with plenty of plain water. Use lukewarm water. For normal to dry skin, use a cleansing cream or gel. Or, take half a cup of cold milk and add five drops of any vegetable oil (til, olive or sunflower oil). Put this in a bottle and shake well. Cleanse the skin with it, using cotton wool. Keep left-over mixture in the fridge. If the skin is oily, use a cleansing lotion or face wash for oily skins. Oily skins also need deep pore cleansing. Mix rice powder with curd and apply on the face once or twice a week. Rub gently with small circular movements and wash off with water. Ready-to-use scrubs are also easily available. In winter, an oily skin may be prone to blackheads. You can have “clean-up” at a beauty parlour and have blackheads extracted.
An oily skin may also feel dry in winter, but when cream is applied, it can lead to pimples. So, mix one teaspoon pure glycerine with 100 ml rose water and keep in a bottle in the fridge. Use a little of this lotion to relieve dryness. It will soften the skin, without making it oily.
Aloe vera gel or honey may be applied on all skin types, to moisturise and soften the skin. Apply on the face and wash off with plain water after 20 minutes.
For all skin types, tone the skin daily with chilled rose water, using cotton wool pads. Wipe and stroke the skin with them. Then, pat briskly with the rosewater-soaked cotton wool pads. This adds a glow to the skin.
The daily nourishing of normal to dry skin can be done at night, with a nourishing cream. After cleansing, apply the cream and massage on the face with a few drops of warer, with outward and slightly upward movements, for 2 minutes. Wipe off with moist cotton wool.
For the face, mix a mask at home and use it two or three times a week. For normal to dry skin, mix two teaspoons wheat bran (choker) with one teaspoon each of almond meal (badaam), curd, honey and rose water.
For oily or combination skin, mix three teaspoons oats with curd, honey and egg white or rose water. Mix everything together into a paste and apply on the face, avoiding the lips and area around the eyes. Wash it off after 20 minutes.
After applying face mask, soak two cotton wool pads in rose water and use them as eye pads. Lie down and relax. This is extremely relaxing and refreshing and a great restorer of both body and mind. Rose water actually has a relaxing relaxingeffect, helps to remove fatigue and brighten the eyes.
The skin around the eyes is thin and delicate. It acquires lines and wrinkles easily. Apply an under-eye cream wipe it off after 15 minutes, with moist cotton wool. Or, daily apply pure almond oil sparingly and massage lightly, using only the ring finger, for one minute under each eye. Massage in one direction only.
The skin on the lips is also thin and lacks oil producing glands. It becomes dry and chaps easily. After cleansing, apply almond oil or almond cream on the lips daily and leave it on all night. Sun-protective lip balms are also useful.
Protect the skin from moisture loss during the day. Apply a sunscreen, before going out in the sun. Most sunscreens have built-in moisturizers. Moisturizers are available in cream and liquid form. For extreme dryness, use a cream. A liquid moisturizer should also be used under make-up. Keep the skin well moisturised.
In winter, the skin of the body also needs nourishing with oils. In the olden days, “ubtan” was made at home for skin care. First the body was massaged with “til” oil. Then home made “ubtan” was applied. This usually consisted of wheat bran (choker), gram flour (besan), yogurt (dahi) or cream of milk (malai) and a pinch of turmeric (haldi). All these were mixed together and applied on the face and body, before bathing. The “ubtan” was washed off after half an hour, while bathing. It helped to clear the skin of dead cells, leaving it smooth and bright, with a translucent quality.
Another ideal way for glowing skin on the body is to tie ingredients in a clean cloth, wet slightly and then rub the cloth bag on the skin while bathing. Mix powdered milk, ground almonds (badaam), rice powder and rose petals. The ingredients work on your skin, gently cleansing it and leaving it soft, smooth and vibrant. It also leave the body naturally perfumed and refreshed, feeling as smooth as silk.
In winter, the hair also needs to be nourished with oils. Heat pure coconut oil and apply on the hair. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. After shampoo, apply a creamy conditioner, leave on for 2 minutes and wash off with plain water. Or, you can apply a leave-on conditioner or hair serum for shine and protection.
You can also give your hair a quick conditioning treatment before shampoo. Mix one teaspoon each of vinegar and almond oil with one egg. Beat them together well. Massage the mixture into the scalp. Leave on the mixture for half an hour and then wash your hair. If you do not wish to use egg, add more almond oil.
All brides go through some kind of stress, which can reflect on the face. To deal with this kind of mental stress, it is essential to learn to relax. It has been proved that physical exercise actually helps the body to cope with stress. A few weeks before the wedding, start taking a little exercise, like going for a walk. In fact, walking is good for both body and mind. Deep breathing exercises and meditation are also helpful, in terms of calming the mind and inducing relaxation.
The Author in International repute beauty expert and is popularly called as herbal queen of India