The fact that natural herbal products have a definite qualitative edge over chemical-based cosmetics is today universally acknowledged.
But then is every herbal beauty solution as effective as it claims to be?
In fact, a lot depends on the extent of knowledge and research gone into its preparation.
Here is one such work that brings you herbal solutions that work, and work beautifully.
Backed by years of research and painstaking effort, it offers comprehensive solutions - from top to toe.
*Castor oil makes an excellent sunscreen - and mixed with a few drops of jasmine oil it becomes a herbal hair conditioner.
*White wax mixed with almond oil, rose water and sodium benzoate proves effective for dry skin.
*A mix of pineapple and yoghurt makes an ideal nail soak.
*Mineral-rich oatmeal soak has excellent moisturising and softening properties, and serves as a soothing foot-bath...
the book offers many such formulae and much more.
In addition, there are separate sections devoted to-
*Herbal remedies for common ailments (for instance, the milky juice of papaya softens corns, and cotton seed oil applied daily clears spots on the face).
*And a complete glossary describing the essential qualities and properties of herbal ingredients.
About the author:
Dr.S. Suresh Babu, M.D. (Ayurveda), a renowned writer and practitioner of Ayurveda, has been teaching and writing for the cause of Ayurveda for more than two decades.
Hailing from a family of traditional Ayurvedic physicians, his penchant for writing has won him many awards, including the much acclaimed Vaidya Ratna, P.S.Warrier Prize of Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakal (Kerala) for Best Thesis thrice consecutively in the years 1994, 1995 and 1996.
Owing to a rare combination of innovation and sound practicality, he continues to be a much sought after practitioner, writer, and teacher in the Ayurvedic medical world.
His other published books from Pustak Mahal:A Treatise on Home Remedies and Green Remedies have been widely appreciated.
1. Skin Structure and Functions
2. Skin Care: The Herbal Approach
3. Skin Recipes
4. Beauty Foods For the Skin
5. Nail-Care Cosmetics
6. Hand Care
7. Feet Care
8. Hair Care
9. Eye Care
10. Making Cosmetics at Home
11. Herbal Remedies for Common Problems
In the 1970s, women used the kitchen as a beauty parlour, as many spices happen to be natural beauty aids. For instance, malai, papaya peel, mashed cucumber, fermented curd, turmeric, lemon etc. are used as herbal cosmetics extensively then and now in beauty care.
Even in the beginning of the 21st century things have not changed but the style has changed. Now a woman spends about 30 times more money to buy a cucumber face pack or shikakai hair wash.
This purchasing tendency has brought in many herbal cosmetic manufacturers like Shahnaz, Ayur, Pura, Herby, Biotec et al into the field and they are not only selling beauty herbs but also dreams. The herbal cosmetic bug had also bitten western celebrities like Barbara Cartland, Princess Diana and Ingrid Bergman. As the demand is going up rapidly, the price of these beauty products is also reaching the sky, leaving the middle-class beauty conscious women and men in a tight corner.
Keeping this in view, the present book Herbal Cosmetics is designed and written exclusively for these people, so that they can prepare their own cosmetics with pure herbs and natural substances available within their reach. All these recipes are well proven and safe and these are in no way inferior to the market brands and, in fact, are more pure as you yourself are adding on genuine ingredients of the recipe.
Dr. S. Suresh Babu
Chap. 2. Skin Care: The Herbal Approach
The herbal approach of proper skin care is principally based on three essential steps:
Whatever may be the type of skin, these three steps are required for external care of the skin to protect it from the constant ill-effects of environment, stress and the skin's natural process of cell degeneration/decay.
Normal skin generally has the following features:
It is rosy and lustrous.
It is unblemished and smooth.
It is evenly (uniformly) coloured.
It is soft, firm and elastic.
The unhealthy skin features are:
It is dull, sallow and ruddy.
It is pale, blemished, dry and discoloured.
It is sagging, puffy and wrinkled.
Intake of hot and cold stuff regularly/hot, spicy food.
Excessive consumption of fish, sour fruits, ice-creams.
Excessive use of salty items.
Excessive thinking, worrying.
These are indications of imbalance and premature ageing due to many factors like stress, poor habits, improper skin care, exposure to environmental hazards etc. All these unhealthy skin features result from a decline in basic skin functions, such as new cell growth, elastin and collagen production, blood circulation, secretion of ground substances, immune activity and enzyme activity which give the drab complexion, colour and lack of glow to the skin. Therefore, in order to help the skin look young and radiant, our beauty products and treatments must at least provide:
Exfoliation to remove dead skin cells.
Epidermal stimulation for new cell growth.
Anti-oxidant properties for cellular rejuvenation and repair.
Improved capillary blood flow.
Penetrating moisture and nutrients to replenish all layers of skin tissue.
The three-step process of cleansing, nourishing and moistening of skin, using only herbs and oils suitable to the individual skin type, fulfils all these basic needs of a healthy and rich skin.
Most herbal systems of medicine like Ayurveda prescribe herbal powders to clean and exfoliate the skin on a daily basis. The herb acts as a gentle scrub to clear away the dirt, toxins, pollutants and dead cells without washing away the necessary moisture ingrained in the skin.
A combination of haritaki, amlaki and vibhitaki in equal ratio alleviates all the Tridoshas and maintains the "balanced" state of the skin. Therefore, it can be used in any type of skin.
Gentle Natural Cleansers
2. Sour milk
3. Cream and buttermilk
SKIN CARE FOR THE WHOLE BODY: Apply lukewarm oil to the body keeping in view the "doshic" profile of your skin for better results.
Proper Nourishing and Moisturising
When the soap bubbles have burst and the skin starts to squeeze, the first thing one looks for after using a harsh cleanser is soothing lotion or cream to replace the natural fluids that were washed away along with the dirt. In Ayurveda, practitioners 'feed' the skin with pure essential oils, which are naturally hydrating and rich in nutrients and also enough to penetrate the skin and rejuvenate the cells. Gentle massage of the skin with the essential oils helps improve blood circulation and strengthen the connective tissue, thereby reducing wrinkles. Further their aroma also helps balance the doshas (vata, pitta, kapha) and the essence itself provides protection from infection.
Since the skin has so many functions and has much to do with the health and beauty of the individual, it should be kept in good form. It should be kept clean not only from outside by frequent cleaning and bathing, but also from inside by avoiding the use of tobacco and other harmful substances, after consumption of which the waste materials have to be excreted by the skin.
General Instructions for Good Skin
Wash your skin twice a day, morning and evening, with a soft herbal cleanser and lukewarm water (mild soap).
Nourish and moisturise your skin daily with essential oil appropriate for your skin type (please see skin types and suitable oils).
Avoid excessive exposure to sun, salt-water, wind, cold weather and snow.
Facial exercise once daily.
Don't use very oily creams. They clog pores and cause puffiness.
Don't use soaps or harsh detergents on the face.
Don't use chemical make-up removers, heavy eye creams or oils. Instead, use cotton dipped in plain vegetable oil to remove eye make-up.
Don't use harsh scrubs, chemical powders or pumice stones.
Don't use chemical astringent or products containing alcohol.
Don't use very hot or very cold water to wash, it breaks capillaries.
Don't wear face make-up when you go to sleep, no matter how tired you are.
Cold Weather Tips for Beautiful Skin
Cold weather and cool winds, according to Ayurveda, aggravate 'Vata' dosha and cause dry skin conditions, so one has to adjust his lifestyle and diet to add warmth, lubrication and moisture.
Take fewer baths and sho