By Niharika NB
Today’s post is about a skin brightening facial that can be easily followed at home. I concocted this brightening facial during the summers, it can easily be altered to suit our skin’s needs during the winter months as well. I have combination to oily skin type which is acne prone. My skin is very easily prone to dullness, blemishes and acne scars. Every zit leaves a black spot which takes ages to fade, especially my T-zone is laden with black and brown marks. I have always been dependent on face masks and scrubs, home made and ready to use ones to even out my skin tone. I am quite fond of applying face masks and scrubs, though many find it messy and prefer to go to a parlor. But I have always stayed away from salon clean ups, facials and skin treatments on the suggestion of my dermatologist because my skin is usually oily and prone to acne, but attending important family functions would compel me to go in for
at least a clean up because, as I mentioned, my skin is very dull with blackheads and whiteheads. So finally, I gave in to the temptation and got a clean up from one of the reputed salons in Bangalore. I had a nice experience, my face looked brighter and glowing, got compliments too. Honestly, I was tempted to go for it regularly, but used to get it done only during occasions.
Last November, I went in for a pearl clean up before our house warming ceremony, a week after that, I experienced a lot of sensitivity and had developed light brown patches on my cheeks and forehead. Had to run to the dermatologist who banned any more salon visits and other cosmetics including a sunblock. She applied a serum and for the next three days I was advised not to apply anything to my face, not even a face wash, had to wash my face with plain water.
After this experience, all I used was a face wash for sensitive skin, sunblock because it is inevitable and ocassionally a compact for whenever my skin would get too oily. Even application of home made packs or even something as cooling as yoghurt would cause a burning sensation. Due to this, I had totally given up on everything and my skin just got dull by the day. I had newer pimple marks and blemishes all over my face. But I was unable to use any of my favourite face masks and scrubs were out of the question. For three months, I gave my skin a break from all products and even home remedies due to skin sensitivity.
Once I felt that my skin was getting better, I thought I should give this a shot and went ahead with this experiment. So, let’s see how this worked for me.
As with any other facial, this too has six steps: Cleansing, steam, scrubbing, massage, face mask and toning. The main ingredient here is tomato. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C which helps in skin brightening. High content of lycopene makes tomatoes a natural sunscreen. In addition, tomatoes also contain high antioxidant and astringent substances which are very good for maintaining your skin’s health and for protection against sunburn and skin ageing caused due to sun exposure.
Procedure – Step By Step:
I would also mention variations for very oily and dry skin.
- 1/2 tspTomato juice.
- 1 tsp Milk cream.
- 1/2 tsp Honey.
Mix all the three ingredients well, apply it all over your face and massage in a circular motion for 2 minutes. Leave it on for another minute and wipe it off with a cotton pad.
Dry skin: Substitute honey with ghee/butter (preferably unsalted) since it is moisturising and softening for dry skin.
Oily Skin: Substitute milk cream with yoghurt. You can add a few drops of lemon juice, which helps to dissolve excess oil.
Usually, steam is taken after scrubbing, but I prefer to steam before as it softens the skin and makes exfoliation more effective and less
3. Rose essential oil
Add 3 drops of essential oil to the water and steam your face for 5 minutes.
Dry Skin: You can use Lavender essential oil as it has skin balancing properties and is the safest essential oil.
Oily Skin: Tea tree essential oil can be used instead of rose essential oil. Tea tree has anti-bacterial properties that reduces oil production and prevents acne.
- 1 tsp Tomato juice.
- 1/2 tsp Rice flour.
- 1/2 tsp sooji (semolina).
- 1/2 tsp milk/milk powder.
- Rose water (optional).
Add all the ingredients in a bowl except sooji, mix well and add sooji jus
before scrubbing. Scrub gently in a circular motion for 2 minutes, leave it on for 5 minutes and scrub again. You can spray some rose water if the scrub dries up when you leave on.
Dry Skin: Add oats instead of sooji, since it is softening and moisturising yet it is an effective scrub, specially for dry skin.
Oily Skin: Add a pinch of sodium bicarb (baking soda) to the scrub. Sodium bicarb is a strong exfoliant, which reduces oil secretion and tightens open pores, preventing skin eruptions, whiteheads and blackheads.
4. Massage Cream:
- 1 tsp Tomato juice.
- 1/2 tsp Carrot juice.
- 1/2 tsp yoghurt.
- 3-5 strands Kesar (saffron).
- 1 Vitamin E capsule.
Soak kesar strands in yoghurt for 2 hours. Slit the vitamin E capsule and add it to the yoghurt. Mix all the other ingredients together and whip it into a smooth paste. Massage the paste in a circular motion gently, all over your face. Leave it on for 10 minutes, massage again and wash off with warm water.
Dry Skin: Add a few drops of almond oil since it is easily absorbed by the skin. It is moisturising and nourishing, very ideal for dry skin.
It keeps the skin firm, thus fighting off wrinkles.
Oily Skin: Replace vitamin E capsule with 2 drops of almond oil and 1/2 tsp of Sandalwood powder/paste. Almond oil contains vitamin E that helps lightening skin blemishes. Sandalwood is very cooling and soothing to oily skin. It also helps to control oil by tightening pores.
5. Face Mask:
- 1 tsp Tomato juice.
- 1/2 tsp Multani mitti.
- 1/4 tsp Kasturi manjal.
- 1/2 tsp Cucumber juice.
- 1/2 tsp Orange peel powder.
Mix all of them together, add more tomato juice if the mask becomes too thick. Apply a thick layer on your face, massage lightly and leave it on till it dries completely. It should take around 15 minutes to dry.
Dry Skin: Replace multani mitti with milk powder, as it is moisturising and also acts as a base for the face mask. It contains lactic acid which gently sloughs off dead skin making it soft and supple.
Oily Skin: Add aloe vera gel to the mask. Aloe vera gel has a cooling effect on oily skin, it prevents acne and inflammation. It has hydrating as well as astringent properties.
- 1 tsp Tomato juice.
- 1 tsp Rose water.
- 1 tsp Green tea.
Mix all the three together, pour it into an ice tray and freeze it. Rub the ice cube in a circular motion all over your face, to close open pores. Let it dry naturally, wash off with cool water and pat dry.
Dry Skin: Replace rose water with raw milk. Raw milk moistens and conditions dry skin and accelerates cell renewal.
Oily Skin: Add two drops of tea tree essential oil to the toner. This helps in refining enlarged pores, maintaining the oil, water balance of the skin.
Finally, moisturize your skin with a suitable moisturiser after the facial.
I have been following this routine from the past 3 months. I do this facial twice a month and believe me, this has made a huge difference. My skin is brighter, smoother and happier. Basically, it feels more alive and rejuvenated, but, don’t expect immediate results. The first time I did the facial I did not notice any significant improvement except that my skin felt very silky. I was disappointed and decided to discontinue it, but the next morning my face had a subtle glow and a well-rested look, this prompted me to give it another shot. With every session, I noticed my skin got better, that’s when I realized it’s a keeper and I must share it with everyone. The advantages are that it is cost effective, free of chemicals, extremely nourishing and skin friendly. But the drawbacks are that there is no overnight improvement, you won’t feel pampered or relaxed like in a spa, in fact, it is hard work and the biggest factor is it is very time consuming. To save time, I usually extract the tomato juice and prepare the cleanser, mask and toner the night before and refrigerate it.
Somehow, I have managed to find time for this and hope you guys too can. Do try it! It’s quite a colourful facial.
I know it’s a very long post, but I did not want to miss out on anything.
Hopefully this could be of some help for all of you. 🙂