Everyone wants to look good, no matter what the season. Maintaining good skin needs some knowledge about treatments that can help it look its best.
Spring comes with problems for people with allergies, including problems like itchy, rashes or inflamed skin. Pollutants and pollen in the air may be responsible for this. The skin and scalp absorb what is applied to it, sensitive skin types can have an immediate allergic reaction to a cosmetic ingredient. Even if there is no sudden reaction, there can be a cumulative effect, with a build-up of chemical residues in the body. Lead, for instance, present in certain eye makeup products, can have many adverse effects. Using creams on oily skin can lead to acne, pimples or rashes. Sensitive skin may become red and start itching due to urticaria or dermatitis. Sometimes, the allergy can become severe and affect the respiratory system. With permanent dyes and other products commonly used, a patch test is recommended.
Today, many cosmetic companies do not use ingredients like parabens, sulphates, mineral oil or synthetic colours. The reason why many advocate organic ingredients and Ayurveda is that they are safe and non-toxic. For mild allergic reactions, some natural ingredients may help. For instance, sandalwood paste reduces redness and itching. Aloe vera gel can be applied to soothe the condition. Add a tablespoon of vinegar or baking soda to a mug of water and wash the area to relieve itching. Or, grind poppy seeds, add a little rose water, make a paste and apply on affected areas. Essential oils are used to formulate natural cosmetics. However, they need to be used with caution, as their action is highly potent. One has to learn how to mix them with carrier oils, mineral water or rose water in the prescribed proportions. Here are some home remedies:
- Sandalwood paste can be applied on eruptive conditions. Or, mix sandalwood with a little rose water and apply on the entire area. Wash off with plain water after 20 to 30 minutes.
- Add two drops of tea tree oil to two tablespoons of rose water. Apply this on a rash.
- Apple cider vinegar helps to relieve itching. It also has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, which are useful for sunburn and dandruff. A few drops can be dabbed on the area using cotton wool. For itchy skin, add one tablespoon vinegar to a mug of water and pour it on the affected area.
- Simmer a handful of neem leaves on a very low fire in four cups of water for one hour. Leave it overnight. Next morning, strain the water and make a paste of the leaves. Apply it on inflamed areas. The water can be used for rinsing the area. Add a little turmeric paste to milk and apply on the rash.
- Clays like fuller’s earth (multani mitti) have a cooling and soothing effect. Mix one tablespoon fuller’s earth with rose water. Apply the paste on affected areas and wash it off after 15 to 20 minutes. Bicarbonate of soda relieves itching. Add it to multani mitti and rose water to make a pack. Apply on itchy, rashes and eruptive conditions. Wash it off after 10 minutes.