Monthly Archives: June 2016

Fair Complexion Tips for You

The natural color and appearance of one’s skin is called complexion. You will find that the human skin complexion ranges from black to pinkish white. The skin complexion depends on the presence of melanin under your skin. It is seen that people living in sunny areas have darker skin color and people in colder areas have fairer or brown skin. This is nature’s way of preventing skin cancer, due to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Yet, many people want to have a flawless, fair complexion. But a fair skin depends on the ethnic background and genes. Even then, people are always looking for ways to make their skin lighter and fairer. You can try to become fairer with cosmetic surgeries and treatments, but these are really expensive and not affordable for all. Also, they have high chances of bad side effects. The best option to lighten your skin is by following natural tips for lighter complexion. And those with a naturally fair complexion can also follow them to maintain their light skin color. The following section will give you pointers on how to get lighter complexion naturally.

Natural Tips for Fair Complexion
Many times, skin turns to a darker shade due to long periods of exposure to the UV rays. This results in tanning that makes your skin look dull, lifeless, and dark. You can follow some simple homemade face packs, to help reduce the tanning. You can try the following natural face masks that will help you get a lighter complexion.

Tips: #1
Soak 4 almonds overnight and make a fine paste of the almonds by mixing them with milk. This paste should be applied to the face and neck before going to bed for 15 continuous days. Wash off the mask in the morning. After daily application for 15 days, follow application twice a week.

Tips: #2
Apply a mixture of equal amounts of lemon juice and honey on the face and whole body, if needed. Leave the pack sit for 15 minutes and wash off.

Tips: #3
Mix 1 tablespoon milk powder, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and ½ tablespoon of almond oil. This mixture should be applied on the face and washed off after 10 – 15 minutes. This will not only bring a shine to the skin, but also remove the set in tan.

Tips: #4
If you have dry skin, apply a mixture of equal amounts of cucumber juice and honey on the face and whole body. Leave it for 15 minutes and wash off. Regular application will give you a lighter complexion.

Tips: #5
Apply a paste of gram flour, 2 teaspoon milk and 3 – 4 drops lime juice on your face and neck for 15 minutes for 15 days. Wash with water. You will notice a lighter complexion in a few days. After the daily application of 15 days, repeat every 2 weeks.

Tips: #6
Apply a mixture of 3 – 4 drops lime juice and one grated tomato on face and neck for 15 minutes for 15 days. Wash the pack with cold water. You will notice your complexion getting lighter with regular application.

Tips: #7
Mix turmeric powder with raw milk or rose water. Apply the pack on your face everyday to maintain a fair complexion.

Tips: #8
Mix raw oatmeal, yogurt, and tomato juice. Apply the pack on the face and allow it to dry for 15 to 20 minutes. Then gently scrub off the paste and rinse with cold water. You will get a naturally cleaned and scrubbed complexion.

Tips: #9
Make a paste by mixing papaya, honey, milk, and milk powder. Apply the pack on your face and leave for a few minutes, then wash off.

Tips # 10
Mix 4 parts milk, 1 part honey, and 2 part lemon juice. Apply the mixture on the tanned areas for 15 minutes. Wash with cold water when the pack turns dry. This acts as a natural bleach and will give you a fair complexion.

These are a few natural tips for getting a lighter complexion. You need to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays by application of sunscreen creams with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 15 and higher. Along with that, you should also eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables as they help provide the much-needed vitamins and antioxidants that keep your skin looking younger and healthier. It is not important whether you have a fair complexion or dark complexion, what matters is that you should have a healthy, glowing, and clear skin. And with the application of these packs, that is exactly what you will get.

Recipes for a Smooth Skin and Natural Beauty

Sea Salt Removes Dry, Flaky, Dead Skin
Wet your face and apply a couple of tablespoons of sea salt, then GENTLY massage with a wet washcloth or fingers. Focus on the T-zone and cheeks, but avoid the eye area. After one or two minutes, rinse with cold water to tighten the pores. It is important to do this regularly, once per week for the best effect. You can use this as a body scrub as well.

Fruity Lip Gloss
1 tablespoon solid shortening
1 tablespoon fruit-flavored powdered drink mix
1 small container

Mix shortening and drink mix together in a microwave safe bowl till smooth. Place this in the microwave on high for 30 seconds until mix becomes a liquid. Pour into clean container, or any other small airtight container. Place mix into fridge for 20-30 minutes or till firm.

Dark Circles Under Eyes…
One of the most common ailments, and I can say ailment as this is a definite stressful look that we all wear, which is under-eye circles. Here are some tips to get rid of these zombie-like effects under your eyes.

Wrap a grated raw potato in a cheesecloth and apply over the eyelids for 15-20 minutes. Wipe off the residue and apply an eye cream.

Carrot Facial Mask
2-3 large carrots
4½ tablespoons honey

Cook carrots, then mash them. Mix with honey. Apply gently over the skin, and keep it on for 10 minutes. Rinse off with cool water.

Glowing Facial Mask
You will love your radiant skin after using this recipe…
All you need is:
1 tablespoon fuller’s earth
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon mashed papaya
Mix and apply it on the face. Keep it for 20 minutes and then rinse it off.

Honey Facial Mask
Perhaps the best facial mask known to man is pure and simple honey. Dip a cloth in warm water and dab it on your face to open the pores. Smear on honey, and leave it for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water, then splash cold water to close the pores. Use once a week.

Orange Yogurt Mask
1 teaspoon plain yogurt
¼ cup juice of an orange

Stir to mix and apply it to your face. The sensation is both cool and relaxing. Leave on for five minutes, and then rinse. If you are feeling sluggish, this is the perfect mask for you.

The yogurt will cleanse and nourish your skin, and the orange will nourish it with vitamin C.

White Nails
To whiten your nails, try these:
Use a common whitening toothpaste. Try scrubbing your nails with Pearl Drops, it will clear up the stains and make them shiny.
Soak your nails in water with lemon juice or lemon slices. The lemon acts as an astringent and will strip away stains. Once your hands are dry, you’ll only need to put on a couple of coats of a clear topcoat

Wrinkle Remover
Green Thompson seedless grapes! It has one of the ingredients in those big time expensive wrinkle creams. All you do is cut a grape in half and gently crush it on your face and neck. Make sure that you get the “crows-feet” and the lines around your mouth. Leave it on for twenty minutes or so, rinse with tepid water and pat dry. Repeat every day and before you know it… those nasty old lines will be hard to find! Don’t forget to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Eat veggies rich in Vitamin A, such as carrots, celery and spinach. If you can, try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

Tips to Make Shikakai Powder at Home

Did You Know?
The condition of hair and skin reflects the person’s overall constitution. Poor diet, illness, and stress can seriously affect the quality of hair and skin. Herbal products that are free of chemicals not only improve the quality of hair and skin, but also help calm down the nerves and lower stress.
Shikakai has been used for hair care in India since ancient times. This climbing shrub grows in abundance in the Indian subcontinent. As more and more people are taking interest in Ayurvedic skin and hair care products, these shrubs are now grown on a large scale, especially in central and south India, and in the far East Asia. The botanical name of this flowering shrub is Acacia concinna. Shikakai means ‘fruit for hair.’ The pods and the bark of shikakai plant are packed with saponins, which act as a foaming and cleansing agent, when used in shampoos and soaps.

The antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of the pods and the bark make them perfect ingredients for natural hair and skin care products. Shikakai powder can help prevent and get rid of both lice and dandruff. As the powder doesn’t contain any chemicals, it doesn’t harm your skin and scalp. It has a low pH and does not leave your hair or skin dry after use. It helps retain moisture in them. And, as shikakai acts as a detangler too, you don’t have to use a conditioner. You must have noticed that chemicals in shampoos and conditioners eventually lead to hair loss. Shikakai not only prevents this loss, but it also promotes hair growth by strengthening the roots. It can soften your skin and delay graying of hair too.
How to Prepare Herbal Shikakai Powder

➺ The simplest way of making pure shikakai powder at home is to sun dry the fruit pods, (also leaves and bark of the plant, if available) and using a grinder, grind them into a powder. The leaves and bark of the tree may not be available online, but you can get shikakai pods online, or in Indian spice stores, or in a store where you get Ayurvedic herbs and medicines. Shikakai contains vitamin C and D and does not take away natural oil from your skin and scalp. If you live in tropical or sub-tropical areas, you can grow the plant, and can collect the pods. The leaves and pods have several other medicinal uses too.

➺ You can add various other dried herbs, fruits, and spices to optimize the cleansing capacity of shikakai. Shikakai has a mild pH, but if you find that it leaves your hair dry, you can add dried amla (Indian gooseberry – Phyllanthus emblica) and reetha (soap nuts) to it. Both these are good cleansers and conditioners. The saponins present in these herbs help remove dust and grease from your hair. They can help normalize scalp sebum and give your hair lots of shine. You can take all three ingredients in equal proportion. The shikakai powder may contain most of shikakai (two third) and a small portion (one third) of amla and reetha. There is no fixed recipe as such. As all the ingredients are natural and safe, you can vary the quantity of ingredients as per availability. Usually, these three are the main ingredients in ready-to-use shikakai shampoo powders.
➺ Along with amla and soap nuts, you can also add a few curry leaves (Murraya koenigii), fenugreek seeds, neem leaves (Azadirachta indica), nagarmotha (Cyperus scariosus), brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), basil, etc. and can make a herbal hair care powder that would have exceptional medicinal properties. The shikakai powder made this way would be rich in essential vitamins like vitamin A, C, D, and K and other nutrients like antioxidants. If you wish, you can plant these herbs in your organic garden, and can apply ground fresh leaves to your hair and skin from time to time. All these herbs can nourish your hair and skin, and can keep fungal or other infections away. The phytonutrients present in these herbs can nourish the hair follicles and promote hair growth. They help prevent hair loss. Herbs like brahmi, neem, and basil can help cool the nerves too. Fenugreek seeds contain nicotinic acid and proteins which strengthen hair roots and promote hair growth. All these herbs act as conditioners and prevent premature graying of hair.

➺ You would love the lingering smell of shikakai powder. But if you want, you can add dried rose petals and hibiscus flower petal powder to it for a pleasant fragrance.

➺ You can add a few tablespoons of flaxseed as an ingredient. It also acts as a conditioner.

➺ If you wish, you can add 1-2 teaspoons of multani mitti (Fuller’s Earth) to the powder. Some even mix 1-2 teaspoons of green gram (mung bean flour) or chickpea flour (rich in vitamins and protein) with shikakai powder at the time of use. These are very good cleansers and softeners. They help remove grease from your hair.
How to Use Homemade Shikakai Powder
➺ Whatever ingredients you choose, just dry them properly and grind them together.

➺ Gently massage your head and body with coconut, castor, or shikakai oil half an hour before bath. Applying oil at night and washing it away in the morning would give better results. You can use shikakai without an oil massage, but massaging would help strengthen your hair. With a pre-bath massage, hair and skin won’t look dry.

➺ Take some shikakai powder in a bowl (2-3 tablespoons) and make a thick paste by adding some water to it. Take some more powder if you want to use it as a body wash too.

➺ Apply this paste to wet hair. Using your fingertips, gently massage the paste into your hair and scalp.

➺ Let it stay there for 2-5 minutes.

➺ Rinse the hair thoroughly with warm (not very hot) water.

➺ You may apply the paste over your body. It will act as a scrubber and deep cleanser.
Homemade shikakai powder is beneficial for those who are allergic to sulfates and parabens present in commercial shampoos and conditioners. With regular use of shikakai, one can have ‘shiny, thick hair’ and ‘smooth, supple, and glowing’ skin.

Hair Care Tips for Black Women

African-American hair is often associated with coarse, dry texture. Although, this is one common characteristic of this hair type, it is not the only one. Yet, it would be safe to assume that African-American hair type is slightly more dry and brittle than Caucasian or Asian hair type. Hence, this type of hair requires a tad more care and nourishment. The good news is that you can still achieve your dream hair, if you follow a regular hair care routine. Throughout this article, you’ll find great hair care tips for black women.

Routine Hair Care Tips to Be Followed

Healthy Diet

Your hair reflects what you eat, hence, if you want shiny, healthy hair, you must eat healthy food. Incorporate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Since, your hair is made of protein, you should eat foods rich in proteins. Also, include vitamins such as A, B6, B12, E, niacin, etc., as healthy diet does more good to your hair than any hair care product.

Cleaning Routine

It is a common myth that washing your hair more often renders your hair dry and weak. You should wash your hair at least every 3 – 4 days, as it inhibits bacterial growth. Use a good quality shampoo meant for dry hair and do not forget to condition your hair. A leave-in conditioner with light oils that penetrate scalp is best suited for black hair. As black hair is prone to dandruff, you may consider using a gentle anti-dandruff shampoo. Also, while washing your hair, do not rub your scalp too roughly. Partition your hair in several sections and gently rinse off the shampoo. Moreover, do not rub your hair vigorously while drying. Just wrap it in a towel and press it, so as to remove excess water. Letting them dry naturally is the best option.

Extra Nourishment

Besides a regular cleaning routine, you need to provide extra nourishment to your hair. Jojoba oil is the best hair moisturizer. Look out for products that are rich in jojoba oil and apply on the scalp every 2 – 3 days. Oil treatment is also necessary to provide your hair with additional nourishment. Warm some coconut oil or olive oil in a pan and apply it on the roots of your hair with a cotton wool. Coconut oil enters the hair cortex and strengthens it. Follow this oil treatment routine at least twice a month.

Hairstyling Tips for Black Hair

If you are opting for ‘bone-straight’ hair, do not keep your hair too long. Longer hair is more prone to damage than shorter. Hair coloring is not a recommended hair styling option for black hair. The chemicals in the dyes are too harsh for black hair. They strip the hair of its moisture and renders it vulnerable to damage. If you must, always color your hair after you are done with heat treatment. Protective hairstyles such as braids, cornrows are ideal for African-American hair, as they prevent breakage and are low on maintenance. While going for any style that involves heat treatment, always make sure you use good quality hydrating products for your hair. Curly nature of black hair often makes it difficult for the moisture to retain in hair. Hence, use of a moisturizing element becomes a must. Serums can be more beneficial for chemically treated hair as they are lighter. Oils may weigh your hair down and cause them to become dirtier even faster.

General Hair Care Tips for African-American Women

  1. Always de-tangle and pin-up your hair before you go to bed.
  2. If you have rough, cotton pillow covers, then wrap your hair in satin scarf to protect them from getting
  3. damaged over the night.
  4. Always cover your hair when going outdoors, especially in the sun.
  5. Using a special sunscreen for hair is also a good idea.
  6. Avoid using more than one heat product on your hair such as blow dryer, flat iron, hair straighteners, etc.
  7. Use a wide toothed comb to de-tangle your hair.
  8. Trim your hair every 2 months or more (depending upon your hair growth) to get rid of split ends.
  9. Use a pre-styling gel or serum before going for any black hairstyle.
  10. Do not tie your hair too tightly, as it could lead to traction alopecia.

The above tips will definitely help you achieve an enviable mane. Follow them to the word and you’ll be all set to flaunt your shiny, black curls.

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